Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 02/15/2019
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One of my biggest problems with Far Cry is that it’s too big. Every Ubisoft open-world game has become so large that it’s boring to explore. I’d rather have a smaller area with more interesting things to do. No longer does a large open world impress people these days as it’s nothing new. These games just keep getting larger and larger, but what you do inside has not evolved much. Running around taking out the same outpost 50 times, collecting things, hunting animals, upgrading stuff – it’s just so trite that I just don’t care for it anymore, and Ubisoft is the worst offender out there.
New Dawn is a direct sequel to Far Cry 5 in which you play as a nobody who has come across Hope County in it’s isolated post-nuclear world of Montana on a train of survivors and get ambushed by the sisters Lou and Mickey. These are the antagonists of the game, and while they have a great personality and hit that Far Cry villain meter just right, their screen time is cut down to just a few scenes. The entire game is basically Far Cry 5, but more post-apocalyptic this time around. If you played that game nothing has changed here outside of a new ranking and looting system that is forced upon the player to even progress in the story. It’s something that drove me insane through the entire game and I always hit a progress wall because I had to stop and grind for material to unlock the next weapon bench level which then unlocked the next weapon level but to craft those weapons I had to grind for different material. I mean, Christ! Do you see what I mean?
The game is broken down into four different levels with the highest being an Elite rank. The enemies are ranked and are only immune to weapons of that rank as well. This is the stupidest system they could have done to try and make the game more interesting. I can use level two weapons on level three enemies but I will die and dump tons of ammo into them and I can’t carry enough even with my full ammo perks. The entire game can really only be played one way, to be honest. The main material to upgrade your main outpost, Prosperity, is ethanol. This is acquired by liberating outposts. Oh jeez, liberating outposts? I wonder where I’ve done that before. Once you liberate the outpost you get ethanol and some bonus if you don’t set off alarms or aren’t detected. I believe there are about a dozen outposts in the game, but the redundancy doesn’t end there. Once you liberate all the outposts you need to re-liberate them! Yeah, what?! This is to put that rank system into play and let you take it on with the next level of enemies. Then you get even more ethanol and the process repeats. You can’t even progress to chapter two without upgrading all the stations at least once which requires liberating all outposts. You can steal ethanol trucks, but it’s not enough to bother with.
Once you finally progress some you are at least using level two weapons and I stuck with this for most of the game. However, I hit a wall at the end of the game as I couldn’t finish a mission without elite weapons. To do this I had to re-liberate a few outposts, upgrade the station, then grind for materials to get at least one elite weapon. To do this I had to do expedition missions that are so boring and annoying especially without a real co-op partner to get circuit boards that are needed for most elite weapons. That wasn’t enough though! I needed to hunt the elite animal for its skin too! Just…the walls never ended and it was just one after another after another. In between these walls, there’s really nothing to do outside of collecting materials all over the place. That’s literally it. The game is a borefest outside of the mildly entertaining story mode as I did enjoy seeing the villains on the screen including Joseph Seed.
The game map is also just too damn big. It’s smaller than Far Cry 5, but everything is spread so far apart that driving is a must, but I never even bothered flying anywhere as you have to grind to unlock flying vehicles. I feel like all the work I did in Far Cry 5 was reset after playing this game. The entertaining parts of Far Cry 5 are absent like the Arcade mode and the stuntman levels. There are a few side missions here to acquire allies, but they are mostly uninteresting. After I got just enough stuff to finish the game I felt there was no point in continuing. The entire game is built around grinding to progress in the story, but once that’s done what’s the point of finding everything? You can unlock perks for stealth kills, and various other things that are mostly useless like faster cooldown on mounted weapons…really? What’s the point of that? The game relies way too much on this material system to build up everything without it ever meaning anything after the story is finished.
Overall, New Dawn is worse than Far Cry 5 but taking out all the fun and wrapping the game around a grinding material hunting fest and smacking you will progression walls constantly. The map is too large and empty, there aren’t really any modes or things to do outside of looting materials, and the only really entertaining parts of the game don’t get much screen time. This feels like the most useless Far Cry game to date as if it never existed anyone would miss it. Even if you did play Far Cry 5 there’s no reason to even play this outside of sheer boredom. The shooting is still solid like always, and the visuals are amazing, but that means nothing when it’s inside of a boring empty world that forces the player to play the game a certain way and then gives them the finger when the game is completely over.