Far Cry 6 Lost Between Worlds review: A tale of two worlds lost for direction
When I first heard about Lost Between Worlds, I was pretty intrigued about the Far Cry 6 Year 2 DLC featuring aliens and multiple worlds. Be it Assassin's Creed Valhalla's Dawn of Ragnarok or Ghost Recon: Breakpoint's Operation Motherland, the second year of post-launch content for recent Ubisoft titles has been quite exciting. However, it wasn't the same case here.
Lost Between Worlds tries to be a lot it isn't, and it turns out, somewhere along the way, it loses its identity as a part of the Far Cry franchise. The expansion retains the rogue-like gameplay loop of the previous iterations, taking it to an action-platformer route as opposed to the familiar open-world action-RPG path.
The expansion left me conflicted and the conclusion is that, like its name, the expansion is somewhere Lost Between Worlds.
Far Cry 6 Lost Between Worlds review: Dani's swansong leaves a lot to be desired
Doing something supernatural and out of the box isn't new to the Far Cry franchise. Instead, one could argue that such ideas are where the franchise's strength lies. Be it taking giant mechanical dragons in the neon-lit Blood Dragon or taking on Yetis in the mountains, the series has innovated itself, time and time again.
Lost Between Worlds lacked the grandness of other expansions, initially leaving me a bit disappointed. Still, once I gave it a chance and understood it for what it was, I came around to enjoying my short time with the epilogue chapter.
Dani and Fai, the human-alien double act and their escape story (Characters and story)
Far Cry 6's previous expansions, Vaas: Insanity, Pagan: Control, and Joseph: Collapse, brilliantly explored the story and characteristics of the series' previous antagonists, adding a fresh dimension and new meaning to their actions.
More than a new rogue-like gameplay loop with fresh weapons and a map, they were a character study encased in brilliant storytelling. Lost Between Worlds tries to encapsulate that magic by taking a closer look at Dani Rojas, the protagonist of Far Cry 6.
In my review of the game, I shared my thoughts on how Dani is a great protagonist, but was held down by lackluster side characters. The game brilliantly portrays her conflict between escaping to the American Dream or staying and fighting for her own country, cementing her place as one of my personal favorite Far Cry protagonists.
As such, I was quite interested in playing through Lost Between Worlds and learning more about Dani.
The expansion introduces a new character, Fai, a no-nonsense "superior non-carbon-based lifeform” who gets intertwined with Dani when their ship crashes into Yara.
Rather than spending five million years stuck with Fai, Dani decides to travel across the fractured rifts, gathering the five fragments of Fai's ship in order to repair it.
The short campaign's narrative focus is spent on the conversation between the two, as Dani explains humanity to Fai, who in turn explores her own characteristics. Based upon the former's exploration, Fai concludes that humanity isn't as worthless after all.
While it does seem like a unique take, in one instance, it soon becomes a bit monotonous, as Dani suffers from a lack of proper supporting characters once again. At the end of my five-hour playtime, I was left feeling a tad bit disappointed, especially in light of the main campaign and previous expansions.
Lost between beautiful worlds (Environmental design)
One area that Far Cry has consistently excelled in is world design, and it is no exception in the expansion titled Lost Between Worlds. It is very much a linear level as compared to the open worlds of previous entries. However, this structure allowed the developers to explore a variety of level designs, each unique in its own way.
Barring the Encasement, which acts as the hub world, where Dani embarks across the different rifts, there are a total of 15 rift worlds. From the Fractured Fortress where Dani begins her mission to the Sunken Esperanza and Toxic Wasteland, all the worlds feature unique designs, corrupted by the rift crystals.
In the introductory world of Fractured Fortress, Fai explains to Dani how she has to choose her path as one rift leads to multiple others. Building upon the rogue-like gameplay loops introduced in previous expansions, this adds the risk of losing all progression and resetting at the Encasement if an enemy gets the better of her.
While I certainly missed the vast open world of the base game, the linear platformer worlds, each with their own design, felt very interesting and uniquely Far Cry-like in their own way.
Red pill or blue pill, what will you choose? (Gameplay)
While Lost Between Worlds retains the familiar rogue-like gameplay, with Dani having to start from the beginning when she loses a fight, it adds interesting new gunplay mechanics.
There are two types of enemies across the rifts, one featuring red crystals and the other, blue. With the new mechanics, you'll be able to damage and kill the enemy with the corresponding colored bullet.
While this may seem trivial, it adds another layer to the gunplay, where the player has to consciously switch between the two. In a title gunfight, they are left with a momentous decision - which enemy to shoot first.
The new addition to the gunplay, while seemingly trivial, feels quite interesting in its own way. The Lost Between World retains the tight, satisfying gunplay of Far Cry 6. While it is missing the guerilla customization of strapping on a can and broken spyglass, it does retain the carried arsenal.
After playing through Lost Between Worlds, I was left conflicted and confused. Should I judge the game at its face value, only look at what it offers, and treat it as its own standalone entity? Or as a veteran fan of the franchise, should I compare it with previous iterations, namely the main Far Cry 6 title and its three expansions?
Unfortunately, the answer isn't simple either-or. Comparing Lost Between Worlds only with the previous titles will highlight its shortcomings more than its positives, whereas treating it as its own entity will be glancing over its missed potential to be a great second year of expansion to Far Cry 6 and a true epilogue.
As such, like the expansion in many ways, I decided to compromise. I chose to highlight its positive aspects for what they are, as well as compare and address its shortcomings.
From its original leak alongside a Game of the Year Edition to its potential as a Year Two expansion to one of Ubisoft's latest and greatest, Lost Between Worlds was teed up to be another great Far Cry 6 expansion.
Retaining the brilliant gunplay that the series is known for, paired with the interesting character Dani Rojas in different distinctly designed rifts, it does get a lot right. However, from an interesting story and character exploration perspective to a proper living and breathing explorable Far Cry open world, it falls short in many aspects.
Lost Between Worlds isn't the grand conclusion I was hoping for, but maybe it doesn't need to be, as it is more of a short and sweet post-credit rather than an epilogue.
From the original title back in the Fall 2021 to the post-launch expansions, Far Cry 6 is a great chapter in Ubisoft's first-person open-world action-RPG franchise. After my over-a-year-long journey with the title, I cannot wait to see where Ubisoft takes the series with the inevitable Far Cry 7.
Meanwhile, I might just take another stroll down the memory lane of the pirate-infested Rook Island, storm the Kyrati fortresses with Golden Path, or lead a resistance against the religious cult in Hope County, Montana.
Far Cry 6 Lost Between Worlds
Reviewed on: PC (Early Access code provided by Ubisoft)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC (Ubisoft Connect, Epic Games Store)
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Release Date: December 5, 2022
Abu Amjad Khan