Far Cry: New Dawn is the latest installment in a series that recently turned fourteen years old. New Dawn is not a DLC; it might be considered as an expansion of Far Cry 5 since it continues that story but I think a sequel is a better word to describe it.
Far Cry was one of the best FPS (first person shooters) that mixed action with stealth and while the first game was a pretty realistic shooter with a sci-fi twist, the rest did not follow in its footsteps. Far Cry 3 and Primal had some supernatural nonsense (this one does as well) but nothing close to the sci-fi elements that were introduced in the first game. I honestly enjoyed every game until Far Cry 4. After FC4, though, I reached my limits mainly due to the lack of creativity. Ubisoft tried to change things with FC5 and it did, though those changes were not enough to make the game feel fresh or interesting (at least they removed the towers).
“Problem makers must be solved. So rabbits, are you problem makers or problem solvers?”
– One of the twins right before bashing someone’s head with a helmet.
Since Vaas (“You are so fucked Jason”), no main villain really made an impact on me. The story was always an important part of the Far Cry games and without a solid antagonist the story, usually, falls flat. Of course no matter how cool Vaas was, the gameplay evolution of the third game is what made Far Cry what it is today (and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I love stealth games).
Even today, I believe that Far Cry has the perfect stealth mechanics in any FPS game. Not only that, but with each new iteration the Far Cry series only becomes better. Unfortunately though even if the gameplay has always been good, most of the other parts were not so much. I thought the fifth game will be the end of the series but, apparently, I was mistaken. I was also surprised as I thought New Dawn would be a glorified crappy pink re-skin (since it hasn’t even been a year since the release of Far Cry 5). Looks like it wasn’t – or at least not as much as I initially thought – and to be honest, I liked it in spite of all the pink crap (even if it does make the game feel like it was built for little girls!). Seriously, the pink colour is frigging everywhere! I did not like the game as much as Blood Dragon which, in my opinion, was amazing – and I am still hoping for a sequel – but New Dawn is better than Far Cry 5.
“If I wasn’t blind as fuck I would have joined the fight”
–Grace Armstrong, probably the best sniper in Far Cry 5 but not anymore.
For the sake of spoilers I am only going to say that the game continues exactly where the fifth game ends (or to be more precise from a specific ending since there was more than one). Seventeen years after the incident people resurface and start to rebuild the world. A group of ruthless murderers called the Highwaymen, led by the twins Mickey & Lou, terrorize the inhabitants of Hope county in Montana (I get it’s a catchier name but why not Highwaywomen since most of them are women? I mean even the leaders are women. Just a thought).
“Are you ready to go so fast that your pubes will pull back and tickle your asshole?”
– The Monkey God’s faithful servant Hurk right before handing me the keys of his deadly car.
After the near complete annihilation of the safe haven Prosperity, Carmina Rye (the daughter of Nick & Kim Rye from FC5) asks survivors lead by Thomas Rush to help them. Since Rush is helping to rebuild communities all across the country, with the help of experts he has recruited over the years. Shit hits the fan very soon though and a full frontal assault begins at the train where Rush and the rest of his people are using for transportation. That’s where you take the role of the captain of the security who, minutes after the attack, rushes in to save his people. Unfortunately, everyone dies and Rush gets captured. The captain as the sole survivor is being found by Carmina who leads him to Prosperity and the fight against the Highwaymen begins.
The story is nothing special but certainly more “believable” and enjoyable than what we got in Far Cry 5, though most characters – with a few exceptions – are nothing extraordinary. While there is a comedic tone here and there, the actual story is rather serious. I mean, it’s all about survival so how fun can it be right? Speaking of which, if you could adjust some things, remove some others and put zombies in the mix, this could easily pass as a “The Walking Dead” game (which could have been better than the one we recently got). I also do not know why Ubisoft chose to, once again, go with the silent protagonist (maybe it is the RPG elements which Ubisoft tries to put in every single bloody game it makes but more on that later) but for me it’s getting tiresome; this is not a sandbox RPG for the love of god.
“Lollypop lollypop, you are going to eat dirt lollypop”
– Little girl outside the arena before I enter with the fight name Lollypop.
