Thirty minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time to complete a game, yet Far Cry 4’s new DLC campaign, Escape From Durgesh Prison, pits you against the clock, to make your way to an extraction zone across the map in under thirty minutes. Sure, that may seem pretty easy, but when you get there you’ll be faced with a horde of enemies before you can complete the mission and escape. Oh, and if you die, then you’ll have to restart from the beginning.
So that’s where the other elements of the game come in: doing missions, liberating outposts, and collecting loot in the world will turn the final battle in your favour, unlocking mounted guns, powerful weapons, explosive barrels and more at the extraction point. So you won’t want to just make a dash to the finish line.
Completing objectives will also add time, meaning that if you’ve got a constant flow of missions on the go and you aren’t distracted by gliding around the wonderful world of Kyrat in your wingsuit, then you’ll be able to play for much longer than the allotted thirty minutes – the leaderboards are actually based around longest time survived and most XP collected. More astute players will examine what each mission or outpost offers in terms of reward, and it can be quite a tactical affair as you map your route to the extraction point.
The best of us make mistakes though, and even the simplest of deaths – such as a mistimed press of the left stick when trying to equip your wingsuit – can send you straight back to the start of the campaign. From there, you’ll need to plan your tactics again, but there’s no penalty for just doing the same thing as before, and each time you restart your inventory and upgrades will carry over, making each subsequent run that little bit easier until you can finally complete the campaign and escape Kyrat.
It’s a neat idea, but when it boils down to it, this is just more of the same Far Cry, and although the missions in the world are new, they’re hardly anything to write home about: destroying waves of enemies on boats from a mounted grenade launcher, sneaking in to kill enemy commanders with knives, or destroying propaganda in a certain area. There’s a twist on the reasons behind these missions, as they’re delivered by Pagan himself, but the content remains the same.
To put it simply, you’ll find things that – providing you’ve played through the game – you’ve already done too many times in Far Cry 4 before, the only difference being that the clock is always ticking and you’re working your way towards a final objective. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the DLC’s main mission, there’s no room for randomised objectives – something that could’ve made constantly replaying a much more enjoyable affair, as we’ve seen in many roguelike games.
The constant pressure you feel under and the consequences of death being much more severe are a good point, though: this is not like the first person shooters you’re used to, where you can respawn in an instant. Add this to Far Cry’s health system and you’ll find something that’s decidedly old school, a factor which may be enough to draw players in alone.
Before your escape, you’ll have to survive a final ten minute firefight, and this is where everything that you’ve done in the world really comes into play. It’s a simple case of defending the area, but unless you’re properly prepared – and you probably won’t be – then it’s likely that you’ll get overwhelmed by the enemy forces very quickly.
Adding a time limit and throwing in permadeath doesn’t make this DLC anything new, but does transform what we’ve seen before into an interesting challenge mode, though one which may draw comparisons to the existing wealth of Extraction maps created by players with the map editor, albeit more in-depth. That’s really not worth the asking price of £7.99, though there’s no doubt some people who simply can’t get enough of Far Cry, and it’s likely these people will have purchased the season pass already.