I am a huge Far Cry fan. It’s arguably my favorite shooter franchise, thanks to the sheer freedom and variety of things you can do and approaches you can take when taking on enemies. Full stealth with a bow, throwing knives, and silenced guns? Cool. Want to cut the alarm system, set remote explosives and sabotage cars so they blow up and go full guerrilla tactics? Also doable. It always surprises me that more shooter fans aren’t into FC…
That being said, when I first heard about Far Cry: New Dawn — especially after learning it was a direct sequel to FC5 and recycles the map — all I felt was a resounding “It’s interesting that it’s the first ever direct sequel, but.. WHY?”. After having played it, I now feel a resounding “Hm.. OK, it’s fun”.
Graphically, it’s Ubisoft, arguably one of the top world builders of this generation (The Division, Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon), so it’s as gorgeous as you’d come to expect. A detail I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did was noticing how much past recognizable locations had changed. Buildings partially buried, nature reclaiming sheds and water towers, bunkers that were once teeming with enemies in FC5 are now eerily empty, etc.
If you haven’t enjoyed Far Cry since around the third installment, I don’t see you enjoying it now. It’s still classic/fantastic Far Cry. As I mentioned earlier, you have near-unparalled freedom when it comes to how you want to approach this game.
As far as the new gameplay elements, this is where it’s a mixed bag. Some things are cool, others feel like steps backwards. Remember how awesome it was in Far Cry 5 to head into a fight with two partners? A sniper and Hurk (bazooka-wielding pseudo mascot of the franchise), A BEAR and a COUGAR (literal one, not a hot older woman), a dog and bae (Jess, master hunter)… Well, for whatever reason, now you can only have one at a time. And the animal helpers went from those three to just a dog a warthog. There’s a new emphasis on crafting, which I like, and you can no longer just buy weapons. This time around, there are different weapon tiers; to access the higher tiers, you have to upgrade your workbench at the Homebase. A minor detail that nagged at me, though: with the emphasis on crafting, why not bring back having to collect animal skins to expand ammo capacity/make bigger ammo pouches? Seems like a weird oversight.
Perks have also been changed up, and not sure if for the better. A big portion of perks have been reassigned to features unlocked as you upgrade facilities in your Homebase, which uses a new currency (ethanol). So in New Dawn, you need ability points and ethanol to unlock roughly the same abilities you could unlock in FC5. A welcome return to the franchise are superguns. In past years, these were very expensive weapons with fantastic stats. In 5, they were literally just cool skins — no scaled up stats at all.
The story and new villains are good, but the most interesting thing by far is seeing the role Joseph Seed has ended up in. That’s all I’ll say, don’t want to spoil anything. Should you buy this? I’d say yes. But you don’t need to buy it right now. You can wait for a sale (though it did launch at 40 dollars). If you’re a FC fanatic, you know you’re getting it; and while it’ll be familiar, I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed. If you’re new to Far Cry, New Dawn is actually a good time to jump in. FC5 has been as low as 15 during some digital sales and this is 40. So you could have two great games and still be under the usual $60.
As good as it is, it feels weird to have a new FC so soon (it’s not a yearly series). While it’s as good as its predecessor, it doesn’t bring enough that’s new to the table and manages to take a few steps backwards. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but I also can’t give it more than… 3.25/5 Bibles.
P.S. Loot EVERYTHING and fuck whoever decided to remove double takedowns from the series.