I loved Far Cry 4, but I sure as hell can’t say the same about its first piece of DLC, “Escape from Durgesh Prison”.
As you’d expect, the DLC tasks you to escape from Durgesh Prison. The prospect excited me; I was expecting gameplay much like a similar sequence in Far Cry 4’s main story. It was nothing like this, sadly, as Durgesh is more of a region than an actual prison, and a bevy of gaming conditions force you to play in a very specific, very frustrating manner.
As Pagan Min explains to you when you boot the content up, Ajay has thirty minutes to prepare for said escape, completing missions to gain extra preparation time, skill points, weapons and ammo. After the countdown is up, you’re tasked to defend an area for ten minutes, awaiting extraction. Die at any time in the DLC, and it’s game over.
Fully game over; not back to a checkpoint, but back the start of the DLC. I need to make that very clear. This whole setup makes for a frustrating mess of DLC that doesn’t even disguise the fact that Ubisoft’s just going for a second dip into your wallet.
Have you, like me, played Far Cry 4 for countless hours, building up most of Ajay’s skillpoints? Well, that doesn’t matter; you’re back to stock-standard with “Durgesh”. I died more times than I care to recount, instinctively going for a skill-based kill that I no longer possessed. In the same way, my go-to weapons were a thing of the past.
It’s not fun building up a character, associating with him and carefully honing his skills and weapons of choice, only to have those stripped away again. It is far worse when dying as said powered-down character, and then being forced to run through the entire DLC scenario again.
The permadeath mechanic is an interesting one, but not coupled with the DLC’s ever-present countdown. You’re expected to charge through the game, completing as many missions as you can in your allotted time to increase your odds of survival at the endgame. With permadeath hanging over your head, you need to be more reckless than strategic; it’s a very poor combination.
Moreover – and this might just be me – I couldn’t even begin to describe how anxious that damn countdown made me feel. Full disclosure: I stopped playing Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII because spending the entire game fighting the clock made me physically want to throw up.
The fact is, “Escape from Durgesh” feels like a cash-in. Locales look the same as in the main game and you’re tasked with missions that you’ve done countless times before in Far Cry 4. What’s worse with those repetitive missions is that you’ll find yourself having to complete them again and again, especially if you die and are forced to restart.
The fact is, it was more fun to complete Far Cry 4, then reset its outposts and re-take them than it was to play with “Durgesh” and its asinine conditions. That’s a strong indicator this DLC does nothing to advance Far Cry 4 as an entire package; actually, it’s damning in that it takes away from the fun that I had with the game proper. It’s a half-cooked, asset-leveraging mess that most gamers should avoid at all costs, especially when considering Ubisoft wants you to pay $15 AUD for the privilege.
Far Cry 4‘s “Escape from Durgesh Prison” DLC was reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox One, as provided by the publisher.
Review: Far Cry 4’s ‘Escape from Durgesh Prison’ DLC
Want to know more about our scoring scale?
This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we could earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. Stevivor is an independent outlet and our journalism is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.