Following on from the events of the previous Far Cry game, Far Cry 5, New Dawn brings you into a world risen from the aftermath of the event that took place and once again throws you into the thick of it with new characters that want to either save the world or rule it with an iron fist. This time around the enemy comes in the form of the twin characters Lou and Mickey, who have decided to raise some hell of their own and cause trouble for the average citizen of Hope County that is slowly being built from the ground up, from literally any materials that can be found laying around the map. Your role in all of this is to help the citizens of Hope County build an army to match or surpass the Mickey and Lou’s gang of trigger happy, mostly shirtless, highwaymen, and just like the franchise of games before, your job is to liberate outposts to defeat the baddies.
This new entry into the Far Cry franchise adds new role-playing elements into your gameplay with some new mechanics such as weapon crafting and headquarter upgrades that require you to explore the world in search of insane amounts of duct tape, springs, ethanol, and gear cogs. This might sound easy but if you’ve played any of the previous Far Cry games then you’ll know that there are many dangers hidden in the wilds of the land, including wolves, bears, leopards and in the previous game Bison. However, some of those animals have evolved after the nuclear finish of the previous game and so you may encounter certain forms of these animals with extended health that act as more of a challenging hunt for the player.
The issues I have with New Dawn are that first of all, whilst the game is a stand-alone entry that anyone can pick up and play, it somewhat requires you to have played Far Cry 5 beforehand in order to understand what’s really going on as there are returning characters, and NPC’s refer back to the events of the previous game, so it might not be as easy for new players to follow if they’ve picked up this game from the shelf. My second issue is that whilst there are new crafting elements and the headquarter upgrades, there’s nothing that really makes this game stand out. The map is recycled from Far Cry 5 with almost all the same locations (but rebuilt with scrap metals). and spray painted in bright neon colours by the Highwaymen. This really makes the game feel like something that you could just leave on the shelf and not worry about missing out on unless you are determined to learn the full story of the Far Cry franchise.
Story wise, there’s no real difference between you and the twins you’re trying to defeat. They cause chaos and kill dozens of people, and that’s exactly what it feels like you have to do to get through the story so there’s no real morality in this game, despite the twins posing a question at the beginning of the story which asks you if you are a problem solver or problem maker, because the truth is you solve problems by making problems. The plot of the game will feel like something you’ll only want to do to progress further in the game itself, just so you can get new upgrades and crafting designs, but beyond that you’ll simply want to do what Far Cry games are best for and that is exploring, liberating outposts and maybe a spot of hunting.
Overall the game is still as fun and enjoyable with the same great mechanics that the Far Cry games are known for. The addition of the RPG elements could prove a great mechanic for the future games, but when added to a recycled map, with little else standing out to help the game feel fresh, this game sadly doesn’t feel all too important to the franchise at this moment in time at least. I’m sure if the franchise evolves and dives further into the RPG elements then we will look back at this as the start of a new era for the franchise, but for now, it’s merely a hit and miss game for the fans.
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Directors: Jean-Sebastien Decant. Patrik Methe