Far Cry is always well-known for its villains — so much so that Ubisoft has frequently put them at the front and center of the marketing, and sometimes even completely wiped the personality of the player character in order to give them the lion’s share of the screentime (looking at you, Seed siblings). However, for as great as the villains are, one thing that I hope returns for Far Cry 6 is some unreliable and self-interested allies. Something that made the previous games so interesting was that the non-villainous characters were not necessarily angels themselves.
One of the things that gets in your head about Far Cry villains, that gives them their bite, is that tiny little doubt in the back of your mind that defeating them is the smartest choice. Vaas, for example, is a bloodthirsty psychopath, no doubt about that. But the Rakyat locals who opposed him were violent and ruthless as well. Vaas’s sister Citra, in particular, was the primary reason Jason becomes a remorseless killer and a drug addict who’s capable, in at least one ending, of killing the very friends and little brother he spent the entire game trying to rescue.
Similarly, Ajay Ghale busts his butt in Far Cry 4 trying to remove Kyrati dictator Pagan Min from power, ostensibly to benefit the Golden Path, a local resistance movement. After that’s been accomplished, Ajay has the choice to put one of two Golden Path leaders on the throne instead. Amita turns the children into soldiers and forces citizens to work the nation’s opium fields. Sabal turns the nation into a backward theocracy and kills any who disagree with him. It begs the question of whether any of these people are fit to lead Kyrat.
And yet, that ambiguity has been missing from recent games, most notably Far Cry 5. For the most part, the player character’s allies are straight shooters and good folk who are just trying to get by. Bo-ring. If Far Cry 6 wants to hold our attention and help Anton Castillo stick in our mind, maybe give us a reason to think the freedom fighters of Yara are not as pure of intention as they’d like people to believe. Otherwise, the game will feel less like Far Cry and more like Just Cause.