After playing through the opening of Far Cry 6, I’ve found that the game throws way too much at you way too early. The opening takes place on an island that’s sort of isolated from the rest of Yara. It’s not a utopia, but it’s basically a sort of microcosm of what the rest of the country has. There are checkpoints to clear, anti-aircraft guns to blow up, hundreds of enemies to kill, and dozens of missions and side quests for you to explore. All of that fits into about 5% of the game, and I’m really not understating how small the location is and how small a part of the story it is.
Essentially, the opening of Far Cry 6 is a tutorial island that’s supposed to ease you into the rest of the game. However, all it does is lull you into the false sense of security that the rest of the game is going to have some level of pacing to it. In reality, Yara is filled with so many things to do that it could take you a full two hours to get to your next mission because you’ll be so distracted. Sure, you could ignore the side content, but it actually makes your life harder if you do.
To a degree, this feels like padding, but it’s also part of the core Far Cry formula. For example, picking up chests and capturing checkpoints is all part of what made Far Cry 3 so engrossing. While the things that made that game a bit of a bore are gone, Ubisoft still hasn’t managed to balance them out enough to make the game feel like it has a nice natural flow. It’s got a weird stunted start that pushes back against you and makes everything feel so much more difficult, and that’s something that many open world games solved years ago.
I haven’t finished the game yet, so I don’t know if there’s a new thing that comes along once you do that resets the world with a new, more challenging enemy force to take on, but if there is, I think this could be one of the most difficult open worlds to get on with.