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When you’ve seen one zombie…

It wouldn’t be a big-budget shooter released in 2018 without a zombie-themed expansion, and Far Cry 5’s latest DLC, called Dead Living Zombies, dutifully indulges that trend. With the same goofy humor we saw in the previous Mars-themed DLC, this one takes us to a fun nightmarish version of the Montana countryside that’s crawling with undead fodder. It’s not bad as zombie-killing shooting galleries go, but the humorous movie-themed approach alone isn’t quite enough to hold back the creeping feeling that I’d killed these same exact zombies quite a few times before.

Like in similarly framed games like Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep or Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, this adventure is controlled by a narrator whose ideas are changing on the fly. In this case, would-be director Guy Marvel pitches seven ridiculous zombie scripts to Hollywood’s elite, each more fun and absurd than the last. One of my favorite missions, called Undying Love, uses the story of Romeo and Juliet as a backdrop and spices it up a little bit, with a modern-day gang war and of course, plenty of zombies. This storytelling technique is cleverly used, with various weapons, vehicles, and even strange romantic scenes involving zombies magically appearing whenever Marvel has a new idea.

On the action front, mowing down hundreds of zombies with Far Cry 5’s large assortment of weapons would have been better if it provided some new firearms to play with. When you’re going up against an army of the dead, even a high-powered assault rifle feels dull. With such a preposterous story, why not make your guns ridiculous too?

There are a few tense boss battles that test your reflexes – like a giant zombie sasquatch.

Shotguns are the real stars in this zombie-killing expedition. There’s just something satisfying about the way they sound with every pull of the trigger, and if you can get a few zombies lined up in a row you can really do some damage.

From a mission to mission standpoint, the locations you’ll run around in are a mix of familiar locations repurposed from Far Cry 5 and some memorably atmospheric new places like an old abandoned church graveyard and a ruined bridge choked in fog.

But no matter where you are, the objectives usually remain the same: kill zombies, destroy strange yellow glass capsules known as Mutation Stations, and repeat. Thankfully, the missions are short, taking around 10 minutes to complete, which is a huge relief, due to the lack of checkpoints. If you die, you annoyingly start back at the beginning.

There are a few tense boss battles that will test your reflexes — like a giant zombie sasquatch, for example — but outside of these rare examples most of the zombies look the same. It’s not that the zombies are wanting in the terror department, but after waves of the same yellow-eyed monsters throwing themselves at the mercy of your machine gun, they quickly begin to lose their creepy effect.

In a more head-scratching scenario, the zombies sometimes appear to go through strange mood swings. One helpful tactic that will buy you some time when you’re surrounded by a horde of the living dead is to climb up on a car or nearby rock, and depending on the zombie’s disposition, they will either aggressively attack you by climbing up on whatever object your standing on or stand in place a short distance away, doing nothing, like you suddenly turned invisible. The zombie’s inconsistent behavior is a bug that’s difficult to ignore.

After completing each story, however, there is an option to go back and play either a single- player, or co-op version of Score Attack, which will equip you with new guns and helpful perks depending on how many points you earn.

The Verdict

There’s fun to be had in Far Cry 5’s Dead Living Zombies expansion, especially thanks to Guy Marvel’s hilarious pitches for his horror cinematic universe and some extremely creepy locations. Developer Ubisoft almost had a real winner on its hands, but it couldn’t quite come up with a way to make killing these simple zombies feel less repetitive.


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