the return of Vaas from Far Cry 3

That the antagonists are the distinctive element of the Ubisoft saga is now well known (and this is demonstrated by our special on the villains of Far Cry). Even during the promotional phase of the last episode, on the other hand, the spotlight was mainly focused on the figure of the dictator Anton Castillo, for whose features even an actor of the caliber of Giancarlo Esposito was chosen (read our special on the dictator Anton Castillo from Far Cry 6).

It is equally undoubted, however, that, despite the large cast of enemies that have followed one another over the years, Vaas has always kept a special place in the hearts of fans: after all, it is no coincidence that Far Cry 3 – considered by many to be the pinnacle of the series – is remembered above all for the charisma, still unsurpassed today, of his crazy villain. And it is precisely to Vaas that it is dedicated the first DLC of the Far Cry 6 Season Pass (which will later include experiences dedicated to Pagan Min and Joseph Seed). Insanity transports us directly into the mind of this lovable psychopath, giving the gameplay of the Ubisoft title a formula that is partly inspired by that of roguelikes.

In Vaas’s mind

Visionary and disturbing: the journey in the psyche of Vaas can be summed up with this couple of adjectives. And, if we consider the antagonist’s personality, it could not have been otherwise. Stabbed by Jason – that is the protagonist of Far Cry 3 – we will have to make a short journey inside a distorted version of the Rook Islands, in search of the three fragments of the silver dragon dagger belonging to Citra (sister of Vaas, well known to the players of the third episode), the same blade that pierced our flesh. Only in this way can we get out of this mental prison.

The three parts are scattered along as many areas of a restricted open world map: to collect them we will have to face a triptych of main missions with a high rate of oneirism, catapulted into a wisely twisted and perverse atmosphere, in a place where rain has the color of blood, and the sea is painted a bright red. The construction of the scenario is the strong point of Insanity: we will move along forests, beaches, caves and volcanic slopes, as if we were orienting ourselves in a wild dream. A small waking nightmare, punctuated by visions, death screams and the sardonic laughter of a Vaas who seems amused by his own madness.

Scenographically, Insanity therefore offers a respectable glance, although latent from the point of view of the variety of enemies to be eliminated. Continuing the exploration, and completing both the primary and secondary objectives, we will delve deeper into the memories of the protagonist, and we will end up discovering some Additional Far Cry 3 storyline details and on the psychology of his characters. The fans of the third episode will find a good number of quotes and references inserted to whet their nostalgia, but we prefer not to reveal you more. Given the extremely short duration of the narrative component of the DLC, we leave you the pleasure of discovering what will be the ultimate goal of this tour in the very sick psyche of Vaas.

Always repeat the same action, like a madman …

The preambles of the story run out quickly, and the roguelike-like playful component immediately emerges. Within a central hub – where we will return after each defeat – we will be able to stock up on weapons (as long as we buy them with the money obtained from our raids) and unlock the “permanent traits”, that is skills that we will keep even in case of failure.

In fact, death causes the disappearance of all temporary tools from the inventory (such as guns and money): to overcome this problem we will have to gradually replenish our pockets and, after a sortie into the dreamlike hinterland of the Rook Islands, return to the refuge. with a decent loot, in order to unlock the aforementioned permanent traits.

Divided into five categories, similar skills will give us the opportunity to enhance our Vaas, offering for example more slots for healing syringes or weapons, greater health, the possibility of keeping a share of money collected after death and, in stages more advanced, even a wingsuit, parachute and grappling hook with which to better explore the islet.

Play in Co-op The adventure can also be played in co-op, as long as the other user plays on the same family of consoles. There is also no matchmaking, and you will need to invite a friend from your list (it is not necessary that our partner has a copy of the DLC, but of course he must own the base game). Both participants will unlock rewards – including Vaas’ equipment – for use in Far Cry 6.

That’s why – in order to maximize the score at the end of the DLC – it will be advisable not to limit yourself to the completion of the three main missions, and indeed also to dedicate oneself to secondary activities (some of which even more interesting than the mandatory ones). In the Rook Islands reinterpreted by the madness of Vaas we will find Psycho deceptions, Trials of Citra and other assignments, all challenges that will reward us with objects of different usefulness, including weapons and passive powers that will increase our chances of survival, allowing us, for example, to recover instantly all health in case of failure, without losing resources.

At the beginning of each cycle we will leave without weapons: the tools of death must be recovered directly on the island, successfully ending the challenges offered by the chests on the map. In this way we will be able to obtain guns, bows, machine guns and rifles from time to time with which to defeat the opponents.

The limited availability of weapons inevitably makes Insanity’s shootings less thrilling, modeled on the same playful framework as those of Far Cry 6 (at this link you can find our review of Far Cry 6), without however that extra flicker offered by the weird and varied arsenal supplied to Dani Rojas. The experience of the DLC therefore quickly becomes quite repetitive on a conceptual level: a redundancy unfortunately only partially mitigated by both the evocative atmosphere and the typical tension of the roguelike structure, where the threat of losing everything becomes the biggest challenge in the game. It will take about an hour to reach the end credits by dedicating ourselves only to the main missions, a value ready to double if we want to discover all the secrets of the island. After an initial completion, however, Insanity will not run out of content: we will unlock all five levels of Vaas’s mind, which will ask us to face the adventure again with various modifiers, designed to gradually increase (and definitely noticeable) the degree of difficulty.

To get all the rewards, in essence, we will be forced to replay Vaas’ escape over and over again, survive enough to upgrade the weapons sufficiently, complete specific objectives and become stronger and stronger, so as not to be overwhelmed by the higher challenge level (in which the radar will also disappear). Complexity will never reach truly “crazy” peaks, but it will still be able to give us plenty of bread for our teeth.