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Far Cry New Dawn Review

Far Cry New Dawn is definitely a reskin but it's got some meaningful changes to the Far Cry formula.

by William Schwartz

Whether you should play Far Cry New Dawn depends on a few things.  Did you like Far Cry 5?  If so, there’s a strong possibility that you’re going to enjoy Far Cry New Dawn.  This new Far Cry game is being called a standalone sequel to the last numbered Far Cry game and picks up after the events of that game.  Those of you who take the plunge into New Dawn will get a taste of what Hope County looks and feels like in a post-apocalyptic setting.  Despite the setting ties, Far Cry New Dawn is a brand new story with a brand new central character and narrative.  You’ll be looking to fight back against a group called the Highway Men and the twin sisters that lead them.

It’s an all too familiar set-up for Far Cry fans.  This diabolical duo lead their own cult/gang of sorts who are controlling the majority of Hope County.  While the locations are almost entirely cut from Far Cry 5, everything does have a new coat of paint on it put on with a post-apocalyptic brush.  The game actually takes place 17-years after the events of Far Cry 5.  That means that this world has been through a global nuclear apocalypse.  There are folks who you’ll remember from Far Cry 5 in the game.  There are others who aren’t old enough to remember anything but the world that they now live in.  There are three unique survival groups in the game.  The nomadic and ruthless Highwaymen that remind you of something out of the Road Warrior.  There’s the New Eden group who are a spiritual offshoot of the Joseph Seed’s Eden’s Gate Cult.   Then there are the survivors who are just trying to establish a return to something normal.

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Regardless of the character that you pick at the start of the game, you’ll be fighting for the survivors of Prosperity.  Prosperity is the name of the encampment where the survivors have set-up their home base.  A lot of the new features of Far Cry 5 carry over into New Dawn, but there are also some new ones as well.  The FANGS guns-for-hire system from the last game see their return in New Dawn.  With some returning faces from the previous game and some entirely new ones.  The Outpost system of clearing out enemy encampments as a major part of the game is still present but the way that these encounters function has been tweaked for the better.  There’s still a robust system of perks to unlock, items to craft, animals to hunt, and all the great progression and reasons that push you to explore the open world of Hope County that Far Cry 5 had.

The new stuff you can expect in New Dawn are almost all changes for the better or additions to the formula. Crafting is expanded upon with rare materials that can only be found on Expeditions.  Outposts can now be recycled and escalated to tougher versions.  Each time you beat an outpost it will be outfitted with more powerful enemies, more alarms, and you’ll get better rewards for completing it.  Alongside this, there’s a greater RPG feel to the game.  New Dawn features a hierarchy to its enemies this time around, with a color coded system of difficulty.  You’ll see this same system applied to weapons that can be crafted and upgraded.  Simply put there’s a nice sense of progression here, that gives you a reason to play and replay the challenges in the game to get better materials to craft better stuff, rewarding you for beating tougher and tougher enemies.

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If there’s one downside to Far Cry New Dawn, it’s that it does feel a little on the short side when it comes to main campaign.  There are only around 20 main story missions and if that’s what you’re coming to the game for explicitly, the party could be over pretty quickly.  However, there really is a ton of other stuff to do in the game.  Expeditions will take you to numerous locales outside of Hope County to pick up rare materials. There are over 20 of these missions.  There are 30 different outposts, 8 official side missions, 5 specialists to uncover, 10 treasure hunts to go on, and over a hundred challenges and collectibles to uncover.  There’s plenty to do in New Eden alongside unraveling this new story.  The game can also be played with friends in the same cooperative format that Far Cry 5 could be played.

While it’s easy to just call this a reskin for Far Cry 5 that’s a pretty lazy analysis of what’s going on here.  Being a direct sequel to Far Cry 5, New Dawn ties up the loose ends of the story from the previous game and gives you a canonical look at what happened to the world after the events of the last game.  It’s way too big to be considered an expansion and it’s too small to warrant a full-priced release.  Far Cry New Dawn fits right in the sweet spot for Far Cry fans to get more of what they want.

The Verdict

Far Cry New Dawn takes players on an interesting journey to tell the story of what happened after the cliffhanger events of Far Cry 5.  It mixes and matches franchise staples with new RPG mechanics and gameplay ideas to offer something familiar, but fresh.

"loved"
loved

Far Cry New Dawn

  • Available On: Xbox One, PS4, PC
  • Published By: Ubisoft
  • Developed By: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Genre: First Person Shooter, Open World
  • US Release Date: February 15th, 2019
  • Reviewed On: Xbox One
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