Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Also available on: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Release: 14th February 2019
First off let me start by saying this. FAR CRY NEW DAWN IS NOT A RE SKIN OF FAR CRY 5! I mean yes it is technically the same map, but that's where the similarities start and finish.
I have spent the last 7 days amassing over 50 hours of gameplay on Far Cry New Dawn. and only mere hours before writing this review did I complete the thoroughly entertaining and engaging storyline! Granted, had I rushed through I could have probably completed it in approximately 10 hours or so! However, I prefer to take my time and with a game as beautiful as Far Cry New Dawn its very easy to get lost in the moment and waste 3 hours at a time doing menial but entertaining tasks such as hunting or scavenging.
If you have played a previous Far Cry game you'll know what the franchise is all about, the concept is always fairly similar. This game is no different! Ubisoft's tried and tested recipe, although slammed by some as unoriginal, I believe is uniquely Far Cry! I mean you don't buy Forza and then complain its too much about cars...….. Do you?
Far Cry is a concept I love, without giving away too many details, essentially you're dropped on an island and you have to fight for survival and look for an escape whilst simultaneously trying to bring down an army or cult. This time the game has been given a real "Post-Apocalyptic" face lift and I love it!
Ok, lets get into the details of Ubisoft's latest instalment in the Far Cry franchise!
The first thing you'll notice in this game is just how vibrant and god damn beautiful the entire map is. From the colours, to the wildlife you just get the feeling that Hope County is well and truly alive! Had I known 6 months ago what I now do, I would have definitely would have invested in the colour pink! I mean it is everywhere in Far Cry New Dawn... Which don't get me wrong, is a good thing. It adds to that vibrancy and aliveness I was talking about. The old dilapidated landmarks from Far Cry 5 look amazing and whilst familiar most are shown from a whole new perspective. For example the Nuclear bunker used by the Seeds in FC5 is now completely underwater giving you the chance to explore and experience it in a way you couldn't previously.
Unlike previous Far Cry instalments Ubisoft have added a few "light RPG elements" to Far Cry New Dawn, the most noticeable is the enemy levels and health bars. These new levels and health bars really improve on the overall feel of the game, giving the player a greater feeling of responsibility for your actions. Gone are the days when you could just run into an outpost and kill every enemy with a handgun, as the new "Elite" enemies take a lot more planning and firepower to take down. Despite being somewhat of a minor addition, the new health bars also really add something important to the game. Its funny, I never knew I needed them until I had them, and now I have them I simply couldn't imagine life without them! knowing how much damage you're doing to your enemy is essential in any shooter and something the previous Far Cry games have not had. That being said it's not something I think the previous games required so much, as it only really became necessary against the stronger "Elite" enemies, something that previous titles didn't include
The second biggest RPG element was scavenging. Far Cry has always had a looting system but never in the way Far Cry New Dawn implements it. Scavenging for crafting materials and using them to create new weapons, vehicles and even med kits is something that feels very Fallout! Something I personally really enjoy and was really excited about going in. No longer does Hope County deal in cash.... Ethanol is the new currency of choice it would seem and everybody is willing to kill to get their hands on it!
The Guns are understandably very Post-Apocalyptic which is both good and bad. Good because well it obviously fits the feel of the game perfectly, Adding new weapons such as the saw launcher (which is quite possibly the most fun weapon ever included in a video game). The saw launcher is exactly the kind of weapon you'd expect to see someone running around with in such a scenario. The bad however is the customization, well there simply isn't any! it's strictly a bought as seen situation, meaning no adding or removing sights etc... The guns are all "upgradable", however I fail to see any value in doing so as it simply adds a very minuscule amount to the damage you inflict. If you have an elite weapon, they already do enough damage that upgrading feels a bit like throwing away valuable resources.
Probably my favourite new feature to Far Cry New Dawn is the addition of Expedition's. Do you remember Call of duty MW2 had those single player "Spec ops" game modes? Well expeditions feel very similar with a few distinct differences. Basically you're flown into a specially crafted map filled with enemies and you're tasked with retrieving a package filled with important materials for your settlement. You have 2 choices, the easy way or the hard way? The quiet way or the loud way? Once you have presumably chosen the quiet way and stealthily slipped past the numerous guards you collect the package and receive extraction instructions from your helicopter pilot. You then have a certain amount of time before a tracker in the package activates and a wave of enemies converge on your location. Your last challenge is to survive these waves of enemies until the Chopper arrives. Once you've completed an expedition on one difficulty you can go back and try again on a more difficult setting in the hope of gaining even more, valuable loot.
There are other new features such as supply drops which again, add even more depth to the gameplay. Similarly to The Division, or Dying light, these supply drops occur randomly throughout the game and the goal is to either get to it before the enemies do or be prepared for a fight, in an effort to take whatever is contained inside for yourself.
Getting back to what I said at the very start of the article "FAR CRY NEW DAWN IS NOT A RE SKIN OF FAR CRY 5! I mean yes it is technically the same map, but that's
where the similarities start and finish." I meant it! Far Cry New Dawn almost doesn't feel like Far Cry 5 at all despite what you'll read in the comment sections of many Facebook posts. It's not until you come across a major landmark of Hope County that you even realize you're in the same place, and even then your hit with more of a sense of nostalgia rather than familiarity. Simply put this game is a sequel and not a re skin. Do I think it maybe should have been a FC5 DLC I hear you ask...? Absolutely not!! Not only is this game priced like it is a DLC, but it has far more content than any DLC I have ever played. Admittedly the DLC for Far Cry 5 was pretty poor, which I think is maybe where a lot of the criticism for this game comes from. But honestly, this is easily my favourite Far Cry since FC3, maybe even ever!
There's really not a lot to fault about this game, It wasn't glitchy like Ubisoft games can sometimes be, it had a good story, the twins were a unique take on the usual Far Cry villain, it looked beautiful, and each of the new features actually improved the gameplay in some way...… There's not a lot of people I wouldn't recommend Far Cry New Dawn to, unless you specifically dislike Far cry games or even open world RPG's then chances are you're not going to like it, but for everyone else, do yourself a favour. Give Far Cry New Dawn a go. It's just a really good game!