This is the untold story of Wendell Redler, a Vietnam veteran, and one of the many unique characters in Far Cry 5. If you've played through Ubisoft's open-world FPS, you may recall him from his mission about finding the 12 Vietnam lighters that eventually lead to his hidden loot. Far Cry 5 - Hours of Darkness is the newly released DLC expansion, and included for season pass owners. It recalls the story of Wendell's time in Vietnam during the Vietnam war.
It starts off, as usual in a Far Cry story, in a chopper that crash lands (come on Ubisoft, let's get a bit creative here), in the jungles of Vietnam. Locked away in a cage with absolutely no weapons, he needs to survive, find his escape route and save his fellow soldiers along the way. The story is very typical of the Vietnam War but is incredibly well put together. In fact, this is what Far Cry 5 should have been like - the jungles of Vietnam with the US army against Vietcongcong. It seems to be a very sore subject for Americans, it was the one war they didn't definitively "win". It's not very well known in Europe but very well known in the US, with some Vietnam veterans scorned when returning home, with many losing their lives fighting against an enemy that had home field advantage. It was a tragic war with no real victor, and the foot soldiers themselves bore the brunt of the blame.
The game portrays the Vietnam War very well, from the maps dense jungle and vertiginous mountains, to the goosebumps you'll get sneaking around running into Vietcong hiding around the corner, totally blending into the environment. Of course, it is still a game, like any other game, and has some quite unrealistic features, ie the Action Movie Mode, where AA (anti-aircraft) guns don't need to be disabled and you can go around calling airstrikes at will. There is, of course, a normal mode, as well as survival mode with less health and fewer inventory slots. The main objective is to escape to the rendez-vous point, whether through just running to the waypoint and finishing the campaign, or taking a more involved approach. The Hours of Darkness is so immersive that it's easy to envision it being replayed more then Far Cry 5. Just like in Far Cry 5, there are no towers to climb. There are still camps that need to be liberated. Freeing Vietnamese POWs (prisoners of war) held in the camps is altogether much more satisfying than in the Far Cry 5 campaign.
The DLC runs very well, extremely smooth and optimized like Far Cry 5 is. It does, however, seem to have fewer performance dips than Far Cry 5 does, but totally understandable as the whole map is a single jungle. I suspect the flora will make it quite demanding compared to some areas of Far Cry 5. On my Vega 64, setup the core clocks are close to peak while getting around 70-80% GPU usage, but it runs incredibly smoothly, with the occasional dip while the game auto-saves (this also happens in Far Cry 5). And of course, just like the Far Cry 5 campaign, this can be played in co-op.
If you loved Far Cry 5, you will absolutely fall in love with this DLC. It's just breathtakingly well done. It's out now for 12€/12$/9.99£. I highly recommend if you're interested in this DLC or the two other upcoming DLCs - Lost on Mars and Dead Living Zombies - the season pass costs about the same as buying two of the DLCs individually and getting the third for free. Have fun, and don't forget to thank a veteran, no matter what country you're from.