Yara, the Cuban-inspired region in which Far cry 6 unfolds, is presented as a “tropical paradise frozen in time”. His people once raised their arms to overthrow a dictator, but now his son Antón Castillo (voiced by Afro-Italian actor Giancarlo Esposito) is following in his footsteps, deploying the army in every corner and getting rid of anyone who doesn’t. is not what he calls a “real Yaran”. History begins to repeat itself through abusive and exploitative practices as the country burns down and progress is measured in blood. And like its island setting, Far cry 6 makes history seem repeating itself – a perfect showcase to show just how frozen in time Far Cry as a whole is.
Through the eyes of Dani Rojas (a character who can be male or female), you take part in the fight against this new dictatorship, after Castillo apprehends and executes a group of Yarans on the run for Miami. You survive and agree to help the revolutionary group Libertad in exchange for another boat to the United States. But when the time is right, you decide to stay and help, accepting the task of convincing three factions to join forces and defeat Castillo.
In classic Far Cry fashion, this means traveling through a vast open world, taking on missions from each of these groups with objectives that Far Cry relied on hundreds of times before. You will infiltrate camps and outposts, either at full throttle or by adopting a stealth approach; you will use a flamethrower to burn down a plantation; you will face waves of enemies while waiting for a progress bar to fill up.
It’s an entertaining cycle to follow for the first few hours. It is a foundation that has worked well since its inception in Far cry 3. But it gets old quickly. Enemies don’t offer much variety, and encounters almost always end with the destruction of a tank or helicopter as a climax.
Old craft-related activities, such as animal hunting, are still present, but they no longer seem to be the central focus. Most of the fabrications are made with materials from all over the world. They can be turned into weapon suppressors, sights, and different types of ammo that more easily take out certain enemies. In practice, however, not having armor-piercing cartridges for an armored enemy is not the end of the world, when explosives and other bombastic tools exist.
Two of these tools are the Supremo and your Amigos. The first is a backpack that deals with some sort of ultimate attack, ranging from EMP shock waves to rocket flurry. The second is about companions, another element we’ve seen in previous Far Cry games. The Guapo Crocodile is great for a full throttle approach, while the Chorizo Hound will happily distract enemies so you can finish them off with your machete. In my experience, however, combat scenarios are recycled so often that I have rarely been challenged to change my tools and playstyle.
So if those few additions don’t do much, and the fight quickly falls into a repetitive cycle, what exactly is the main appeal of Far cry 6? The answer is Yara, for better or for worse.
As someone born in Argentina, I was intrigued, if not slightly worried, of how the game would portray a Latin American setting – in particular, one with a military dictatorship in the foreground. Many countries, including Argentina and Cuba, have suffered them in the past, and the scars still exist to this day. Seeing Yarans under curfew, arrested on the side of the road to show their papers, or imprisoned in torture camps, is touching near their homes.
I was not alive during the last dictatorship, which lasted from 1976 to 1983, but everyone I have known personally since that time, including my parents, has stories akin to these scenarios. My mother would tell me that the military would stop my grandparents in the middle of the street to check their IDs, or the constant worry that soldiers could knock on anyone’s door at any time looking for so-called subversives – anyone suspected of thinking differently from the military. University students and young people, in particular, were among the main targets. Journalists were also in the spotlight, and often “silenced”, a fact which is briefly mentioned during a first sequence of Far cry 6.
Sadly, Far cry 6 continues the series’ tiring tradition of presenting itself as political, on the surface, while groping any attempt at meaningful criticism. Like Far cry 5, which billed itself as an exploration of white supremacy in the United States but fell flat in execution, Far cry 6 is a game in which you rescue refugees by using a weapon that plays “Macarena” while you aim down.
The representation of Far cry 6The guerrillas are just as confrontational. The term guerrilla itself is so overused among the characters in the game (“guerrilla once, guerrilla always”) that it becomes a slogan. The people you help also fall into the tropes of Latin American characters: the sassy alcoholic know-it-all; a sex-obsessed couple (jokingly referred to as “animals”); the veteran guerrilla who constantly chants “viva la libertad”. Bad stereotypes are plentiful, and although I’ve tried to ignore them, the dialogue in the game doesn’t help.
Speaking of tropes (as I and other Latin Americans have seen it coming, since the game’s reveal), Yara is a region of Spanish origin that defaults to the English language, and more often than not, the characters. remind you of their nationality by switching between languages without any consistency. There are sequences where two characters speak entirely in Spanish for a few seconds (one of them being a song with full English subtitles during a cutscene), then quickly return to a mashup – the same ones we saw recently in other AAA games such as The Last of Us: Part 2 and Cyberpunk 2077.
It has been said a number of times, but when Spanish speakers speak English we are not constantly cambiando a Español in the middle of a sentence. Far cry 6 is obsessed with this fallacy. It sounds like a travesty at best and disrespect at worst. Castillo quotes his father at one point, saying, “Jesus would make an incredible Yaran president.” When I heard this, I got close enough to put down the controller and call it a day. I stuck with the game long enough to see the end credits, but unfortunately the rest of the game didn’t fix all of that.
What bothers me the most is the wasted potential of getting it right. Adequate representation of Latin America in the games is sorely lacking, but 2021 in particular has been remarkable in both extremes. I’ve found Hitman 3the representation of Mendoza was a pleasant surprise on almost all fronts, while the first Argentinian operator to Rainbow Six Siege was nothing like us. Far cry 6 Sometimes paints a hopeful picture, as every sign in the game – and all the graffiti – is written in Spanish. Recognizing songs on the radio, and even hearing Dani sing to them, made me stop for a second in joy and surprise. But as soon as a character started to speak, the moment was wasted.
For a Spanish setting, Yara is a vast, sprawling, and beautiful island, and on more than one occasion, I’ve parked my car to take a screenshot of the sunset illuminating a nearby coastline. Yet it’s a world built by an agglomeration of studios in which workers have described experiencing abuse, harassment, malpractice, toxic leadership and racial pay disparities, and neither empty promises nor shifting. management does seem likely to resolve these systemic problems. As Castillo himself says, if the guerrillas manage to take Yara back, what will they do with an island that has already been burnt down?
Far Cry as a whole is frozen in time. The few mechanical additions in the latest entry in the series don’t show much improvement over what Far cry 5 Where Far Cry New Dawn have already explored. And if your interest lies in finding some semblance of suitable representation, you better look elsewhere. Very few examples in recent years have been able to shake up the norm. And if Far cry 6 is an indication of what AAA editors can do with a Latin American frame – paint it more as a showcase than an actual picture worth celebrating – I’d rather not see another try.
Far cry 6 releases October 7 for Windows PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One. The game has been tested on PlayStation 5 using a pre-release download code provided by Ubisoft. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find further information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.