Enter Far Cry 6, which returns the series to its more exotic roots with the fictional Caribbean island of Yara. While Yara is an utterly gorgeous place to explore, rife with charming little towns, jungles and mountainous expanses, it’s very much under lock and key by ruthless dictator Antón Castillo – because it just wouldn’t be a Far Cry game without a comically evil head of state to overthrow.
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With an emphasis on guerrilla warfare and makeshift weaponry, Far Cry 6’s good guys certainly feel like the underdogs here, which makes for a game that’s undeniably satisfying to play through as you work towards taking down the figureheads of Castillo’s regime one at a time.
Far Cry 6 definitely doesn’t reinvent the wheel, though, and can still very much grow repetitive during long sessions, but it presents the series’ gameplay loop in a more compelling way than ever before.
Far Cry 6 puts players in the role of Dani Rojas (not to be confused with the Ted Lasso character of the same name), a native Yaran with dreams of escaping Castillo’s regime to the sunny shores of Miami, Florida.
After choosing your gender for Dani, they get the chance to escape during the game’s intro section, but after the attempt goes south, they wash up on a faraway beach as the sole survivor and are promptly ushered into the ranks of Libertad, a small army of freedom fighters dedicated to overthrowing Castillo.
It’s here where the game opens up, and Dani can disembark from the islet of Libertad HQ to tackle each section of Yara in whichever order they please. Each area has their own group of revolutionaries fighting against the powers that be, and each group of characters is surprisingly likeable.
One particular highlight is El Tigre of The Legends of ‘67, an eccentric old timer way beyond his prime who still clings onto the hope of revolution. Another is the explosives-obsessed Philly, whose excellent performance serves the character’s unpredictability superbly well.
The goons on Castillo’s team are a little less convincing, unfortunately. Each of the big man’s underlings, including his nephew José and Canadian corporatist Sean McKay are cartoonishly evil. It makes them easy to hate, sure, but their one-dimensional nature falls far short of the much more well-realized Antón Castillo.
And speaking of the man himself, Antón Castillo might just be the best Far Cry villain to date. Antón’s cold and calculating demeanor is a refreshing departure from the series’ more eccentric baddies like Vaas or Pagan Min, and is done justice by Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian) who lends his face and voice to the character.
Esposito clearly enjoyed playing the role, his every line of dialog dripping with contempt for everyone around him save for his son, Diego, who also becomes one of Far Cry 6’s most fascinating characters – walking a thin line between embracing his father’s wishes and sympathizing with the revolutionaries who want to end the dictator’s reign.
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