Far Cry New Dawn Review

February 17, 2019

Far Cry 5 concluded in an unprecedented manner. The stage was set, the prophecy was foreseen, and the Eden’s Gate cult leader Joseph Seed’s vision became apparent as the nukes began to drop. Widespread panic erupted as you and The Father disappeared into a bunker to see out the apocalypse. Set 17 years after the nuclear destruction of Hope County, you are the unnamed security captain of civilization rebuilder Thomas Rush. As your train rolls in to Hope County, trouble brews and it soon becomes your job to make the world a safer place.

Far Cry New Dawn review

In typical Far Cry fashion you are once again the unnamed protagonist. In New Dawn you can choose your gender and then choose some basic facial features before starting the game. Funnily enough, you can apply all features to both genders, thus allowing us to give our female character the biggest beard you’ve ever seen. Once you’re done creating your character and choosing from a basic assortment of clothing, the story begins. You’re thrust in to the new world, and soon come across the leaders of The Highwaymen, sisters Mickey and Lou. These antagonists are very The Walking Dead’s Negan-esque and will do whatever it takes to keep control over Hope County. It was good to see the sisters playing a role throughout the story and not just showing up at the start and end of the game, a la Just Cause 4.

After setting up the community of Prosperity in the south, the game sends you out to capture outposts from The Highwaymen, rescue/communicate with the Guns for Hire characters, and find treasure in the many hidden puzzle locations. While basically everywhere is overgrown with vegetation, avid fans of the Far Cry 5 map will notice the familiar layout. Early in the game we ended up running to objectives a lot, but towards the end you are better armed with fast vehicles and helicopters as well as an easy-mode fast travel system making navigating Hope County very easy.

Far Cry New Dawn review

There are nuclear dead-zones around the outside of the map and you’re not given the full Far Cry 5 map to play with but the new Hope County has a lot going on particularly with its nuclear fallout wildlife which becomes a lot more dangerous at night. While normal wildlife still roams the world, there are many new and fierce creatures looking for their next meal. New Dawn doesn’t really have any specific missions or objectives to take on these beasts, and we found that you didn’t really need to engage them to get the required crafting materials to progress through the game. Nevertheless, the new creatures are a fun challenge and good for testing out the range of new weapons in the game.

Aside from the saw launcher seen in most of the Far Cry New Dawn trailers, there are many more new and colourful weapons, using makeshift items such as spray-cans for silencers, scopes and other attachments. The game is of course splashed with an array of rainbow colours, with plenty of pink as well as other bright colours. We were kind of stumped as to where all the pink paint has come from since the nuclear apocalypse, and we’re open to theories.

Far Cry New Dawn review

Far Cry New Dawn is built on customisation and upgrades, and the game pushes for you to replay outpost locations to earn ethanol which allows you to upgrade Prosperity, the community you call home. While it is a necessity to upgrade the community to progress through the main story, you do not need to fully upgrade any part of it to finish the game, it will however make it a lot easier if you have better weapons and can craft the best explosives.

New Dawn also introduces expeditions which take place outside of Hope County. These missions all follow the same format of locating a package somewhere on the map which has a GPS tracker on it that alerts all enemies as well as reinforcements once you pick it up. You then need to make your way to and defend the extraction point until your helicopter ride returns. While the method was the same, the madness is what made expeditions fun. There are some really cool locations to experience such as a theme park, as well as Alcatraz Island where it looks like Ubisoft pulled the map and resources directly out of Watch Dogs 2 to create it, as you see a post-apocalyptic San Francisco with the destroyed Golden Gate Bridge in the background. The expeditions can also be replayed on harder difficulties to earn better rewards, and each expedition has a unique outfit that you have a chance of gradually unlocking, meaning there are plenty of reasons to jump back in to the expeditions, even more-so than the Outposts once you’ve gathered enough ethanol.

Far Cry New Dawn review

Although the game can be played entirely in co-op, there is no matchmaking meaning you’ll need to find friends to play with. This was disappointing as we were hoping with the introduction of expeditions that there would also be a way to queue for them and link up with another player. It would be great to see this happen in the future, not just in expeditions but also for replaying outposts and even story missions and open-world co-op too. It would also definitely help with continuing to play the game after completion, and definitely make players more interested in some of the more cosmetic items on offer.

There are several different currencies that are needed throughout the game. Some are gathered by completing missions, while others are gathered or found in the many safes scattered across Hope County. Far Cry games have never been terribly difficult to pick up and play, and New Dawn is no different. The more you play the more you will get the items needed to craft the weapons or vehicles that you desire. You can however purchase Far Cry credits with real money if you want to unlock some of the best items straight away.

Far Cry New Dawn review

Perks also play a role in New Dawn, and you’ll find that you quickly gain perk points to use on unlocking things like sprinting for longer, stronger takedowns, more weapon slots, etc. Some extra perks are added a bit later in the game, and some perks can be purchased several times so it’s important in New Dawn to save the points and spend them where you need them.

The AI in Far Cry New Dawn seems unchanged from that of Far Cry 5. They still run aimlessly at times, and have increasingly amazing aim depending on the difficulty. Your Guns for Hire roster is made up of people (and animals) with different pros and cons, and it’s important to bring the right friend to battle, particularly in the end-game content. You can only have one Guns for Hire fighter with you at a time, and we found switching from a stealthy one to a gun-ho one once the bullets started flying worked quite well. If your Gun for Hire dies, you can either quickly spawn in another one or revive your downed friend using some gathered items.

Far Cry New Dawn review

As mentioned, the graphics in New Dawn are colourful to say the least. The developers have spent a lot of time re-creating the different outposts and locations from Far Cry 5 to give them the post-apocalyptic treatment, and you’ll find a lot of graffiti and plenty of notes to read that give a good backstory for each location. The rivers and creeks in the north have flooded due to a dam collapse, and other areas are completely burnt out. There are however photograph opportunities where you can line up old photos with the current state of Hope County to reflect on what Hope County was like in Far Cry 5.

Most of the audio has been brought across from Far Cry 5 such as animal sounds, gunfire, etc. however the voice acting is still on point. We found the subtitles to be a little rushed, with typos and grammatical errors throughout, as well as the timing being off when comparing to how the lines were being delivered by the voice actors. Greg Bryk is back again voicing Joseph Seed, who of course did an amazing job in Far Cry 5 and this time is no different. The voice actors for Lou and Mickey also help carry an amazing atmosphere for the game right to the end.

Far Cry New Dawn review

Far Cry New Dawn is the expansion we had hoped for. After a disappointing three-part season pass, New Dawn brought the story back in what is a direct sequel to one of the biggest endings we’ve seen in a first-person shooter in years. Although it’s touted as a stand-alone game, the price-point (JB Hi-Fi currently has the base game for $46) suggests that Ubisoft is happy to call it a large-scale expansion, and we think it should be called that too. Expect to finish the main story in ten hours or so, with another 10-15 hours of end-game content to play around with if you want to experience almost everything.

Far Cry New Dawn was reviewed on PC using an EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Gaming graphics card and ran perfectly with everything on maximum settings at 1080p, upscaled to 1.5x.


- Lots of fun new weapons and vehicles to play with
- Expeditions are a welcome inclusion for the franchise
- This is the Far Cry 5 expansion we were hoping for.


- The map feels limited by the nuclear dead-zones and repetitious regrowth
- New Dawn definitely has an expansion feel to it rather than a full stand-alone game.

Overall Score: