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Far Cry 6

Platform(s): Google Stadia, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2021

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PC Review - 'Far Cry 6 x Stranger Things' The Vanishing DLC

by Adam Pavlacka on March 31, 2022 @ 1:08 a.m. PDT

Far Cry 6 plunges players into the heart of a modern-day guerrilla revolution set in Yara, a tropical paradise frozen in time.

Buy Far Cry 6

When Ubisoft first announced the Stranger Things crossover DLC for Far Cry 6, I assumed it would end up as more of a marketing ploy than anything else. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Available for free to everyone who owns Far Cry 6, the Stranger Things-themed mission, The Vanishing, is included in the latest patch for the game. It appears as a special Yaran Story in your journal the first time you load your game after Mar. 24, 2022. Players who start a new game won't be able to access The Vanishing until they've completed the introductory missions and unlocked one of the regional guerrilla camps.


While the Stranger Things mission can be played without any knowledge of the show, it'll make a lot more sense if you're caught up on all three seasons. In particular, the glowing green fuel for the Key machine and the containment suits worn by the Russians look like they were pulled straight from season three of the show. The DLC's background story is also similar to season three. Russian scientists are doing some strange tests, but this time, it's in a military bunker instead of a hidden base underneath a shopping mall.

One big plus to this mission is that it builds on the "Stranger Things" lore, instead of just retreading what we saw on the show. None of the main characters from the show are here; they're not even referenced. Instead, we meet another woman with telekinetic powers, Shest' (Six). Given that Far Cry 6 is set in the present day and the TV show is not, Shest' is middle-aged, rather than a teenager. The only real spoiler (assuming this DLC is canon) is that the Mind Flayer has survived to the present day.

Shest' initially asks you to help her destroy the gate that the Russians have opened to the Upside Down with the Yaran Key. Unfortunately, you can't do that right away because Chorizo has been taken, and there's no way you're going to leave that cute little rascal all by himself in an evil shadow dimension.

If you rush through the mission, you can complete the entire thing quickly, but that defeats the point. There is lore here, including at least two audio recordings in the bunker. It helps you learn more about Shest' and the project itself. Is it necessary? Not at all. Is it appealing to "Stranger Things" fans? Most certainly.


The biggest difference from the core game is the heavy reliance on stealth for the first half of the mission. When you initially enter the bunker, you're captured by soldiers and have all of your weapons taken away. Shest' frees you, but she doesn't have much to offer in the way of weapons. You're given some throwing knives in addition to a pistol without bullets. You find some more impressive weapons later on, but the initial infiltration into the gate room is just that, an infiltration. It's the perfect time to make good use of the machete takedown.

Soon after crossing over, you find your first corrupted weapon. It has remnants of the Mind Flayer's vines on it, but that's just for show. The real treat is the flaming shotgun shell that it fires off. Fire is one of the Mind Flayer's only known weaknesses, so the flaming shells work well against most of the Kukly apparitions that you encounter across the Upside Down. As for the Demogorgon, it is supposedly invincible. You can slow it down, but you can't kill it. In the immortal words of Monty Python's Brave Sir Robin, "Run Away!"

Because most everything in the Upside Down is under the control of the Mind Flayer, you don't get to see too many instances of NPCs fighting each other, but it does happen near the end of the mission. You pass by a handful of Russians armed with flamethrowers on your way back to the bunker. If you're a digital photography fan, there are some good opportunities to jump into photo mode and snag action shots.

Of course, just showing you a flamethrower and not letting you use it would be a bit of a tease. Thankfully, a corrupted flamethrower is the final weapon you find in the Upside Down. Once you pick it up, you're meant to use it, as the gameplay briefly shifts into a "horde style" survival mode. You need to hold off multiple waves of attackers before you can escape the Upside Down, and the flamethrower is particularly effective, especially if you use it to light up some of the vines in the environment. Beavis would be proud.


The only real downside to The Vanishing is its limited scope and the fact that you can't replay it unless you keep an old save file backed up in the cloud. You only get to explore a very small portion of Yara in the Upside Down. It would have been great to see more, but then again, it is a free DLC mission. That said, the inability to replay The Vanishing is something that Ubisoft should fix, as you're not likely to see everything on your first playthrough.

After finishing The Vanishing, I was impressed with how well the team at Ubisoft managed to translate the look and feel of the show into a game. De-powering your character at the beginning of the mission appropriately captured the same tension that we saw across the show, with our heroes often fighting against the odds. The Kukly were a new threat for the game, but they fit right in with the mythos and don't detract from the experience. The same is true of the story bits that are hidden in the DLC.

It's obvious that whoever oversaw production of Far Cry 6 x Stranger Things - The Vanishing DLC is intimately familiar with the show. It's a great template for expanding the Stranger Things universe without retreading events that we've already seen. I'd love to see a full Stranger Things game developed from this mold.

Score: 9.0/10



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