The Far Cry series is a bit of an oddity in the gaming industry where the regularly released “numbered” titles pop up every few years and then the developers are set free to create weird and exciting new games between core series entries. Normally these games have nothing in common with the actual main game, but with Far Cry: New Dawn Ubisoft has decided to link the two…kind of.

What is Far Cry: New Dawn?

New Dawn takes place 13 years after the ending of Far Cry 5, and as the game follows on from the shocking ending of the original, this feature is going to contain a few spoilers. Consider that your warning.

Far Cry 5 was set in Hope County in Montanna, and at the end of that game, the world was thrust into a nuclear winter when the nukes were launched in an act of mutually assured destruction. At that time, we thought humanity had been wiped out, but we find out at the beginning of New Dawn that some people managed to eke out something resembling survival of the devastation by living underground for 10 years before finally coming to the surface again in an effort to start rebuilding humanity.

As you would expect in this New Dawn, the entire world is destroyed, with people miserable and suffering in their day to day lives.

Nah I’m kidding.

Ubisoft has decided to be a little different this time and the world of New Dawn is actually beautiful. People are happy and working to put their lives back together as best they can, the colour palette is bright and colourful and the populace is generally happy. There are no weird scary mutated animals or zombie styled enemies. It just feels like new age camping trip.

So life’s perfect then?

No. No, it is not, or else there would be no point to the game. I only managed to get around an hour and a half of playtime but from my understanding, there are now three distinct groups of survivors left in the world. You have the people from Hope County who just want to try to rebuild the world as it once was. Then you have the Highwaymen, a group of bandits who live day to day as they pillage their way across the land. Then you have New Eden, a faction founded on the teachings of Joseph Seed and his family from Far Cry 5. They have rejected technology and the status quo of the way the world used to be.

The Highwaymen are our main enemies in the beginning and they were led in this area by twin sisters (Mickey and Lou) who would love nothing more than to destroy everything the people have been building. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to kick their respective asses and ensure that your newfound family and friends are safe.

Apart from the change of story, there are obviously some new gameplay elements that Ubisoft is implementing in this quasi-sequel. The first of which is a light sprinkling of RPG elements.

A Far Cry Light RPG?

In what very much feels like a nod to another Ubisoft game, The Division, the enemies are now “levelled” up. Running out of your base and seeing some Highwaymen with a level 1 indicator over their head means you can mow them down and be the baddest man (or woman! You can choose to play as either) in the jungle. A group of 5 level 1 enemies are simple cannon foddert. However, if you take the wrong turn and see a level 3 or elite soldier, you would be strongly recommended to turn tail and run. While you and your gun for hire friends could probably take out one or two high-level opponents, if you encounter a platoon of them with your standard weapons you are going to get obliterated

But it’s not only the enemies who have levels. The regular outposts you encounter are also levelled. If you take out an outpost and just abandon it then you can expect the highwaymen to come back and upgrade it to the next level, which just makes taking over it again a little more troublesom.

Worse than that however are the animals. My gun for hire and myself got ambushed by a trio of level 3 cougars (the furry, animal kind) and it didn’t go well. Even with my upgraded weapons and my AI co-op buddy, I still ended up taking a dirt nap. If you see high-powered animals, I would strongly recommend you just run as fast as your little legs can carry you.

Far Cry: New Dawn has also implemented a weapon and ability upgrade system. You need to scavenge the world for a variety of materials and then in typical Far Cry fashion, you can use them to upgrade your weapons, health packs, explosives, and – best of all – your Expedition abilities.

So what are Expeditions?

Expeditions are a new addition to Far Cry where you are able to take a helicopter ride to different places all over the North America continent and participate in short linear missions.

One of the benefits to the developers of these Expeditions is that they don’t need to worry about the technical stress of an open world system and can, therefore, throw a ton more enemies at you and improve the graphical fidelity of the experience. Putting it in simple terms, you get quick and incredibly difficult missions that can scale up far greater than your standard Far Cry battles.

Oh, and did I mention you can do these in co-op mode? So if you think you are the hottest shot in the Far Cry universe, then grab a friend, crank the skill level up to maximum and see if you can steal info from an incredibly well-defended theme park.

Now obviously it is impossible to thoroughly review a game of Far Cry’s scope in just a handful of hours but I can easily say that Far Cry New Dawn looks great, with the humour and writing really tickling me.

In my few side missions I found some very clever little mini-games and challenges thrown in and I’m sitting here right now wishing I had the game in my hands so that I could spend a solid Sunday afternoon playing and harvesting animals and plants for my upgrades. It’s typical Far Cry, yes, but the additions are smart, refining an already polished Far Cry experience.

But…

There’s always a but isn’t there? Don’t be fooled, this is a Far Cry game and from my experience, you either love or hate the Far Cry control mechanism and playstyle. If you’ve enjoyed the previous games, you’ll love this.

The enemies are however, pretty bland, apart from the RPG style, and I wouldn’t expect too great a story, enrapturing story, but I’ve only seen mere glimpses of it.

Final Word

If you enjoy the Far Cry series of games then go grab this as soon as it’s released. It’s fun and I love the way the Far Cry developers re-use their insanely detailed worlds for these spin-offs.

Or if you haven’t played Far Cry 5 but this appeals to you then go for it, this is the cheap way to experience the insanely detailed Far Cry universe.

Then again, if you are not a fan of the Far Cry games or their control schemes then how have you managed to get this far into the article? It’s Far Cry but slightly different. You won’t be surprised by the experience and, honestly, is that really a bad thing?

Last Updated: January 23, 2019

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