Far Cry New Dawn Review – Apocalypse Now

We have spent the last week traipsing around the apocalyptic world of Ubisoft’s Far Cry New Dawn. The question is, should you prepare for this apocalyptic journey as well.

Read our review to find out

When we last visited Hope County in the world of Far Cry 5, preppers were everywhere and the bad guys were pretty much gone. A few years later, nuclear war breaks out and the world is in chaos. The preppers were ready and head down into their bunkers, ready to ride out the death and destruction that they prepared for. Years pass and they emerge into this new world, ready to rebuild society and create a place for their children to live. Of course there are always those that don’t want to actually work for their survival, and use their strength and weaponry to take what others have created. These are the Highwaymen, and they are Far Cry New Dawn‘s bad guys.

Hopeless County

We enter this world 17 years after the apocalypse, and it is up to us to help defeat the Highwaymen and their leaders, a sadistic and formidable set of twins that take what they want with force. The twins are daughters of a violent past that is told through only a few short cut scenes, but these few scenes are enough to show us how they turned into these violent women. They arte strong and were taught that the strong can rule the weak and take what others have worked for, with no regards for human life. They are a pair of villains raised and reared just for the apocalypse, and they are a pair of tough adversaries.

The story for Far Cry New Dawn is well written, and told through not only cut scenes but also notes, letters, and diary entries found throughout the open world and within the unique Expeditions. You could just play through the game and ignore these items and still have a good story, but these items are worth the time to stop and read and add a depth you might not expect. There are some that tie back into Far Cry 5, so make sure you keep an eye out for them as there are quite a few lying all over the place with some adding a nice touch of humor in a rather vicious and deadly world.

Prospering in Prosperity

Game play is centered around building up your home base, named Prosperity, in order to build better weapons, vehicles, and have better folks or animals to help you in a battle. For those returning to the franchise from Far Cry 5, you’ll feel right at home with the mechanics of the game, and for those of you new to the series, the game is easy to pick up and play. Once you’ve reached the Elite level of weapons, you’ll be able to start upgrading these with crafting material. The game has a bit of an RPG feel to it and that’s not a bad thing. Upgrade material is found everywhere and maps for these items can be purchased using ethanol, which is also fairly easy to obtain. These maps also give you plenty of fast travel points for easy navigation around the vast open world, so unlocking at least a couple of these maps can aid you on your journey.

Another point for fast travel are outposts, once you’ve captured them. These outposts are also a great way to earn ethanol, as you can scavenge them them and allow the highwaymen to come and take it back. Once you do that, you can then proceed to capture it again, with the difficulty level increasing from a I to a III, with each successful recapture earning you more and more material. Capture it three times and it becomes liberated, but locks in at a Level III difficulty. As long as you have it captured, you can fast travel to it and have access to a garage or boat dock, along with a work bench for crafting weapons, ammo, and turning in any items you have found along your journey.

Help is almost always just a radio call away

As you progress through the story missions, you’ll unlock different specialists needed to help out around camp, as well as assist you in your journeys as a Gun For Hire. These specialists are perfect for those that want to play the game in solo mode and each one has their own skillset. There’s a sniper, a berserker, a heavy machine gunner, a rocket launcher dude, a stealth master, your trusty attack dog, and then there’s Horatio, the awesome attack boar. Depending on what kind of help you need, should determine which one of these folks you call upon. You can switch out at almost anytime, with the exception of Expeditions, so trial and error comes in handy.

Each one of these folks also improve their own abilities as they rack up their own personal kill count, so be sure to give them all plenty of work. Personally Timber is my ride-or-die since he not only is an excellent weapon, he can also highlight those much needed resources and bad guys. You can command your specialist to attack bad guys for you, and Timber seems the best for this. He can single-pawedly capture an outpost, with you just pointing at the bad guys to take out. Now that’s a good boy.

Alcatraz looks like a Beautiful Hell

Expeditions become available once you’ve upgraded Prosperity and Roger Cadoret’s chopper. These are 7 unique locations that are outside of the main game world and are in places like Florida, Louisiana, and Alcatraz, to name a few. Your goal is to find a marked back pack, travel to an extraction point, and then survive until Roger returns with the chopper. These places are jam packed with resources and can earn you some much needed material in order to craft Elite weapons. You can also find a special outfit and easter egg from Splinter Cell‘s Sam Fisher awaiting you, if you can unlock the mystery to its location.

You can bring one of your specialists with you, but they have to already be called before you launch an expedition and can’t be brought back from the dead if they die within the expedition. They can only be revived if you fail, or once you completed the expedition and return back to Prosperity. Expedition difficulty goes up automatically as you successfully complete them, and just like outposts they go from Level I to Level III, with Level III expeditions becoming more random as far as where the item you have to extract is placed. Each Expedition is its own game world, so the developer was able to pack in a large quantity of bad guys for you to kill and be attacked by, and create a large area for you to explore and hunt in.

A World of Things to Do and See

The game world is very much alive with plants and animals galore. It’s a colorful place one wouldn’t expect to find in a post apocalyptic landscape. Some time has passed since the bombs dropped, so some color should be expected. Some plants have medicinal value and can be picked and stored for later use. You can create medicine packs once you have enough materials, so keep an eye out for those plants with a visible shimmer, as they only take a second or so to pick, and can be found just about everywhere in the world.

Animals can also be found all over the place, and there are some that are huge. The Monstrous animals are much harder to take down and have glowing red spots that are their weak points. these animals are worth more and can be used to craft Elite weapons and vehicles, so taking them down is worth the effort. There are plenty of smaller animals for you to hunt and how you kill them will determine how much material you obtain from them. using a bow is generally the best way to insure maximum quantities, but throwing knives work as well. Taking out a small rabbit with a .50 cal handgun isn’t going to leave much for you to harvest, but it does the job.

Perks for your Character

More RPG like elements can be found the game’s Perk system. These are items and traits that are unlocked through perk points that can be earned by completing tasks within the game, like capturing outposts, completing expeditions, and saving hostages. These perks include a grappling hook, a wingsuit, fishing improvements, and the ability to fix or sabotage a vehicle, to name a few. Some of the traits are stackable, so just unlocking one doesn’t mean you are done with it. You can keep stacking the light ammo perk to keep increasing how much ammo you can carry for weapons, giving you more and more ammo capability. You can also stack the medkit perk giving you a crazy amount of health available, as well as the throwable perk giving you more and more Molotov cocktails and grenades to chunk.

Limited co-op Saving

The one main gripe for the game has to be the fact that when playing co-op, only the host’s gameplay is saved. While resources can be earned for non-hosts, if you and a buddy want to play the game start-to-finish, you’ll have to play through it twice in order to give each player credit for all of the missions, with each player taking turns hosting. This includes capturing outposts and even completing expeditions. While the game is fun to play, having to do everything twice can become very repetitious. Games like Ghost Recon Wildlands don’t have these limitations, so it’s disappointing to find that here. While this shouldn’t be something to turn you away from a great game, it is something you should be aware of if you are planning on playing some co-op missions.

Ubisoft’s Far Cry New Dawn is a gorgeous game with a colorful world that is full of many things to see and do. The story is well written, with a cinematic feel at times, with one scene reminiscent of Martin Sheen’s epic journey up the Nung River in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.

Priced at only $39.99 in the US, the return to Hope County is well worth its price tag. Don’t hesitate to see what a post apocalyptic world may look like, and do your part to insure the bad guys don’t prevail.


Far Cry New Dawn review code provided by publisher. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.