The voice acting is pretty good but the lip-syncing is not always that great. Moreover, most of the characters from the previous game return in this one. The main antagonists, the twins, are OK I guess. They are “psychotic” and “logical” with extremely violent tendencies and without showing any kind of empathy or sorrow, however they are not very menacing or scary and their looks do not fit their characters. As such, they become a bit forgettable.
I mean, take a look at Vaas. His looks matched his personality almost perfectly (he could be psychotic and insane while at the same time he could be funny and clever) and most importantly there was a serious reason for you to fear him and hate him at the same time (I think the writing was better as well). The twins failed to emotionally engage me with their personalities/looks as I basically didn’t really care or worry for anyone except for Rush. Even so, there is a part involving the twins that I really liked though it becomes forgettable rather quickly (if you’ve played the game, you understand the part I’m referencing). I do not want to spoil anything more but I have to say that some of the returning characters make much more sense in this world rather than the one that Far Cry 5 was based on.
“Loot them but do not defile them”
– Father Jerome while I am going through someone’s pockets.
Visually speaking, the game looks just as good as Far Cry 5, and some may say that it performs a bit better than it. The only performance issues I’ve encountered were some random stutters (from time to time) and, for some odd reasons, the subtitles kept resetting whenever I was launching the game. Other than these two minor issues, though, New Dawn ran fine on my system. For more details on performance please read John’s analysis.
Music and sound are fine. There are some audio glitches though they occurred rarely, but Christ the music playing at the outposts is frigging horrific. Terrible, just terrible (no wonder why all the highwaymen are losing their fucking minds after listening to it). Thankfully, there is another radio station that plays classics and although I am not a big fan of that genre, it sounds heavenly better than the other station.
Now let me address the elephant in the room – not actual elephants like in FC4 as there aren’t any ride-able animals this time – the RPG elements. Yes, Ubisoft did implement some of the changes/features we saw in games like The Division or AC: Odyssey. Unfortunately, Ubisoft keeps copying and pasting stuff to every game it makes, even if these elements do not fit in specific titles. What it doesn’t seem to understand is that New Dawn’s lasting appeal won’t be extended by adding them, and that all of its latest games look alike and/or play the same. In reality, what these RPG elements actually do is make the game boring and repetitive as hell, and I’m certain that no one wants unnecessary grinding that does not come with, at least, worthy rewards. Also, I find it really stupid – in a Far Cry game – to shoot an enemy 100 times in the face so that you can kill him/her, just because he/she is one or two levels higher than you; it’s bullshit.
“I always hated that motherfucker”
– Gina after shooting some random highwayman.
I do get that some people like this but it makes no sense to me in this particular series. But hey, at least you can turn off the damage numbers and enemy health bars, thus making it a bit more tolerable. Thankfully, I did not rush the main story and all the missions I completed were on the same level I was, so I never had to shoot someone in the face more than once (or maybe twice if they wore a helmet). On the other hand, I had a couple encounters with some mutated animals which could only be killed by shooting specific parts of their bodies.
The shooting is – as always – pretty good and the non-restrictive cover system works, once again, great. The melee combat is also solid and I do appreciate the return of the knife take-downs. Actually, these may be the best take-down animations I have seen in a Far Cry game. You can use numerous melee weapons like bats, pipes and shovels but all the stealth take-down sequences feature a knife. As for the advertised new weapon, the saw-launcher, it is cool but I stopped using it the moment I realized there is still no gore or dismemberment in the game.
“Go sinner, with our blessing and hope”
– Leader of the hunters before I go burn everything to dust .
Stealth, as usual, is great but some parts felt a bit weird since you can now move the camera while doing take-downs and using skills like the chain take-downs (which worked perfectly in the previous games but did not this time around or maybe I was doing something wrong which I doubt since I have played extensively all of the previous Far Cry games). By the way, I will never understand why you throw a bat instead of a knife when you do the advanced take-down.
Instead of a skill tree you now have perks, just like FC5. You earn perk points by doing challenges like killing ten enemies with a handgun. After a specific part of the main story you get access to some new perks which I found unnecessary. Honestly, if I knew what these silly perks exactly did, I would had never unlocked them, though that’s a personal opinion as I am almost certain that some people will like them.
