Far Cry: New Dawn Review

Richard Walker

Never has the post-apocalypse been so fashionable, with countless games rendering armageddon in muddy browns and pallid greys, streets lined with bombed-out buildings, rusting cars, and general all-pervading unpleasantness. Far Cry New Dawn is a post-apocalyptic game that's nothing like your ordinary Mad Max vision of the world's end, favouring lurid pink verbena flowers over vast stretches of sand and dust. It's quite refreshing to witness humanity's last whimper in such glorious hues, but then, this is Far Cry; a riot of colour and uniquely offbeat characters.

It's also the first time the Far Cry series has done a direct sequel, albeit one that's a relatively truncated version of the usual colossal map with its multiple points of interest dotted all over the shop. In this regard, New Dawn is actually quite inviting, its story and activities more focused across its comparatively narrow strap of open-world land. This works in the game's favour, and despite its status as a smaller Far Cry 5 spin-off, New Dawn feels anything but small. In fact, there's a good few hours of typically fun and anarchic mayhem to indulge in, as you set about building a new life for your band of peaceful settlers, all while new antagonists, twins Mickey and Lou and their Highwaymen plot burning it all down to the ground.

Playing as captain of security ('Cap' for short) for American settlement builder extraordinaire Thomas Rush, it falls to you to clear outposts and secure vast quantities of ethanol, Far Cry New Dawn's building currency used to upgrade your growing haven of Prosperity. What could be seen as something of a chore is a joy thanks to the always reliably ace Far Cry gameplay loops, foraging, fighting, and stumbling into emergent encounters ensuring you're almost always enjoying yourself. There are some missions that prove hugely frustrating, and at times, the weapon wheel is still a pain in the posterior, but all in all, Ubisoft knows what works and doesn't deviate too far from it.

If you've played any of the Far Cry games, you'll have a good idea of what to expect from New Dawn, and if you've finished Far Cry 5 (we'd recommend that you have before playing this, as it is a direct continuation) you'll enjoy revisiting old haunts and uniting with familiar faces years on from the 'Collapse', when the bombs dropped and irreversibly altered the landscape of Hope County. There's actually an array of new stuff in New Dawn, mostly under the umbrella of its 'light RPG' mechanics that will cause you to rethink your approach to how you tackle enemies and outposts.

Every vehicle, weapon and enemy now falls under a certain tier, so trying to take on a top tier Legendary Enforcer with a common tier one gun isn't going to work out well for you. Similarly, deciding to tackle one of the game's new 'escalated' outposts, enabling you to 'scavenge' and repopulate an outpost with increasingly tougher enemies multiple times for increased ethanol rewards, will also require careful planning. Unless you want to feel horribly and hopelessly outgunned. Mind you, with the saw launcher and its ricocheting projectiles, you'll feel like a god (of sorts).

Beyond story missions and outposts, there are new Guns and Fangs for Hire to recruit, hunting to partake in, and Prepper's Stashes are back as 'Treasure Hunts'. These remain one of the game's highlights, with smart puzzles and traversal elements to overcome to earn a generous batch of rewards, including some Far Cry Coins to tempt you towards the game's (entirely optional) microtransactions. Perks are what you'll be angling for to enhance your experience, though, and New Dawn introduces a whole host of new abilities to spend your perk points on. To specify what they are them here would ruin the surprise, so I won't.

Completing Challenges is the best way to earn perks, while the ongoing quest to accumulate ethanol can be achieved through outposts, intercepting Highwayman supply drops, or by embarking upon Expeditions to U.S. locations outside of Hope County. These are fun little self-contained missions that bring with them some neat rewards, while offering a welcome break from the pink floral plains. Not that there isn't loads to do in Hope County, of course. Far Cry New Dawn is every bit as fully-featured as any entry in the series to date, and is a real indication that there might be something to doing a direct, condensed Far Cry follow-up.

There's online co-op fun to be had, myriad weapons and vehicles to craft from the salvage you'll find lying around, and the core objective of building Prosperity as a safe haven for you and your fellow survivors keeps things interesting. Succeeding in being every bit as enjoyable as any full-blooded Far Cry game, New Dawn also introduces more than a few new ideas of its own, meaning there's plenty of impetus to dive in and give it a go. If you've finished Far Cry 5 and you're after more, then New Dawn is pretty much essential, continuing the story in a novel and consistently entertaining fashion.

Far Cry: New Dawn

Relatively short but still incredibly sweet, Far Cry New Dawn is yet another fine instalment in the series, and a genuinely excellent Far Cry 5 follow-up that works equally well as a standalone experience.

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A good licensed soundtrack, eerie synth score, and excellent voice performances mean Far Cry New Dawn sounds great.


A gorgeous, polished game that conjures some lovely sights amid its endless expanses of pink flowers. There's a wee bit of clipping here and there, but New Dawn still looks lovely.


Played Far Cry 5? Or Far Cry 3 and 4, for that matter? Then you'll already know what to expect. As robust a shooter as ever, with great traversal, and a slightly fiddly weapon selection wheel.


An amply proportioned open world, New Dawn's segment of Hope County is more than enough to sustain its various activities, of which there are many that will ensure you're playing for hours. The final boss is a bit crap, though.


Yet another very good Far Cry list. There's a nice mix here, progression-based stuff rubbing shoulders with some creative tasks, some of which are very satisfying. Solid as a rock.

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