Review – Far Cry: New Dawn
Nearly 20 years have passed since the events of Far Cry 5. The world is a much different place now. As humanity hunkered down to survive the nuclear winters, Mother Earth moved on. Wildlife flourished. Plantlife consumed. Hope County is not a desolate wasteland like something from Fallout, instead, it’s a vibrant and lonely place. The locations you ventured through in Far Cry 5 are long gone but some remnants remain to hark back to a better time. Sounds like a paradise. Things will change. Things always do. Usually for the worst.
Enter twin sisters Mickey and Lou. The leaders of the Highwaymen, a group of roving thugs out to rob and pillage everything they see as they travel across the US of A and they have just set their sights on the town of Prosperity. Your home base of operations. Things are going to get rough.
But let’s back up a little. How did we get here? Who are we? Well, you play as the Captain of Security for a man named Thomas Rush. Rush is a man known for helping survivors rebuild. A lady named Carmina from the settlement of Prosperity is in the final steps of getting help from him. It doesn’t go well. The train that everybody is on is attacked by the Twins and everybody is either killed or taken prisoner. This is except for you and Carmina who then make the long hike back to Prosperity.
Prosperity is run by Kim Rye. A familiar face. In Far Cry 5 she was heavily pregnant and in one mission you had to drive her to the hospital to give birth. She gave birth to a daughter, Carmina. A nice little throwback to the previous game.
Over the course of the game, you will need to upgrade Prosperity in order to upgrade yourself. So upgrading the infirmary boosts your character’s health. Fixing up the crafting area means better weapons and so on. In order to upgrade you need to collect ethanol. Ethanol is the currency of this new world. As you upgrade, each level of upgrade requires more ethanol. You are going to need a lot of it. Luckily the Highwaymen store supplies of it at Outposts or at supply drops. If you are lucky, you might just come across a tanker full of it being transported through Hope County…
Far Cry: New Dawn has to it some RPG elements. Very light ones but they are still present. All enemies (including animals) has a level associated with it. When you first set out you will encounter level 1 enemies which are a breeze to take down but wander too far and higher level enemies will appear that will pose a much harder challenge. Your level 1 AK-47 may mow down all these lower level enemies but it’s not going to do much against level 2 or 3 enemies.
In order to take these on you will need to craft better weapons. You will need to seek out locations to get ethanol in order to upgrade. It adds so much to the game rather than the usual mission-based structure of previous Far Cry games. Yes, you can still progress the story but as you do so and encounter new locations, there is a reason to investigate these places now. The lure of ethanol and not some lousy collectable. Locations finally have meaning.
One of the best additions to the game and hopefully will continue in Far Cry 6, are Expeditions. Think of these as mini raid dungeons. The twist here though is they take you all over America. You can head to the west coast take a look at a beached aircraft carrier or even head to Alcatraz and mooch around the remains of the iconic prison. These missions see you fighting for a supply drop then awaiting extraction via helicopter. These missions are fun and can get very intense while awaiting for that extraction.
Far Cry: New Dawn isn’t going to change anybody’s opinion on the series but what it does do is tell a great story within a world we last saw heading into turmoil. As a sequel to Far Cry 5 and for those who played that game, it’s an amazing experience. As a stand-alone game for players who didn’t play Far Cry 5, of course, it loses some of its appeal but it is still a great game in its own right.
With Far Cry 6 surely coming at some point we can only hope Ubisoft brings over what they introduced here such as Expeditions and the RPG elements and expand on them even more.