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Far Cry 6 drops the player into the heart of a country on the precipice of an explosive revolution. It's also got a number of firsts under its belt - the first playable protagonist who is seen in cutscenes, the first for the new generation of consoles, the first to allow you to holster your gun for stealth operations.
Be that as it may, we recently had the chance to catch up with Ubisoft on all of the influences that have been poured into the world of Yara, like a delicious smoothie made of mango, coconut, petrol and a dash of gunpowder. This might be the most interesting and most in-depth entry to the established series to date. I mean, it's got a fictional history for the island that goes back to the 15th century. The team is cutting no corners, so, here's our scoop on what to look forward to in Far Cry 6.
We've actually gone hands-on with Far Cry 6 here, though, if you prefer your previews in a spiffy audio visual format, then check out the video below!
A tonne of historical, cultural and political research has been collected and transformed to become the stage upon which Dani will destroy the Castillos' reign. Whether it's the interviews that the narrative team undertook with real former revolutionary soldiers or the insights that the voice actors lent to their characters, it's evident that there's been a major leap from the fifth game to here.
Yara itself is a gorgeous patchwork of beaches, dense tropical rainforest, cacophonous city streets, rebel outposts, rolling fields and more. The island is heavily inspired by Cuba but is located in the Caribbean, and the multitude of influences allowed the team to bring these unique environments to life.
Ben Hall, world director of Far Cry 6, walked us through what it was like to create a believable country for the new entry to the series, a gargantuan task that hadn't been approached in the past. "We created an entire timeline to the 1400s to really birth the island from its beginning, and then tap into those elements that were from real history from that part of the world, but then craft our own stories into Yara," said Hall.
This wasn't a hole-up-in-the-library-and-pore-over-books-for-hours-and-hours job, not at all. With "hundreds of thousands" of photos from the team's trip to the Caribbean, Central and South America, they aren't skimping on the realisticness of this fictional island. "The amount of car horn beeps that we've got on file somewhere is phenomenal," joked Hall.
The sheer scale of Yara is a new frontier for the developer and for fans. I know I'm not alone when I say that, on occasion, I have jumped feet first into a game that's offering an enormous, expansive open world and found myself as exhausted as I would have been if I'd actually trekked that distance IRL. Bigger is not always better, but it looks like Yara is stuffed with things to do/see/blow up (delete as applicable).
The holster mechanic is something that masks Dani from the watchful eyes of Castillo's soldiers, disguising them as an anonymous Yaran in the city. Listening closely, the player will get the lowdown on a party from last night, sympathise with stresses over the rent, cringe over dating woes, and might even witness an "encounter" which shows off a specific story on the island in a little animation between a number of NPCs. While these discoveries don't actually have any impact on missions, unlike Deathloop or Hitman, they were added to deepen the setting of Yara.
And, there are the guerrilla paths, a facet of the land that emerged from conversations with former rebels who fought in real conflicts. As the majority of the actual road network and even the skies have been taken over by Castillo's forces, the guerrillas carved out trails that took them away from these hot spots and into points of cover, hitting outposts for restocks and new intel on the way. These allow Dani to emerge and launch an ambush, sneakily enter an area with minimal guards, or bolt when the fight is no longer in their favour.
Moreover, the wildlife will interact with each other with a dedicated predator and prey system that occurs both on land and underwater. Oh and watch out for the sharks. They were here first.
"It's the most ambitious world that we've tried to build to date for a Far Cry game," said Hall. "It was important to us from that narrative perspective to be fighting for an entire country, that it was an entire nation that was being held by the dictator but also that you were fighting for [this nation] with these guerrilla revolutionaries."
Far Cry 6 comes to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on October 7th.
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