Weapons customization is completely gone. All weapons are pre-made and there is no way for you to make any modifications no matter the weapon you choose. To be honest, I didn’t really mind that very much. However, I was really annoyed by the newly introduced weapon rarity level system. Due to this system, players will need a level X weapon to kill a level X enemy as anything below that feels like a water-gun. At least almost every weapon feels unique and has different stats.
“You will be the Shepard of my people”
– Joseph Seed.
Surprisingly enough. there are no fetch missions or annoying side-quests in New Dawn. All of the side content is tied to the main story. I am truly amazed that there isn’t any of Ubisoft’s classic fetching crap flooding the map. Speaking of the map, it is smaller than before and most of the surrounding areas are radioactive (thus impassible). Furthermore, Ubisoft did something interesting with the outposts this time around. In the previous Far Cry games, players could liberate outposts and after that they could use them as resupply centers and/or fast travel points. This time if you capture an outpost, you can abandon it and the enemy will take it back from you. You can then re-capture it though it will be much harder as enemies will be tougher (though the rewards will also be better).
The most important currency in the game is Ethanol (which translates to power fuel) and Prosperity, being your home-base, needs several things to expand and grow. You can upgrade many parts of Prosperity, like the infirmary or the garage, and you need Ethanol in order to upgrade them (which you get mainly by capturing outposts). There are three upgrade stages, with each stage providing different bonuses. The only thing that needs more resources than Ethanol, so that it can be further upgraded, is the main building (as it requires specific people called Specialists so that they can operate specific sections of your home-base). I honestly prefer this way of upgrading your base compared to the older games in which you had to hunt numerous animals to get skins for crafting better equipment. At least this makes more sense now.
One great addition to the game are the Expeditions. These missions are taking place in different locations outside Montana (like San Francisco) and they have a very simple goal; steal shit from the Highwaymen (so the baddies are all over the states but live in Montana? And you also fly all the way to these locations with a chopper? Oh well). These missions are a nice break from the green fields of Hope County and can be done solo or with a gun for hire.
“They penetrated our defenses so deeply”
– Bean, creator of Wikibeania, after the attack on Prosperity.
Speaking of which, and just like the previous FC game, guns for hire are back. These are people or animals who are willing to follow your command into battle, from a cute doggy to an angry wild boar and from an old lady with a sniper to a guy with a mask and bow who says absolutely nothing in the whole game (he just moans a lot… and he sucks by the way). In order to recruit them you will usually have to do a mission involving them like rescuing some nice doggies from some evil twisted motherfuckers who are butchering them. My doggy, by the way, had more than a hundred kills.
As for the game’s boss fights… well… they are awful. I mean… OK… I get it; it is not that easy to make a memorable boss fight in a, mostly, realistic first person shooter. However, making your boss absorb enemy fire like Sponge-Bob is not the freaking solution. Put some armour on them or do the hide and seek trick, make it a melee-only fight, hell even make a god damn QTE-fest sequence like Far Cry 3 did; it will still feel better than what we get in New Dawn. Seriously, in the final fight the boss had 3 arrows stuck in its damned head for the first three seconds of the cut-scene… it was ridiculous I tell you.
“Even if there are less cars now people still drive like assholes”
– Gina after being hit by another vehicle.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there are microtransactions in the game. Truth be told they are not intrusive and you can get almost everything with the in-game currency, but if you want to unlock every single weapon then get ready for some glorious grinding. Microtransactions have no place in a single player game in my opinion. It’s unacceptable, plain and simple.
In conclusion, Far Cry: New Dawn is OK. It’s certainly not the best Far Cry game but it’s way better than the previous one (even if you include all of its DLCs). Is it worth purchasing and playing it right now? Maybe. All I can say is that I didn’t encounter any problem that could ruin my experience (I mean it doesn’t have the awful and crazy spawn times that were happening in the previous game). If you liked Far Cry 5, chances are you will also like this one. If you lost interest in the series after Far Cry 3 then this might also be a nice breath of fresh air. At least it was for me and it has been a while since I had fun with a Far Cry game.
- Cover System
- No Busy Work
- Weapon Variety
- Boss Fights
- Freaking Pink
- RPG Elements
- Silent Protagonist
- Lack of Customization
Playtime: 17+ hours total
Computer Specs: CPU: i5 4440, GPU: MSI 960GTX 4GB, RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB HDD: Crucial 275GB MX300, OS: Win7, 1080p