No apologies for the alliteration in our lead-in, because rules are for suckers. We’re revolutionaries here, and we have a liberating plan to fill you in on El Presidente Ubisoft Toronto’s plans to keep you a prisoner to its upcoming Far Cry entry, Far Cry 6. These details are not to be taken lightly, and many a Libertad soldier risked their lives to get it to you, but we promise it will be worth it. And in the right hands, who knows? Perhaps an open-world campaign-first, first-person shooter revolution will be on the cards.
Remember to destroy each of these important intels after reading them. Now, here is what we learned.
1. Yara is a Picture-Perfect Location…
A while ago, in let’s say Downtown Los Santos, it became public that an art-direction and design mandate for Rockstar’s seminal Grand Theft Auto V was that anywhere the player looked, the game itself had to reflect as a postcard. Since then, this ‘internal mandate’ from the open-world dev giant has infiltrated every other major Triple-A studio that dabbles in the expanded playspace gaming region, Ubisoft’s Montreal and Toronto studios notwithstanding. Of course, we can all expect that Rockstar’s allegedly revelatory mandate was, and is, in fact par for the open-world art and design course, regardless of your name and pedigree. And with or without the sun-soaked urban sprawl of greater Los Santos to look for, for inspiration, you could probably take a screenshot from any major open-world game out there and find something you’d be proud to mail back home to nan and pop.
With that said, the setting for Far Cry 6 is the fictional island nation of Yara, which is loosely based off of Cuba and finds itself nestled in the Caribbean. Which is more than enough information for you to gobble up in terms of eye-candy potential. But 2021 franchise custodians, Ubi Toronto, have gone one further and simply delivered what threatens to be the most stunning open-world we’ve experienced, maybe ever. And it’s absolutely brimming with dynamic life that follows a realistic ecology befitting its location. This includes a functioning animal food chain, dynamic day, night and weather (in the extremes), and all nestled in the “biggest Far Cry game-world ever created”. Nice.
2. ...Under Siege and in Bad Shape
But we probably should have packed for something akin to a Holiday in Cambodia, as described by The Dead Kennedys, because Yara, when it’s not piercing your eyes with its sharp beauty, is a world beset by conflict that threatens to destroy its picturesque backdrop at any moment, and with you in it.
Under the tyrannical rule of El Presidente, Anton Castillo, Yara is a nation oppressed. His ideological platform, that hearkens back to a communist-clenched iron fist of yesteryear, will enact any desired level of despotism to maintain its perceived rule. However, the extreme lengths Castillio’s subjugation has gone to has given rise to revolution, and despite his government’s attempts to crush this guerrilla-empowered antithetical opposition, it not only gains, it grows.
Still, this revolt means the beautiful nation island of Yara is in a state of perpetual bombardment, regardless of who’s throwing munitions. This, however, shapes the disparate game-world into three parts for you to explore:
- The postcard-perfect Caribbean jewel.
- Its tattered self pockmarked with militia, checkpoints and reminders of what fighting back can do to the world around you.
- And the so-called “guerrilla underground”, where yourself and your progressive posse of freedom fighters plan and execute your revolution both from, and through.
3. But we, Libertad, are in the Trenches…
All facilitated through the aforementioned guerrilla underground but is perhaps most importantly exemplified through the game’s new “holstering system”...
Ubisoft has termed the game’s setting as a “guerrilla fantasy” where you and your Libertad reinforcements utilise the land, its bombarded and oft-destroyed surrounds, and rich history as your arsenal against tyranny. This is all facilitated through the aforementioned guerrilla underground but is perhaps most importantly exemplified through the game’s new “holstering system” where the player has a chance to just put away their weapon at any moment in the game.
This means you can avoid being stopped by patrols, move past checkpoints and strongholds and more. How much this affects the gameplay and your approach to the world and, indeed, how dynamically the world is written to reflect your choices here, remains to be seen. But honestly, being able to holster is perhaps the most exciting prospect in the game and opens up the chance to move seamlessly between the three game-world spaces we’ve mentioned.
Additionally, the guerrilla underground also nets you a veritable munitions mall to browse and shop in, while also giving you missions to perform, friends to make and targets to silence. In fact, from what we’ve seen it’s almost as if you’re the missing piece to the whole Libertad puzzle...
4. ...And so are you -- Dani Rojas
And this is where you come in, a “military dropout” with enough of an axe to grind against Castillo that Libertad goes out of its way to recruit you. You’ll be able to choose between a fully voiced male or female Dani, which is a return to fully-voiced player-characters for the series. Whether or not your gender choice affects narrative or gameplay, as seen to some degree in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, also remains to be seen, but from all of the cutscenes revealed so far, Dani is definitely going to live up to the moniker of “main character”.
Another first for the series flips the “fish out of water” trope on its head with Far Cry 6, with Rojas being a Yaran native, and while Far Cry aficionados might be yelling at us that Ajay Ghale was also a native of Far Cry 4’s Kyrat region, remember he’d long been assimilated to life in the civilised west with this trope being more one of “finding his roots”. Which still plays heavily into the fish out of water setup.
So, the attachment to the game-world here is going to be fiercely personal and intimate, and one we truly hope Ubisoft Toronto fully exploits to the narrative nines. But, we also hope this doesn’t hamstring any sense of player-agency or choice in helping shape the game’s narrative and eventual outcome(s).
5. One Person’s Trash
The headline here alone should have you pretty much guessing where this point goes, but ultimately it finishes with the Yaran people and their resourcefulness when it comes to crafting functional wares. This is a concept derived from the Cuban influence that looms heavy over Far Cry 6. Trade restrictions in Cuba meant that Cubans would build elaborate motors for vehicle shells that ought not have ever played nice with one another. Moreover, access to more modern vehicles, tools and more was practically nonexistent, leaving Cubans no choice but to fix and maintain all that the country had on its shores. In modernity, this is a celebrated part of the country’s ingenuity and resilience to the political landscape(s) it endured, often referred to as the “Resolver Spirit” (pronounced “re-sol-ber”). And in Far Cry 6, this real-life history has been wholly embraced.
Crazy backpacks that would make Boba Fett jealous...
So makeshift weapons, customisable and upgradeable vehicles, crazy backpacks that would make Boba Fett jealous, and more, present as engaging parts of the game with myriad systems and features tied to all of it. How deep it all goes? Well, that’s still part of that waiting game, and we’re sat here with baited breath to learn more, because the mind swells at the possibilities here.
6. A Revolutionary’s Best Friend, Amigo
Finally, what good is revolution without Man’s Best Friend? No, not dogs (though there is a cute little puppy named Chorizo as pictured below). We’re talking crocs! Okay, crocs and dogs and… well, hopefully more.
Similar to the pets found in Far Cry 5, Far Cry 6 comes with creative “Amigos” for you to befriend and then sick onto your would-be enemies. And seriously, nobody wants to see a t-shirt-wearing croc with a gold tooth running at them at the command of its human. Heck, even the concept of “its human” is scary enough when contextualising an attack croc -- half guard reptile, half amorous pet. We mean, just think on that for a minute. And Amigos look like they will each have unique interactions with the world and its enemies, and we honestly can’t wait to see what other crazy animal companion concepts have been cooked up for this part of the game.
So there you have it, soldier. A heady dose of intel about what to expect in resistance from El Presidente, his goons and the land around all of us. Just keep your wits about you, and Guapo fed. Please, please keep Guapo fed.
Far Cry 6 arrives for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X this October 7.