Bethesda's epic sci-fi RPG is here, and it's a big one. From shipbuilding to exploring the surface of Mars, our thoughts so far.
Starfield Review... In Progress
The first trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 is finally here.
Grand Theft Auto 6 Trailer
We take an in-depth look at Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and tell you why it should be heavily on your radar!
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora - a Deep-Dive into its Potential
Range-wise, the ROG Rapture GT6 is phenomenal, and it's ideal for all gaming and non-gaming-related tasks.
ASUS ROG Rapture GT6 WiFi 6 Mesh System Review
Far Cry 6 Hands-On Preview and Developer Interview
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:00am 01/09/21 | Comments
We played Far Cry 6 for around four hours and also spoke with Ubisoft's David Grivel about what we played. Read on for more...

With Far Cry 6 we find ourselves in pretty familiar territory; somewhat alone in a foreboding game-world, gun in hand, tyranny at your feet. You may play as Dani Rojas, a Yaran native not at all an in-principal fish-out-of-water, and yet… you still are. Navigating the twisting, ever-unfurling world of revolution on the island, its cyclical history and future, of which you’re a part, and the unexpected competitive quantity that stems from that -- whose revolution is, or was, better? And all that, creates an unusual playspace that is largely familiar, and tantalisingly new all at once. We’ve definitely been here before, but this time around we have red racing stripes and more… erm, horse power.

In fact Far Cry 6, in the four-ish hours I had with it playing over Parsec and from a suped-up Ubisoft rig, is alarmingly similar in how it’s presented to the player. When up on high, muscle memory meant I went straight for my wingsuit after jumping, which was there. Near water? Out came my fishing rod; its hook baited with an unhealthy desire to just let Anton Castillo do his thing while I hugged the coastline in search of bigger fish to fry. Literally.

Right down to checkpoints and strongholds filled with alarms, caged animals and varying soldier archetypes, Far Cry 6 was just… Far Cry.

The question you have to ask yourself based on that is: is that a problem for you?

“First of all, we want to respect the brand,” asserts David Grivel, Far Cry 6 lead gameplay designer when asked about the familiarity I found in Far Cry 6 to previous entries. “There are many aspects of the game like wingsuits [for example], that players really expect to find in a Far Cry game. So we definitely [have those]. And then when it comes to... let's say upgrades, or new features, we had to pick and choose -- obviously we cannot do everything, [and] I think the game already has a lot of features, but we decided to go for new ways of navigating, such as the flying buggy that we have in the game, which is my favourite vehicle now because you can put it on the road or you can go take it in the air… it's a lot of fun to explore the island like that.

"Our level designers had a tonne of fun using these new gameplay blocks; creating navigation challenges for activities such as treasure hunts and all of that...”

“But also things such as climbing (vaulting). You know, before we used to have climbing that was just kind of one step you could just vault over something and that was about it. Whereas now we have actual proper timing sequences -- that wasn’t something that was available for world-building [before]. So our level designers had a tonne of fun using these new gameplay blocks; creating navigation challenges for activities such as treasure hunts and all of that. So trying to expand on the toolsets or the ‘toolkit’ that we give to the player while still respecting, of course, the things that have been done in the past.”

In this way, and to David’s point, it might not be immediately apparent that much has changed. At least this was my initial read. But after a few hours it sinks in that fluidity here trumps horse-riding, and then some. At least in terms of expanding the game’s OG movement system. The horse is the glaring inclusion, naturally, but getting to the horse is now the more fun part of the game, if you catch my canter. And it’s not just in movement, there’s a larger sense of the self in Far Cry 6, and not only because this is a larger world brimming with more detail and more opportunity. Now it feels as much about the little things as it does the big.

“Our audio department [added] a feature that I wish games did for 30 years,” David says gleefully in sharing one of those so-called “little things”. “And I don't know if you experienced it, but when they’re (your character) driving a car and a song on the radio comes up, then they sometimes start singing along with it. And it's such a small detail, but it makes you feel like yeah, you are a human being. How many times are you driving your car, and you start humming along to whatever [it is] you're listening to? And that's a small example, but that's the kind of stuff we wanted to do. It just makes you feel like you have a voice, and [that] you're really part of this one.”

