By now, Far Cry 5 has done serious DLC with the Vietnam War based Hours of Darkness, and more humorous DLC with sci-fi styled Lost on Mars. Ranging from average to bad, neither are particularly noteworthy, especially not for people who actually want to have fun. Now it's time for zombies. Yes, zombies. Far Cry 5: Dead Living Zombies sees featured films spoofed with more zombies than you can possibly shake a stick at. Is it worth picking the game back up for this last DLC, or should you just leave it uninstalled?
The DLC features infamous movie director Guy Marvel pitching seven different movies to Hollywood bigwigs. Each movie has the same general theme of zombies, but each one is a different self-contained plot. Sometimes the banter between Guy and whichever director he's bothering is funny, especially when it's clear Guy is pitching to a director who wants nothing to do with his movie. One director, who mostly focuses on anti-war character development films, keeps trying to insert character development when Guy just wants more guns. Another keeps trying to make the movie more mainstream and audience friendly. Unfortunately, Guy himself becomes kind of annoying as most of the game's comedy focuses on him screaming real loud.
The pitches themselves are at least a clever idea and do lead to the smartest element in Dead Living Zombies. While the pitches are happening things in the environment may change depending on the director's whims. Guy may originally pitch a set piece set in a shed, and that's what you'll see in front of you. Then the director will pitch in with "well, what if we added more explosions?" Suddenly explosive barrels will appear. One level has Guy and a director fighting over if it should be day or night, with the time of day rapidly changing as they do. It reminds me of the storytelling mechanics found in Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, albeit not done quite as well.
However, that's about the best thing Dead Living Zombies has going for it. Each level requires you to complete a series of objectives in linear or semi-linear maps, which is a pretty huge break from usual Far Cry. On the one hand, this means that this is the only DLC that feels like it has an actual campaign rather than a series of side quests in an open world. On the other hand, there is definitely something lost by this transition. Ultimately, it made Dead Living Zombies feel more like seven high-quality maps made in the game's map editor rather than anything related to Far Cry.
Unfortunately, they're boring maps. The zombie enemies are just not nearly interesting enough to carry the situations. Most of them don't do anything other than charge at you or charge at you while having more health. Many of the zombies are so weak that they don't even provide a threat. More than once I found myself surrounded by zombies and constantly getting hit yet taking little to no damage. It gives Dead Living Zombies the feeling of being way too easy, at least until the game decides to hit you with a trap.
Several times during levels the game would suddenly spawn a super strong enemy or waves of gun-wielding cultists on top of me with little warning. It feels like these are cheap "got ya!" moments, and they become especially frustrating when you have to restart a level from the beginning if you die.
Often the toughest enemies are right at the end of the level, where the game does things like spawn a zombie version of Far Cry 4's yeti on top of you. One level ends with a boss fight against a zombified Blood Dragon, and that's especially frustrating because that level has a long unskippable intro. Another spawns a swarm of over fifteen zombie wolverines, and it's pretty clear this is made to kill you at least once if you don't know it's coming. The end result is that you'll be replaying the same boring filler segments over and over.
By the end of the DLC, only a single level really interested me. The sixth level, a spoof on the popular The Fast and the Furious movies, was an interesting race against time. It changed the usual gameplay up by making the goal to avoid zombies rather than fight them. Often I didn't have weapons, so I had to knock them back with my fists so I could keep moving. There was also a fun driving segment, and there's nothing wrong with getting to run a few zombies over. If the rest of the levels showed even half of the creative energy as this one, then maybe Dead Living Zombies would be much more memorable.
After you finish each movie's story mode you unlock score attack. Here you can replay levels for a chance to earn rewards, including new camos and weapons for Far Cry 5's main campaign. You also can now create maps in the Arcade mode using assets and enemies from Dead Living Zombies. I wouldn't do either, because it's just not nearly interesting enough.
So we come to the end of Far Cry 5's DLC with another stinker. Dead Living Zombies alternates between boring and unfair, and only manages to pull itself out of the pit for a single level. There are a couple cool ideas in here somewhere, but it's not really worth exploring the bad ones to find them. It's a shame that after Assassin's Creed Origins delivered some of the best DLC I've seen this generation, Far Cry 5 turns it around to deliver some of the worst.
Far Cry 5: Dead Living Zombies was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a season pass provided by the publisher. The DLC is also available on PC and Xbox One.
With very little going for it, Far Cry 5: Dead Living Zombies closes out Far Cry 5's Season Pass with a third and final stinker.
- Story Occasionally Leads To Clever Moments
- One Fun Level
- Six Boring Levels
- New Enemies Don't Amount to Much
- Frustrating Trial and Error Moments
- Guy Marvel Gets Annoying