Junk food is bad. It’s highly processed, full of chemicals, devoid of nutritional value. Ask anyone on the street if it's good for you, everyone says “no.” But does it taste good? Hmmm. We humans love a junk food paradox. When you need something to hit, you don’t really care why bad things feel good. Gaming is no different. Objectively we know Disco Elysium or Alan Wake 2 are smart, award-winning games, but sometimes the lizard brain needs to eat, too. On those days, there’s Far Cry.
It’s hard to find a franchise with more numbered entries than Far Cry, besides Japanese RPGs. Ubisoft’s latest, Far Cry 6, comes to Game Pass this week and brings with it all the sandbox shenanigans you’d expect. The formula has remained unchanged for over a decade. You’re in an isolated area run by a charismatic, yet psychotic villain and your job is basically to headshot every bad guy between you, your clearly-marked objectives, and the boss. After six entries, is it innovative? No. Is it intellectual? No. Is it fun? Hell yeah.
There’s more than enough shooting, stabbing, and improbable horseback demolition to give you the action feels, too. FPS veterans who appreciate nuanced gunplay will no doubt enjoy one of the smoother shooters on the market. The arsenal at your disposal is in keeping with series past; expect lots of discarded Kalashnikov clones dotting the landscape. You get five weapon slots for securing the usual suspects: sidearms, bows, RPGs, rifles, shotguns and more. A slot is dedicated to new Supremo weapons, which are massive, one-use ultimate attacks.
A new class of homemade weapons called Resolvers adds some crafty flair through cool ideas, like a modified motorcycle engine-driven chain firearm. It’s a nod to the Cuban concept of resolver (to solve), which essentially means make do with what you have. Cuba still suffers under dated U.S. embargoes so materials can be scarce, an affliction shared by Yara as well.
Latin American culture is also “represented” by a cock fighting minigame that is as controversial as it is comprehensive. It plays like a legit fighting game, and there are no deceased chickens or gore, but YMMV when it comes to engaging with it. The game also introduces horses alongside the bevy of tanks, bikes, SUVs, and gliders you can use to whip around the island. They perform more like cars than you’d expect, and can pulverize a surprising amount of obstacles. Is it realistic? No. Is it fun? Hell yeah.
Far Cry 6 also introduces some animal allies too. There are the apex predators you’d expect, like Guapo the crocodile or Oluso the panther. The only one you’re going to care about is Chorizo because LOOK AT HIM! That’s a good boy, right there.
The gameplay loop is the same as ever. You start small, meet different allies and factions as you climb the ranks of the resistance movement by taking out bigger and bigger targets. Outposts are everywhere and provide the meat of the action. A range of enemy types creates more opportunities for strategizing, since things like snipers and medics present unique challenges if left unattended.
Far Cry 6 offers a nice bookend to a year that was absolutely packed to the brim with amazing games. Stop stressing about your backlog and take a weekend off to sit on your couch and stuff your face (and your brain) with some delicious junk.
Far Cry 6 is available now on Game Pass. It’s also on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.