REVIEW: Far Cry New Dawn
Far Cry New Dawn is set 17 years after Far Cry 5. There has been a nuclear doomsday that has changed the look and feel of Hope County. Before we get into the review, we’ll be keeping spoilers to a minimum and you should know that you don’t have to have played Far Cry 5 in order to enjoy Far Cry New Dawn (though it does take place in the same place as Far Cry 5 and is somewhat of a continuation, but not having played Far Cry 5, isn’t going to impact how you play or enjoy New Dawn).
As mentioned, Far Cry New Dawn is set 17 years after the nuclear devastation in Far Cry 5. Hope County has changed, both for the better and the worse. The nuclear winter has passed and there is now a ‘superbloom’ in full effect giving way to psychedelic colours throughout the landscape. The survivors of the nuclear blast have begun to re-populate and kick off society again, but as you might expect, it’s not going according to plan. There are no laws in place and it’s almost like being back at the old frontier (a bit of a nod here to Red Dead).
The people who have survived are now having to deal with a group called the Highwaymen, led by twins Mickey and Lou. This group is essentially merciless scavengers, they take what they want, when they want it and don’t give a damn about the consequences. The survivors who are being tormented have called for help, and that’s where you come in. You play Captain ‘Cap’ of Security and you are really thrown in at the deep end from the start thanks to an ambush as you are en route to help, leaving only Cap and one other survivor to help the people of Hope County.
As you might expect from a Far Cry game, New Dawn is just as frantic and manic as the rest of the series, just this time it’s much more colourful. Far Cry New Dawn is a smaller game than Far Cry 5, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s more focused and easier to navigate than 5 was (due mainly to the map being a bit smaller). The main thing I found myself doing while playing New Dawn was clearing out enemy outposts. I found this fun as I was able to approach the various outposts depending on where they were situated with different tactics.
In order to build up your base, you’ll also need to recruit specialists and collect the necessary resources to help improve the base in order to progress. You also have the option to ‘re-challenge’ outposts, for better rewards (though the enemies will be tougher as well the next time around). This feature was something done post game in previous Far Crys, but in New Dawn, it’s part of the main gameplay.
The balance of the gameplay felt right throughout, I never felt like I wasn’t able for the enemies at the time, which is a good thing as sometimes you have too much firepower and it’s too easy and other times you could be underpowered and get frustrated and I found the balance in New Dawn just right.
As to be expected with a Far Cry game, it looks great. There are insane levels of graphical detail throughout. I’m a big fan of the style of Far Cry New Dawn. The hyper-realistic colours really make it a feast for the eyes, especially in the make-shift world that New Dawn takes place in. The shacks, run down fairgrounds, overgrown plants and what not are just fantastic to explore.
If you’re so inclined, you can find builds and areas from Far Cry 5 and see how they have changed from the nuclear blast. It’s fun to compare sections you were familiar with and see how they have graphically changed in New Dawn. The art direction, in my mind, is spot on and really fits with the narrative of whats going on at the time.
While Far Cry New Dawn can be considered an extension of Far Cry 5, it is really a decent stand-alone game in its self. It’s fairly short, but personally, I’m ok with that, as with a toddler running around at home, I was able to get stuck in during nap times and still able to finish the game, which is always rewarding.