In an industry where everything can sometimes feel the same, Ubisoft expansions are their own special thing. While other publishers are happy to simply slap a new area on the game map with a few quests and maybe some armor and call it an expansion, Ubisoft goes all in, crafting complete new experiences using the mechanics and maybe some assets from the base game. Far Cry Blood Dragon is the most obvious example, but there are many, many others. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok felt like an entire new game. Far Cry 5 had three DLCs that completely abandoned the base game in favor of new characters, settings, and mechanics. And The Fate of Atlantis for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Forget about it.
I found the first three villain-based DLCs for Far Cry 6 to be equally impressive. Sure, they all followed the same template, but the character work and the mechanics of the experience had serious hooks, leading me to obsessively play each of them to their conclusion. But the newest expansion for Far Cry 6, Lost Between Worlds, feels like a bit of a miss. While I came into Lost Between Worlds anticipating a fresh, new, surprising experience, I instead found something that feels like more of the same.
Lost Between Worlds isn’t awful, nor is it unplayable. It just doesn’t feel every different from what came before. Combining mechanics from those previous villain DLCs with a very odd story for Far Cry 6 hero Dani Rojas, Lost Between Worlds feels like an experiment that never quite gels, a half-formed creation that is ultimately more by-the-numbers than fun. If this release were from anyone but Ubisoft, I would say it was fine and move on. It’s just that my standards for this company are so much higher, whether that is fair or not.
Lost Between Worlds finds Dani Rojas lounging on her car in a rare moment of peaceful respite, when she witnesses what looks like an meteor slamming into the ground near a Yaran beach. Investigating, she finds that the object wasn’t a meteor at all, but rather an alien ship. Being who she is, Dani immediately pulls out her gun and shoots the thing. You never know if a meteor is going to turn you into a plant monster, unleash a blob, or give you superpowers. Turns out in this case though, shooting it was a bad idea.
Dani is instantly transported to an inter-dimensional space, accompanied by the ship’s inhabitant, a non-corporeal being named Fai. Fai informs Dani that in order to repair the ship and get back to Yara, Dani must face 15 “Rifts”, which are small, fractured bits of Yara that each have a theme or challenge. Rifts are arranged like nodes on a map, and each rift has two portals within that can be found, allowing the player to decide which route they want to take through the map. Among these rifts are five special destination rifts that house special “shards”, which Dani must bring back to Fai to repair the ship. Recovering a shard give Dani a special piece of armor that can be retained, even if she dies.
This all sounds pretty neat as far as ideas go, but the way it plays out is less than ideal. Every time Dani collects a shard, she is transported back to Fai, stripped of her weapons, and has to start back at the first node on the Rift map. This means that if you play straight through the entire game (and never have to quit mid-run, because you can’t save your spot, which gives me fits), you must traverse through the first rift at least five times.
The rifts themselves are a mixed bag. Some of them are creative and fun, others are kind of samey. One rift, for example, has Dani swimming from point to point for oxygen in a sunken, upside-down version of Yara. This is a blast the first time, not so much the third. Just about every video game trope is represented here: poison world, protect the point, race from safe area to safe area. There are lots of little puzzles to slow you down, none of which is particularly difficult. Some rifts feel like going through the motions the first time you see them. Each subsequent visit becomes progressively more torturous if you aren’t the sort of person who enjoys speedrunning the same content over and over.
I was okay with revisiting the same areas in the villain DLCs, because the player was able to grow those characters and make choices about how to invest currency and create a build. There was a constant reward to combat and exploration. In this expansion, however, the only rewards come after battling through at least five nodes to grab a shard; Dani is given a piece of armor that will make the next run slightly easier. And then her guns disappear, and she has to start over at the beginning.
In Lost Between Worlds, combat is simply there to slow you down, with bullet sponge enemies that don’t do much except get in your way. Combat is burdened with a half-baked “chromatic” mechanic that never feels fully developed. Enemies are red and blue, and the player can switch the color of the bullets they shoot with a tap of the d-pad. Red shoots red, blue shoots blue. In practice, all this really does is lead to a couple of “Oh, dang” moments when the player realizes that they are shooting the wrong color and quickly switches.
Visually, what you have here is very similar to stuff we’ve seen before. Lots of crystals on the landscape, some floating rocks in the sky. It is pretty, but it doesn’t feel particularly unique at this point, having played through three DLCs with similar visual aesthetics.
One of my least favorite gaming mechanics is “I don’t know which way to go”, which Lost Between Worlds leans into hardcore. The minimap and larger zone maps are all gone, leaving the player to navigate by landmark, which isn’t easy when everything kinda looks the same. Nodes are too small for vehicles, putting the final nail in the vehicular coffin, as they are absent from every Far Cry 6 expansion. Many of the nodes will have players running in circles in the name of exploration. And one cursed node puts the player in almost complete darkness, asking them to look and listen for minor cues to move forward. This is really not my idea of a good time.
I may have enjoyed Lost Between Worlds a little more if it hadn’t used Dani Rojas as its primary character. Not that Far Cry 6 was particularly grounded, but it does feel a bit weird to have Dani talking to a glowing ball of energy in an interdimensional warp space as though everything was normal. When she gets back to Yara in her new Returnal space suit, it’s back to business as usual.
And that might just be my issue here. I may have played so much Far Cry 6 at this point that no matter what the developers throw at me, that like Dani, I’m already over it. I came into Far Cry 6: Lost Between Worlds looking for something new and fresh, and found a remix of stuff I’ve already seen. I wish I could say that I loved it, but I’m afraid that I’m ready for the next big Far Cry adventure, and Lost Between Worlds isn’t it.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
Howdy. My name is Eric Hauter, and I am a dad with a ton of kids. During my non-existent spare time, I like to play a wide variety of games, including JRPGs, strategy and action games (with the occasional trip into the black hole of MMOs). I am intrigued by the prospect of cloud gaming, and am often found poking around the cloud various platforms looking for fun and interesting stories. I was an early adopter of PSVR (I had one delivered on release day), and I’ve enjoyed trying out the variety of games that have released since day one. I've since added an Oculus Quest 2 and PS VR2 to my headset collection. I’m intrigued by the possibilities presented by VR multi-player, and I try almost every multi-player game that gets released.
My first system was a Commodore 64, and I’ve owned countless systems since then. I was a manager at a toy store for the release of PS1, PS2, N64 and Dreamcast, so my nostalgia that era of gaming runs pretty deep. Currently, I play on Xbox Series X, Series S, PS5, PS4, PS VR2, Quest 2, Switch, Luna, GeForce Now, (RIP Stadia) and a super sweet gaming PC built by John Yan. While I lean towards Sony products, I don’t have any brand loyalty, and am perfectly willing to play game on other systems.
When I’m not playing games or wrangling my gaggle of children, I enjoy watching horror movies and doing all the other geeky activities one might expect. I also co-host the Chronologically Podcast, where we review every film from various filmmakers in order, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts.
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