Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Far Cry New Dawn
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (24.64 GB)
Release Date: February 15, 2019
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Original MSRP: $39.99 / $49.99 (US), £39.99 / £47.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game will be available on Episode 613 of the podcast.

Far Cry New Dawn is getting the Far Cry Primal treatment. New Dawn takes place seventeen years after one of the possible endings of Far Cry 5 as you return to Hope County as a new main character. This is the first post-apocalyptic take the Far Cry team has ever done.

I got some early hands-on time with Far Cry New Dawn a few weeks ago, so if you’re looking for even more detail you can read that here.

In this review I will not spoil any of the campaign or other major story elements. Far Cry New Dawn starts off by showing you what the last seventeen years have been like and the motivation behind your newest villain, or in this case, villains.

Right off the bat you’re introduced to “The Twins”, two female villains who only know this post-apocalyptic world and nothing else. They believe that people are either problem solvers or problem makers.

Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

If you are a problem maker then they solve that for you through force. If you are a problem solver then they want you to solve problems for them by any means necessary. They will either make you or break you.

The Far Cry franchise has never been about the protagonist. It’s always had a heavy focus on the antagonist, but I feel that has changed in New Dawn. No, it hasn’t become about the protagonist, but it has become more about the world and characters you encounter living in it.

Gameplay:
The main gameplay change in Far Cry New Dawn is the level system for enemies and for weapons. You will now run into various types of enemies, Levels 1-3 and Elites. Your goal is to be on the same level or over-leveled when you run into these enemies.

You can accomplish this by upgrading your home base with the resources you collect from the world. Once you get enough resources you can begin to upgrade your weapon crafting table to unlock higher level weapons.

Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

This system is very impactful to your gameplay experience. I went into a few encounters and was under leveled based on the enemies I was facing and I could feel the difference right away.

It’s a Far Cry Game. I know that sounds like a bit of a cop out, but not much has changed over the past ten plus years of this franchise. Far Cry New Dawn is a first-person shooter with some RPG-lite mechanics.

As you progress in the world, you fight off enemies and loot resources to upgrade your main base (Prosperity) to be able to craft better weapons, build stronger vehicles, or even upgrade how many and how strong your health packs will be.

You decide which upgrades to focus on first. There is no right or wrong way to play the game. You can just mainline the story and get small upgrades as you go, or you can ignore the story and find all the specialists and guns for hire to bring back to Prosperity.

Specialists are exactly what they sound like, people of Hope County with special skills. You’ll find a map maker named Bean who helps you with opening the map up more and showing you the best places to get resources. You can also find Nic, who helps upgrade your vehicles for better travel around Hope County, along with many more.

The Guns for Hire mechanic returns from Far Cry 5. These are people that you’ve saved that decide to join your team. You assign these people to your D-pad and they’ll accompany you on missions where you can then direct them to do certain task.

Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4) Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

Each Gun for Hire brings unique skills to the table like sniping, explosives, and more. You’ll need to figure out what works best for you and stick with it. I feel like this has regressed a bit in New Dawn.

I found myself having to keep telling my Gun for Hire to attack a target. It just felt very buggy. Guns for Hire and Specialists are part of the open world and are not woven into the main story.

Also returning from Far Cry 5 are the Outposts, small bases throughout Hope County that the Highwaymen have taken control over. The main resource that you get from liberation of these outposts is ethanol, which is the material that the world runs on now.

Ethanol is the main source for all your upgrades in Prosperity, and the first time you liberate an outpost you get 100 ethanol. You can earn more for clearing the outpost without the alarms being used or avoiding detection by the enemies.

Once complete, you can reset the entire outpost and give the Highwaymen control again which allows you to try to take it back with more enemies at a higher level and more alarms. You’ll be rewarded with even more ethanol for completing these outposts multiple times.

Challenges are another way to upgrade your character by doing various tasks while playing. Getting fifteen sniper rifle kills will reward you with three perk points.

Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4) Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

Points can be used to upgrade how many weapons you can carry, your ability to do stealth takedowns of higher level enemies, or how many health packs you can carry. You can cater these perks to your personal style of play.

Expeditions are another way to play and they’re accessed by finding a specialist in the open world. The specialists will take you out of Hope County and into other parts of the country to continue to rip resources from the Highwaymen.

One of the expeditions sends you to an aircraft carrier where you need to scout out the area, steal a package of supplies, and get to an extraction point without dying. Expeditions are the most rewarding way to get needed resources as well as a nice change of scenery.

Hunting and fishing returns here as well. There’s not much of an impact on gameplay though. It’s just a “thing to do” while exploring the world. You can trade animal skins for materials you might need to craft weapons, but I never felt any real need to go hunt or fish.

Visuals:
While the game does take place in the same location as Far Cry 5 it looks very different. Of course it was heavily damaged during the catastrophic event seventeen years ago, but it’s also beginning to show vibrant and colorful new growth.

The Highwaymen have been marking all their territories with brightly colored graffiti and all the pink everywhere gives Hope County a fresh, yet familiar look.

Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4) Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

Audio:
Not much has really changed in the audio area. I still get creeped out when going from one spot to another and getting attacked by a skunk or some other animal.

The guns all have a familiar yet boring sound to them, nothing unique, and sadly the enemy dialogue is repetitive. However, the cutscenes during the story mission are amazing and the voice acting is excellent.

Emotions are shown well on the faces of characters and you can really feel the tension rising as you progress through the story.

Online/Multiplayer:
There’s nothing new to report here either. One of my main complaints with Far Cry 5 was the lack of progress in co-op for the non-host. This same system remains in New Dawn.

If you’re hosting the session, you will continue to progress and upgrade your character but your co-op partner will not progress at all, even if you are both on the exact same story mission.

I still feel this is just a mistake and they need to figure out a better way to handle this. Also, once co-op is active you lose your Gun for Hire, which takes a little fun out of trying to cause some mayhem.

Review: Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)

Conclusion:
Not much has changed from Far Cry 5, which is fine because a lot of the gameplay systems worked really well.

The continuation of the story is solid and I do feel like anyone that plays New Dawn before playing Far Cry 5 will feel somewhat lost.

During some of the final story missions it did get a tad bit frustrating clearing out waves of enemies then attempting to take down seemingly overpowered bosses. I found myself scrambling for ammo and medkits constantly while trying to complete the story.

I was slightly under leveled gear-wise during these final encounters, but I feel that either way, the bosses were serious bullet sponges compared to the rest of the game.

Overall though it’s a lot of fun and a good addition to the Far Cry 5 story.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Dave Hunt

Dave Hunt

Podcast Co-Host
Reviewer/Features Writer

Helping people in games is the most fun I have ever had.

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