Far Cry New Dawn is the stand-alone sequel to Far Cry 5. Here, you are thrown back into Hope County, 17 years after the nuclear catastrophe that occurred at the end of Far Cry 5 where you are quickly introduced to the new villains: The Highwaymen who have seized control of what’s left of Hope County.
This addition does not divert much from the Far Cry formula. You still take down outposts, hunt to get crafting resources and create chaos where ever you go. However, it does keep the improvements made in Far Cry 5 such as perks, guns for hire/companions some of whom we have already met in the previous game and only having a minimalist onscreen compass for navigation.
That’s not to say that Far Cry New Dawn does not come with any improvements of its own. AI is noticeably smarter although you do have some NPCs who run into flames and expect not to die… or, I don’t know, maybe that’s just the radiation getting to their heads.
Gun handling has also improved. They feel like they have a lot more punch compared to Far Cry 5. Another addition is base building. It’s vital as it allows you unlock and craft better items, prepares your base to face attacks from the Highwaymen and with more improvements you unlock the expedition mode; but more on this in just a bit.
To build your base you would need to capture outposts for resources or you could just raid them and come back for more valuable resources but the trade off is you would face a higher difficulty of enemies.
Expedition mode brings a much-needed change of scenery as it takes you out of Hope County and brings you to exotic locations, such as Alcatraz where you must steal a package and high tail it back to your helicopter with every enemy hot on your heels. These missions can be cleared with stealth although I failed at that every time. Thankfully with the improvements to AI and gun play, repeating these missions at higher difficulties was a treat.
The one big difference from the stereotypical Far Cry formula was the antagonist, or should I say antagonists. The twins, Mickey and Lou leaders of the highwaymen are just one-dimensional and uninteresting. This made the final boss fight uneventful and felt like more of a drag. Don’t get me wrong, their character design is bad ass, it’s just that they lack that psychotic charisma that more memorable antagonists had like Joseph Seed and Pagan Min. This really made me miss the religious fanaticism seen in Far Cry 5.
Revisiting Far Cry 5’s reworked map still brought me joy in clearing outposts or just creating chaos. The story and The Twins could have been better, but expeditions are a thrilling addition to the franchise.