Platforms PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher Ubisoft Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Genre First Person Shooter Platform Played PlayStation 4
I played Far Cry 4 for over 50 hours, clearing a majority of the events, finding almost every collectable and (most importantly) earning every Trophy. As you would expect, when I found out new Far Cry 4 DLC was landing my excitement began to bubble.
Escape from Durgesh Prison is the latest DLC content for Far Cry 4, focusing on one main mission given by the self-proclaimed King of Kyrat, Pagan Min. Players are given 30 minutes to proper prepare themselves for a final stand off against Yuma’s forces at an extraction point, where the location must be defended for 10 minutes.
What makes Escape from Durgesh Prison unique is the fact your playable character loses every upgrade, every crafted item and every weapon earned in the main campaign; literally left with nothing but the clothes on their back. In order to get stronger players must take out enemy forces, earning skill points, finding weapons and ammunition. Increasing this difficult challenge is the fact every time a player dies they are sent back to the starting location, though the items, skills and more they gathered remain. Each run is a small step forward to increase your strength for the final mission and each small battle has a greater sense of intensity due to the fear of restarting your current run. Escape from Durgesh excels at providing an ominous sense of loss over each battle, with one wrong move setting you back.
Completing side activities and finding collectables spread throughout Kyrat earn bonus items for your extraction location, such as mounted guns, caged animals and explosive barrels, while also adding more time to your ever decreasing counter. Despite the fact time is a key factor throughout the DLC, there was never a point where I felt rushed, since I only had to reach the extraction before the counter reached zero.
The side activities themselves offer little in narrative explanation, aside from a small voice over from Pagan Min before the mission is taken. The missions themselves also offer very little difference from the side content available in the main game with bomb defusals, hostage rescues and fort takeovers filling a majority of the tasks available. The lack of new activities is certainly disappointing, but what makes this worse is the fact you will replay these missions over, and over, and over again due to death restarting your progress. Playing the same missions repeatedly did little to offer an endearing package, instead causing frustration at the repetitive nature of each restart.
Though your experience and weaponry carry over between deaths, every bonus item earned for your final extraction is lost after each death. This meant replaying the same missions over and over was almost mandatory, as the final extraction is no cakewalk without these items to see you through.
Escape from Durgesh is also able to be played online with a friend, though the entire DLC can be played alone. Playing with a friend offers a challenging test of teamwork while also making the experience less grueling and more interesting. Instead of instantaneously restarting after each death, playing with a friend allows for revives and respawns, unless both players die at the same stage.
Escape from Durgesh Prison is centrally focused on online leaderboards, with the conclusion of each run showcasing your best result and current world ranking. It’s obvious this DLC had replayability and high score chasing in mind, but it doesn’t pull off the addictive nature of either. In a way the DLC is similar to Rogue Legacy. Though Rogue Legacy provided excellent replayability due to the fact each character had unique traits, each playthrough of Escape from Durgesh Prison feels exactly the same. There are no randomly generated missions, no new spawn locations; it’s simply rinse and repeat.
Now I hate bringing price into a review, this is one factor I tend to ignore as price varies substantially in the video games industry. However, Escape from Durgesh Prison is currently $15 Australian. Due to the fact players will be replaying the same fort takeovers and the same side missions, alongside a final 10 minute defense mission, the price is very steep. I can’t recommend paying such a high price for content that mostly includes activities available within the main campaign. The most entertaining slice of content on offer is the final 10 minute defense mission, which means you’re basically paying over 1 dollar a minute for the final mission, if you don’t decide to chase the online leaderboards.
Far Cry 4 Escape from Durgesh Prison isn’t what I was hoping for from the latest Far Cry 4 DLC. Though there is an added sense of intensity throughout each playthrough and some may find high score chasing entertaining, there is a severe lack of new content from what is available in the main campaign. The most interesting part of this DLC is the final standoff, which for many will never be experienced due to the frustrating emphasis on repetition.
Escape from Durgesh Prison feels like a small 10 minute mode that has been expanded in order to justify the price. I would have preferred experiencing the final 10 minute mission as a standalone mini-game addition, offering players a leaderboard to try and tackle the standoff as best as possible. Instead Escape from Durgesh Prison feels like an overpriced mission, rather than a justifiable expansion on the main campaign.
Coop gameplay is still fun.
Lacking new content.