Pagan: Control, the review of the second DLC of Far Cry 6



After the DLC starring Vaas, we take on the role of Far Cry 4’s violent adversary for a new roguelite adventure: Pagan: Control review

“Don’t worry, boy: soon it will be water under the bridge and we’ll be off on our adventure. Because I’ve cleared my schedule for you! You and I are going to have a great time!” The first encounter with Pagan Min in Far Cry 4’s campaign may not be on the same level as Vaas Montenegro’s famous monologue, but it comes pretty close.

Clearly thanks to the interpretation of Troy Baker, dubbed in Italian in an impeccable manner by Claudio Moneta, who gave the antagonist of the fourth chapter of the Ubisoft series a surprising depth, going to draw the character and the peculiarities of this violent figure, sometimes crazy and at the same time mysterious, to lead it in the Olympus of the most famous villains of all time.

Pagan: Control, the wonderful scenery of the DLC

The second DLC of Far Cry 6 puts us precisely in the shoes of Pagan, in an adventure style roguelite basically identical to what we played under the command of Vaas: a challenge of skill for those who appreciate the genre, but also and above all a concentrated fanservice for those who want to find out what’s behind the purple dress and peroxide hair of the dictator of Kyrat.

So are you ready to return to the valleys at the foot of the Himalayas, or rather to the mental representation of this place created by the ruthless villain? Dead or alive, depending on the choices you made in the Far Cry 4 finale, Min is determined to reunite his family no matter what trials he’s put through: we talk about his obsession in our review of Pagan: Control.

Setting

Pagan: Control, the Photo Mode allows you to take great photos

If you have read the review of Vaas: Insanity, the first of the three peculiar DLC of Far Cry 6, you know that the developers have thought for this post-launch content to explore the minds of three of the most famous villains of the Ubisoft series, Vaas Montenegro, Pagan Min and Joseph Seed. The setting for each of them is based on the main scenario of their respective games, and in this case it projects us inside a reduced, but visually very fascinating version of Kyrat.

The landscapes that we are faced with once you start the DLC, also playable in this case alone or in co-op with a friend, are magnificent for architecture and colors. The figure of Pagan is reproduced on huge golden statues and tapestries that adorn the rock walls, while we walk through hills surrounded by magnificent pagodas, lakes and hints of forests. Photo Mode lets you portray this splendor with the help of filters and visual effects, and the result is really interesting shots.

Gameplay

Pagan: Control, another look at the scenery

Beyond the scenario, the incipit is always the same: Pagan wakes up in this sort of dreamlike dimension and some voices in his head suggest what to do, specifically look in the mirror to unlock some permanent traits, which therefore will not be lost at game over, and check the weapons cabinet to buy and maybe upgrade pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, sniper rifles and grenade launchers.

We can make our purchases using the only form of currency present, the Respect, obtained by opening certain crates scattered around the map, eliminating enemies that garrison it and passing tests that also correspond to extra rewards, in this case the unlocking of new firearms to enrich the arsenal. Compared to Vaas: Insanity, the developers have added a pinch of puzzle solving, but in general the two experiences are superimposable.

Pagan: Control, a huge tapestry depicting the dictator

There are five cycles, each one more difficult, that we will be able to face within the same map, completing the same challenges but keeping the equipment and skills obtained up to that moment. Also in this case, the value of the prize reserved for those who have the patience and skill to get to the end will be directly proportional to the passion nurtured towards the Far Cry 4 lore.

Moving by day or night, in the latter case with the continuous appearance of annoying spectres that will try to explode after reaching us, our goal will be to complete three missions in particular (plus three more to witness specific memories of the protagonist), then reach the palace of Pagan Min for a final challenge in horde style, with a number of waves and bosses to be eliminated in order to “move on”.

Unfortunately, even here are the well-known problems related to gunplay that we talked about in the review of Far Cry 6 and that in a context based solely on the fight are emphasized. It happens in Pagan: Control to aim at the head of an enemy, open fire and blatantly miss, or to shoot at point-blank range with the grenade launcher and see the bullet go through without any effect on the target to explode a little further.

Pagan: Control, one of the visions unlockable by completing the challenges

These are not minor glitches for a shooter, clearly, and that the guys at Ubisoft Toronto, culpably, have not yet fixed. You can remedy the inaccuracy of the hitboxes by activating the aiming assistance, especially playing with the controller, but even this feature is broken and full of glitches since it often does not properly hook the opponent that we are framing.

The emphasis on some RPG drifts regarding the type of shots and the impact areas also ends up creating situations of great frustration, where shooting at the body of an enemy produces laughable effects compared to a headshot. It’s a pity, because with a more solid and reliable shooting the run & gun approach of these DLCs could really create exciting and spectacular situations, even if the structure is so poor and repetitive: in our opinion the cycles should be enriched with new elements to justify the setting.

Graphics and sound

Pagan: Control, a view from the character's past

Let’s start with the element that we usually leave for last, the sound, which in the case of Pagan: Control can count on discrete effects but actually stands almost exclusively on the excellent performance of Troy Baker, who apparently had a lot of fun in the role of Pagan Min again.

Of course, reading once again that the game has been dubbed in English, French, German, European Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and even Japanese but not in Italian makes us angry, and we imagine we are not the only ones who would have liked to hear Claudio Moneta again. Reasoning about budgets in relation to single markets and not to the globality of the production is, in our opinion, a short-sighted way of doing things, which will only further penalize these titles in Italy.

That said, as far as graphics are concerned, the DLC can count on an extremely fascinating setting, as already mentioned. The extent of the map is not particularly large, but here the sense of progression that is achieved through the unlocking of new equipment seems more concrete than the pluricitato Vaas: Insanity, perhaps because of the fact that you start already knowing the formula and its facets.

The location includes some reflective surfaces, in particular lakes and shiny objects, but it’s not known if ray tracing was used or not: that kind of effects could have been obtained with traditional screen space reflection. However, the weight on the GPU is felt, and in fact to maintain 60 fps at 4K with all effects at maximum with an RTX 3070 you have to activate the Super Resolution and select the preset “balanced”.

PC System Requirements

Test Configuration

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 10400
  • Video card: NVIDIA RTX 3070
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Operating System: Windows 10

Minimum Requirements

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4460, AMD Ryzen 3 1200
  • Video card: NVIDIA GTX 960, AMD RX 460
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 60 GB space required
  • Storage: 60 GB space required
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64 bit
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64 bit

Recommended Requirements

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 10700K, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Video card: NVIDIA RTX 3080, AMD RX 6800

In conclusion

Pagan: Control brings forward the discourse that characterizes all three DLCs of Far Cry 6: a journey into the mind of the villain on duty in which to explore a dreamlike version of the respective scenarios, eliminate “shadows” and bosses, unlock new skills and equipment, and finally complete three missions preparatory to the final challenge and the completion of the five cycles that make up the experience, identical to each other net of an increasing degree of difficulty.

The positive assessment should only be intended for fans of Far Cry 4 who are interested in finding out more about Pagan Min, because unfortunately the well-known problems with the gunplay of the Ubisoft title and a limited and repetitive structure do not lay in favor of this package.

PRO

  • Visions, memories and a lot of fanservice for Far Cry 4 fans
  • Very impressive scenery, Troy Baker great as usual
  • The formula has its why and the run & gun approach can excite you
  • Gunplay problematic between glitches and hitbox dancers
  • The five cycles are identical to each other, differentiating them would have made sense
  • No dubbing in Italian
  • Have you noticed any errors?

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