On Feb 15, 2019, “Far Cry: New Dawn” launched on Xbox, PC and PS4 worldwide. Leading up to the launch, there was much speculation that this was simply a large DLC to “Far Cry 5,” since it was set in the same world, using the same map and several of the characters from the previous game.
“Far Cry: New Dawn” is set seventeen years after the events of “Far Cry 5.” The ending of “Far Cry 5” saw our protagonist, Rook, trapped in the bunker with Joseph Seed, the leader of Eden’s Gate cult.
The start of “New Dawn” opens up in an already chaotic world, where our new protagonist, Cap, has come to attempt to rebuild a society in Hope County. We are met by two new formidable foes, Mickey and Lou, twins that are set on destroying any sort of structured society and remaking it into what they want.
Joining them are their lackeys, the Highwaymen. The Highwaymen are ruthless, and will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. If the Peggies from “Far Cry 5” were bad, the Highwaymen might actually be worse. There have been reports of being unable to escape them in a vehicle.
The aftermath of the nuclear winter leaves us with a vibrant, beautiful landscape in ‘superbloom,’ where mother nature has taken over and reclaimed much of the habitat.
From beautiful, abundant pink flora to albino deer and very large bison with attitudes, the world of “New Dawn” is as much about fighting off the wildlife as it is fighting the new villains and their team.
Much like most “Far Cry” games, and very similar to “5,” our character is plunged into the world on their own. The character creation happens once we reach the first “save point” or settlement of Prosperity.
Oddly enough, many players may recognize the site of Prosperity as John Seed’s home from the previous game. Character creation is similar to that of “5,” which was the first to feature this ability. You can choose your character’s sex, race, hair style and clothing, with the ability to earn more pieces of clothing throughout the game.
Missions feel similar to that of “5,” and many locations will bring back a sense of nostalgia. For instance, the first major Outpost to be reclaimed is named ‘Chop Shop’, but if you look close enough, you can see that it was once the town of Fall’s End from “5.”
Joseph Seed is back, in possibly one of the biggest plot twists. He has renamed the cult to New Eden, and his son has taken over.
His son, Ethan, seems to be his biological child from a woman named Megan who was merely referenced and never seen in “5” via notes found while scavenging. Ethan sends you north in a trippy, blissed out haze to find his father.
As you head north, you finally get to see what the bliss, the drug from “5,” has done while mutated from the radiation. It burns pink, the game’s feature color, and will actually start to hurt you if you don’t burn it off by shooting pyres with flaming arrows.
You finally find Joseph and he makes you eat an apple, which triggers yet another wacky, tripped out vision of you fighting your “soul” which turns out to be a massive bear.
From heart-wrenching discoveries of what happened to your previous companions to stories of triumph and hope, “Far Cry: New Dawn” feels like a true wrap up to all the questions players had at the end of “Far Cry 5.”
One of the saddest discoveries is the true fate of the protagonist from “5.” When first venturing to New Eden, you’re sent to the underground bunker, where Joseph and the Rook spent the 17 years until emerging, to retrieve Joseph’s Bible.
While there, you can read several notes from Joseph and the Rook. In the Rook’s notes, you see them slowly begin to give in to Joseph’s philosophy and change their way of thinking entirely. There is a companion available that we gain once completing the first New Eden mission, named The Judge.
It’s clear to see once you put two and two together that Rook is now The Judge, forever changed by Joseph. They can no longer speak (not that we ever did in “5”), and are reduced to grunts through what sounds like damaged vocal cords.
However, that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of mysteries in “New Dawn.” For instance, while walking around, you can come across large, human-like corpses scattered throughout the landscape that seem to have been burnt.
These humanoid creatures would have been at least 30-40 feet tall with massive spanning arms and legs. There’s no reference to them and nothing ever states what they are, so we’re left wondering. Perhaps they’re part of something to come?
There have been rumors that there won’t be any DLC to the game, but so far there doesn’t seem to be confirmed reports.
“Far Cry: New Dawn” feels much like a post-apocalyptic wasteland game should. It has narrative mixed with the chaos, a strong villain, or in this case, villains, and plenty of plot twists to get you through the game.
Coming in around 30 hours of playtime, including completing all achievements and all side quests and missions, the game feels playable without needing to grind. It features a drop in/drop out multiplayer, meaning friends can join and leave at any time without disrupting gameplay for the host.