Narco Road & Fallen Ghosts

Fallen Ghosts

I have finished these quite a while ago already, but somehow I forgot to review them before.

I purchased them at the same time, and played them shortly after each other (and the vanilla game) So I could make a very clear comparison.

What seemed common in both DLCs is that they felt less polished than the original game was. There is the occasional small error or neglected detail that they simply lifted from the base game unchanged. Narco Road contains new content as well as a new storyline and missions, but Fallen Ghosts is mostly just a new campaign, where you fight re-skinned Unidad Troops.

The new enemy types in Fallen Ghosts are simply appalling. The invisitroops just sit in the bushes waiting for you to hunt them down. During my playtrough not a single one managed to get a shot off at me before I killed them. Bug or feature? Doesn't really matter, it's a shame either way.

Let's what's positive about Fallen Ghosts:

  • Provides the same gameplay experience as the base game

Yes, I really can't think of anything else positive about it.
On the other hand the negatives are numerous:

  • The new Rebel Support Ops could be good, if they weren't designed to be impossibly hard. You're forced into such disadvantaged positions in them, that they become nothing like exercises in frustration. Granted the rebel ops weren't easy in the original game either, but I could do them in 2-3 tries at worst. Here after about half a dozen failures I simply stopped playing them completely.
  • The campaign is shorter in Fallen Roads than in Narco Road, at least it seemed much shorter to me. And it felt duller as well.
  • Some of the missions are so blatantly set up to make it impossible for the player to use certain approaches, that it is laughable. Instead of clever design they use  scripted events to make them more difficult. Or simply add fog, so you can't snipe from afar.
  • Sometimes enemy troops will spawn behind you, or inside buildings that have only one exit even if you have that exit covered.
  • Almost all missions have some AI scripting bug, like the AI refusing to go outside an area, or into certain buildings. Or they shoot and detect trough walls.
  • The supposedly new enemy faction is a simple re-skin of the Unidad troops already in the game. The most laughable part is that even the game refers to them as unidad troops sometimes.
  • The final mission was pretty underwhelming, including the helicopter that is spawned right above your head at the exact same moment every time. And they set the weather to be permanently foggy during this mission as opposed to dynamic weather on all others, to prevent you from sniping.
  • And the terrible new enemies:

The invincible : Armoured enemies that can't be hurt with any weapon, including an atomic bomb it seems. It's completely detached from reality.
The invisible : Basically nanosuit soldiers in permanent cloaking mode. But they are so weak that they are killed by a single rifle hit on any part of their body. They're completely passive, they only attack if you are a few meters for them, but you can easily detect and kill them long before that happens. Their only ability is that you can't use sync shot on them. It's almost as if they were put in the game to troll crytek.  
The Jammers : Soldiers equipped with portable jamming devices, that don't just disable your drones but also your minimap, and tagged enemies. And night vision / thermal vision as well, on top of making the picture look glitchy even in regular vision mode. Like they're jamming your eyes or IDK. Completely bonkers. They went to overboard with this. They would be well balanced if it would only disable the drone and minimap/tagged enemies but still leave your vision unaffected so you can still detect enemies, but this way it's overkill. Each time a jammer got in range I turned and ran until I was out of their range.
Elite snipers : They overdone these as well. They are snipers who can detect you from much greater distances than regular ones. Which would be good if that's where the story would end. But they're also infallible. Meaning they can't miss no matter what evasion you try. They always hit you even if you're in a helicopter flying erratically at 150mph. If you're inside their field of vision and don't get into cover you die.

  • The story felt dull, and soulless, no twists, no unexpected revelations. Nothing.

Apart from these annoying or useless new units, Fallen Roads is just more of the same as the original game. Which is not a problem since the original game is good. If you enjoyed that you'll enjoy this as well. But I felt underwhelmed by it, because it brings nothing of worth to the table. I felt disappointed especially since the word on the net was that it is the better of the two DLCs. But I exist to be a contrarian, and contradict them I'll do, because I think Narco Road is far superior to Fallen Ghosts.

Narco Road

The most important difference with this DLC is that it wants to entertain you, instead of getting on your nerves. Since you play as an undercover agent, the style and execution of missions are vastly different to the rest of the game. And because you have no team, you must rely on yourself to get out of trouble, you get no revives, which adds another layer of intrigue to the game. You have to be more careful and measured in your approach. Narco Road brings much needed fresh air in the game with it's unique atmosphere and missions.
Let's see the pros and cons:

The pros:

  • More entertaining
  • You're alone, you need to adopt and show much better tactical discipline
  • More varied missions
  • A bit of new content
  • New background music. Much better than the chirping in the original that I instantly turned off every time I got into a car.
  • It has some comic relief moments, which work more or less
  • Despite having some fun the story is more involved
  • They took the time and effort to record new cutscenes and spoken lines with the original voice actors
  • The ending was a great. I was just pondering as a remote possibility in my head "How cool would it be if you could do that" And then it plays out exactly what I was thinking. Sure it seems a last minute addition, as it is not very detailed but it is the notion that matters.

The cons :

  • Seems rushed with all the baggage that comes with
  • Unpolished, with lots of small errors or oversights. Ex.: some of the content from the base game is not disabled or replaced that contradicts the DLC's narrative.
  • Some of the missions have scripting bugs, which are not game breaking but bad enough to be annoying. It could've been easily fixed with better QA.
  • The patrols of enemy factions are made more frequent and aggressive, to the point of being unavoidable most of the time. And they can be encountered during missions as well. Which often leads to failure due to no error of your own.
  • Nitrous. I don't know if they wanted to make the game into the Fast and Furious, but this is completely out of place in the game. And the enemies use it as well, making them kamikaze rockets, further exaggerating the patrol issue.
  • The bouncing turd,  aka. the Death Rideres Bike. Controls for bikes are not very good in the game to begin with but this is completely undriveable.
  • They fiddled with plane and helicopter controls and made them considerably worse.
  • In an effort to save money and time all outposts in the DLC are re-used from the base game.
  • The side activities are lame. (Not to be confused with side missions which are OK) Drifting, jumping, trial, hillclimb, and air acrobatics challenges, are the pentathlon of boredom.

If you're burnt out on the game, this is a perfect DLC to enjoy some changes, but if you just want more of the same, choose Fallen Ghosts instead. There is absolutely no connection between the two it doesn't matter if you only play one or the other. Or in what order you play them.

Fallen Ghosts : 6/10
Narco Road : 7/10