It should be noted that this review contains spoilers for Far Cry 5
What can I say about Far Cry: New Dawn that hasn’t been said about Far Cry 5? Not a lot. Ubisoft’s newest open world adventure picks up 17 years after the events of Far Cry 5 in a post apocalyptic version of Hope County (albeit smaller). Gone is the rustic landscape of Montana, replaced by vibrant neon colors of flora and fauna caused by the fallout. Short of the new visuals, there aren’t any big changes in a franchise that has become a little stale.
That’s not to say that the game is dull, far from it. You jump into the shoes of Cap, a security specialist for a group that’s helping settlements rebuild after the apocalypse. As usual, things don’t go according to plan and you’re thrust into conflict with the Highway Men led by a set of twins dead set on ruling the wasteland. So in other words, it’s pretty much every Far Cry game ever. While this is all standard fair for these games, what sets them apart is usually the main villain. The games have really come to hinge on these antagonists. Unfortunately, the twins don’t really stand out compared to some of the prior malefactors. There was potential, but sadly it just doesn’t pan out.
Speaking of the villains, your normal rank and file troops are largely generic. This time around however, enemies are tiered. The further you get into the game, the more you need to use the new upgrade system. You’re able to see the damage done via health bars and points taken off. Your level one guns may be able to take on lower level enemies, but soon they become obsolete, forcing you to craft new and more powerful weapons from the various items found in your travels. Luckily, there are an abundance of items scattered around the map. The only issue I had was finding ethanol to upgrade my base. Even then, redoing a few outposts yielded enough to finish the game. There are also new expeditions that take you out of the core world and drop you into a one-off mission for more supplies. I played a couple but they aren’t necessary to progress the main game.
Mechanics are largely unchanged from previous entries. Shooting, driving, or using your wingsuit are nearly identical. You still get a stable of discoverable companions to help you out on your way and each has their own specialty. Whether it be your trusted canine or, and I quote, the sniping grandma “with the body of 30 year old but a face like a scrotum that got left out in the sun”, there’s a different gun for hire for every situation. Hurk is back and I can confirm he’s glorious.
Overall, the “been there, done that” feeling hits you too many times with this game. I enjoyed my time with it, but I’ve always loved what Far Cry is. But even for me, the formula is getting tired. The game is pretty short too, with a completion time of 10 to 15 hours if you focus on the core story. Given the $40 price tag, it isn’t bad and what it does, it does well. But at some point, Ubisoft is going to have revamp the franchise. They proved its possible with Assassin’s Creed : Origins so hopefully the next iteration will be something drastically different. A new coat of paint simply won’t cut it anymore.