Far Cry 6 gets political if you want to see it, final fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Sora from Kingdom Hearts, Diablo II Resurrected is a perfect warm up for what’s to come.
Become a reluctant revolutionary in Far Cry 6
Like the Far Cry Games that have preceded it, Far Cry 6 takes place in a fictional geography. There’s a central antagonist who is powerful and controlling. Possibly insane. And there are motifs of fascism, violence against innocents, and social collapse.
These themes aren’t always fully or elegantly explored, and that’s somewhat true here. But Ubisoft Toronto deserves to be recognized for overtly attempting to do so. The game’s narrative director, Navid Khavari, admitted the game is political and there is plenty of nuance for those who want to look for it.
In Far Cry 6, the dictator is Anton Castillo, played with vigour by Giancarlo Esposito. Castillo wants to return his island nation of Yara to the glory days of old. A product of violence and trauma, Castillo believes the ends justify the means, and he’s grooming his son, the hesitant Diego, to be just like him.
You come up against this family of power as Dani Rojas, who you can play as female or male. Dani wants to escape the chaos of her home for the promise of America. Along the way, Dani falls in with Libertad, a revolutionary force rising up against the tyranny of Castillo. Despite having military training and a knack for guerrilla warfare, Dani is reluctant to join the rebels.
But join them Dani does, which immerses you in this world of danger and possibility.
Khavari revealed that Yara was based on Cuba, and the Caribbean geography of the game ranges from the metropolis of Esperanza to tobacco fields and swamps.
Where Far Cry 6 differs from recent instalments is that you don’t customize and improve your character by selecting and improving skills and abilities. Instead, as Dani becomes more powerful as you play through the game you get access to better gear and weapons. The idea is you customize Dani for the task at hand by equipping the weapons and gear that are best suited for the job.
So instead of spending time working through skill trees, you spend time changing up your loadout before a big mission.
And there are lots of missions available in this open world, including those that drive the narrative as well as all the side missions you’d expect, telling smaller stories, providing access to collectibles, and giving you reasons to explore the entire available space.
You can modify your weapons and gear at workbenches, which are widely available along secret guerrilla paths that provide you with safe navigation through the environment.
There’s lots going on in Far Cry 6. While the obvious narrative is about a despot trying to maintain control through violence, the story also circles around topics like immigration and forced labour, industrial farm economies, and the international biochemical and drug complex.
There’s also the sense of how the clear-headed ideology of the young can transform into the murk of consequence and symbiosis as you get older.
I’m not convinced all players will appreciate the subtle distinctions that the actors bring to these characters – it’s difficult at times to notice through the bombast of the shooter game it’s all set in – but for those gamers who are open to taking a step back and a deep breath, Far Cry 6 can deliver not only a satisfying open world adventure, but also a prompt to think about the messiness of geopolitics.
Far Cry 6 is available now for PS4, PS5, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S. Rated mature.
Sora from Kingdom Hearts is the final character in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In a highly anticipated video presentation yesterday (October 5), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai revealed Sora is the final addition to the fighting game.
Sora, who joins the fray on October 18, is the protagonist in the Kingdom Hearts games, which blends together traditional Japanese role-playing game characters with characters from Disney universe, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, and Pixar characters.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was first released in March 2018, and has been steadily adding new fighters to the game since that time, many from other studios and companies including Steve and Alex from Minecraft, Kazuya from Tekken, Banjo and Kazooie, Snake from Metal Gear, and Pac-Man.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now for Nintendo Switch. Rated everyone 10+.
Diablo II Resurrected a welcome diversion during goth month
Originally released in 2000 for computers, Diablo II is an isometric action role playing game set in a fantasy world where demons are a plague and adventurers need to overcome them.
You become one of seven character types: amazon, assassin, barbarian, druid, necromancer, paladin, or sorceress. And like the best dungeon games, you’ll have a blast exploring the maps, killing the evil creatures, and uncovering the story of what’s really going on.
Resurrected is a remaster, not a remake, so there are all the throwbacks you’d expect in a game that is twenty years old. The dialogue, while wonderfully acted, is stilted. The inventory management is excruciating. And there’s little explanation of how the game works.
But once you figure out how to improve your character, and map your new skills and abilities to your controller buttons, you’ll settle in to this fun game. Don’t be surprised at how difficult it becomes as you progress through the five chapters of the game, though.
Remaster means nicely updated graphics, of course, and in particular the cut scenes in which much of the major story is delivered are divine.
The online world means you can easily play with friends, too, which gives you the chance to partner up with complementary classes to really take on the devils.
The opportunity to play Diablo II on console is a perfect appetizer to the pending release of Diablo IV. Let’s hope we don’t go too hungry in the meantime.
Diablo II: Resurrected is available now for PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Rated mature.