Like previous entries to the franchise, Far Cry: New Dawn is a spin off sequel to Far Cry 5 that is set in the same but stripped down version of it’s bigger brothers map and a different time period, although this time around Ubisoft opted to tie up the story of 5 instead of going for a new one.
GAMEPLAY AND STORY
Set 17 years later in a post-apocalyptic world after the nuclear catastrophe of the previous game, you are once again a silent protagonist who is the head of security for Thomas Rush, helping to rebuild the society after the great collapse. After a very explosive introduction, you are charged with the responsibility of leading a resistance against a group of armed thugs called the Highwaymen. Standard Far Cry stuff.
The gameplay remains mostly unchanged from Far Cry 5. The signature Ubisoft towers are still gone, and you have to actually explore the world to find interesting spots. Looking at road signs revealed animal hunting grounds and most side quests or guns for hire have to be found instead of just heading for a marker. Scouts can reveal locations of resource caches, outposts and side missions as well.
Most of the features from Far Cry 5 have been tweaked or overhauled, the guns for hire are more useful and the overall AI has been improved. The guns feel and handle better.
There are also changes to the old formula. Upgrading your skills and unlocking new features requires you to upgrade your home base, resources play a big role in the economy as weapons and vehicles have to be crafted with different parts instead of just buying them using money, enemies now have health bars and levels similar to RPGs.
Expeditions are another new gameplay feature added to New Dawn that helps break up the constant grind and action with a different kind of grind and actions. Expeditions are small missions set in a separate location from Hope county that requires you to retrieve a package containing resources. These excursions are intense and function similarly to dungeons or raids.
Outposts make a return and are way more important than previous games as they serve as the chief source of ethanol, an important resource used to upgrade your facilities. Ubisoft knows just how much we love to take over these outposts and has added an incentive to redo them all over again by adding a scrap mechanic. Scrapping an outpost lets you take over the outpost again from the Highwaymen but with an increased difficulty and ethanol payout should you succeed.
Guns are mostly taped together pieces and have a visual variety to them. Like enemies, guns also have four tiers to them and require you to upgrade them in order to be effective against high-level enemies. You can still take down enemies in stealth or in aggression. The guns might feel better than Far Cry 5, but due to the bullet soaking nature of the enemies and the artificial gameplay gating, I often found certain frustrating moments where I had to waste too many bullets on an enemy. Thankfully, the featured saw blade launcher is a lot of fun and a lot of superpower like abilities that you get later on in the game help break the otherwise monotonous nature of the gunfights.
New Dawn suffers from a lot of the issues that plagued its predecessors and adds a couple of its own issues into the mix. Gameplay feels more restricted, due to the bullet sponge nature of your enemies. The story is also linear and has doesn’t allow you to tackle things your way like you could in 5. But my biggest complaint lies in New Dawn’s characters, they don’t feel fleshed out at all. Even most of the returning characters from Far Cry 5 are minimal character development. Worst of all, are the twin antagonists, after the charismatic and manipulative Father, the twins fall flat. Despite a charged up performance by the voice actors, I couldn’t get myself to care about the plot at all.
VISUALS AND AUDIO
Far Cry: New Dawn is gorgeous, it is unapologetically vibrant, the world is painted in striking colors and has a multicolor palette, unlike any post-apocalyptic world we have seen before. Vibrant neon-lit skies, pink grasslands, and a strange mutated landscape make you feel like you’re on an acid fuelled trip to the familiar landscapes of Far Cry 5.
The same colorful treatment is given to the wildlife, albino Deers, Buffaloes that look like moving rocks and Bears that have glowing chests. The main characters are vividly detailed and well animated.
Far Cry: New Dawn also has the one of the best photo mode I have seen in a game, and I spent a stupid amount of time playing around with the different options to get that perfect snap.
Far Cry New Dawn’s visuals are complemented by a tremendously well-done soundtrack, fantastic voice acting, and overall top-notch sound engineering.
The radio is also well curated and has a wide variety of hip-hop tracks featuring the likes of Die Antwood.
Far Cry: New Dawn has more of the same gameplay we have come to expect from Ubisoft but mixes things up a bit by introducing an improved crafting system, RPG mechanics and a post-apocalyptic setting. Poorly paced story and monotonous gameplay bog down an otherwise well done and fun game.