Players have offered some thoughtful criticism on the lack of NPCs in the game.
Far Cry 6 has been out since October 7th – almost a month now. Dedicated players have squeezed out most if not all of the content it has to offer. There is a bountiful supply of content in Far Cry 6, with massive environments to discover. However, players have noticed a problem with the population density of NPCs in the world.
Redditor StonewallSoyah points out that even the main operation base in Libertad is sparsely populated. It seems to be to the point of immersion-breaking: the environments don’t feel alive because there’s no one to occupy them.
NPCs are crucial for making a game feel alive. You would think that the studio that brought us Watch Dogs: Legion, a game that centres on making NPCs come to life, would have a good understanding of that rule.
Skyrim is often upheld as the gold standard of NPC interaction: every location is filled with a unique set of NPCs, and some of the most memorable ones are considered highlights of the game.
Far Cry is falling back spectacularly in this regard. Not only are NPC populations sparse, but it’s always the same NPC giving the player information at each new base, which hinders the feeling that each environment is unique.
This isn’t the first time that the Far Cry series has faced issues with NPC population density, either. In Far Cry 3, players would often capture enemy outposts, only for the same three Rakyat warrior NPCs to arrive at the outpost to claim it. Then when players revisited the outposts or other landmarks later in the game, there were little to no NPCs around to populate the area.
A great open-world game makes the player feel a part of its world. While Far Cry 6’s player-focused narrative and gameplay are strong, it’s not offering the same immersion into another world as other games. Along with Skyrim, games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fallout: New Vegas are densely populated with unique NPCs. In Red Dead Redemption 2, Arthur’s interactions and the forming of relationships with NPCs are crucial to fleshing him out as a character – and how the player chooses to treat NPCs can directly affect the game’s ending.
It would be great to see Ubisoft address this issue, as they continue to fix several remaining bugs in Far Cry 6. However, the game is likely set to receive more updates soon, and adding more NPCs could cause issues with performance.
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