In winter Ubisoft had announced the spin-off Far Cry New Dawn. At that time there was a little bit of confusion, as the spin-off plays in the same Hope County as its predecessor Far Cry 5, but should still be enjoyable as its own game. We went to Montana once more to see what the valley still has to offer after a doomsday cult and the actual doomsday.
Prosperity in Hope County
17 years after the impact of nuclear bombs, the collapse, as the Church of Eden’s Gate called it, it is flourishing more colorfully than ever in Hope County. Nature is reclaiming its soil. But it’s not only the flora in Montana that is moving. The survivors have gradually come out of their bunkers and have built their new base, Prosperity, in the southwest. In search of more survivors and resources, they seek help from Thomas Rush and his team, who travel the country and help the people rebuild their lives.
With them: You.
But not only the desire for life is stimulated in the tranquil valley, but also the striving for power and oppression. The “Highwaymen“, under the leadership of the tyrannical twins Mickey and Lou, take everything they can get under their nails. Rush’s arrival is also violently interrupted and he is captured while you escape with Carmina Rye, whose parents helped her in Far Cry 5. That’s how Far Cry New Dawn and your journey begin.
The pressure of the twin sisters is constantly growing and so an alliance with the Incarnate Devils of “Eden’s Gate” seems inevitable. But the Father has exiled himself to hear God’s plan. Instead, his son Ethan leads the remains of the Seed Church. And he has his own grudge against his father.
What does the new morning bring?
It is up to you not only to develop Prosperity into a beautiful abode, but also into a penal base. The main ingredient is ethanol, which is waiting for you in the outposts of the Highwaymen. With the captured ethanol you can build the individual areas of Prosperity that give you access to new weapons and vehicles. But other benefits, such as improved health and helpers, are also part of the growing base’s repertoire.
But the focus is on a leaner crafting system for cars and weapons, which is now more progressive. Not only will you be able to buy the most powerful sniper rifle and silencer with quick cash, but you’ll also need to upgrade your base to get better gear. It is pleasing to note that your weapons, when used well, will hurt your current enemies well without being overpowered, while you take a good beating. The difficulty level has also been increased, so the highest difficulty will also cause you problems.
With the heli out of Hope County
Also new are the expeditions that you can access after upgrading the corresponding area. This allows you to travel with other players to locations outside of Hope County and take a big shot at resources all at once in individual challenges. The expeditions bring a pleasant variety and difficulty into the game, because shortly after the Loots is taken, a GPS transmitter is activated, which sends a whole armada of Highwaymen on your neck. If you escape successfully, you can play the expedition again with more and better opponents, with more Loot of course.
The Gift from Eden (Spoiler alert!)
The latest addition is probably the gift from Eden. When you find Joseph Seed, he will see you as the shepherd of his community. However, you must pass God’s test against your inner demon. Once you’ve completed this part of the story, five special Eden skills will be added to your learnable skills. The Spirit Skill can be activated to make it harder for human eyes to recognize you. More fun, however, is the “irascibleness”, which not only makes you faster, but also protects you from precipitation. But its biggest advantage is its power, with which you can box people and animals through the air for several meters. Looks great when you throw a grizzly down the mountain.
Little new, everything’s better!
Far Cry New Dawn is very much based on its predecessor. So we meet supply and prisoner transports, which we can free, outposts, which we take over and also the Prepper hiding places find their way into the new old valley. The biggest problem Far Cry 5 had was the endless grinds and repetitive side missions to get back to the main story at some point. In Far Cry New Dawn we encounter a much shorter story, which brings the events of its predecessor to a nice end. Above all, you can turn almost exclusively to the story, without making big detours. Although the story only slows down in two places so that you can build the base, it does so so that you can equip yourself for the new, stronger opponents. The few side missions that exist are distributed in such a way that they rarely require a long detour through the area and fit seamlessly into the exploration of Hope County.
Far Cry New Dawn has no ambition to follow in the footsteps of the main series and presents itself as what it is: A spin-off from the world of the last main game. However, it does a lot better than its predecessor. Gone are long grind sessions, missing challenges and repeated content. But there is also an accessible crafting system and a progressive weapon system. All gameplay elements converge pleasantly, nothing seems unnecessarily too much or complicated.
The bright green-pink setting of the post-apocalypse is pleasantly surprising. The idea that nature rehabilitates and reappropriates the land instead of being a nuclear desert brings a fresh face to the genre.
With about twelve hours of play time at a leisurely pace for the story that many might have wished for in Far Cry 5, Far Cry New Dawn rounds off the Hope County events perfectly in a strong finale and closes the Far Cry 5 chapter. All the pacing is well chosen and although it has been announced as standalone, we highly recommend having played the previous part, at least the story.