Gaming

Far Cry 6 review: Take down Giancarlo Esposito with a roided rooster

Should you play it?

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What do you get when you cross an evil dictator, a crate filled with guns, and a fighting rooster pumped with steroids? Far Cry 6 continues the long-running first-person RPG franchise from Ubisoft. Much like its predecessors, the sixth major entry in the series brings players to an isolated, almost-dystopic country in a quest for survival and (eventually) dominance.

In Far Cry 6, players choose between a male or a female Dani Rojas. The newly minted guerilla then fights against Yara’s cruel dictatorship ruled by Anton Castillo and his son Diego. Dani will have the help of a dynamic cast of characters from the Libertad revolution and a quirky set of pets including a gator, a handicapped dog, and the aforementioned rooster.

Graphics: Vacation in paradise

Before gameplay even starts, one of the most notable aspects of Far Cry 6 is its picturesque graphics. The game fully makes use of current-gen technology to deliver the best-looking island the series has ever seen. Even without the optional HD textures pack, details are crystal clear, colors pop, and characters are rendered perfectly without going into uncanny valley territory.

Further, the game comes with AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution which can produce high-resolution frames even with low-resolution inputs. It gives you an option to prioritize framerate or performance without murdering your entire rig.

Gameplay: Best of all worlds

Six entries into the series, Far Cry 6 already knows which gameplay elements to focus on. The game takes the best features from the third through the fifth entries: the survivalist jungle setting of Far Cry 3, the vertical traversal of Far Cry 4, and the micro-territorial format of Far Cry 5.

Years ago, Far Cry 3 skyrocketed the franchise as one of Ubisoft’s flagship series. The game was a difficult but manageable jungle survival simulator with ferocious animals and enemies. The sixth entry somewhat brings this back by sticking players into a harsh tropical island.

However, though enemies can still be difficult, the new game does lose a bit of its survival aspect. Animals aren’t as roaming, and hunting isn’t an absolute necessity anymore. That said, the reduced focus on survival can make the game more enjoyable and allows users to focus on other gameplay elements. And, considering that Dani already has a military background, it makes sense that it isn’t a survival game anymore.

Secondly, Far Cry 6 takes the vertical movement of Far Cry 4 and makes fun traversal and parkour puzzles for exploration. Getting around the game isn’t just through vehicles or running around the map. A lot of times, the best way to get from point A to point B (without fast travelling) is going through a large mountain. It involves grappling, finely timed jumps, and swings. Unlike a lot of games with that form of travel, air travel in Far Cry 6 — parachute, wingsuit, and vehicles — is easy to control.

Finally, the game takes the territorial gameplay of Far Cry 5. Like the previous game, Far Cry 6’s map is divided into different sections: a tutorial island, a main hub, three different regions controlled by minor bosses, and a major boss region. However, unlike the previous games, the map isn’t a color-by-number collect-a-thon. Though the map is still littered with objectives, the goal isn’t necessarily to claim every region for the revolution. Enemies still spawn regularly even if you’ve captured an entire region.

Amid the game’s similarities to its predecessors, Far Cry 6 still has a lot of exclusive tricks up its sleeve. For one, the RPG-style levelling system is gone. Though there’s still a way to rank up through the revolution, most of the perks are now obtained through the crafting system. The decision may or may not hold everyone’s attention, especially those looking for a more traditional RPG experience, but it’s quite an adventure crafting the best gear for your guerilla.

Plus, the game offers a way to manage the revolution from camp. There’s a choose-your-own-adventure style map wherein you send teams on raids with sometimes-humorous prompts. There’s a co-op area wherein you (and an optional partner) can raid smaller maps not found in the main game.

All in all, Far Cry 6 offers a familiar experience for long-time fans while keeping things fresh for both new and old players.

Writing: When’s the Netflix series?

From the outset, Far Cry 6 exudes a caliber of writing ahead of those in Ubisoft’s standard fare. The cinematic intro, which plays every time you launch the game, looks like it came from a Netflix show, and it hints at what you’re in for.

Yara’s story doesn’t pull a lot of punches. Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Anton Castillo, carries the entire game on his back. Reminiscent of Far Cry 3’s charismatic Vaas Montenegro, Castillo is a terrifying villain to go up against. He’s ruthless, unyielding, and would mess up even his allies just to maintain his grip over Yara.

Meanwhile, opposite Castillo is a cast of dynamic, funny, and strong side characters helping you throughout the revolution. In fact, each region tells its own story. While one region might focus on Viviro (Yara’s alleged cure for cancer), another will center around Yara’s navy. Each region also has its own smaller guerilla movement. And rather than being subservient to the greater Libertad revolution, they have their own missions, wants, and needs. It plays off like three short stories connected only loosely by a grander narrative.

Unfortunately, while a lot can be said about Yara as a whole, it’s hard to see Dani Rojas as anything other than a playable character. Far Cry 6 brings back a named protagonist, unlike the bland and silent one from Far Cry 5. However, it doesn’t dwell much on Dani’s story. Dani does get a moment of pathos at the beginning of the game, but they hinge on this one moment for the entire adventure. They never quite grow into their own character after the fact, unlike 3’s Jason Brody or 4’s Ajay Ghale. Though Dani’s voiced lines were a treat to hear, Far Cry 6’s story was more about Clara Garcia’s Libertad versus Anton Castillo’s Yara. Though it’s not exactly a fault on its own, it might put off those looking for a purely protagonist-driven story.

Should you play it?

Issues with Dani aside, Far Cry 6 remains an enjoyable romp through the jungles and streets of Yara. Gamers might balk at the game’s more unconventional decisions, but one thing’s for sure: taking down a government led by Giancarlo Esposito makes for a fun time.

SEE ALSO: Far Cry 5 review: Immersive playground in the heart of cultist America

Gaming

Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard for nearly US$ 70B

Massive acquisition

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Microsoft Activision

Here’s a move no one saw coming. Microsoft has just acquired gaming company Activision Blizzard for a whopping US$ 68.7 billion in an all-cash transaction.

This means every studio and every game under Activision Blizzard now belongs to Microsoft. These include the creators of popular franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot, and more.

The acquisition will make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

Bobby Kotick, who has been embroiled in several issues concerning company culture will remain as CEO of Activision Blizzard. Once the deal formally closes, he and his team will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

Exclusives?

The initial statement release stated that the Microsfot will continue to be present in the platforms that Activision Blizzard has established communities in. This could have allayed fears that the acquired titles will now be exclusive to Microsoft and Xbox. However, this line is no longer present and has been replaced with statements from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer.

“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Satya Nadella.

“Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want,” said Spencer.

Game Pass

The acquisition bodes well for Microsoft’s Game Pass. It already boasts of hundreds, if not thousands of gaming titles as well as over 25 million users.

The acquisition will add some parts of  Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries. It will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry.

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Gaming

My Hero Academia is getting a battle royale game

In closed beta right now

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Image source: Gematsu

Just when you thought the battle royale craze was over, a new contender has approached. Capitalizing on one of the most popular anime series in modern history, Bandai Namco is launching a battle royale based on My Hero Academia. My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble is currently undergoing a beta test now.

Officially teased by Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine (spotted by Gematsu), the upcoming battle royale game will come to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. Like other battle royales in the genre, the game will be free-to-play.

Image source: Gematsu

However, instead of an all-out brawl between dozens and dozens of players, the game will only feature 24 players in a single round. Though Bandai Namco has not announced a launch date for the battle royale, a closed beta announcement means things are rolling smoothly. It might not take long before an open beta and an eventual launch happens.

My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble makes sense as a spin-off of the popular anime series. Put simply, My Hero Academia takes place in a world where superpowers are commonplace. It’s easy to see how a battle royale based on the anime can work especially with different powers acting as a way to eliminate opponents.

Curiously enough, the game is coming out in older console generations, rather than the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S.

SEE ALSO: FF7 series launches new PS5 update, mobile battle royale

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Gaming

Microsoft has stopped making all Xbox One consoles

To focus on Xbox Series X/S

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Despite the global shortage, the gaming world is steadily moving towards next generation dominance. Both Sony and Microsoft want gamers to use either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X/S exclusively. However, the ongoing problem is preventing gamers from switching. To help with the shortages, Microsoft is discontinuing all Xbox One consoles.

This has been a slow death for the previous Xbox generation. Back in 2020, Microsoft stopped producing the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition to pave the way for the then-launching Xbox Series X/S. That was only part of the equation. Gamers could still get other variants of the Xbox One series. Of course, that ends now.

Microsoft has stopped producing new units of all Xbox One consoles. If you want to purchase an older Xbox, you’ll have to rely on existing stock.

According to a statement sent to The Verge, the company pushed through with the decision to focus its production more on the still-scant Xbox Series X/S. With enough luck, the move might help the shortage. Both the new Xbox and the PlayStation 5 still notoriously sell out seconds after new stock is announced.

Ironically, Sony is trying the opposite strategy. Because of the ongoing shortages, the PlayStation maker is instead manufacturing more PlayStation 4 units this year, ideally to fill in the lacking PlayStation 5 stock.

Which strategy will prevail? At this point, no one is. Both consoles are still missing from stores despite overwhelming demand.

SEE ALSO: Xbox creates a SpongeBob-themed Xbox Series X

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