Far Cry 6 Review (Xbox Series X) – ¡Viva la Revolución!

Far Cry 6 is finally here and basically solidifies the Ubisoft approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” that they have employed for their major tentpole franchises. This installment is no different in that regard. Which isn’t inherently bad. After so many years of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry installments, they’ve basically found their bread and butter and continue to make big bucks from them. It’s a massive playground with almost limitless options of how to take on missions and even more collectibles and side content is thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel at all but frankly, it isn’t trying to and it still manages to be a blast. The story it tells may never really leave a mark despite the heavy marketing of its main antagonist, but that thankfully doesn’t take away from the tight gameplay and always fun open-ended mission structure.

Game Name: Far Cry 6
Platform(s): Reviewed on Xbox Series X (Also available on Xbox One, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4/5, PC, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia)
Publisher(s): Ubisoft
Developer(s): Ubisoft Toronto
Release Date: October 7th, 2021
Price: $59.99

Far Cry 6 kicks off similarly to previous entries in the franchise. You play as Dani Rojas (male or female depending on your choice) as they find themselves joining the freedom fighters of Libertad who are looking to save an island that is definitely not Cuba from the oppression of a tyrannical dictator. Over the course of the story, Dani is tasked with gradually gaining the trust of those in Libertad as well as the people of Yara through essentially being really good at blowing things up and shooting lots and lots of bad guys. 

Dani’s ever-growing entourage is made up of a cast of colorful characters. You team up with everything from old wizened guerillas to a band of chaotic younger freedom fighters who have a DJ in their ranks whose name is Spanish slang for a reproductive organ. The main issue with this motley crew is that very few of them really leave a mark and it often feels like there are too many of them. It felt at times as though I was meeting a new character every five minutes and it began to feel a bit bloated. This becomes especially troublesome when character deaths or big emotional moments are happening because I very seldom felt like I was given enough time to connect with them. It’s a shame since a lot of these characters are fun and likable but are rarely given enough time with Dani (and by extension the player) to really care about their plight.

far cry 6

Chewing the scenery

Where your allies may be lacking at times, you would hope that Far Cry 6‘s much-publicized villain will surely pick up the slack. Something that the Far Cry games have gradually adopted as one of their signature hallmarks over the years is its assortment of villains. Its become such a staple for the franchise that there is even DLC on the way based specifically on previous villains. Our attention right now is on Antón Castillo played by Breaking Bad‘s Giancarlo Esposito. Surprising absolutely no one, Esposito pulls off another great performance even if his inclusion in the role still sparks a bit of discussion regarding non-Latinx actors playing Latinx roles.

All that being said, Esposito does do a very good job when he is one screen, but it sometimes felt like he was absent for pretty long periods of time. It’s unclear if that is simply a narrative choice or the budgetary issues that come with hiring a big Hollywood star. When Castillo is not around you definitely feel his absence and it’s often a decent stretch of time in between instances when you do see him. There were literally moments when I would see him again after hours and realize that I forgot that Esposito was in the game. Which is a bit strange to think about given that so much of the marketing is hinging on him and his villainous performance.

The high point of Castillo’s scenes though would be those he has with his son Diego. It’s one of the more interesting plot threads and the interactions between the two have a surprising amount of depth while you see Castillo trying to groom his son to follow in his tyrannical footsteps. Diego is essentially the heart of the story and the fate of his soul is a constant target of Castillo since he desperately wants an heir to his regime. It leads to some very chilling moments and easily made for the most compelling moments throughout the story that was generally full of many highs and lows.

far cry 6

Island in the sun

As fun as villains and some of the story beats are, the real reason you play Far Cry is for the playgrounds that they throw you into. Far Cry 6 takes everything that made the series what it is now and refines it. It definitely is Far Cry and that means you know what you’re getting and if it hasn’t been your cup of tea before then this won’t change your mind. But what you’re getting here is a whole lot of freedom to take on the myriad of tasks and missions in pretty much any way you want.

