Rushed, and low effort from Ubisoft's part. There are some redeeming features, such as the sawblade launcher, but overall it's a bit of a miss.
Ubisoft have been putting out some remarkably good games over the past couple of years, so I had high hopes for the latest offering in the Far Cry saga, New Dawn – a spin-off sequel to Far Cry 5. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, I thought this would’ve given the writers and developers so much freedom to think big, and have a Mad Max theme that was out of this world, possibly exceeding the amazing work of Far Cry 5. Oh, how wrong I was. The whole thing is a bit of a mess.
The game starts with an ‘okay’ cinematic, explaining how life prevailed and how it was all peaceful until the Highwaymen turned up, blah blah blah. And that’s where the story dies. It’s so simplistic, and not what I have come to expect from Far Cry games, which usually have deep elaborate characters with arching plot lines that keep you on your toes. New Dawn has none of that, just some one dimensional antagonists trying to ruin everyone’s day by killing and stealing. Mickey and Lou, the twins and leaders of the Highwaymen have so much missed opportunity to build them as characters, yet Ubisoft decided to completely skip over that and any characterization full stop. I could get why they’d cut the story if say they’d made an elaborate map, which they haven’t, it’s exactly the same as the map from Farcry 5, except half of it is missing and there are fewer landmarks (although the scenery is wonderful). If they were planning any DLCs (which they aren’t), it would be understandable. It feels like a recycled Far Cry 5, but worse. There are also less NPCs, which doesn’t help when it comes to building a story.
So what are the good points of the game? Well, you can own a gun that shoots saw blades that bounce off walls, and you can have a mutant boar called Horatio follow you around, and listen to an amazing soundtrack while you travel around. Those are the only three reasons to actually play New Dawn. There is some new stuff, but it doesn’t really add much to the adventure and seems like a waste of time. Everything you want to make requires you to improve your settlement and collect resources from looting locations occupied by the Highwaymen, going on expeditions (which are actually pretty fun) or taking over outposts. It’s just a lot of running errands and not many actual quests. Like with previous Far Cry games, it just feels like you spend your whole time collecting stuff to buy weapons with, whereas you should be popping enemies’ skulls open from 200m away with a sniper rifle.
New Dawn seems like a half-arsed attempt at trying to make a bit more money off of the success of Far Cry 5 without putting in any extra effort, and quite frankly, I’ve come to expect more from them than that. If you want to play New Dawn, just save yourself some money and play Far Cry 5 again; you’ll have more fun that way.
Far Cry: New Dawn is available now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.