By Paul Davies

SPOILER ALERT (FAR CRY 5 ENDING REVEALED IN 5, 4, 3, 2…) So, remember when the nukes went off at the end of Far Cry 5? Far Cry New Dawn is what happens next – 17 years later.

Nuclear winters look like no fun at all. According to Ubisoft’s research, while working on the concept for Far Cry New Dawn, areas affected by the aftermath of a nuclear explosion can spend six years hidden from the sun. Temperatures plummet, almost all signs of life vanish. If you’re not inside a bunker with food, clean water and board-games, you are f… doomed.

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For the purposes of Ubisoft’s latest Far Cry outing, Hope County, Montana, has been blessed with one of the healthiest resurgences of nature in the US. We join a bunch of the Survivors, among them people you may already know, 10 years after the so-called Super Bloom biome formed, leaving what we remember of Far Cry 5 looking like something from The Last of Us. It has been 17 years total since the mushroom clouds and everyone running for their lives.

Until now, the Survivors, have been slowly rebuilding their homeland. Everybody has the same basic job description: farmer. But there are specialties such as cartographer, medic, mechanic and combat trainer to be found in the communal residence called home base. They’re farmers because the most important resource is the plant-based fuel, ethanol.

Without ethanol, transportation is limited to horse and cart, food supplies are too meagre to consider, and there’s no electricity generated. For a while, the Survivors biggest enemy was scarcity – forcing them to become resourceful, and brave the wilds. They learned how to craft makeshift tools and weapons. They trained new Fangs for Hire, such as Timber the Akita dog, and Horatio a spectacularly ugly but bizarrely cute giant boar. Then things went south, owing to visitors from way East; the merciless pirate gang known as Highwaymen.

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The Highwaymen have many ‘chapters’, similar to biker gangs, and the oldest just landed at the Survivors’ home-base doorstep. Led by twin sisters Mickey and Lou, who deposed their own father to become top dogs, the Highwaymen are violent, well-equipped, and armed to the snarling teeth. They’ve grown accustomed to snatching supplies like candy from babies, based on the dread reputation that proceeds them. The Survivors have been doing all they can to hold off these pirates, but have called upon a team of West Coast experts to assist.

This is where the player comes in, travelling by train among other specialists. But the train gets attacked, and is destroyed, leaving the player to hook up with the other Survivors. If you’ve played Far Cry 5, you’ll soon recognise some of them. Kim Rye is the home base leader. Kim’s daughter Carmina, last seen as a new-born, is now an opinionated teenager and one of your Guns for Hire. New characters include Nana, another GFH, but an elderly lady who spent her whole life learning how to shoot a rifle, and is an unshakable sniper. You’ll learn how to craft crazy makeshift weapons such as the Saw-Launcher, spending time at the workbench perfecting your skills. Everything at home base, including facilities, can be upgraded. The Saw-Launcher, for example, can fire three spinning blades that all ricochet.

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There’s more attention paid to Guns for Hire in Far Cry New Dawn than previously, owing to their much-improved AI. The same is also true of enemy AI, leading to the introduction of two new modes: Escalation and Expedition. Escalation is a substantially overhauled take on the Far Cry community-favourite Outposts. The name is derived from the fact that Outposts can be taken, and re-taken after scavenging for precious resources. Each time a new unit of Highwaymen moves in, their capabilities level up, including defence systems and alarms.

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The Expeditions are all-new, however, and take players out of the main setting for the first time in Far Cry. Locations include the Bayou of Louisiana, the West Coast, and the Grand Canyon – exotic alternative areas dotted around the US, that have evolved unexpectedly after the nuclear winter. Expeditions offer increasing levels of challenge with varying levels of difficulty and should be terrific for co-op. They appear to be almost Raid-like in prospect.

Though we pushed Ubisoft for more background information on Mickey and Lou, makeshift weapons and more, studio representatives are remaining tight-lipped for now. It’s not too long until the game is launched, however, planned for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on February 15, 2019. It’ll be priced at 45 Euros. And it’s looking good.

Last Updated: December 7, 2018

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