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Far Cry 6 preview: Yara map hosts major changes to the franchise

New characters, gameplay changes and more surprises await on the island of Yara.

far cry 6

After a wait that has felt like an eternity, the Far Cry 6 release date is almost here. Following months of trying to find even the smallest morsel of details about it, we now know more about the game than ever. And if we were not excited about it before, which we very much were, we definitely are now.

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In the build-up to the game’s October release, RadioTimes.com got to spend a virtual afternoon with some of the key names behind Far Cry 6 to see what secrets and adventures lie in wait for us on the island of Yara.

Our main takeaway from this Far Cry 6 preview event was this – it would appear that Far Cry 6 is set to be the biggest and most ambitious game in the long-running franchise yet, a fact that has only served to increase our already significant hype levels.

The game is set on Yara, the island home of our protagonist Dani, which is under the rule of a ruthless tyrant. We learned a lot about this location at the event, as well as picking up some insider info about the gameplay changes and the weapons we will be using. Read on, then, for a rundown of everything we learned from the developers of Far Cry 6. Here are some fast facts for you!

The island of Yara is stuffed with secrets

Playing as Dani in Far Cry 6, you'll try to free the island of Yara from the perilous grip of a dictator.
Playing as Dani in Far Cry 6, you’ll try to free the island of Yara from the perilous grip of a dictator.
Ubisoft

The most important thing to note about Yara, which is described as a place frozen in time, is that the island will feel more like an actual place than any other setting in the Far Cry series to date. The amount of work that has gone into it, including its rich history, is quite something.

Yara is a place that will be rife for exploring. Keen explorers and Easter egg hunters will be delighted to learn that there is an untold amount of information that they will be able to unearth here. The history of the island was in the developers’ minds from the get-go, and while you can happily play without uncovering much of it, this depth of detail is a lovely touch – we can immerse ourselves in the lore and perhaps paint certain aspects of the place in a different light.

But, in an interesting move, what you learn may not be true – you will have to keep your wits about you to not be fooled by the propaganda that is rife across the island, which is ruled over by a dictator who is keen on covering up the murkier aspects of Yara’s past.

Yara isn’t a real place, of course, but it is essentially Cuba in everything but the name. The developers are keen to stress that while this is not actually Cuba, its design and many aspects of it were directly taken from Cuban locations. So any similarities, and there will be a lot of them, are entirely deliberate and intended to help Yara feel as real as it can.

This is a heavily populated place, too, with so many locals to interact with and warring factions that you have many dealings with. There is no romance option for anyone – the protagonist Dani will be too busy saving their home to find time for love – but you will develop relationships and friendships on your journey that will be vital for freeing Yara from the tyrannical hold of its ruler.

You can pet the dog in Far Cry 6

Chorizo the dog will surely steal the show in Far Cry 6.
Chorizo the dog will surely steal the show in Far Cry 6.
Ubisoft

We have seen only a few of the characters you can meet in Far Cry 6 and we are already impressed with the breadth of buddies on offer here. It might just be the most barmy and diverse cast of supporting characters in the franchise to date.

From a social media influencer who is very much in the wrong place, to a toolkit-wielding dog on wheels named Chorizo (yes, you can pet the dog), Yara is filled with interesting and intriguing beings. And if you are anything like us, you will try and track down as many of them as you can. The developers wanted to make Far Cry 6 a game that rewards your exploration, and there are even fun discoveries to be found deep underwater – you’ll want to leave no stone unturned.

Also of note is the ecosystem that Yara has – your experience will differ depending on whereabouts you are on the island, with certain places having weather that is completely different. The goal is to make each region of Yara feel distinct and the weather system is in place to do just that.

There will be plenty of fauna all over Yara and it is up to you whether you take them out or not. But even if you don’t pull the trigger yourself, you may still see one in the fight of its life, as the predatory animals in the game will go about their business of killing for food. As you wander around, there is a good chance you will see a violent predator delivering its final blow – another way that the world feels truly alive.

Music is key too. The soundtrack for the game seems impressive from what we have heard so far, and a neat touch is that Dani and her friends can be heard singing along to the tunes on the radio as they drive around the island – music can even make you briefly forget you are at war, it would seem.

Far Cry 6 gameplay throws out some traditions

Far Cry 6 throws out the skill tree and more.
Far Cry 6 throws out the skill tree and more.
Ubisoft

One thing that many people will be pleased to hear is that while there are structures you can climb to get great views of Yara, you don’t have to do them if you don’t want to, and you will find the map pretty heavily populated with places to visit from the get-go. Dani hails from Yara, so she doesn’t need to climb to get to grips with her surroundings.

There will be no shortage of weapons – we will get some of the most unique weapons in a Far Cry title yet, with many of them being made from old parts, which gives them a distinctive handcrafted look and feel. One example we saw, which could well be our weapon of choice, is made from a motorbike engine, and it looks to pack quite the wallop.

There is a wide range of other pieces of equipment you can get your hands on besides weapons, and while we were not told them all, we do know that you will gain the ability to double jump as the game progresses, as long as you can get your hands on the right piece of gear.

Fights vary in difficulty, and as we have seen in the recent Assassin’s Creed games, there is every chance you will run into a crowd of enemies that you are not strong enough to take out until later in the game when you have the best gear – so running away will very much be on the agenda when you stumble across those. Thankfully, we are told that it will not take too long to reach a level where this should no longer be a problem, and this does mean that virtually the entire map is open to you from very early on in the game.

Here’s an interesting change to formula – the skill tree is no longer a thing in Far Cry 6, and doing away with that allows the focus to instead be put on the weapons, and your character will grow in strength through these. It’s a neat twist on a tired formula and one that sounds like it will give the franchise a bit of a refresh in a key area.

Another Far Cry tradition is being thrown out here, too – for a change, you will actually be able to see the character you are playing as. You will see Dani frequently in cut scenes, a change that is designed to help you connect with this protagonist in a way gamers have never been able to in the past. It’s a welcome change that really should have been added to the series before now.

And if you are a fan of the stranger aspects of the Far Cry games, including the infamous and comical drug trips, then you will be pleased to hear that they are likely to be back in some form – even though the Far Cry team were careful not to officially confirm it. Either way, this trip to Yara is certainly something to look forward to.

Far Cry 6 launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC and Google Stadia on 7th October. You can pre-order the game now at Amazon, GAME or your retailer of choice.

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