Far Cry 5: Lost on Mars (PC) Review

By Chris Leebody 29.09.2018

Review for Far Cry 5: Lost on Mars on PC

Following shortly on the heels of the Hours of Darkness DLC comes Ubisoft' s second conversion of Far Cry 5. In setting, they couldn't be more different, going from the past in Vietnam to the present or possibly future vision of the red planet. As with most of Ubisoft's DLC, especially for Far Cry, it tends to emphasise the humour and more 'wacky' elements of the game and popular culture in general. That's definitely true here even from a cursory glance, taking inspiration from Starship Troopers and many others within the Martian arachnid genre, such as it is. Nick Rye is the central character here who is whisked away from his rural Montana life into this sci-fi adventure - again taking cues from the previous expansion campaign by featuring a side character. Hours of Darkness was a decent first DLC but, as Cubed3 noted, it suffered from a limited playtime and a lack of scope that characterised the base game. Can Lost on Mars make up for it?

Humour and how far it can make up for an otherwise repetitive experience is usually a very contested opinion, particularly in videogames. With that in mind, it is clear that Lost on Mars will divide many. The introductory cut-scene sets the tone for an adventure that is filled to the brim with sci-fi references and a zany B-movie plot, featuring Hurk who has made an appearance in a number of past games within the franchise. He suits the role of a floating head that has lost his body perfectly, providing the necessary comic relief and narration throughout the adventure. He is a bit of a cliché archetype, however; a character that sums up the beer-obsessed, libertarian, conspiracy fanatic transported to Mars by an intergalactic AI to save Earth from the alien menace gathering on Mars.

As mentioned, the story takes heavy influence from some cult sci-fi films and general tropes. The problem is that it isn't a particularly deep examination or satire of the influences. The surface inspiration doesn't provide a lot of context to any of the action or the enemies, even though there are a fairly large number of boss aliens who presumably have some sentience. They never feel more than pure fodder and a means to an end. The protagonist, Nick, doesn't have a lot of input on events; he is dragged into the situation and taken along for a ride without too much consideration. It makes him too passive and, therefore, it is hard to feel any emotion for him, despite the ridiculous circumstances.

With that said, what the story does achieve is providing the platform for plenty of action and laughs, with combat around every corner and some tough fights that get pretty chaotic and some humorous side missions and collectibles, like searching for Hurk's scattered body parts. One of the problems in Lost on Mars is simply that the criticisms of the plot being shallow also extend to the general mechanics of gameplay here. One of the main criticisms of the previous DLC was the brevity of the story - completed in a few hours. Conversely, Lost on Mars drags on and, by the end, long outstays its welcome.

Screenshot for Far Cry 5: Lost on Mars on PC

Most of this simply comes down to artificial padding. The noticeable thing straight away is that towers have made a comeback in a Ubisoft title. The rationale for climbing dozens is to apparently supply power to the AI system 'ANNE' at the heart of the planet. This, though, is simply a smokescreen for repetitive platform jump sections; while fun for the first few times due to the combination of jet-pack and low gravity, they soon become too monotonous. The second aspect of padding comes in searching for the alien queens who dot the open world landscape. Again, while the first few fights are exciting and original compared to the swarms of grunt enemy arachnids, it soon becomes a chore to chip away at around 16 of them throughout the adventure. They have massive health bars and unlike the rudimentary AI of other enemies, they are insanely aggressive and mobile.

Combat retains the general qualities of the base Far Cry 5, with tight and satisfying shooting. However, the laser-orientated weaponry has more of a passive feeling and less pay-off to the player for making great shots. Not to mention the general longer range means that it is very enticing to simply hide and take pot shots from distance. There are a ton of upgrades and some quirky weapon alterations and enhancements that are endless fun to unleash in the battlefield, including long-range laser sniper rifles and multi-grenades that bounce around in the low gravity environment and cause havoc smashing into the enemy. They are generally great fun to use.

Graphically, whilst Lost on Mars is, again, quite repetitive in its aesthetic, at least there is a noticeable difference in the landscape and it doesn't feel like just playing a palette-swapped Montana. It is always hard to make Mars seem interesting, but the sand and rocks and scale of looking over this vast place are all impressive. The lighting quality is excellent, too, with bright open areas that really enhance this.

Screenshot for Far Cry 5: Lost on Mars on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

From a pure mechanical point of view Lost on Mars is decent. It generally retains the fun of Far Cry 5 action in a different setting and story. The problem comes in the execution, with the previous originality and variety of missions and situations replaced by bland tower climbing and frustratingly repetitive boss fights. There is humour in Hurk and his tale and the AI 'ANNE' displays all the traits of a typically psychopathic computer system well. However, this humour only goes so far and can't assist in battling through the hours and hours of looped gameplay with weapon upgrades being the only meaningful reward for doing so. It is fair to say it hasn't been a vintage collection of expansion campaigns for Season Pass holders so far, with many arguably wanting more quality so far for Far Cry 5. Hopefully, the final one will make up for these disappointments.

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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