Why? That question arises during the first hours of the game Far Cry 6 on. Why has this series since part 3 and the ingenious psychedelic Blood Dragon (2013) abandoning all hopes of evolution so moribund? Why are we immediately flattened with twenty different systems that make gaming a checklist? And why the hell is this game set in Cuba?
Okay, the island designed by Ubisoft Toronto is called Yara, not Cuba, but the creators make no attempt to hide where the game really takes place, from music to iconography. Once again Ubisoft steps into politically charged territory, just like predecessor Far cry 5 with its American religious extremists. Why? They want to talk about guerrillas and revolutions, evil dictators, slavery, propaganda and fascism.
But mentioning is different from having something to say. Half an hour after a short introduction in which the evil of the rule of dictator Antón Castillo (strongly played by Hollywood star Giancarlos Esposito) is portrayed by having his soldiers massacre masses of people, we are already running through tobacco fields with a flamethrower in hand while the bodies pile up. if Far Cry 6 has a moral, then it is: being a guerrilla is cool.
Viva la revolution!
Our hero or heroine – take your pick – Dani Rojas has a growing arsenal at her disposal, culminating in the all-destroying rocket launcher she carries as a backpack. It takes a while to find the right armament to take on all hordes of identical enemies, but then a predictable Ubisoft chaos simulator unfolds. You will shoot helicopters from the sky, fly fighter jets over enemy outposts, descend on location with parachute or flight suit to keep home again. Viva la revolution!
The mountains, colorful Caribbean villages and beautiful beaches of Far Cry 6 are fine, but little uplifting. This year we saw so many blockbuster games that dared to go for a simplified concept. Even other ‘sandbox games’ are increasingly opting for streamlining and stylization in both design and the number of possible things you can make, improve or add. But Far Cry 6 sticks to realism and a tiresome load of extra features – why should we be able to fish, let alone improve our rod in four ways? – which seems dated by now.
Is it fun? Well. You can easily fill a bored Saturday afternoon with explosions. But further is in Far Cry 6 a gap that could have been more if Ubisoft did something with the politically charged topics that it continues to burn for one reason or another. The approach remains cowardly: a semblance of relevance that never goes into depth.
After “crazy guerrilla uncle” Juan Cortez gives my Dani a boat to flee to America if I want, I don’t hesitate for a moment. The game begs me to return. I turn on the engine and drive away. Resigned the game let go of me. My Dani lies down on the sunny beach of Miami, away from all the guerrillas.
An alternate ending just after the prologue, after which the game mercilessly rewinds time and drops me back on the island. Secretly I think: would have stayed on that beach, Dani.