Impressions: Far Cry 5’s Dead Living Zombies DLC is pointless zombie fun

Far Cry 5: Dead Living Zombies is the final piece of full-length DLC on Ubisoft’s current roadmap for Far Cry 5, and although it has its high points, it’s really just another fun but lackluster adventure in the Far Cry universe.

That said, there’s no doubt that Dead Living Zombies isn’t trying to be The Walking Dead or The Last of Us. Like the other DLC that have rolled out for Far Cry 5, Dead Living Zombies is meant to be a light, humorous bit of content that’s good for a few chuckles, some cool looking explosions, and a small pile of weapons and cosmetics for those interested in that kind of thing.

The movie dead

Dead Living Zombies is less of a full-length adventure as much as a series of challenge levels. Each level is set up as a playable B-rated movie pitch delivered to various Hollywood executives by a struggling, zombie-obsessed writer named Guy Marvel.

Guy Marvel sets the stage for each level and then guides you through various zombie hijinks as you go, often changing or adding elements to the story based on his conversation with each Hollywood bigwig he corners for that particular pitch.

Each level follows a basic theme that feels like it’s meant to subtly point a teasing finger at the movie industry, which is humorous enough at times but definitely not trying to say anything meaningful. The “director commentary” of each level really doesn’t add much to the experience aside from the occasional chuckle or zany gameplay twist like a zombie bigfoot or a horde of zombie wolverines.

As you would expect, Ubisoft isn’t trying to do something deeply dramatic with the story here, and like the Lost on Mars DLC things tend to lean heavily on the ridiculous and jokes meant to appeal to the Far Cry 5 gaming community specifically.

Unfortunately, these jokes, Easter eggs, and references aren’t really enough to carry the whole DLC, but they do add a bit of flavor to each level as you progress and the DLC would undeniably feel pretty stale without them.

Casting call

The basic zombies do feel a bit like reskins of the bliss-crazed enemies you encounter in the main game, but they’ve had a noticeable revamp to their AI and animations to make them behave in a bit more of an aggressive, horde-like manner. Of course, these basic zombies are really just meant to be cannon fodder for you to mow down on the regular and don’t serve as much of a challenge or a threat throughout the series.

Joining the cast, you’ll also run into zombies with skulls packed with flaming goo, elite zombies called behemoths that hit hard, explode, and tank bullets like they’re made from solid steel, and the aforementioned yeti zombie that only shows up once and goes down like a sack of rocks once you figure out the basics of the fight.

Despite the lineup, Dead Living Zombies is probably the easiest DLC on the season pass. Ammo and weapons throughout the levels are plentiful and the basic zombies could almost be considered friendly with the way they lightly smack your health bar. Behemoths are the only really tough enemy you have to worry about, but that’s really just a case of trying to avoid getting cornered or having more than one detonate on you at once.

That said, if you do get killed you’ll be sent all the way to the beginning of the level because there are pretty much no checkpoints in the whole DLC, which can be really frustrating when you do get cornered by a behemoth or learn the hard way that the zombie bigfoot has the ability to kill you if you fail a quick time event after it grabs you.

In a more open world setting, like Far Cry 5 is known for, hordes of even basic zombies might actually feel like a significant threat. Unfortunately, the linear levels and staged events of Dead Living Zombies make what could have been a really interesting open world zombie game feel like a whole pile of missed, rotting potential.

Last call

Checkpoints aside, blowing through the basics of the seven levels takes probably two to three hours depending on how much you explore or how many times you’re forced to restart.

There’s also a score attack mode that allows you to replay each level sans commentary but with a timer and a point counter. Killing zombies, destroying certain items, and finishing the level in a timely fashion all earn you points that are tallied together at the end. Score high enough and you’ll unlock some of the unique weapons and skins from the DLC in the main game as well as powerups to make it easier to rank up even higher scores in subsequent attempts.

These missions offer quite a bit of extra content if you’re willing to dive in and the rewards are a nice carrot on a stick to do so. If you’re a fan of speed running or just like a bit of an arcade-style take on zombie missions without the depth of something like Call of Duty’s zombie mode, you’ll probably enjoy running these missions a few times at least for the weapons and skins.

Unfortunately, the lack of any kind of leaderboard for your scores kind of makes it difficult to stick to it in a purely competitive sense, but it’s a fun little distraction from the main game for some decent rewards.

All in all, Far Cry 5: Dead Living Zombies is just that, a fun little distraction from the main Far Cry 5 experience that’s worth diving into if you’re a die-hard fan of the main game, but that probably won’t appeal to anyone really looking for something deeper. It’s a bit of a disappointing finish for a season pass but one that follows the trend of lackluster DLC Ubisoft rolled out for their adventure into Montana.