It’s been less than a year since Far Cry 5 was released, but Far Cry New Dawn is a stand-alone sequel that takes players into a post-apocalypse world. We spoke with associate narrative director, James Nadiger.
Far Cry fans have become accustomed to stand-alone expansions releasing a year after a full numbered title in the series – a practice that has delivered the absurdly brilliant Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, the stone age setting of Far Cry: Primal, and now the post-apocalypse themed Far Cry New Dawn.
“When we came up with the ending to Far Cry 5, we realised it gave us the opportunity to explore the repercussions of the collapse,” Nadiger tells STACK of the origin of New Dawn.
“The franchise has always been known for dropping the player into a wild and truly unique environment and this post-apocalyptic setting is exactly that; Hope County, 17 years after the collapse, represents a truly lawless frontier with unknown dangers.”
For New Dawn’s post-apocalyptic milieu, Ubisoft Montreal eschewed the sepia-toned devastated landscapes bereft of plant life commonly depicted in games of the genre.
“It was fascinating to explore how a world could be transformed after a nuclear catastrophe. Over the course of the 17 years after the collapse, there would be a period of nuclear winter, where nature was unable to grow, but after that, nature would make a comeback,” explains Nadiger.
“There would be new rainfall, which would allow new plants to grow. This is what led to the super bloom you can see in our world. And those plants would allow animals to flourish, which would let people farm and hunt again, and ultimately start to rebuild. We wanted our world to be a fun, exciting, surprising and welcoming place for our players.”
While the game will play out on the same map of Hope County, Montana, from Far Cry 5, there are some changes – and a few new locales.
“The world has changed a lot in the 17 years after the collapse,” says Nadiger. “Some areas of Hope County are no longer accessible, and other areas have changed greatly due to the weather conditions that contributed to the super bloom. The world has been transformed, not only by nature and the aggressive weather conditions, but also by the people that have lived there in the past 17 years.
“Players can also visit other regions of the USA by going on expeditions. For the first time, a Far Cry game is not linked to only one region. The expeditions show how the collapse affected other places and are totally different maps separate to Hope County’s open world.
Players can also visit other regions of the USA by going on expeditions
“Each map is one kilometre squared in size. Expeditions are snatch and grab missions set in vastly different regions across the country. Completing these missions and scavenging these areas will help players get new materials to craft valuable weapons and vehicles.”
Previous stand-alone expansions have explored different settings and ideas. Blood Dragon, which followed in the wake of FC3, embraced the action heroes of the ’80s, and Primal took players into the realm of the Mesolithic Age. However, the studio took a different tack with New Dawn.
“When we were developing Far Cry 5 we explored different scenarios on how to end the game, and the doomsday moment was the most exciting one,” Nadiger says. “At the same time, we had always wanted to take Far Cry into a post-apocalyptic setting. The collapse at the end of Far Cry 5 gave us a great opportunity to explore this setting with a new story and a transformed world.”
Far Cry New Dawn releases on February 15 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.