It's a cliche, but Far Cry: New Dawn is the video game equivalent of popcorn. Bits of it taste great, but most of it is just there to be consumed, free of expectation. You shovel it into your mouth and admittedly it can be difficult to stop until the bag is empty, but you'll barely remember eating it once you've sat down and had a real dinner.
For prolonged periods of open world play, New Dawn is fun. At times, it borders on being really fun, but it never quite hits the highs that it likes to tease. It bigs up certain story missions as non-stop thrill-rides, but in practice they just consist of the same things that you've been doing for hours out on the game's map. You shoot people, you blow things up, and you enjoy the gruesomely satisfying knife-kill animations.
Set after the events of Far Cry 5, New Dawn takes place in the same fictional North American county of Hope County. The land still feels vast and natural, but following nuclear war, the trimmings have changed. It's no longer just blue skies, dark green trees, and dusty roads. Bright pink flora blooms everywhere, the sky is slicked with aurora borealis- esque hues, and even the animals look like they've been spray painted by 90s ravers.
Visually, it's a much more interesting title than Far Cry 5, and the post-apocalyptic nature of the map lends itself better to exploration. In the previous game you would rarely get out of your vehicle and stomp around on foot -- the map was little more than a number of locations connected by big open roads -- but here, there are ruins of the old world ripe for looting. Scavenging plays an important role in New Dawn as you accumulate crafting materials, but even though it's just the mindless gathering of springs, gears, and other easy-to-identify items, it's a compulsion that's difficult to ignore.
If you really wanted to strip New Dawn down to its most basic form, it's another game in which you must increase numbers in order to watch numbers increase. Your base of operations, a cosy little settlement named Prosperity, must be levelled up and its core components upgraded. The camp comprises of several facilities that each serve a predictable function. Upgrading the garage lets you craft and call upon more reliable vehicles, while improving the workbench allows to you build better weapons.
And boy are you going to need better weapons. Enemies in New Dawn, whether they're colourful animals or thugs from the tyrannical Highwayman faction, quickly scale in terms of difficulty. The release introduces a number of basic role-playing game mechanics, but the most notable is the new 'rank' system. Almost everything revolves around four colour-coded ranks: common (grey), rare (blue), legendary (purple), and elite (yellow). Enemies have them, weapons have them, and mission difficulty is indicated by them.
This means that in order to effectively dispatch a legendary or elite enemy -- that is, killing them without having to resort to cheap, AI-abusing tactics -- you're going to need legendary or elite weaponry. The damage output from anything less isn't going to cut it, to the point where you're probably going to run out of ammo before your foe actually hits the floor.
And so, much of your time spent with New Dawn is going to boil down to chasing that next weapon rank -- it's how the game measures progress. Once you've hit that elite tier, you know that you're almost untouchable, and at first, it's rewarding. Troublesome, armoured foes can suddenly be killed with a few quick bursts from your elite assault rifle. A couple of shots to the head and that deadly cougar isn't anywhere near as deadly as it was two hours ago.
It's easy, accessible, streamlined progression, but once you're on top and the pursuit of promised power is over, New Dawn presents a hollow experience. You find yourself driving right on by the supply trucks that, only a few hours ago, you would have hijacked without a second thought. You don't need the materials anymore. In fact, you don't need much of anything anymore. By this point you're probably drowning in unused resources, which makes the inclusion of eye-rolling microtransactions even more questionable. If you're handing over real money so that you can speed up the already simple process of upgrading your arsenal, then there's little point in actually playing.
That's not to say New Dawn should be a longer, more in-depth experience. The RPG elements do provide a welcome structure that Far Cry 5 lacked as it awkwardly funnelled you from one forced story scenario to the next, and by the end of this sequel, it feels like you've come full circle in a reasonably satisfying way. Again, it's popcorn entertainment -- you've finished the bag and you're not really hungry anymore, but the movie's over and it feels like it's time to go and do something else.
There's a reason that we haven't mentioned New Dawn's story yet, and it's because it's largely unremarkable. It's a loosely constructed tale of revenge and ham-fisted religious undertones, and like Far Cry 5, its attempts to tell a serious, mature story are offset by try-hard dialogue and characters who frequently make nonsensical decisions that result in nonsensical outcomes. Almost every narrative beat in New Dawn feels like it's at odds with how the game is played.
It tries desperately to be human, to make you care about Hope County's inhabitants, but aside from a handful of comical moments, it falls completely flat. It's hard to take things seriously when just minutes ago, you were seeing how far you could launch a wild boar by having it step on your remote explosive. Heck, forget the exploding pigs, it's hard to take anything seriously after seeing New Dawn's final boss fight.
Far Cry: New Dawn can quite easily provide a weekend of fun, but when it comes to recalling your favourite games of 2019, don't expect to remember this post-apocalyptic adventure. Its streamlined RPG elements do add some welcome structure, but this trek through Hope County may seem familiar to a fault. It's almost a shame that Ubisoft didn't go all-in on making New Dawn a totally over-the-top spin-off, rather than a sequel that struggles to tell an all-too-serious story.
If anyone's got any questions I'll do my best to answer.
This was always gonna be a 6 or 7. I will get it, but only when 1) it’s on sale, and 2) when I’ve cleared some/all of my backlog.
Flash Sale it is.
@ShogunRok I guess it is wait for a discount. 😁
"Yeah, it's okay."
Ubisoft in a nutshell.
