Frido takes a look at the latest installment in the Far Cry series.
Hello friends and fiends, this week we have the newest addition to the Far Cry series, Far Cry: New Dawn. The game follows the story of Hope County, the setting of Far Cry 5, after the ending. If you haven’t finished Far Cry 5, MAJOR spoilers ahead as this is a direct sequel. This is the first direct sequel to any of the Far Cry games, which seems like a real risk by Ubisoft. Let’s dig in and see if this “risk” was really worth it.
Far Cry: New Dawn follows the events of Far Cry 5, which follows the cult of Joseph “The Father” Seed and his siblings. During the extent of the game Joseph and his followers—the Project at Eden’s Gate or “Peggies”, a doomsday cult—are trying to take over Hope County and force others to join their cult. If you don’t join, you die. At the end of the game you confront Joseph and his cult; you can choose to either walk away and leave Hope County or you can resist and fight Joseph. Either ending you choose is the same: the apocalypse happens and it is the end of the world. This game happens years after the bombs drop in the apocalypse; the world has been reborn and you are helping Thomas Rush who is helping settlements around the nation break free of the tyranny of the Highwaymen. The Highwaymen are run by The Twins, Lou and Mickey. Your job is basically the same as in any Far Cry: to help the good guys break free of the bad guys by gaining territory and rescuing characters.
Let’s start with the good. The game is visually stunning. To be fair, most of the Far Cry series looks amazing. If you pay close attention to the sky, there’s an Aurora Borealis in the sky that looks amazing. Starting out, you must pick a difficulty. Unlike most games that present the games as easy, medium, or hard, Far Cry: New Dawn presents the game difficulties as Explorer, Adventurer, and Hard-Ass. These options are more enjoyable because they aren’t an insult to the player and the game lets you pick how you want to play the game. Would you rather spend time exploring the area and enjoying the scenery? Or would you rather just go around liberating outposts and fighting Highwaymen? The choice is yours, and the game doesn’t beat you up for that.
Another thing that can be appreciated (especially as a content creator myself) is the addition of streamer mode which takes out copyrighted material like music so videos from players can be monetized. The achievements in this game are tracked, which is always helpful. There is an addition of shields for going in guns-a-blazing, and you can throw them at the bad guys.
You still have your animal ally characters, because honestly, who wants to run around with a human ally when there’s an option of a freaking wild boar? And your animal ally gets to sit in vehicles with the player this time around! There are also a lot of recurring characters from the first game. The first ally character you encounter is Carmina Rye, the daughter of Nick Rye who was born the day the bombs fell. Grace Hawkins the amazing sniper also makes an appearance early on. From what I can tell, Joseph Seed will be presented later in the game.
Despite its visual appeal, Far Cry: New Dawn however is a beautiful mess. The game is gorgeous, but really just looks like a reskin of Far Cry 5 with the addition of some flowers. It’s even the same gameplay as Far Cry 5; there isn’t a lot that differentiates the two installments of this series.
There are a lot of things that make this game good, but a lot of these things don’t make the game worth buying. The game really feels more like a DLC than a new release. “But wait, Frido!” you say, “It’s only $40; they didn’t make us pay full price!” And to that I respond with… MICROTRANSACTIONS. Yes, for the first time in the Far Cry series (that I’ve seen), Ubisoft has forced microtransactions. With all the bad publicity EA gets for their microtransactions, it’s shocking that they would present them now. Skins and apparel can be forgiven; most games with online play offer those items. However, Far Cry: New Dawn gives players the ability to buy perks within the main campaign. It doesn’t make sense as to why someone would buy these unless they want to be overpowered early in the game. Gamers will eventually unlock all of the perks just like in all of the Far Cry games. On top of that, there aren’t even a lot of perks.
The story isn’t interesting in Far Cry: New Dawn either. You don’t become super attached to the characters within the little settlement of Prosperity. On top of that The Twins, Lou and Mickey, aren’t intimidating. Before people cry “Sexism!” here, there are a TON of intimidating women in video games: Elizabeth/Anna DeWitt, Lara Croft, Ada Wong, Fem Shep, Tifa Lockhart, Sonya Blade, Samus Aran, the list goes on and on. The Twins, however, feel like bratty children who didn’t get their way. They don’t wear a lot of clothing, and they’re meant to look sexy, which is not desirable. Give us some antagonists that make me fear the next encounter with them, make me really hate them, make me feel bad for the protagonists for what they’ve done. Not this bratty sisters crap.
There are lot of other issues within Far Cry: New Dawn. You have to go to workbenches to upgrade anything–not just guns, but anything. In some of the games, you can upgrade on the go rather than going to a certain place to upgrade items. The first weapon you receive in the game, while really cool, is way overpowered. Players have the ability to buy maps rather than unlocking them on the go, which just seems really lazy. And the AI characters can be really annoying, which is why I choose to use the animals instead.
The game just feels lazy and super rushed. The fun thing about the Far Cry series is that the games are always in new interesting places that are fun to explore, but since this takes place in the same area as the fifth installment, it’s not as enjoyable. This would have done better as a DLC expansion than as a full release game. Unless you have the funds and the time, I don’t suggest buying this game.