by Matthew Thompson
For years now, I’ve wanted to play a Far Cry game in the snow. I thought I was getting that with Far Cry 4, but despite how much I loved that game it was surprisingly lacking in snow outside of a few shorter missions outside the main map. So Valley of the Yetis, the newest DLC for FC4, finally gives me that snowy open-world I have coveted for so long from the series and in the process acts as a great excuse to return to my 2014 GotY.
I was a little worried coming in about the value packed in here, but there is a surprisingly good amount of content in Valley of the Yetis. There are three main mission types. The relic missions move the main story forward. If you were somehow expecting an interesting narrative here after how lackluster 3 and 4 were in that regard, you were setting yourself up for disappointment. The story here is fairly minimal and pretty poor when it does show up including an awful ending. But the actual missions are still fun and have you hitting some locations off the beaten path.
In between these, you will have missions that task you with defending the relay station that acts as your home base in VotY’s new map situated up in the Himalayas. As night falls, you will have to fend off waves of enemies trying to take back the station. If you like Far Cry 4’s gunplay and combat as much as me, you’ll get a kick out of these great encounters.
The final type of mission ties nicely into these firefights. Completing side missions throughout the region will grant you new upgrades to your base defenses that range from mounted grenade launchers to minefields to fiery death traps. I saw some comparisons to tower defense games because of this, but that doesn’t feel accurate. These act as a nice way to help repel baddies, but you’ll still do the bulk of the work yourself which is what I want when I play a shooter like this one. My only complaint about the side missions is they overuse the one where you steal enemy trucks. It is not quite as good as the other objectives and becomes even less interesting after doing it a few times.
Just as fun as taking on missions is exploring the beautiful snowy landscape. There is ample opportunity to scale mountains and soar through the air with the aid of your wingsuit. This includes some cool mountaineering missions that have you searching for the right path through the rugged terrain as well as just looking around for new weapons so you are better equipped for the next assault on your base. Adding to the joy of exploration are the new snowmobiles which are a blast to tear around in and Yetis which act as a formidable new foe to tussle with. Fast and strong, these baddies can be a handful especially if you aren’t properly geared up for the fight.
Valley of the Yetis is a quality reason for fans of Far Cry 4 to come back to the game. It isn’t quite on the level of something like Blood Dragon, but with a brand new map and interesting new additions to the formula like the defense missions and Yeti enemies there is plenty to like in Far Cry 4’s latest downloadable content. An easy recommendation for fans of the original game.