The latest piece of downloadable content for Far Cry 4 – Valley of the Yetis – serves up another sizeable slice of action for the Kyrat faithful, and sees protagonist Ajay Ghale crash landing in the titular valley while investigating reports that Pagan Min's forces are on the hunt for a mysterious relic. After waking near the burning wreckage of his helicopter – with just a knife for defence – it isn't long before Ajay's run afoul of not only the disciples of a cult controlling the area, but also the vicious wildlife, which just so happens to include Yetis.
This mini campaign which can be played both solo and co-operatively takes place in a completely separate area to the rest of Far Cry 4, cutting you off from your previously accumulated weapons and bases. Luckily, after only short time exploring its frozen landscape, you'll end up liberating a cultist outpost that acts as your base of operations for the duration of your mission. Since this is the only outpost that you can capture, it's lucky that it can be upgraded with a wide variety of additions that'll make it a much more formidable stronghold.
It turns out that fortifying your base and scavenging for new weapons is quite important, as, after each story mission, night will fall, and you'll have to defend your new home from an assault by the deranged cultists. Keeping the enemies at bay and stopping them from blowing your new pad to bits proves tricky at first – especially when all you have to your name is a bow and handgun. So, when dawn arrives, you'll probably decide that it's best to head off in search of more firepower.
While some weapons are acquired by completing story missions, most of the more powerful additions to your arsenal can only be unlocked by finding them at various locations around the map. As a result, a decent chunk of your time will be spent not only keeping an eye out for these caches, but also taking on the upgrade missions dotted around the map that'll help bolster your home's defences.
Adding a few minefields, fire traps, and gun emplacements does wonders for keeping the hordes at bay, and there are a decent number of extensions that you can construct to make your nocturnal firefights easier to survive. Building up these defences can be quite satisfying, but if you put too much effort into this aspect in the beginning, you'll end up diminishing the challenge in the trials ahead. As a result, once you've fully upgraded your safe house and built up a modest stock of weapons, you'll have so much firepower at your disposal that even the toughest threat in the valley – the Yetis – won't be posing you much of a problem.
Your first run in with a Yeti will likely come as part of one of the early story missions, but you'll also come across them wandering the frozen landscape like the rest of the wildlife. If you find yourself up against one of these mythical creatures, it's best to stop them quickly as ending up on the receiving end of one of their formidable swings will put a serious dent in your health. To put these beasts down you'll need to inflict a lot of damage to stagger them, which then gives you the chance to jump on their back to perform a brutal takedown.
For what's supposed to be the main draw of this content, fighting the Yetis is a bit of a let-down. Every time one sees you, it'll make a beeline in your direction, absorbing each bullet that you pump into it. This predictability makes them boring to fight, and after the first couple of encounters, you'll give them a wide berth, unless you have the opportunity to run them down when speeding around the valley in a truck.
The fact you start Valley of the Yetis with none of the character upgrades from the main game means that you'll be unlocking them all again – albeit on the much more compressed timeline – as you accumulate skill points and crafting materials at a breakneck pace. Fortunately, even though you'll be repeating yourself when it comes to character progression, all of the parts that made Far Cry 4 so great the first time around are present and correct. So whether you're stealthily taking out guards or hunting bears, if you longed for another fix after finishing everything the original campaign had to offer, then you'll be suitably satisfied.
Valley of the Yetis feels like a medley of Far Cry 4's greatest hits, and while none of the missions stray particularly far from the established formula, you'll still have fun scavenging for weapons and building your defences, which at least makes up for the disappointing Yetis.