Last year, at a preview session of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint in Mumbai, I caught a preview of an upcoming Ubisoft title that, obviously, remained under a non-disclosure agreement. What struck me about this particular trailer back then was the sheer intensity and shades of contrast that this title brought with itself. Watching the Far Cry 6 premiere trailer at the recently concluded Ubisoft Forward gaming conference, what struck me is how this trailer looked even more intense, and actually spelt out the underlying tone of the entire game, without giving away any plot points revelations. It is, I’ve always believed, particularly difficult to push a bar that you have set for yourself.
It is this that Ubisoft appears to have achieved with Far Cry 6. While a 4-minute premiere trailer is hardly enough material to pass a verdict, if the shades of revolt, undertones of fascism and the bifurcation of rights and wrongs are anything to go by, Far Cry 6 is all set to be a belter. The big party piece of the reveal, casting Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito as chief villain and the game’s main character, Anton Castillo, almost felt like a seamless blend. Often, I’ve found star castings in games to be distracting – the narrative may get impacted by the popularity of the celebrity. Not here, though, and while major props go to Esposito, it also says a lot about how tightly Ubisoft scripted and edited the reveal trailer to bring out the fascist dictator’s undertones.
In essence, Far Cry 6 does what all Far Cry titles do – a first-person shooter gameplay with incredible open worlds, a growing rumble against a fascist regime and a dictator who must be overthrown, and game mechanics that increase your level of engagement progressively. Some isolated screenshots that have been revealed by Ubisoft also show the gorgeous, fictional tropical island of Yara in more detail. Yara is described as an isolated land stuck in time (hints of Cuba, anyone?), that is now waking up to growing voices of libertad. You have amigos, fighters for hire whom you can assign to fight the forces of authority. The visuals of where a rebel’s Molotov cocktail smashes against the state guard’s shield and shatters it is emphatic – and it is this very point where you feel that Far Cry 6 can be one epic rollercoaster.
Far Cry 6 will likely follow a storyline structure that we are already familiar with from the game’s past iterations. There have already been multiple theories that El Presidente Castillo’s son, Diego, an innocent mind-slash-dictator in the making, is actually Far Cry 3’s villain, Vaas. The only point that this is based on is a common but identifiable cut on Diego’s right eyebrow. It may not sound like a lot, but game design and storytelling is the prime example of juxtaposing elements across time to lend further layers to gameplay. This further builds intrigue towards what Far Cry 6 would eventually bring to the table. In fact, it is exactly this that the new Assassin’s Creed title, Valhalla, appears to be missing.
Far Cry 6 will come to Sony’s PS4 and PS5, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox Series X, PC and Google’s Stadia, and release on February 18, 2021. While Ubisoft’s AC Valhalla seemed underwhelming, we can vouch for the fact that Far Cry 6 suddenly has us excited.