Windows Central Recommended Award

Far Cry New Dawn is the direct sequel to Far Cry 5, and continues the story after the original's nuclear ending. If you choose to continue pursuing Joseph Seed — also known as The Prophet — the world is engulfed in fire and the United States is irradiated. However, pockets of survivors still cling to existence around the country, but your journey again leads you to Hope County, Montana. This time around, you're part of a group trying to rebuild the country with the help of an army engineer.

When Ubisoft advertised the game, the company focused on the colorful visuals and out-of-control enemies. This was a little misleading because the visuals — despite being vibrant — are a noticeable downgrade from Far Cry 5, especially in terms of lighting and textures. A strange film grain effect is also present, which severely diminishes clarity. Additionally, not enough focus is given to the new villains, The Twins, and they fail to come across as an even bigger threat than The Prophet. While Far Cry New Dawn is inspired by films like Mad Max, it fails to achieve that level of sheer madness.

Thrilling apocalyptic adventure

Far Cry New Dawn

$40

Bottom line: Far Cry New Dawn continues the story after Far Cry 5's disappointing cliffhanger.

Pros:

  • Colorful visuals.
  • Tight shooting mechanics.
  • Concludes the Far Cry 5 story.

Cons:

  • Inadequate character development.
  • Powerful weapon microtransctions.
  • Short campaign.

Story and visuals

Far Cry New Dawn is dotted with low-resolution textures. It's unclear if these are the final assets, or if there is an issue with loading them into the game. Either ways, noticing them is an incredibly jarring experience, especially during cutscenes. Far Cry New Dawn looks like it's based off of Far Cry Primal instead of Far Cry 5. It reminds me a lot of what happened with Assassin's Creed Odyssey. It looked like it was an evolution of the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag engine and lacked the visual refinement found in Assassin's Creed Origins.

There is a strong focus on salvation.

As you may have seen in the Far Cry New Dawn trailers, the game wants you to work with The Prophet to take down The Twins. However, these new enemies aren't as twisted, and the plot seems to have been dulled down since Far Cry 5. It's a more human struggle for power, with some supernatural elements sprinkled in there. There is a strong focus on salvation, and realizing the error of your ways. The narrative is succinct, but those expecting villains on the level of Vaas Montenegro or Pagan Min will be disappointed.

Weapons and crafting

Luckily, the gameplay elevates the experience. Shooting in Far Cry New Dawn feels much more precise than Far Cry 5, and the supernatural abilities — like double jumping and an ultimate melee attack — make you feel like a demigod. While weapons can't be customized anymore, there are various tiers, and crafting all of the Elite gear is an addictive gameplay loop. I found myself embarking on various missions across the country to collect resources while the hours flew by.

Unfortunately, Far Cry New Dawn makes you feel completely underpowered at the beginning of the game. This can be somewhat frustrating because in order to level up your base and progress through the campaign, you need to liberate Outposts. This task requires an Elite weapon because the enemies at higher difficulties are impossible to defeat.

Microtransctions

Far Cry New Dawn gives you the option to purchase powerful weapons with actual currency. This seems like a necessity because even when you're playing on easy, killing enemies is very difficult. Getting slaughtered again and again, or failing missions, will make you want to buy a few Elite weapons in the beginning of the game. This is an unfair practice in my opinion because it should be easy to unlock Elite crafting from the get-go. No one should feel like they have to purchase a weapon with microtransactions. Far Cry New Dawn isn't a free-to-play game, it starts at $40!

You can grind for hours to get enough credits to buy powerful weapons, or you can part with IRL cash.

I couldn't purchase Far Cry Credits due to the fact that the packs aren't live on the Microsoft Store at this time. However, I was able to find a workaround which involved a significant amount of grinding. The easiest way to do this is to scavenge Far Cry Credits to buy one of the assault rifles in the Store. This way you're competitive, especially when you're trying to earn enough Ethanol to upgrade your base. If you loot all of the Stashes, that will give you 450 Far Cry Credits because they contain a handful each. After you've done that, you should purchase the pink assault rifle — by far the most versatile weapon on the Store — and cleave through Monstrous enemies with ease. This makes combat fun, instead of incredibly frustrating.

Resource collection

Far Cry New Dawn seems to feature the same map as Far Cry 5. Upgrading the Expedition is the best way to get around because it allows you to fast travel anywhere, even locations you haven't cleared. After you've acquired an Elite weapon, you should farm Outposts and collect enough Ethanol to upgrade Prosperity. Since upgrading your base plays an important role in the plot, getting it out of the way early is a good decision. You won't hit a massive wall later in the game, like I did.

Far Cry New Dawn focuses on collecting numerous resources. While it's similar to previous entries in the franchise, this seems like it's much more focused on survival and scavenging. You need a lot of skins and raw materials to make weapons. You can also upgrade certain skills and weapons over and over, so that enhances replayability.

Expeditions are short missions which take you all over the United States. You can explore various locations like a downed military cargo plane to a derelict ship. The goal is to pick up a package and take it to an extraction point. Doing so awards you various resources which are necessary to craft Elite weapons. Playing through the half a dozen scenarios again and again should be enough to collect them all.

While Far Cry New Dawn features good visuals, tight shooting, and a stable 30 FPS frame rate, there are some issues related to accessibility. The subtitles are on by default and they have a lot of typos. Ubisoft should release a patch which fixes this soon, because it's embarrassing to say the least. Many gamers rely on them to ascertain the story, and reading phrases that contain numerous grammatical errors can be confusing.

The lowdown on Far Cry New Dawn

Despite its positive attributes, Far Cry New Dawn feels more like the endgame to Far Cry 5. It's almost like an epilogue that should've been included with the base game, maybe as part of the season pass. In order to properly conclude the story started in Far Cry 5, you have to play Far Cry New Dawn.

4 out of 5

It's definitely not a standalone experience, because you have to know the history of characters like The Prophet in order to understand the plot and the way people have changed over the years. Far Cry New Dawn is a great experience, especially with its addictive gameplay, but it always feel like it's a side note in a larger saga.

A colorful apocalypse

Far Cry New Dawn

A succinct Xbox One X shooter.

Far Cry New Dawn is a great experience, especially with its addictive gameplay, but it always feel like it's a side note in a larger saga.

Asher reviewed Far Cry New Dawn on an Xbox One X console using a copy provided by Ubisoft.

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