Spoilers for FarCry 5 ahead..
FarCry New Dawn has me intrigued. I really enjoyed the gameplay of FarCry 5, in particular, the guns for hire system really stood out to me. I enjoy having companions in games, it makes the experience feel less lonely, and a couple of heroes taking on a big threat feels less immersion breaking than a one-man army, at least in most settings.
But AI companions can be hit or miss, in some games they are brain dead and useless, other times they only vaguely exist in a gameplay sense, you can see them, but their interactivity with the world and enemies is faked.
I found the guns and fangs for hire in FarCry 5 to be a perfect balance. They were useful if you utilized them right. They would take cover and heal you if you were downed, but they didn’t win the game for you.
There was a large variety of them and they were each pretty different in personality and from a gameplay standpoint. I also really liked the fact that they would jump into vehicles and follow me if there wasn’t room in the one I was driving. I even liked most of the story. The number of times the player character got kidnapped was absurd, but the characters, plot, and villains were interesting…..right up until the end.
New Dawn will feature makeshift weaponry, and conventional ones have a rugged look to them.
I hated the ending with the fiery passion of a supernova. At the time, I ranted that it was the worst ending to a game since the Mass Effect 3 debacle. Everything the player did was torn away, and the insane villain was shown to be right after all. And friggin nukes fell on Hope County Montana, yes that happened. The player character was captured and locked into a bunker with the villain…and that’s it, the end, roll credits.
I hated every single aspect of that ending. It felt like a giant middle finger to the player and everything they had done in the game. To add salt the wound, that was considered the “good” ending.
There are clever ways to subvert the expectations of a viewer witnessing a story unfold. But Nukes drop, villain wins, is not it. After a 40-hour playthrough, I felt it was a hamfisted and terrible attempt at being edgy. No subtlety, no build up. Just one big bait and switch.
You would think I’d hate the existence of FarCry New Dawn. But surprisingly, I’ve found myself intrigued by it. New Dawn is the first true direct sequel to a previous FarCry game. It follows years after the events of FarCry 5 in a now, post-apocalyptic Hope County Montana.
Knife kills make a very welcomed return in New Dawn
Right out of the gate. The mere thought of post-apocalyptic FarCry sounds like a great setting for the series to explore. But deeper than that, even though I hated the ending initially, I’m incredibly curious to see those characters return. How are they? What do they think? What is that jerk Joseph Seed up to? What happened to the player’s character? What about the cult? What about Nick Ryes and his new baby?
These are questions that would never be answered without a direct sequel, and since all of FarCry 5s DLC was unrelated to the main story, I never thought they would actually be answered. Now that they might, I find myself chomping at the bit to seek them out.
It’s entirely possible, that if Ubisoft has done a good job weaving the stories threads, that they may change my mind about the ending and I’m excited to see them try. But if I get kidnapped in New Dawn, even once…I swear..
The story isn’t the only reason I’m excited. The guns for hire system is making a return and applying FarCry 5s gameplay to a post-apocalyptic setting would suit my palette just fine. Of course, the full co-op that was featured in 5 is also available in New Dawn.
The Twins have big shoes to fill as FarCry villains. I wouldn’t say that to their faces though…..
Ubisoft seems to be playing heavily on the setting. Guns aren’t being manufactured in the post-apocalypse. So New Dawn will feature a lot of makeshift weaponry. A lot of post-apocalyptic settings really skim over this fact and I’m interested to see just how far New Dawn draws on it. The weaponry in Farcry 5 was one of its low points for me, very generic and ho-hum without much variety.
The biggest changes are the inclusion of some RPG style systems. This move isn’t super surprising given Ubisoft’s success with the Assassins Creed franchise switching similar gears. I am interested in seeing how this change translates into FarCry’s gameplay. The change to Assassins Creed was a positive one for my own enjoyment.
Weapons and enemies have ranks now, which is going to make some for some odd moments where a foe takes more bullets than realistically possible. But its also going to amp up the difficulty, as it did in Assassins Creed, which is something I enjoy.
New Dawn takes place in hope county, but its been years since the bombs dropped so it may not look all the familiar.
Prior to Assassins Creed Origins, I never felt like an assassin. I could simply take on an infinite amounts of enemies in combat. But when Origins implemented levels and ranks, it forced me to have to stop and plan my moves, as opposed to brute forcing my obstacles.
I really liked that aspect and I’m curious to see if these changes are as positive in New Dawn as they were in Origins. Another issue I’ve had with all prior FarCry’s is poor progression, I’ve always ended up with a surplus of money in the game, and nothing to spend it on.
This might change in New Dawn with the various RPG systems and the fact that you now have an upgradeable base of operations to toy with. Adding to the replayability and potential challenge is the fact you can pillage outposts for resources. Giving yourself some currency, but causing the outpost to spike up the ranks of its defenders the next time you show up.
It should be interesting to see how the people of Hope County adapt to the apocalypse.
I’ve got my concerns. Obviously, a lot of the map from FarCry 5 will be reused since New Dawn takes place in Hope County. It’s not a full priced title and its release is less than a year apart from FarCry 5.
But the new gameplay changes look interesting. The twins, New Dawn’s villains, seem to continue the series streak of memorable antagonists. And the post-apocalyptic continuation of Hope County is something I want to explore and experience. Will it totally redeem the ending of Farcry 5? Probably not. But as long as the game doesn’t force me into the shoes of Princess Peach multiple times. I think we might get along just fine.
FarCry New Dawn releases February 15th on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4
If you are on the fence, be sure to stay tuned for my Review of FarCry New Dawn once it releases.