Developed by Ubisoft. Action, PEGI 18.
Released in UK on PS4/Xbox One/PC by Ubisoft on 15th February 2019, RRP £49.99.
Spoiler alert! There are plot details for Far Cry 5 in this review, so unless you’ve finished that game or simply don’t give a damn stop reading this article right now. Still here? Okay, let’s proceed. Far Cry New Dawn is the first in the series that acts as a direct sequel to its predecessor, picking up many years after the events of Far Cry 5 where a nuclear bomb was dropped on the great United States of America.
Fast forward 17 years and things really haven’t changed much save for the post apocalyptic landscape that takes it cues from the likes of Mad Max and id Software’s Rage titles. The sun-baked cornfields of Hope County are gone and in their place are mutated flora and fauna that feel like they’ve been ripped from the pages of Alex Garland’s screenplay for Annihilation. But the one constant, and the driving force behind the thin narrative at play here are the villains of Far Cry, and in this case it’s two sisters, Mickey and Lou, leaders of the Highwaymen, a group of raiders that tear their way across the country taking whatever they want and slaughtering anyone that gets in their way.
That’s where you come in as the Player, taking on the role Thomas Rush, a man security chief of sorts tasked with taking down the sisters and making the world a safer place. It’s standard video game stuff, folks but Ubisoft delivers it with a smile its face, and in many ways this truncated experience cuts out a lot of the fat that slows the pace of it’s brethren. Yes, it’s still very much a game made up of main quests and side quests, but the streamlined experience makes for a more enjoyable one. In this new world you’ll scavenge, craft weapons (including the new crossbow that launches circular saws) and liberate the good folk of the wastelands from the clutches of tyranny.
Tweaks have been made to combat so that when a stealth takedown of an outpost or enemy base goes south it doesn’t feel as chaotic as the previous entries in the series. Enemies now have higher ranks than you too, which forces you to play it smart and whack the tougher guys in a mission before mowing down the lesser powerful minions. These are smart design decisions that really help shake the combat in the game up. But don’t fret too much diehards, because this is still the Far Cry you know and love – it’s just taken all the best bits of the previous instalments and packaged it up in a smaller world for a smoother experience.