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Far Cry 6

Platform(s): Google Stadia, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2021


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PC Review - 'Far Cry 6' Pagan - Control DLC

by Adam Pavlacka on Aug. 11, 2022 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Far Cry 6 plunges players into the heart of a modern-day guerrilla revolution set in Yara, a tropical paradise frozen in time.

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While the free story missions for Far Cry 6 were integrated into the main game, the season pass DLC content is entirely separate. Accessible from the in-game video game consoles at the major bases in Far Cry 6 or from the main menu if you want to jump straight into the action, the season pass content explores the motivations of past Far Cry villains. The gameplay style also changes up a bit, with the DLC taking inspiration from roguelikes.

The second installment features Pagan Min, the villain from Far Cry 4. Pagan was a bit different from a typical antagonist in that game because he wasn't actively trying to kill the player. He caused plenty of trouble and more than a bit of pain, but in Pagan's mind, he was doing it for your betterment, not because he hated you. After all, Pagan is Ajay's (the player character in Far Cry 4) stepfather.

One element of Pagan's character emphasized in Control is his split personality. There is the loving, kind, and benevolent Pagan, opposed by the ruthless, sadistic, and power-hungry Tyrant. Like the first DLC, Vaas: Insanity, Control occurs within Pagan's subconscious mind. Instead of fighting to vanquish an enemy, the ultimate villain in Control is Pagan's dark side, The Tyrant. Essentially, it's a story of Pagan battling himself. It's yin versus yang, with both elements fighting a futile battle for total control.

Gameplay in Control is very similar to the gameplay in Vaas: Insanity. You start the DLC relatively underpowered (no abilities, your only weapon is a pistol) but quickly start earning better weapons and unlocking abilities as you eliminate enemies. One bit that I immediately noticed was how much progression was linked to the luck of the draw on temporary powers. When playing through Control, I didn't pick up a buff to increase the amount of currency you get off enemies. As a result, the more expensive upgrades took a bit longer to achieve. If you run across a currency buff early on, be sure to enable it.

When you begin playing, death is a constant threat, but it becomes a little less threatening once you unlock the ability to retrieve your items after dying. It forces you to be a tad more conservative when playing, especially at night when the ghosts are out. If you don't play smartly, it's easy enough to find yourself swarmed and overwhelmed.

With the similarity in gameplay between Insanity and Control, the second DLC makes its mark with the story elements. Vaas was fighting against the world to survive, whereas Pagan is fighting against his own inner demons. Playing through Pagan's memories, we're shown much of his history, with key family members each getting featured. It's not an attempt to retroactively redeem Pagan, but it does build on the complexity and layers of the character.

At Pagan's core is the desire to save his daughter Lakshmana. She was murdered as a child, and his inability to save her life is his primary regret. Visions of Lakshmana appear repeatedly throughout Control to remind you of what Pagan's failure cost him. Though the effort may ultimately be futile, the desire to do anything to protect his child is a driving force.

Completing the story path unlocks additional difficulty levels, and completing Control on the hardest level unlocks a secret ending. Unlike Insanity, the secret ending here is just a voice-over, but it both confirms the canonical ending of Far Cry 4 and teases a potential tie-in to Far Cry 5.

Whereas the first DLC required you to have some familiarity with Vaas to fully appreciate the story elements, Far Cry 6 - Pagan: Control provides everything you need to understand Pagan and his inner turmoil. While most of us are not likely to become dictators, we can all understand the feelings of powerlessness and inferiority that Pagan faces when confronted with overwhelming personal loss.

Score: 8.5/10

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