With Ubisoft’s recent run of delays it’s highly unlikely we’ll get a Far Cry 6 release date or any news on the inevitable sequel until much later in 2020. Far Cry 5 was one of Ubisoft’s best performing releases in 2018, and while the New Dawn spinoff didn’t garner as much attention, it’s only a matter of time before the publisher returns to beloved FPS series.
Far Cry is a franchise that’s grown from relative obscurity into one of Ubisoft’s most bankable hits. The series has taken us across the globe, battling evil (and occasionally good) on tropical islands, across Africa, the Himalayas, and even in the US, with spin-offs and DLC pitting the player against aliens, cyborgs, and even yetis. It’s fair to say that Ubisoft has left the door wide open for speculation – pretty much anything is on the cards for the next Far Cry game.
All of this is to say that Far Cry is a difficult series to predict, but just for fun we’re going to offer up what we’d love to see in the next instalment of the franchise, from potential new settings and time periods, to gameplay tweaks we’d love to see.
With sizeable maps that players can either trek, drive, fly, or sail across, Far Cry’s locations are characters in themselves.
Between the second game’s arid African setting, the tropical island of the first and third titles, the mountainous Himalayas of the fourth game, or the modern day American midwest of the latest, each is filled with foliage, characters, and (often aggressive) wildlife.
Ghost Recon Wildlands and Breakpoint have done a brilliant job of showcasing just how tense and claustrophobic firefights in the middle of a dense jungle or rainforest can be. The prospect of narrowly escaping an enemy squad only to come face to face with something like an anaconda sounds terrifying. South America is a region that the series is yet to explore and the continent boasts unmatched environmental diversity. Patagonia’s vistas could be jaw-dropping, especially on next-gen hardware, with the kind of varied elevation that harkens back to earlier games in the franchise and would be great for grapple hooks and gliders.
Going in the opposite direction, could Siberia be an option? The region is generally light on infrastructure, which makes it the perfect fit for Far Cry’s frontier theme. There’s plenty of remit for visiting abandoned Soviet buildings, whether that’s Gulags or military bases. With the Urals to provide verticality and no shortage of deadly animals in the area, Siberia has all the ingredients of a classic Far Cry destination.
Of course, there’s always the chance Ubisoft just goes weird with things – the publisher usually reserves its unconventional ideas for spinoffs and DLC, but why not the next mainline release? Could we see a trip to space, or another, totally alien planet? Blood Dragon was hugely popular, so why not expand that bonkers universe a little further.
Far Cry: Primal showed that you can have a Far Cry game without guns, with the prehistoric adventure offering a unique take on the first-person open-world series by focusing on melee combat and beast taming.
It’s unlikely we can travel further backwards without the game being a little too sparse in terms of mechanics, but it opens up plenty of options in terms of jumping into a fresh time period. After all, the Assassin’s Creed series has revelled in exploring different epochs.
Clued up: study up on Far Cry 5 Specialists while you wait
Imagine playing a Far Cry game where you play a soldier trapped behind enemy lines or fighting for a resistance movement during World War 2, scavenging for equipment, growing your movement from a fledgling band of rebels to an army, and employing guerrilla tactics. The franchise hasn’t shied away from real-world conflicts, already touching on Vietnam during Far Cry 5’s Season Pass. Of course, Ubisoft would probably need to do away with some of the series’ more absurdist elements like Hurk and the hallucinatory drug scenes.
Another time period we’d love to visit is the Wild West. We’d love to strut into a bar in first-person and challenge an enemy to a duel before knocking back a drink or two. A lack of weapon variety was one of the only issues with Far Cry Primal’s ambitious winding back of the clock, but that wouldn’t be an issue in the frontier days of the Wild West. Ubisoft could also flip the narrative by casting players as indigenous Americans fighting to fend off settlers or settle in new regions.
In recent years, Far Cry hasn’t shied too far away from the established Ubisoft open-world template. There are outposts to clear, targets to destroy, landmarks to discover, and vehicles to make the journey a little easier. Far Cry 5 may have done away with the tower-climbing sequences, but for the most part it followed the same cues and beats as previous games in the series.
One of the weakest elements of Far Cry 5 was its enemy AI and lack of stealth opportunities. At times it feels like the enemies are constantly flooding towards you, spawning around you, and aware of where you are even when you’re sneaking. In Far Cry 6 give us stealth sections where we can evade enemy engagements entirely if we want to, and complete entire missions without killing or alerting anyone.
More weapon customisation options
Weapons are another area where Far Cry has stagnated a little, failing to offer the player much in terms of customisation. We’d love to see something akin to Escape from Tarkov or Modern Warfare, where guns can be broken down into their individual parts and reworked with different grips, scopes, magazines, stocks, barrel attachments, and more. Earning legendary blueprints or weapon parts from side quests would encourage players to venture off the beaten track a little more, offering a tangible reward outside of unlocking some more of the map. Far Cry 5 did a bit of this, but we want weapons jamming when not properly maintained and more granular upgrades like canted sights, different ammo types, and options like compensators, muzzle brakes, flash hiders, and more.
Survival skills matter
Far Cry has boasted a pretty hefty skill tree for some time, and while that’s always included some survival elements, it would be nice if those actually mattered in Far Cry 6. Far Cry protagonists always seem to end up fixing broken bones and pulling out bullets in gloriously gratuitous animations, but for a series that places so much emphasis on hunting you never need to actually eat, drink, or sleep.
A good female villain
Far Cry games tend to boast some fantastically charismatic and devilish villains. Vaas from Far Cry 3 is unforgettable, Pagan Min manages to convey plenty of menace despite his playful, almost aloof behaviour. Of course, Joseph Seed and his cult of religious fanatics live long in the memory, taking heaps of inspiration from real-life figures like David Koresh and Charles Manson.
Carried over: these Far Cry 5 perks might carry over
Far Cry New Dawn’s two main antagonists felt sorely lacking in terms of menace, and finally taking them down was a disappointing conclusion. We’d love another female villain after the twins from New Dawn, someone with a new toxic world view and a tangible drive. We’ve had musings on insanity, religious zealots, and autocrats, but there’s plenty the series has yet to explore through its villains.
Better hallucination scenes
This one is pretty simple, but Far Cry 5’s spin on drug-induced hallucinations felt a little too, er, vanilla. In almost every brainwashing instance you wander through a serene environment and then jump into a timed shooting gallery sequence.
Far Cry 4’s Shangri-La versions hit the perfect note for us, offering a rideable elephant and a /very/ combat effective white tiger to keep the player company as they battle through a blood-soaked vision of paradise. The imagery in these sections is striking, but the encounters also offer a genuine challenge to players as they have to deal with some of the toughest enemies in the game within a closed arena. We want a return of that challenge, some visually distinct areas to explore, but most importantly, Ubi, give us the tiger again.