A review of Ubisoft’s exciting new releases

[farcry6 1,2,3]: A screenshot of gameplay from Far Cry 6. PHOTO COURTESY OF UBISOFT

Gamers in 2022 will have no lack of options when it comes to great video games to play in the upcoming year. I was given the opportunity to review two of the video game company Ubisoft’s newest releases, “Far Cry 6” and “Just Dance 2022.” 

“Far Cry 6”

With a semi-cliche political plot about destroying a tyrannical government lead by president Antón Castillo (actor Giancarlo Esposito) in an attempt to bring order and justice the fictional island of Yara, as well as saturated, eye-catching graphics, and engaging (yet, gory, and somewhat repetitive) gameplay, “Far Cry 6” makes for an interesting game, despite its flaws. Playing the game was an overall fun experience, but it was admittedly hard to look past the Latin American stereotypes present in the game. In addition to that, I sometimes questioned what I was even trying to achieve during the missions given to my character, Dani, as they all seemed to blur together.

Personally, I have never really found myself to be someone who enjoys first-person shooter games, and I have never played “Far Cry” before, but from the start, the game held my attention. Granted, I played on Story Mode, which made the game incredibly easy, as in, it took a lot of force to kill me. When selecting Story Mode, the game explains that you will take less damage, as opposed to Action Mode, which is the suggested mode, but is more challenging. Yet, still, I did not expect to survive being hounded by loads of enemy soldiers after failing to be stealthy by pressing the wrong button at the wrong time. I did not die until a few hours into the game when I got run over by an enemy tank. I am convinced my semi-invincibility had little to do with my actual skill since I flub the controls often, but it did help me avoid frustration. I appreciate the Story Mode option as a kind of failsafe for inexperienced players like myself to still be able to enjoy the game.

One of the redeeming qualities of the game are the pets that follow you around and aid you in combat, called “Amigos.” The first pet that chooses to follow you is a crocodile named Guapo, which means “Handsome” in Spanish, and who wears a jersey and sports a gold tooth. You get Guapo after you meet one of the guerilla revolution’s leaders, Juan Cortez, who Guapo originally belonged to, but who he abandons after falling in love with your character and deciding you need him most. And, yes, you can pet him (in fact you get an achievement for petting the crocodile), along with the other Amigos you collect. It is, however, interesting that the giant, man-eating reptile does not give away your position when trying to be stealthy during missions.

Overall, the game has faults, but the gameplay and little details that contribute to it, make it entertaining in general.  

“Just Dance 2022”

“Just Dance 2022” is a fun game worth breaking a sweat for. The hit songs included in this year’s version of the game spawn mostly from pop and hip hop genres, paired with interesting and inventive choreography. 

My favorite pick is “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, which has separate modes for easy and extreme difficulty. The multi-colored space girl who leads the player in the dance for the easy version of “Levitating” is exemplary of the game’s new variations of their traditional animation style. Other songs include elves, for “Think About Things” by Daði Freyr and a panda, for “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra, set in elaborate scenes. Capitalizing on the globalization of K-Pop, “Just Dance 2022” features songs from newcomers to the series like SM Entertainment’s four-piece girl group “aespa” and returning music from YG Entertainment’s quartet “BLACKPINK.” Unlike previous years, “aespa” choreography to their debut single “Black Mamba” contains officially licensed choreography as opposed to the imagined moves of past entries. 

Although the songs included in the game are an engaging mix of currents and oldies, the choices for players without a Just Dance Unlimited online subscription, which includes access to an extensive catalog of songs and other, newer content, is somewhat limited. I was able to get through most of the best songs available to me within just a few plays. Unless you’re willing to shell out up to $25 to get the subscription, your options will be the 43 songs that come with the purchase of the game.

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