Far Cry 6 was shaping up to be the perfect game to kick off the New Year – until it was delayed. However, a new release date leak has reignited interest.
Far Cry games have always been about transporting the player into a lush landscape that is wild, exotic, and dangerous. Once this is established the player is normally tasked with blowing as many holes in it as humanly possible. They are the video game equivalent of a hunting expedition, where the the ultimate prize is the head of a despicable human rather than a hapless animal.
Considering the year we have all just endured, Far Cry’s brand of picturesque bloodshed could be just what the doctor prescribed. A skip and a trip down the beautiful rabbit hole of virtual tourism mixed with a little kill-the-masters wish fulfilment. Far Cry 6 was going to be the perfect way to start 2021, then its release in February was delayed without a new date being announced.
Leaked release date from the Microsoft Store: a new horizon to longingly stare at?
After a few months without any further notice, there appears to be some good news. Internet sleuths have realised that the Microsoft Store has recently added a release date of May 25th 2021 to the Far Cry 6 information page – now deleted, of course.
This is despite there being no official announcement from publisher Ubisoft as of yet. While this new date should be viewed with a healthy dose of scepticism (hold off on asking your boss for time off just yet), it seems an opportune time to revisit what we know about Far Cry 6 so far.
Far Cry 6: what we have to look forward to
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and all that noise, and while this writer takes some umbrage with that platitude, this trailer sure does leave an impression. Far Cry 6 takes place in Yara, a fictionalised version of Cuba, during a time of political upheaval and war.
The main antagonist is fascist dictator Anton Castillo, played powerfully by Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito. Castillo spends the trailer lecturing his soon-to-be traumatised son about the predicament he and their country find themselves in. This lecture takes place while his son Diego holds a live grenade, placed there by the dictator himself.
The dictator likens himself to his son’s hands; keeping the grenade from exploding in the same way that he must stop the coming revolution from destroying their country. It’s a clever piece of exposition that works thanks to Esposito’s measured performance – equal parts empathy and menace. It perfectly sets the scene for the coming storm and establishes just how high the stakes are with staggering speed and precision.
The player character will be fully customisable, much the same as in Far Cry 5. However, members of the development team have been keen to stress that an unprecedented effort has been made to provide a meaningful connection between the player character Dani Rojas, the antagonists, and the history of Yara. This is noteworthy as previous instalments in the series have tended towards scenery-chewing villains.
While captivating and memorable, these villains have often unintentionally highlighted just how passé the player character is. This acknowledgment of past shortcomings bodes well for the narrative balance of Far Cry 6 and suggests a promising recalibration of the series.
Another timely entry in the series?
In 2018 Far Cry 5 hit the shelves at a particularly sensitive time. The worldwide political landscape saw alt-right figures such as Donald Trump, Marine LePen and Jair Bolsanaro enjoying unprecedented levels of approval and election success. This emboldened various groups that had previously been less inclined to air their grievances in the public domain.
Far Cry 5’s narrative focused on a murderous Judeo-Christian cult, exploring the fault lines of the fractured socio-political landscape of The United States. This resulted in a surprising amount of commotion from communities who perhaps saw a little too much of themselves in the villainous cult members.
“Not all of us gun loving, god fearing rednecks are like that!” seemed to be the general sentiment, to which the rest of the world worriedly wondered how they saw themselves in those horrible characters to begin with.
Far Cry 6 is unlikely to elicit as strong a response as its predecessor for a number of reasons, the principle one being that the new baddies aren’t standing behind the flag of the United States. However, a cautionary tale about the human toll of standing up to a fascist dictator should hit a little closer to home than previously expected. Unfortunately, not just for Americans.
Find out more about Far Cry 6 here.