The prevailing mystery behind "Far Cry 5" centered on the end times. What if Joseph Seed was telling the truth? What if the civilization experiences the apocalypse? If you chose a specific path, players encounter a shocking reveal. The world erupts with explosions and Seed and the deputy take shelter underground.
"Far Cry New Dawn" explores the aftermath of that ending. Creative director Jean-Sebastien Decant said the team began working on this follow-up during the development of "Far Cry 5" as the studio toyed with the finale. "'Far Cry' is a lawless frontier," Decant said and the postapocalypse lends itself to that.
Players take on the role of the captain of security for a revolutionary named Thomas Rush. He has been going up and down the West Coast establishing order 17 years after the world collapsed. On his way to Hope County to help out Carmina Rye, his train is sabotaged and Rush is captured. As a survivor of the attack, players have to battle the Highwaymen, the leading gang of the region, and establish a settlement called Prosperity.Interestingly enough the format is comparable to "Far Cry Primal," another project on Decant's resume. Similar to the prior game, players get to create their own protagonist, making the hero male or female. From there, the Captain is thrown into a world that's starkly different from many postapocalyptic projects.
After the bombs drop, the world recovers and wildlife flourishes. Instead of a brown wasteland, Hope County is filled with forests and hot-pink flowers. The Captain ventures into this wilderness and establishes contact with new characters such as Bean, who runs an information network of scouts called Wikibeania, and familiar faces such as pastor Jerome Jeffries.
The returning characters and the landscape tie "New Dawn" closely to its predecessor. Allies such as sniper Grace Armstrong have changed. She now has poor eyesight but still battles the Highwaymen, who are led by twin sisters. Meanwhile, players discover that Carmina Rye is the daughter of Nick and Kim Rye. In "Far Cry 5," players encountered a mission where they helped Kim Rye when she was in labor. Players will run into several other colorful characters, and once players help them out, they move to Prosperity and help it grow, improving the settlement and expanding the offerings to players.
Returning fans will also visit landscape they recognize from the first game. Old churches will be covered by dirt. The underground silos that "Far Cry 5" veterans fought through are flooded and filled with mutated animals. Players shouldn't expect anything outrageous like two-headed creatures from "Fallout." They're more like animals that have behave differently or have a touch of the unusual about them.
The new wildlife can be intimidating, but "New Dawn" offers new fangs for hire to counteract them. Boomer and Cheeseburger appear to be gone, but they're replaced with Timber, a clever dog, and a boar named Horatio. Again, the AI or human co-op partners offer a big help because "New Dawn" can be more difficult.
Although the combat remains essentially the same, players face new dangers in the form of tougher enemies and strange wildlife. The gameplay loop remains focused on scouting an area like an outpost and finding potential alarms and trouble spots. From there, it's best for players to methodically kill enemies silently with the bow and arrow or stealth attacks. In addition, new weapons such as the Saw Launcher open up new tactics in battle. The blades can ricochet off walls and kill targets hiding in cover.
Additionally, players will face important decisions when taking over an outpost. They can install their people in the area or they can leave it for the rival gangs to take it over again. The latter raises the level and difficulty of the outposts, but the rewards will also be better. This can be done to an outpost until it reaches level 3.
Most of the changes revolve around the light role-playing and scavenging elements. Because resources are scarce, survivors have to search the forests and rifle through prepper bunkers and ruins for supplies. These materials are used for makeshift weapons or upgrades. They can also be taken back to Prosperity to expand the colony.
Of all the resources, ethanol is the most important. It's used to improve different parts of the colony. It's also required for Expeditions, a new feature that lets players explore small maps (1 kilometer by 1 kilometer) beyond Hope County. Using a certain amount of ethanol, helicopter pilot Roger Cadoret will ferry players to locales such as the Navajo Bridge in Arizona or Alcatraz Island in the Bay Area.
These handcrafted missions require players to enter the stage, locate specific loot and bring it to the extraction point. Ubisoft Montreal creates some variety on each map by changing the loot spot and the starting and exit point. These missions can be difficult and it's often better to take it on with a human partner.
Meanwhile, the light RPG elements comes across in the progression system. As players take on more missions and complete weapon challenges, they gain Perk Points which are used to power up the Captain. Perk Points are need to gain new abilities like a wingsuit or grappling hook. Part of strengthening the hero lies in the upgrading of weapons so that they deal more damage. The improvements will be noticeable as players see the damage they're dealing in "Diablo'-esque numbers on a foe.
Although its a sequel taking place in the same locale as "Far Cry 5," "New Dawn" has a distinct identity with these changes. Those tweaks along with missions that require players to pay more attention to the surroundings and environmental storytelling make the latest addition, a unique foray to the numerous postapocalyptic games coming out this year.
"Far Cry New Dawn" is scheduled for release Feb. 15 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
This article is written by Gieson Cacho from East Bay Times and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.