Set after the events of Far Cry 5, Far Cry New Dawn takes the series in a new direction with a post-apocalyptic world this time around. After a new threat comes to take over Hope County it’s up to you to stop them with the help of a few familiar faces.
Being a direct continuation means a lot of things are largely the same. The map is the same, albeit smaller, a lot of activities are the same such as outposts, treasure hunts (prepper stashes) and side missions. A couple of new activities have been added for you to do such as expeditions and general exploration is more rewarding thanks to a new focus on finding resources and crafting. The progression system remains the same as Far Cry 5 in that you find magazines and perform tasks for perk points but there has been a couple of other additions in New Dawn to expand upon it.
New Dawn is a much more linear game than 5. The map isn’t as wide as it’s predecessor and player progression is much more linear thanks to the crafting and new RPG elements added. Different resources are used to craft weapons and vehicles of progressing tiers that get stronger. Each enemy and animal also has its own associated tier along with everything having actual visible damage numbers. This makes the game feel way more restricted since a lot of areas around the top of the map are full of high level enemies and one area isn’t even accessible until a certain point in the game anyway.
Access to higher level areas and gear is granted by upgrading Prosperity, your home base. Different parts of the base must be upgraded, which grant access to different equipment and perks. Once all parts of the base are upgraded and you have recruited enough specialists for the base you can upgrade the overall level of Prosperity, which allows higher level upgrades up to level 3. A lot of this progression doesn’t really feel like anything is really changing other than the numbers when you shoot something being different, or a couple of visual changes to your weapon. The weapons that are in the game are basically identical compared to their Far Cry 5 version just with a visual difference and new reload animations. For the most part the only piece of gear that’s truly new is the Saw Launcher. While it is a unique weapon with various properties depending on which version of it you craft I still found myself not really using it.
One struggle that’s in the game regardless of your gear level is the ‘bosses’ at the end of the game. There are two boss fights both of which are just tedious and just felt very underwhelming. Essentially just bullet sponges made to pad out the length of the mission, the attempts to make them tough fights were just done cheap. I think those missions would’ve been better suited as a huge attack on an outpost or something with lots of enemies to take on. Quite frankly I’d rather have not had the final boss in the game at all since I was just lost as to why it even had to happen.
Overall I felt the story to be pretty lacklustre. As a continuation of Far Cry 5 I expected New Dawn to really try something cool with the story but it just felt very generic. I think the only thing to come from the story besides a few funny lines is access to superhuman abilities at a later point in the story. Access to a double jump and a berserk mode where you just punch everything to death with increased protection from damage took me back to the days of Far Cry Instincts.
Yeah, there’s nothing special going on with the story and there’s no real depth to the progression system other than it being a barrier to certain zones of the map… However, it’s doesn’t mean it’s all bad. New Dawn is still up there with 5 in terms of gameplay quality and there’s still interesting parts. Exploring parts of the map that you recognise from, 5 and how the bombs and time have caused everything to decay and become weathered is really cool. Notes and recordings can be found at various locations, giving more insight as to what happened after the bombs fell, some of which might even mention some characters from 5.
Probably the most interesting new feature is the Expeditions. They allow you to fly out to various places outside of Hope County to collect packages. While the way these missions play out is closer to taking over an outpost, having the ability to visit various location away from the main map was pretty cool. It also left me questioning the environmental design. Hope County is full of life after the bombs because of a Super Bloom but Expeditions take you out to deserts and other environments yet the decision was made to essentially keep Hope County full of trees and nature with the exception of the settlements which are the only thing that really has that true post-apocalyptic feel.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher