Ranking of Far Cry Part 2: Far Cry New Dawn

Hello and welcome to another ranking of another series. This one is weird, considering my Far Cry ranking is a blend of old and new. So despite ranking seven previous titles in this series, this is only the second blog on it. As always, you can find the rank itself here. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Taking place seventeen years after the apocalyptic ending of Far Cry 5, you play as a mute character known as ‘The Captain,’ who is part of a group that goes around and rebuilds communities. They get the call to take back and rebuild Hope County from a faction known as ‘The Highwaymen,’ but like any good Far Cry game, things go horribly wrong. Still, you decide to stick to the plan and take back Hope County, one pink-infused death at-a-time.

To say this follows the trappings of previous Far Cry games is an understatement. You still narrowly escape from the enemies, you still take over territory one outpost at-a-time, and so on. Far Cry 5 tried to be a bit different by giving the option of how you want to tackle each leader of the cult, but New Dawn decides to step it back and instead follow a linear story path. The story ultimately doesn’t matter that much, so the change back to linear didn’t really matter. What does matter story-wise, however, are the main antagonists. I have come to love the various villains of Far Cry, but these villains have got to be the worst of the series. They are twin sisters whose sole motive is to try and be as one-dimensional as possible, only talking about how they want to take things. The antagonists of Far Cry are usually complex characters with motives that they can at least justify to themselves, but these villains feel like nothing more than the basic scavengers you find in other post-apocalyptic games. It’s a shame too, considering I think the acting done for these characters is actually pretty good.

Since this is Hope County, it should come as no surprise to find many callbacks to Far Cry 5. The biggest callback is Joseph Seed, whose cult following is still alive and breathing. It’s funny to see how his cult was all about surviving doomsday and being violent towards others, but now that they have survived it, they have nothing better to do than just quietly live in the North. He is introduced into the plot in the later half of the game, and being around him felt much more enjoyable than being around the Highwaymen, especially considering he isn’t really a villain in this game. Many other characters make their return as well, including the Rye family, the preacher, Grace, unfortunately Hurk, and others. The only character I truly cared about in the last game was cheeseburger, who unfortunately isn’t here in this game due to the fact that it is seventeen years after the last game. Still, the new and old characters are unique and fun to be around.

Old and new characters can be found throughout this game.

Old and new characters can be found throughout this game.

Far Cry hasn’t built itself on riveting stories however, so let’s get into the meat-and-potatoes of the game. This is, in large part, a Far Cry game like any other. Hell, it even takes place in the same area as the previous game. There are still outposts to captures, people to shoot, animals to hunt, and more. This is essentially Far Cry 5 with a new coat of paint (and that paint is pink). Still, there are new mechanics to talk about, so let’s talk about them.

I would say that the biggest addition to the game is a light-rpg mechanic with enemies, animals, and weapons. Enemies and animals are on four different level, and each level represents a change in health and enemy types. To counteract this, the weapons you unlock are on four different levels. While I think this idea is neat, the execution ends up being poor. The time-to-kill feels off, even with enemies at the same level as your weapon. The only time the RPG mechanic works well is when the enemy level is lower than your weapon level, but even that has the caveat of being more boring. I think the RPG mechanic is a good idea, but they didn’t get it this time around.

What is a Far Cry game without outposts? I don’t know, but this game has them so I don’t need to know. This game is different, however, as for the outposts have levels as well. There are only ten outposts in the game, but they each have three levels to complete. After capturing an outpost, you can leave it for some ethanol, and in return the enemies will occupy it again with tougher enemies and more alarms. Capturing the base three times considers it complete, but the option to recapture it an infinite amount of times to farm ethanol is an option. While I think this is a cheap way to reduce the amount of bases, I find this to actually be pretty smart. In previous Far Cry games, your items and skills outpaced the difficulty of outposts, so having the ability to make an outpost match your weapon level and skill is welcoming. The new outpost mechanic only works with the RPG mechanic, but it does work well.

Breathe easy, outposts are still here.

Breathe easy, outposts are still here.

Another thing that has the outpost leveling mechanic as well are expeditions. Expeditions are levels that take place outside of the open world and consist of entering an area, picking up a backpack of items, and extracting. There are seven levels to complete, and three levels to each level, which means doing expeditions twenty-one times. While this may sound repetitive, the expeditions do enough smart things to make the experience feel fresh. Other than the enemies changing levels, each expedition playthrough has the starting area, stash, and extraction area change locations. On top of that, the maps are large enough to see new areas each time around, and these missions offer a good way to farm materials. What’s even better are the maps themselves, which range from a dilapidated theme park in Louisiana to Alcatraz. The biggest issue I have with expeditions is wondering why the main map isn’t as distinct and cool as the expedition maps.

Since this game takes place in the apocalypse, the use of money like in the previous games doesn’t seem right. Because of this, New Dawn gets rid of money and instead focuses on scavenging. The main “currency” in the game is ethanol, which can be obtained by taking over outposts as well as a few other means. Ethanol is used to upgrade your home base, which in turn unlocks and upgrades various aspects of the game. The other thing to scavenge are crafting components, which include around fifteen ingredients and are used to craft consumables, vehicles, and weapons. The scavenging obviously makes a lot of sense for a game like this, but this mechanic unfortunately feels to grindy. While there are ways to pick up a bunch of ingredients pretty fast(like expeditions), I found myself always hunting down ingredients whenever I wanted to unlock a new weapon or vehicle. This becomes especially noticeable once you start trying to complete the weapon challenges, which requires unlocking a lot of weapons. It’s also strangely convenient to see microtransactions around crafting components, but that must be a coincidence. The crafting in this game feels out-of-balance, and it especially becomes a nuisance in the end-game.

The weapons found in this game are very much like the weapons in previous Far Cry games, but with a few twists. The biggest downgrade to the weapons in this game is the fact that you can’t choose attachments. Weapons have predetermined attachment, losing a level of variety. There are enough weapon variations in the final weapon level to distract from not being able to customize attachments, but it is still a downgrade nonetheless. One good thing to come out of this, however, is the weapon design, which looks really cool. Weapons look like they were made out of someone’s garage, with screwdrivers and paint cans operating as bayonets and silencers. The coolest addition to the weapons, however, is the sawblade launcher, which is pretty much what it sounds like. This weapon is a lot of fun to use because the saws are guaranteed to hit multiple enemies if they are near each other. As the game progresses, you get the ability to unlock new launchers with different ammo types, and finding out the true potential of that weapon is a lot of fun. Weapons do take a hit in this game, but they also have their own positives as well.

Attachments are predetermined for each weapon.

Attachments are predetermined for each weapon.

This game operates like Far Cry 5 in many ways, and one of those are challenges and perk points. You do a variety of challenges, you get perk points, you spend points on perks. There is also a home base to upgrade, which in-turn offers upgrades for yourself. I am always a sucker for base upgrades and base-building, but I found the perks and base upgrades to be annoying. Some of these perks and base upgrades offer things that are given to you from the get-go in previous games. I couldn’t fast travel until a base upgrade, and I couldn’t fish and stealth takedown (but I could do combat takedowns) until I got the perk. On top of that, some perks, like ammo increase, can be upgraded infinitely, which just meant each upgrade to it was minuscule. I have upgraded the ammo increase perk a bunch of times, but the amount of ammo I can carry hasn’t felt that significant. There is, however, one really great set of perks unlocked later on that counteracts my negative experience with the perks and then some. I won’t spoil what they are because they are worth experiencing for yourself, but I can say they are unlike anything I have ever experienced in a Far Cry game. The perks suck early on, but they eventually pick up momentum as the game goes on.

Other smaller details from the previous game also make their way to this game. There is a new roster of characters to fight besides you, and while they are less in numbers, they are better than the ones I remember in the previous game. The environments are more vibrant and lush than ever, with an emphasis on pink flowers and colorful animals. The world is still full of small activities to accomplish like trucks with prisoners or ethanol, scavengers along the road, supply drops, and so on. This does lead to a point I have about the inconsistencies of the apocalyptic world, with things like high-flying planes dropping supplies and people driving on the roads like it’s everyday commute, but that’s besides the point. The gameplay loop can be seen really early on, but that is the case for all Far Cry games. I talked a lot about changes throughout this blog, but don’t be mistaken: this is a Far Cry game like many others.

This building seems familiar…

This building seems familiar…

In conclusion, I think this is an okay edition to the series. It’s hard to judge considering this is a $40 title, but I think a mixture of how soon its release is to Far Cry 5 and my weakening interest in the series has made my time with this game okay. The new changes it offers are a mixed bag, but I would say my highs and lows with this game are about aligned with my highs and lows of Far Cry 5. I would only recommend this to Far Cry superfans or on a discount. In the end, I decided to put this title in between Far Cry 1 and Blood Dragon. This is a pretty good but by-the-books Far Cry; and I think Blood Dragon, though also a cheaper and smaller title, still has a lot more personality and creativity to it.

That is going to wrap up this list, thank you for reading, and see you whenever the next Far Cry releases.

P.S. I also put up some screenshots of the game, if you want to check them out.