@Flaming_Kaiser @Splat @Nightcrawler71 Yeah pick this up at half price or less and I think you'll have a good time.
Nice to see this at a low price in Game - £37.99. Next to Metro at over £50, it does look like it offers value. If it does or not, I wouldn't know.
@Flaming_Kaiser a nice deep discount, i have other games to play too.
Yes. But a nice one 🙂
I see it more as DLC of sorts 😶 I love Far Cry 5, and this gives more stuff to do, and a bit of fresh paint to go along. The expeditions are an entertaining addition as well. Reminds me of Wildlands. I really enjoy it, mostly because it's a good excuse to, in a sense, play more Far Cry 5
This review was garbage. Nowhere are there mentions of the crafting system on the weapon wheel, or the expeditions, or the outposts that can be leveled up. Did this reviewer even LIKE any of the previous Far Cry games? That popcorn analogy was absolutely asinine and does nothing for the person reading this, trying to get an informed decision.
You dont even mention anything about the guns for hire, or the upgradable perks. No mention of how fun this game is with co op? No talk of how you can upgrade weapons with resources like Ghost Recon Wildlands Tier One? You didnt even touch upon the crazy powers you get by late game, or the fact the world isnt empty of enemies after you beat the game.
This is seriously the worst review ive ever read for any game ever. A ******* SIX?! This game at the worst is a 7 (imo its a 9.2). Im never using this site as a credible source for reviews after reading this trainwreck of a "review".
You need to fire this guy and repost a non ***** review
@invalid_username Get banned kid.
What a fair decision to ban someone when you get called out for writing a terrible review.
@motaman Yeah, clearly it's a comment that's not against the rules of the site or anything.
@Rick_Deckard Essentially, yes. Gameplay's almost identical barring the added RPG elements. Nothing much wrong with that since Far Cry 5 plays quite well (and the RPG elements do improve this), but if Far Cry 5 didn't appeal to you, then this probably won't either.
@motaman Interesting how you and @invalid_username share the same IP address, isn't it?
Whelp, everything that invalid_username guy said was true, however much your feelings and ego were hurt. I suppose maybe he/she couldve refrained from swears, but everything else was substantive.
@motaman Bye, @invalid_username! Did you really think we can't see that you're "both" logging in from the same computer?
@Rick_Deckard Ah, well if you're big on Far Cry then I think you'll have no problems enjoying this (assuming that you aren't burnt out).
I played and finished Far Cry 5 not too long ago and I honestly thought that I'd struggle to get through New Dawn, but I finished it in a weekend and had a fun enough time. I do think the revamped setting is very nice — cool game to just play on and off, even though it's never an "amazing" experience or anything.
Thanks for reading!
@huyi We had a action trade in 2 games and pay €5.😋
Still no sale. 😁
I've yet to play far cry 5 and I wanna do the before this. Plus I'm more interested in Rage 2 and Metro Exodus, in that order.
@ShogunRok Is there any way to turn off the damage numbers? I really hate that in any game I play. Totally takes away from any immersion. Thank you.
@dd8900 Yep, you can turn just about every visual addition on or off in the options menu. Health bars, damage numbers, everything. Fortunately Ubisoft's really good with options these days.
@Flaming_Kaiser well yeah especially when you have to give up 2 games to even get it to that price.
@get2sammyb Oh yeah? What am I wearing?
Just looks like dlc, I felt Far Cry 5 was largely uninspiring but did have very good core mechanics, it's just a shame the game had too many generic copy and pasted tasks in between what few genuinely very good ideas it had. I actually bought the gold edition of that but never finished it so if anything I'll go back to that and it's dlc.
Also Rage 2 looks infinitely more interesting than this
The Ubisoft copy and paste machine is still going full steam ahead. Choo choo!
A far cry from essential.
Now that was some constructive criticism right there.
I just couldn't finish FC5. You were repeating the same quests three-fold, and by the time I'd beaten the second sibling I was over it and couldn't do it again. This setting looks interesting, even though its just the same location with a new splash of colour, but i can see myself getting bored real quickly. I'll wait for FC6 or FC7 or whatever the next installment is called.
I quite enjoyed FC5, prpbably my favourite after FC3, but yeah once I finished it I was ready to go to another landscape and some major revamps to the game systems! The franchise needs some fresh air honestly and this isn't it
Remeber, detective Get2sammybchu is watching you!
@ShogunRok Thanks much. Couldn't find that info anywhere. Will be picking this up at the first sale.
@Nightcrawler71 you'll never completely clear your backlog. I don't think I know anyone who has.
@NomNom I heard in Germany you receive a free copy of Fallout 76 if you succesfully clear your backlog.
@andreoni79 Almost. 😂 Actually, you'll have to play Fallout 76 if you don't manage to clear your backlog in 12 month...
This is my new favourite comments section on the site. Thank you angry man.
Hmmm, think I'll wait for Rage 2 before choosing between this, Metro and that for this years post-apocalyptic excursion.
I didn't bother with FC5 after completing all of FC2, 3 and 4. It just all feels too familar really. Good but not amazing if that makes sense.
Interesting cover. If it was the other way round (two white people and one black person) it was considered racism and would be the end of the World, so apparently it is well accepted ...
I enjoyed my time with FC5, but never really got excited about this iteration. I’ll probably pick it up on sale at some point. In the meantime, I’ve got FC3 Classic if I need an open world FPS fix.
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