Far Cry New Dawn - Colorful Apocalypse
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Credit: Ubisoft

Far Cry New Dawn takes on the apocalypse

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Feb 26, 2019, 2:30 PM EST

Far Cry New Dawn is (dare we say it?) a far cry from its predecessor. 

While Far Cry 5 was content to deal with a picturesque vision of Montana and pitting players against a nefarious cult decrying the end of the world, Far Cry New Dawn changes things up considerably, injecting a wild amount of color into the game and inviting players on a rainbow-infused journey through the apocalypse. The tone is drastically different, the enemies have changed, but most importantly — it's a lot more fun than the first one. 

For the uninitiated — spoiler alert! — the ending of Far Cry 5 gave way to the apocalypse, foretold by the cult leader Joseph Seed. After the nuclear disasters came and went, what was left was apparently a Skittles-hued world with ridiculously blue waters, an Aurora Borealis in effect due to the nuclear buildup, and the remnants of humanity. This aesthetic can be a bit jarring at first, but it actually fits the game quite well, as you'll soon see. 

From the opening moments of the game to its rousing climax, there's an addictive kind of foreboding underpinning the rest of the narrative. You never quite feel as though everything is "right," and while it certainly isn't in the grand scheme of things, there's something even more sinister afoot that drives you forward throughout the narrative.  

far cry new dawn

Credit: Ubisoft

Far Cry New Dawn pits you against a rowdy group of raiders called the Highwaymen, lead by "the twins," called Lou and Mickey. All they really want to do is get in your way, no matter how they have to go about it. You act as a nameless crusader who's tasked with keeping them and their band of what essentially amounts to bandits in line, since they want to wreak havoc on everything the "good guys" have worked to build.

What it all boils down to is that Joseph Seed's vision of the apocalypse was right, and now that it's all happened, you need to face it and keep a community of earnest people happy and safe. Prosperity is the camp you've got to guard with your life, and as such it's a major part of the story, letting you return at various intervals to complete missions and rendezvous with your people there. 

So much of Far Cry New Dawn is spent running back and forth to Prosperity, gathering supplies like Ethanol for base upgrades, clearing out caches of enemies, building new weapons, and completing quests for the people there. Resource gathering is an extremely important part of the equation, but it doesn't really feel as tedious as it could. Learning additional tidbits about the people of Prosperity here and there is rewarding, and even though it's clear they're meant to be solely on the side of good, they have entertaining backstories and the predicaments they find themselves in are fun. 

When you leave Prosperity, be it via kart, dune buggy, or on foot with your loyal dog at your side (who can kill enemies for you, which is amazing) the world of killing opens up immediately. It's a free-for-all as you eliminate Highwaymen with abandon. They deserve it, after all, the game reminds you, because of the way they treat the kind people of Prosperity, and just about everyone else. But if gunning down the enemy doesn't resonate with you forever, you can opt to take part in some peaceful activities like fishing, exploring, or hanging out with your dog. It'd be a lot like normal life except for all the messy nuclear apocalypse stuff hanging over your head. 

Whatever it is you decide you want to spend time doing throughout Far Cry New Dawn, you'll be drinking in the visuals the entire time. New Dawn is by far the best-looking Far Cry entry since the earliest iterations that took place in tropical paradises. The nuclear "Collapse" event has nothing on this gorgeous land, with plenty of fresh, clean water, sunlight, greenery, and animals to hunt for sustenance. It certainly doesn't look like the bombed-out wasteland of Fallout or even games like Metro, and because of that, it's a treat for the eyes. 

True, the map is a bit more scaled-down than Far Cry 5's, but it's rife with things to do, engaging questlines, and an appropriately weird storyline to follow. It has a few minor niggles, but then again it's also a budget-priced game — this isn't a standalone release. Taking into account the killer soundtrack, excellent aesthetic, and the tons things there are to do, Far Cry New Dawn is a worthy follow-up to a humdrum of a game. You could say that, in many ways, it's the pot of gold waiting at the end of this rainbow. 
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