‘Far Cry 4’ Valley of the Yetis DLC Review

Platforms PS3/360/PS4/XB1/PC

Publisher Ubisoft   Developer Ubisoft Montreal

Genre FPS/DLC   Platform Played Xbox One

I absolutely loved Far Cry 4 when it was released late last year. The more vertical, mountainous landscape was a nice change from the tropical jungles of Far Cry 3, the missions never felt the same and the game improved on its predecessor in pretty much every area. I was hoping Valley of the Yetis, the final piece of downloadable content (DLC) for Far Cry 4, would be more of the same; cool, unique story missions, perhaps some outposts to capture, and a mysterious new Yeti mystery to uncover. As it turns out, Valley of the Yetis is a bit of a disappointment in most areas. If anything, it pin points why Far Cry 4 was such an amazing game – its creative mission design (among other things).

Valley of the Yetis presumably takes place after the events of Far Cry 4, but it does not really matter. At the start of the DLC, Ajay crash lands somewhere in the Himalayas, somehow losing all of his weapons and skills from the base game. Yep, in Valley of the Yetis you have to start from scratch, again. While it may not be an issue for some, I was hoping to be able to pick up right where I left off, with missions that forced me unleash the full potential of my stealth/ tonnes of explosions based loadout.

As a reminder, a couple of the snow missions in Far Cry 4 took away your weapons temporarily too, and they worked well. I guess my issue was that this was more of a permanent loss.

Anyway, Ajay realises that the helicopter pilot has been kidnapped by some strange cult dedicated to the demon Yalung. Knife in hand, I set off to explore the snow.

Despite losing all of your weapons, and having to find them scattered throughout the world, Valley of the Yetis shows promise at the start. Within minutes of encountering enemies, I heard talk of a strange gas that appears to make people go a tad loopy (if you know what I mean). I had hopes that this would mean plenty of crazy drug induced missions that Far Cry 4 did so well. Unfortunately, what takes places over the four to six hours it takes to do every mission and activity in Valley of the Yetis is a let-down in comparison.

For a bit of context, Valley of the Yetis splits its missions into two sections. Firstly, there are the day time missions which focus on Ajay trying to find out who captured the pilot and who the leader of the death cult is. Then there are the night time missions. These missions involve Ajay defending the outpost he captured from waves of enemies. The activities I mentioned earlier are side quest-esque jobs you can do around the map, which earn you items for your outpost such as defences and traps to help you survive the night time raids.

I only finished the campaign a few hours ago at the time of writing, but none of the missions stand out as memorable. The day time missions, of which there are six, are the more traditional story missions, but they were noticeably short. The first few missions are not very eventful, and in the final half of the game just when the missions start bringing back the infiltrate and kill everyone, or blow stuff up formulas, they end. If I had to choose, I would say the night missions were my favourite. They are a refreshing take on the whole outpost capture/defend idea and the later ones are quite frantic, but there are only five of them. There were also a few cool ‘side-missions’ that made use of the grappling hook mechanic, but these were short in duration as well.

Oh, and the Yetis that are supposed to be the feature of this DLC? They are just another animal that tries to kill you – albeit a slightly taller and faster monster. Firing a clip or so to the head will stun them, giving you time to move behind them and shank them to death. Or, you could do it my way and just keep throwing explosives at them until they eventually die. I was expecting the Yetis to be these crazy giant enemies that act as bosses, but they just ended up becoming a nuisance – they are reminiscent of the elephants from the base game, except always aggressive. The only time it was terrifying to fight the Yeti was when I first came into contact with one in a mission that purposely took your weapons away.

There are some things to like about Valley of the Yetis, however. Those who buy the DLC, or already have the Season Pass, hoping for more great Far Cry 4 gunplay will get it. The snow setting is a change from Kyrat if you are looking for a new scenery, and it also means the fun-to-ride snow mobiles are available to traverse the landscape with. Despite the lackluster story, the few dialogues between Ajay and the antagonist featured great voice acting and interesting character development.

I would have preferred if Valley of the Yetis was more of an add-on to the Far Cry 4 base game with more outposts to capture, a longer and more creative story arc and side arcs, and fast travel points.

Valley of the Yetis had plenty of promise. It could have told a great standalone story with fun, unique missions true to the Far Cry formula. It could have introduced the Yetis as boss type characters that offer a real challenge to the player. Instead, what it has is a story with boring missions and no real plot, a fairly enjoyable base defence portion, and Yetis that are easier to kill than rhinos or elephants in the base game in a snowy environment that is sparsely populated. Valley of the Yetis is more Far Cry 4 gameplay that, at times, forces you to approach familiar situations differently, but it does not have the same spark as the source material. If anything, it prompted me to immediately jump back into my Far Cry 4 save and find some fish to blow up.

The Good

  • More Far Cry 4 Gunplay
  • Base Defence Missions

The Bad

  • Poor Story
  • Short, Mostly Boring Missions
  • Yetis
  • Not Much to Do Once the Story is Completed

The Score: 6.7