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' Vaas - Insanity DLC

by Adam Pavlacka on Aug. 5, 2022 @ 12:30 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 Far Cry 6: Vaas - Insanity DLC taking inspiration from roguelikes.

The first installment features Vaas Montenegro from Far Cry 3. An extremely memorable villain, Vaas is one part ego, one part child, and one part sociopath. Michael Mando's portrayal of Vaas was one of the highlights of Far Cry 3, so it was a pleasure to see him return to the role for the first DLC installment.

Set shortly after Jason's showdown with Vass in Far Cry 3, the Insanity DLC occurs entirely within Vaas' subconscious. This can make for a slightly unreliable narrator (after all, everything we're seeing is from Vaas's point of view), but it also allows for creative re-interpretation of the original environments.

Insanity's world map is relatively constrained, but it doesn't reuse content from Far Cry 6. Much like the special operations missions, the world map here is bespoke, though clearly inspired by major events in Far Cry 3. A tropical island with a volcano at the center, Insanity's key locations include a beach, a jungle environment, Doctor Earnhardt's house, and a well with a hidden hotel. The stated goal of the DLC is to collect all three pieces of the Silver Dragon Blade and escape the mental prison Vaas has built for himself. That said, it's much more rewarding from a lore perspective to take your time and explore the world, at least on your first time through, as Insanity does fill out some back story from Far Cry 3.

When you start playing Insanity, it feels like a step up in difficulty from Far Cry 6, but that's primarily because you start with no abilities, no upgrades, and no weapons — except for a basic pistol. In other words, you're back to square one. Thankfully, the feeling of being underpowered doesn't last long, as you unlock new weapons by completing challenges. Abilities, both permanent and temporary, can be purchased with currency earned by killing enemies and opening chests.

Dying means losing all of your weapons and a chunk of your money, so there is a penalty to death — at least until you unlock the ability to retrieve all of your items from the site of your death. Abilities and weapon upgrades stay unlocked, but upgrades and gadgets are re-rolled whenever you start a new run. Quitting while in a safe zone saves your weapons and gear but resets progress in the game world.

The main quest can be beaten relatively quickly, but the value in Insanity lies more in exploring the character of Vaas. The running commentary provided by Mando is great and the memories — "visions" in game parlance — fill in a lot of questions about Vaas's history. Notably, while the visions show that Vaas was manipulated by others, they don't try to retroactively "redeem" him. Vaas is still Vaas. He may be entertaining, but he's no hero.

Another appealing aspect to replaying Insanity is customizing Vaas to your play style via temporary powers. You can collect up to eight temporary powers at once. They're lost if you die, so there's an incentive to play carefully until you unlock the previously mentioned ability to retrieve all your items after dying. At the lower difficulty levels, you'll mostly encounter basic (white) powers. Increasing the difficulty level makes the advanced (gold) powers more likely to appear.

Powers can do anything from granting you more health to improving defense, increasing damage with a specific weapon, or providing an extra life so it's not game over if your health goes to zero. The limited capacity does force you to choose and curate your selection, but they make a noticeable difference in play.

The only real downside to Insanity is that it leans on the player being familiar with the character of Vaas. Although Mando does an amazing job with this incarnation of Vaas, if it is your first experience with the character, you might be a little bit confused as to who the enemies are and why they're opposing him. Some context can be gained via the memories, but the story impact won't be as great for someone who doesn't have at least a passing familiarity.

After beating the DLC for the first time, you unlock additional difficulty levels. The harder difficulty levels don't change the story, but there is an additional ending that plays if you complete the DLC on the hardest level. It's a bit of a reward for franchise fans and worth the effort.

Ultimately, Far Cry 6: Vaas - Insanity is a showcase for Vaas and a reminder of how layered the character is. Mando's performance elevates the quality of the DLC and kept me coming back for more.

Score: 8.0/10

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