Ubisoft live-streamed the gameplay reveal of their upcoming first-person shooter Far Cry 6. The game takes place on a fictional Caribbean island called Yara—much of its inspiration being drawn from Cuba. Yara is ruled by a fascist dictator Antón “El Presidente'' Castillo, who is governing his son to follow in his bloody, ruthless footsteps. The player takes control of a guerilla fighter named Dani Rojas whose goal is to take down Castillo and his brutal regime.
The gameplay reveal began by showing an on-camera interview with Castillo, where the interviewer asks him a charged question: “what can true Yarans do to serve Yara?” It then proceeded to show brief, opening shots of the nation of Yara accompanied with jolting cuts and a voiceover of “El Presidente'' as he answers the question. For me, actor Giancarlo Esposito’s perfectly smooth voice felt laced with callous undertones—even as a viewer, I nearly felt my stomach drop a little. While Esposito may be predominantly known for his infamous role as Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad, his performance in this game feels like an entirely separate embodiment which only serves as a testament to Espotito’s acting.
Even though the gameplay reveal did not shy away from the cinematic aspect of the game, I personally felt like there was something that Ubisoft was constantly holding back from the viewer. There are minor payoffs as we get more acclimated to the nation of Yara, the protagonist Dani Rojas, and its supporting cast, but I felt that there were much more narrative beats and gameplay footage to highlight. While there is not anything necessarily wrong with making a cinematic-heavy trailer for a game like Far Cry 6, it can be a bit misleading to call it "a gameplay reveal" when there is no actual footage of said gameplay. The animation as a whole seems incredibly well put-together for this trailer, but whether or not that remains as expected for the actual game itself is left up in the air.
Still, with this being the sixth main installment in the Far Cry franchise, the “gameplay” reveal felt incredibly nostalgic. However, with that nostalgia came this feeling of flatness—aside from great animation, solid cinema, and key character performances, there was not much else to keep me on the edge of my seat nor did I feel that the gameplay trailer justified the intention behind this game. The entire time, I kept wondering to myself how makeshift weapons/vehicles were enhanced in this game. Overall, interesting characters, very Far Cry-esque, but I am hoping to identify something that makes Far Cry 6 stand more on its own. While there is a release date slated for the 7th of October, 2021, I would be interested to see more content issued about this game that might solidify my stance more.
So, am I enticed to give Far Cry 6 a try? Sure. But I am not so sure if I will end up finishing this game. It is not because I feel that the narrative/gameplay is going to be a terrible experience for me, it is because I am left completely ambivalent on whether or not Far Cry 6 will follow through on its intention.