Far Cry 6 is the latest instalment in Ubisoft’s popular open world first-person shooter series, one which has seen itself become a bit hit or miss in recent entries. Far Cry 4, Far Cry 5 and even the post-apocalyptic spin-off title Far Cry: New Dawn all arrived to a somewhat mixed reception, not quite reaching the highs of earlier entries. That’s not to say that those games were bad games; far from it, yet the most common complaint was that they felt a bit too samey. Well, the question you might be asking is, does Far Cry 6 change this? The answer, for better or for worse is… not really. While Far Cry 6 is set on a very different cultural and locational backdrop, it holds the same formula at its core.

That similarity is not entirely a bad thing, however. Among the Ubisoft open-world series, I would personally say that Far Cry is a contender for the most well developed. Far Cry 6 is another very solid entry in the series which offers an improved gameplay experience, a fresh lick of paint and a new cast of characters, all sitting atop a customary large map, liberation-focused narrative plot and typical Far Cry game system design. The game follows Dani Rojas, a young, Yaran-born military-dropout who can be played as either a voiced female or male character. Dani decides to join the guerilla movement, who are fighting a rebellion against the rule of El Presidente.

Far Cry 6 takes place in the island nation of Yara, which is comprised of three main regions. Your role in the game sees you attempting to unite the regions, in order to join forces against the formerly mentioned ruler El Presidente, as a movement called the Libertad. The island nation of Yara takes heavy inspiration from Cuba in both cultural background and atmospheric design. The beautiful environments of the game are adorned with typical Caribbean flora and fauna and the game is teeming with history drawn from that of Cuba itself, though not with such total accuracy as to directly transpose from the history books.

Once you clear what is largely an interactive-cinematic introduction sequence, you will begin the game proper on a smaller tutorial-like island: Isla Santuario. This primarily serves as a location where you can get to grips with the core mechanics of the game, and have the scene set for the main story of Far Cry 6. There isn’t a great deal to do on Isla Santuario, so it won’t be long before you’re making your way to the main, large island, which is split into three separate regions, as mentioned previously. Throughout the districts of these regions, outside of the main story, you’ll find the usual slate of side content such as military checkpoints, bases and other optional quests such as treasure hunts, which you can complete to find resources, weapons and gear.

Speaking of gear, Far Cry 6 ties most of your abilities, stats and power to pieces of equipable gear and weapons. Weapons can be improved with a wide variety of attachments, ammo types and mods which can be found in the wild, while perks are acquired via the trousers, gloves and helmets you are wearing. These perks are oftentimes extremely powerful, and replace the function of a skill tree in the game, making the power system a lot simpler and in my opinion, this makes the game much more enjoyable, as it takes away a lot of stat management and reduces complexity. The visual style of the gear can also be changed independently of the effects, meaning that you can use your most powerful gear without having to compromise with a style which you do not like. This is an excellent touch and something which every looter game should have, in my view. Overall, the game offers a near-perfect balance of customisability and simplicity of inventory management, giving players enough options to open up interesting, fun and varied gameplay, without demanding an enormous investment of management time.

In terms of the main content, the plot centres around Anton Castillo, also know as El Presidente, who is a ruthless, aggressive and oftentimes heartless ruler over the island nation of Yara. The story is told over an enormous fifty-plus main story quests, which will surely keep you busy for quite a while! One of my favourite characters in the game turned out to be Diego, the son of El Presidente and heir to rule over Yara. Much of the game’s background story focuses on the tense, turbulent relationship between father and son, as Diego turns out to be far less assertive and callous than his father, something which El Presidente wishes to change in order to allow his son to one day takeover rule. I felt that these characters, along with our protagonist Dani, were some of the most well-written, charismatic and deep personas we have had in recent Far Cry games and they do a great job of strengthening the narrative and pull of the game.

What about visuals, then? Well, Far Cry 6 has drop-dead gorgeous environmental design, with the lush jungle landscapes of Yara coming to life through excellent texture work and terrain design. If you’re playing on next-gen consoles, the game has further opportunity to shine, with sharp, high resolutions and a 60 frames per second lock. The game runs at a dynamic 4K resolution on both, most of the time staying very close to full 4K. The frame rate is also flawless and I did not observe any noticeable dips at any stage during my entire playthrough. The result of this is a game which may not quite push the boundaries of what next-gen consoles are capable of, but one which delivers sharp visuals, excellent performance and striking environments. We have not had the opportunity to test the game on the PS4 or Xbox One, so we cannot comment on their performance, but we would of course suggest playing on a next-gen console, or a decently specced PC where possible.

The game took me almost thirty hours to complete the main content, with a healthy amount of side objectives mixed in during that time. I spent another five hours on additional content after that, however, there are still some side objectives remaining which I did not complete in that timespan. So while Far Cry 6 is a game with plenty of content to chew through, it is not a behemoth like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, for example. I think this is a positive, as Far Cry 6 felt noticeably less bloated to me.

Overall, Far Cry 6 is a solid, fun new entry in the Far Cry series; one which improves upon many of the complaints of prior titles in the franchise. However, the gorgeous visuals, fresh setting and charismatic characters are elements sitting atop a game which feels very familiar at the core. If you love the series and are keen to dig in to a large, open world title, you are likely to thoroughly enjoy Far Cry 6. If you’re feeling burnt out on open world games, I would advise holding off on Far Cry 6 until you’ve had sufficient respite from the formula.

DISCLAIMER: This review was carried out on Xbox Series X using review code kindly provided by the publisher, Ubisoft.