Far Cry 4 “Valley of the Yetis”
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: 10 March 2015
Price: $14.99 USD – Available Here
Far Cry 4 “Valley of the Yetis” is possibly the biggest DLC for Far Cry 4 yet. It contains a side campaign with its own map set in a valley deep in the Himalayas. Far Cry 4 hero Ajay Ghale crash lands on the ridge after being shot down in his helicopter and must now fight his way back to the Golden Path against deranged cultists and Yetis.
“Valley of the Yetis” revolves around cultists worshipping the demon Yalung and a relic buried deep in the Himalayas, which might give the cultists some influence over the Yetis living in the mountains. After his helicopter is shot down, Ajay becomes the wrench in the cultist’s plan after they kidnap Ajay’s pilot. It soon becomes apparent to Ajay that the only way out of the valley is to stop the cultists and destroy their relic.
Much like the base game, the plot of “Valley of the Yetis” is told through short cut scenes before missions. More of the story is fleshed out through writings scattered across the map. Considering the story involves Yetis, Ubisoft manages to push the boundaries of Far Cry 4’s lore just far enough as not to seem like a parody. Personally, I found the ending rather confusing.
Far Cry 4 “Valley of the Yetis” is completely separate from the base game. The map is self contained and players start with a fresh character as any skills or weapons earned in the base game does not carry over. The karma system is dropped and the remaining progression is compressed into about five hours, including all the side quests. Unlike the base game, the entire DLC can be played in co-op with the second player taking on the role of Hurk.
The mission pace runs in a cycle: a chance to roam around freely, a story mission, another chance to roam around, and finally a night defence mission. Unfortunately, this leads to a pretty bland and repetitive feel to the DLC. The difficulty is not hard at all, especially if the relay station gets outfitted with defences. The game gets a lot more interesting once Yetis start appearing in game. The Yetis can tank insane amounts of damage and are surprisingly mobile. Ajay can speed things up and do fatal damage by stunning a Yeti and then rushing in to do a takedown from behind. I found the takedowns to be a bit glitchy, as scooting around the Yeti while sticking too close to the body caused the takedown to not trigger at all, which can lead to some really sticky situations once the Yeti shakes off the stun.
“Valley of the Yetis” really starts to pick up the pace in the final two days of the DLC. The missions become a lot more exciting and the challenge ramps up nicely. I only wish that the developers were able to keep this pacing throughout the entire game. The level design is spot on, with even more emphasis on travelling around with the wingsuit and the grappling hook.
The DLC will take about five or six hours to complete in its entirety, including all the side missions. There are some extra activities that randomly spawn, but they are definitely not nearly as varied as the base game. Considering the amount of content and the price of the DLC, it is definitely on the high end of pricing, especially when purchased on its own.
Far Cry 4 “Valley of the Yetis” expands the Himalayas portion of the base game into a full blown map, so it is visually distinct from the base game’s Kyrat map. The cultists take a lot of design cues from Pagan Min’s forces, but it does fit within the game’s lore. The Yetis are exactly what I would imagine real Yetis to look like, huge and quite terrifying. The cutscenes are a bit bland, as they all revolve around Ajay Ghale talking on the radio for the entire length of time.
The voice acting, the sound effects, and the music continue to be solid, but “Valley of the Yetis” feels a little desolate due to the radio silence in cars. After spending so many hours in Kyrat listening to Pagan Min’s rousing anthems and Rabi Ray Rana’s excellent hosting of Radio Free Kyrat, I drove around listening absolutely nothing but the sound of the engine and a growing feeling of disappointment.
The overall quality of “Valley of the Yetis” is a bit lacking when compared to the Far Cry 4’s polish. “Valley of the Yetis” is a little flaky on the pacing and the missions feel repetitive. For the Far Cry 4 fan who just needs more content or the co-op pair that want some actual story missions to enjoy together, “Valley of the Yetis” will satisfy; however, missing out on the DLC isn’t much of a loss, either.
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