The first DLC for Ubisoft’s Far Cry 6 has arrived hot on the heels of the main game. Vaas: Insanity follows everyone’s favourite Far Cry villain, Vaas Montenegro, as he takes a trip into his own psyche just after the game’s main protagonist, Jason Brody stabs him to death. At that point, Vaas begins to delve into the childhood that made him such a charismatic and terrifying bad guy.
Vaas is of course best remembered for his ‘did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?’ speech and that concept is front and centre in Vaas: Insanity as the game plays out as a rogue-lite (a rogue-lite being the less harsh version of a rogue-like because you make progress even if you die). This is a stroke of genius from Ubisoft as we were thinking that having plowed dozens of hours into Far Cry 6, we didn’t really need more of the same thing and this DLC definitely isn’t more of the same.
You start off in the middle of a much smaller map (it’s about the size of one of the south islands in the main game) at a compound. Here you can spend money on weapons (and associated upgrades) and permanent perks. At first you are weak (and broke) though so you’ll be taking on the phantom enemies of your mind with a pistol which might feel odd having recently played as the one-man army that is Dani Rojas.
Out in the world you’ll find enemies to kill, chests to loot and challenges to take on. The challenges unlock various weapon types. Auto-pistols, bows, rifles, grenade launchers and so on. None of these are available to you until you beat their challenge but when you do, that weapon type will be available back at the compound to buy as a one-star weapon. However, you can permanently upgrade the weapon case to allow you to purchase higher level versions. But as a rogue-lite, the weapon and its mods will be a random roll.
Other challenges unlock strange hearts that give you a temporary perk. These can be equipped or sold and they give you random abilities too such as improved damage, increased stamina, more productive looting and so on. The best one gives you an extra life which is very handy given how weak you initially are. But if you die, these abilities die with you.
Along the way you’ll pick up cash and this can be spent at the compound both on upgrading those weapons or on permanent abilities. These range from allowing you to keep some of your money when you die, to increasing your health, better stealth ability, unlocking that handy wing suit and so on. So really your first few runs on this DLC are mainly about getting a half-decent gun and a few abilities.
That early stage is probably the most fun because it’s difficult. The main knock on Far Cry 6 is that it’s just a bit too easy. We ended up nerfing our own loadout just to make it feel less like god mode and so feeling vulnerable again was actually quite welcome. And there are a few scares in Vaas’ mind that made playing through this DLC surprisingly tense.
As a rogue-lite though, you do start to beef up your offense and defense and before long, Vaas becomes more than equipped to deal with whatever his mind has to throw at him. But that’s okay because this DLC is relatively short to complete and to be fair, the final part of the DLC was actually tricky. We didn’t die but we were using up health syringes and hiding quite a lot.
After three or four hours, you’ll have completed the first “mind level” of five. These are the tiers of difficulty in the game and then it’s just a case of delving back into the same world with the same puzzles but with harder enemies. You’ll keep your weapon levels and perks though.
We really liked this DLC a lot. There’s something to be said for having a smaller map with enemies everywhere. It makes for a much more focused, intense experience while keeping Far Cry 6‘s excellent gunplay. The story aspects of it do genuinely add some insights into Vaas’ character too. Of course, the game world is something of a fever dream with some interestingly outlandish elements (we particularly liked the flying sharks that are just there for no reason whatsoever) which makes Vaas’ mind a genuinely interesting place to be. And we’re suckers for a good rogue-lite, so this was exactly what we wanted from this DLC.
We’re now wondering what Ubisoft are going to do with the upcoming Pagan Min and Joseph Seed DLCs, but based on Vaas: Insanity, we’re expecting very good things indeed.
+ It's nice to have a bit of a challenge
+ Good storytelling
+ Upgrades and weapons are satisfying to earn
- After a tough start it does get a bit too easy