As far as first-person action goes, there aren’t many that reach the levels of hype that Far Cry 6 reaches during some of its set-pieces as well as during some of the random occurrences throughout the game. My approach was generally based around stealth but I always had a rocket launcher on hand in case things got away from me. This was honestly the case more often than not when trying to reclaim some of the many Checkpoints throughout Yara. Especially some of the higher-ranked ones that I took on out of pure hubris. Even when I did make a huge mess of it, the game never faulted me or penalized me for it. It provided a handful of instances where I had to pivot my approach to better suit the situation at hand. And that can apply to just about every encounter with the exception of the very few story missions where stealth is required. It’s moments like that when Far Cry 6 is at its absolute best and had me audibly panicking while playing it as soldiers, helicopters, and tanks decided to make me their target.

In typical Far Cry fashion, and I suppose Ubisoft as a whole, there is an endless amount to look at and find all across Yara. Weapons, charms, and clothing items to name a few are scattered all over the place and very frequently serve as a reward for your own curiosity. On more than one occasion I found myself going off of the beaten path because a loot icon showed up on my radar and I ended up with a really cool compound bow to show for it. There’s always something to find or see which is very welcome since it helps keep things fresh in what could very easily be a repetitive game. Far Cry 6 has so much going on though that if you get tired of one type of mission type or gameplay style, you can shift to something else because there really is that much to do in here. 

far cry 6

The island of Yara in itself is also a pretty amazing sight to behold. It has a few echoes of the Rook Islands from Far Cry 3 with its Caribbean-inspired setting but sets itself apart from that by leaning heavily into imagery that is very evocative of Cuba. With the exception of military vehicles, all of the cars you come across are straight out of the ’50s and really drive home the idea of an island trapped outside of time. Couple that with the beautiful tropical island visuals and the grungier corners covered in graffiti and you get not just the best-looking entry in the series but one of the best-looking games on the current generation of consoles. 

Here comes the politics

Around the time of Far Cry 6’s announcement, Ubisoft managed to find itself in the midst of a good deal of discourse in regards to the game’s subject matter. In short, the studio made claims that Far Cry 6 was not trying to make any type of political statement around Cuba despite being heavily based on the country’s decades-long struggle of unrest and the developers themselves met with real guerilla fighters to inform its story. This was then countered when its narrative director blatantly stated that Far Cry 6 is in fact political. Ubisoft has also missed the mark in many of their past titles as well when it came to actually lean into politics. For a company that has an entire brand built around the works of Tom Clancy, it comes off a bit tone-deaf when they decide to make content devoid of political meaning even though so much of their content is inherently political by association with its own subject matter. 

In terms of Far Cry 6, it never really delves into these themes that it very heavily references and evokes. It’s not to say that every game has to have some kind of underlying political message but when so much of what is here is based on real-world events, they may as well go deeper into it. Some of the stories beat that even happen late in the game get uncannily close to events that occurred between Cuba and the United States which makes the decision to not explore it more even more confusing. I’m not saying that politics should be thrown into everything but using it as window dressing and setting the stage for something involving political themes and then letting it fall flat is a missed opportunity. This is unfortunately the pattern Ubisoft has employed for a number of years and has only recently been called out for it. It’s not to say that Far Cry 6 doesn’t entertain because it does but it could have done more and I wouldn’t even be making mention of it if the game itself wasn’t engaging in essentially political edging since its announcement. 

far cry 6

Play to your strengths

Far Cry 6 may not nail everything that it sets out to do with its story but its biggest strengths are in its pitch-perfect gameplay and sprawling sandbox that it throws you in. The sheer amount of options that you’re given is almost overwhelming at times and allows for so much variety and freedom to play it however the hell you want. And that’s the beauty of Far Cry. That is why people keep coming back to the series time and time again. With that being said, it won’t be the title to win you over if you’ve never been a fan before. It doesn’t do much to reinvent the wheel or innovate on the already established formula but it does double down on the components that keep people coming back for more.

Review Disclosure Statement: Far Cry 6 was provided to us by Ubisoft for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.

Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 gives you exactly what you want and expect from the franchise. It doesn’t do much to reinvent the wheel or shake up the formula, and that’s okay. The story doesn’t always live up to its potential but everything in between is so much fun that it ultimately doesn’t take anything away from the overall package.


  • Far Cry 6