In coming back to the familiarity theme though, that ‘voice’ David is talking about is perhaps only really separated from previous outings by way of Giancarlo Esposito and his portrayal of despot-at-large, Anton Castillo. And even that comes glaringly close in experiential ways to the likes of Vaas, Pagan and Joseph -- menacing and measured, psychotic and charismatic. That Dani, the player-character, has a voice brings things back to a more traditional base, but what we’re looking for on the whole is change. And bigger might not really jump off the page to some as that fundamental leap the series has been poised for all these years. But again I ask you: is that a problem for you?

As mentioned, I played four-odd hours of the game. In that time, I used a workbench to play with my weapons in an upgrade sense. I spoke to quest givers and denizens alike (we’ll discuss AI at length at a later date), I rode the damn horse. And then another. I fished (in fact this was, like, the second thing I did -- and it was good). I played dominoes. And I liberated three different strongholds -- one at dusk by a roadside that I did stealthily. Another at the end of a busy street that had propaganda I had to destroy, which I did loud and proud with lots of explosions. And the third was a hugely walled-off compound that had multiple entries that required good reconnaissance and some lateral thinking. It also had stronger enemies to tackle, but in this instance using silent takedowns from behind helped, as that is seemingly still instakill.

"The walled-off compound, for example, could be taken high, low or right through the front door...”

In fact it was in the differences between all three that those subtle changes David and I spoke about earlier reared their head most. The walled-off compound, for example, could be taken high, low or right through the front door. I discovered the low after clearing it out from my high stealth approach. But what I learnt was I could have used the underwater option to really think more outside the box than usual, and this stood out to me. It’s an addition David is glad I noticed as well.

“Yeah, absolutely. For us, underwater is really a proper navigation option,” he says when I ask him to expand on how the team has approached water as a space to move through in Far Cry 6. “So like you said, some areas, that's one way to get in, but we also have some underwater areas that you can explore and discover treasures such as chests. There's [also] some unique rewards that you can only find underwater in our game.

“Now, I won't say that half of the game is underwater, because that's not what we do, but that's definitely what we looked at (expanding water). And also on the water, we have on the west [side of the map] for instance, [an] enemy base that is on an oil rig. [And] I know technically it's not underwater, but it means that we looked at the ocean and other activities that you have to do.

“[So] yeah, in terms of underwater, if you go explore, there are a few surprises for you. We don't say no to the player underwater. Definitely.”

Of course fishing, which I’ve already mentioned, is a part of the water-based activities David eludes to above, but he went pretty expansive on that because they’ve made it a much bigger part of Far Cry 6, so you’ll need to check back in for our expose on anglin’ in Yara, again at a later date. For now, I’ll finish up with the other big, though at first small, change -- weapon holstering. It threatens (heh) to be the actual fundamental shift we’d like more of in the series, because it can help control the chaos that is Far Cry and its many systems that tend to bump into one another like so many Fall Guys navigating an obstacle course.

“So I like that we have these ingredients, because now chaos is either something that you want to embrace -- and we have many systems for you to do so -- or you can decide to holster your weapon and not be the centre of attention,” David concludes. “And that's the first time [we’ve done] this in this brand. And I'm saying, just to finish, that this ties to the guerilla [side of the game], because in my mind, guerilla warfare is usually about ambushing. And if you holster your weapon, now you have... as the player you have the autonomy, you have the agency to trigger combat when you feel like it.

“So it happened that I was playing, and I was driving alongside a convoy and my gun was holstered. And I just drove up to the driver of the first truck, who just thought I was a civilian, and at the last second, I just pulled out my gun and shot the driver and stole the convoy full of resources, which really would not have been possible before [in Far Cry], because they would have shot at you already, because you are the player, right? So chaos is an interesting thing in Far Cry, and it's up to the player to decide if they want to embrace it, or on the contrary, control it.”

We spoke with David about numerous other things, which we’ll be sharing soon, so stay tuned, but for now rest easy in the knowledge that this is a Far Cry game, and you’ll know what to do as soon as you fire it up. But what you might not be ready for is the subtle changes waiting in the wings. You might feel like you’re just “back on the horse”, but in this wordplay metaphor, the horse is packing some serious shit in its saddle pouches. You just can’t tell from the outside and you’ll definitely need to rummage.

Check back for more on Far Cry 6, right here at AusGamers.

Read more about Far Cry 6 on the game page - we've got the latest news, screenshots, videos, and more!

Latest Comments
No comments currently exist. Be the first to comment!
Commenting has been locked for this item.