Far Cry New Dawn is a standalone sequel to Far Cry 5 that takes place
17 years after the bombs dropped in one of the endings of Far Cry 5. It’s not mandatory to have played Far Cry 5 first but it is highly recommended since you will revisit locations that have been changed due to the bombs. Also, many characters return and the NPCs will talk about the events of the previous game frequently.
The game reuses the same map as before, and while the new Hope County does not look or feel like an exact replica, it is still easily recognizable as the same region we played in before. Nonetheless, recognizing some locations from the previous game did give me a sense of nostalgia. The post-apocalyptic setting is based on real-world research that studied how the world would actually look like around 20 years after the bombs dropped. The results predicted that a super bloom will occur and therefore the game is filled with bright colors and nature has returned almost completely.
New Dawn does contain a few RPG elements and thankfully they do not get in the way of progression too much. Higher level enemies do sometimes give you a hard time but upgrading a few weapons is a quick and easy solution. Also using gear that is of a lower level than your enemies isn’t that big of a problem and can be considered as challenging but not impossible. However, to unlock higher tier items such as weapons and vehicles, you must improve your home base by upgrading your workbench, garage… This is mainly done by collecting ethanol which acts as the main currency in the game.
Far Cry 5’s Guns for Hire system is back with a wide variety of characters to choose from. These sidekicks will follow you, help fight enemies and even revive you when you are downed. All of them have their own specialties and can make a big difference when capturing outposts and fighting higher rank enemies. They tend to feel like real players rather than AI but they occasionally don’t cooperate such as fighting enemies instead of reviving you.
If asked about the best things in the game, I would probably say the treasure hunts and expeditions. Treasure Hunts are fun environmental puzzles which often need critical thinking and looking for clues to solve. Also, the rewards are indeed worth it but it doesn’t outweigh the satisfaction of solving the puzzle. Expeditions are missions which take you out of the main map to different locations where you should steal a package and escape in a helicopter. The package, however, has a GPS signal on it so all enemies will know your location and therefore running towards the pickup location is tense and exhilarating.
New Dawn’s main antagonists are twin sisters Mickey and Lou who lead a gang called the HIghwaymen aiming to loot whatever they can and destroy what they can’t steal. While it definitely was fun to see the two of them in cutscenes interacting with you, they don’t come near being as memorable as antagonists from previous games in the series. Even though they do complement each other perfectly (Mickey relies on her wits, whereas Lou prefers violence), they’re pretty uninteresting and don’t appear too much throughout the game.
New Dawn’s additions to the previous game are enough to keep fans of the series entertained until the next big release and there definitely is fun to be had in this standalone sequel. The story is not special but thankfully the missions are fun and varied. Expeditions and treasure hunts do help this game a lot to fulfill expectations and hopefully, we will see more of them in the future. The reduced price tag is a great decision since the game, in theory, is not completely new and uses Far Cry 5 as a foundation. Nonetheless, New Dawn is an achievement and the changes in it are mostly welcomed.
GameRev was provided with a digital download code for the purpose of this review.