'Far Cry 5: Lost on Mars' Review: The Red Planet Gets the Gold

8.5 / 10 (Xbox)

The Far Cry 5 Season Pass started off with a strong DLC in Hours of Darkness. The slight changes to gameplay gave it a sense of urgency as you found all your partners and escaped the jungles of Vietnam. The second DLC, Lost on Mars, is even better.

Lost on Mars has stronger ties to the story of Far Cry 5 than Hours of Darkness. Players control Nick Frye, the pilot assistant from the main game, joined by Hurk, or at least the mind and voice of Hurk. After making it to Mars (through a series of shenanigans) Hurk's body literally fell apart, and his mind now occupies a robot that helps you in your adventure across the Red Planet.

Lost on Mars is an amazing DLC that twists Far Cry 5's mechanics in smart ways while offering plenty of new content. Ubisoft

Mars is covered in 19 different locations that need your attention. Many of these are abandoned research facilities that need to be revived or massive towers that must be scaled. Of course, powering up the locations requires energy, which comes in the form of crystals found scattered across Mars. Unfortunately for you, the crystals are often found on Arachnid Queens, powerful monsters that are difficult to kill.

Yes, humans aren't alone in the universe and our newfound planetary neighbors aren't the friendliest folks. These massive spiders pop up from underground and gives the entire DLC a sort of "the ground is lava" vibe. Any time you step on smooth sand, even for a second, an Arachnid isn't far behind.

Thankfully, players have helpful toys to make their time on Mars a little easier. The most useful is the Gravity Belt, which basically acts as a short-range jetpack so players can easily bounce around the planet. It also eliminates fall damage, something that is very much appreciated on such a vertical map.

As players slowly power up more checkpoints they unlock new weapons. These space guns aren't like anything found on Far Cry 5's Earth, and all are pretty fun to shoot. There are some interesting takes on traditional weapons, like a shotgun that sends laser bolts ricocheting around a room or a handgun with a lock-on mechanism that shoots massive blasts of energy. Because these are rechargeable, power-based weapons, you don't need to worry about keeping stocked up with ammo.

The story is a little predictable, and doesn't offer any major surprises, but is entertaining and often funny thanks to Hurk and his insane antics. That said, because Hurk is the main star here, expect plenty of potty humor and dirty jokes. This isn't the most mature offering from Ubisoft.

Visually, Mars is stunning. While Hours of Darkness felt like a slight retread of bringing Far Cry back to a tropical environment, Lost on Mars is completely new. The imposing red rock canyons tower overhead as you walk along, always wary of where the rock ends and the sand starts. Views from the many high vistas are beautiful, and opportunities to use the in-game camera mode are plentiful.

Along with several clever twists to the gameplay, the map feels gigantic and without wasted space. There are plenty of activities across Mars from fighting Arachnid Queens to completing incredibly difficult Clutch Nixon challenges. That's right, Montana's favorite stuntman somehow got himself to Mars and was still completing death-defying feats while there. There even are areas that transport you back to an altered Montana to help connect you to the Far Cry 5 universe.

The one major question I have is about the fate of Hurk once the DLC is completed. Without spoiling anything too much, it will be interesting to see if Hurk makes it to an eventual Far Cry 6. The guy has popped up in a number of Far Cry games already, but will he be able to make it into future ones? We'll have to wait and see.

Lost on Mars is one of those DLC expansions that makes you wish all expansions could be this good. Not only does it change gameplay in fun and meaningful ways, it is huge and offers a healthy amount of content. I didn't complete everything, and it still took me more than five hours to complete the main campaign. Combined with Hours of Darkness, the Far Cry 5 Season Pass is proving to be more than worth it. Hopefully the final Zombies DLC carries the momentum through.

Game Tip: Completionists will want to 100 percent the game before going to the final mission. Going back after finishing the final mission will start a new game.

So what do you think? Did you like Lost on Mars or Hours of Darkness more? Are you looking forward to the final Far Cry 5 DLC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.