Far Cry 5 opened the game to new horizons by adding in full co-op campaign. It ended up being a solid game despite suffering from some flaws with the pacing of the story mode. The gameplay and freedom to do anything in the open world more than made up for it, even if the sidequests and mundane repetitive tasks felt like a slog. The story of Far Cry 5 though ended with a major disappointment since it was a cliffhanger than basically rendered everything you did in the game useless.
Just in under one year, we are now playing Far Cry New Dawn, which is a sequel to Far Cry 5 but features a new protagonist, characters, and changes to the gameplay. While Far Cry 5 was more of a cinematic driven story experience, New Dawn turns down the cinematic focus in favor of a more hands-on approach. In Far Cry 5, you had to sit through lengthy villain monologues and sometimes cutscenes ended up being far too long with limited interactivity. New Dawn is different and has reduced these cutscenes thus making gameplay the priority.
Far Cry New Dawn begins seventeen years after Nuclear war destroys most of America in the ending of Far Cry 5. Hope County is now ruled by a group of bandits led by twin sisters Mickey and Lou. A small community of survivors started to face threats of extinction from them and has no choice but to start a new alliance in Hope County which they call the New Dawn. While the protagonists are new, you will be able to find the main lead and villain from Far Cry 5 in this new world but I won’t spoil how you will meet them.
Gameplay wise, sadly you won’t find anything new here. It basically feels like a season pass expansion to Far Cry 5 but one that is instead packaged into a new game. The new addition this time is that you have a base to manage which you can upgrade to unlock new mechanics, or craft and develop resources like weapons and vehicles. The story centers around this by giving you the task of putting up a rebellion against the twin sisters. They are an interesting set of villains but they don’t come closer to Joseph Seed, who had the most impact as a villain in Far Cry 5.
New Dawn aims to please the fans who enjoyed Far Cry 5. It brings back co-op again for this sequel. It is the best way to experience the game because it helps to keep redundant and repetitive mission design from feeling boring. The co-op works the same way with the players being bound by the limitation that if one travels too far, the other respawns to their location. Aside from that, you are free to do anything in co-op, drive the vehicles, planes, or boats. Exchange weapons and combine powers to take over outposts and help gather resources.
A new mechanic added to Far Cry: New Dawn is the development of your home base. This is also where you receive your missions. Managing the expansion of your settlement is relatively simple and streamlined. You’ll get the opportunity to extend the base into nine sections. Upgrading the garden ensures more effective health items, while an improved workshop will allow you to put together better vehicles. Similarly, the workbench in an upgraded base will allow you to craft better weapons. In order to upgrade, you need to scavenge for ethanol, the most important resource in Far Cry: New Dawn. This offers a plausible incentive to explore Hope County.
The greater focus on looting is essentially what sets New Dawn apart from Far Cry 5. Instead of in-game currency, you now have to procure materials to upgrade your equipment. There is plenty of crafting material to collect, including tape and wire.
In other areas, New Dawn is largely the same as its predecessor, retaining its core strength, namely the gameplay. The fluid shooting and dynamic open world have transitioned successfully, and the game is just as much fun to play as its predecessor. You’ll encounter many random events during the course of your exploration, sometimes leading to unforeseen situations during hostile shootouts.
However, the new additions aren’t quite as substantial as one would’ve hoped for. There is little variety in terms of weapons and the crafting mechanic doesn’t feel as rewarding as it should have. Missions are also repetitive and based around those found in Far Cry 5, and you’ll often find yourself feeling a sense of déjà vu if you’ve played the latter.
All in all, Far Cry 5: New Dawn is still worth playing for anyone who enjoyed Far Cry 5 and wants more of the same. However, in many ways, it feels like an expansion rather than a full-blown Far Cry game. Those who go in expecting it to break new ground will leave disappointed.
Far Cry New Dawn Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Far Cry New Dawn is a first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game is a spin-off of the Far Cry series and a narrative sequel to Far Cry 5. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 15, 2019, and received generally mixed reviews from critics.
Final Score - 7.5/107.5/10
Purely as a spin-off to Far Cry 5, New Dawn does manage to offer a solid continuation of the story and already established gameplay mechanics. If we take it as a completely new game, it doesn't manage to leave that great of an impression.