Far Cry New DawnFar Cry spinoffs have done everything from taking us on a trip to the Stone Age to sending us back to the actiontastic 1980s. Far Cry New Dawn is a little different, as it directly expands upon its host release, Far Cry 5.

Set in a remixed take on that game’s Hope County, the landscape has changed somewhat after 17 years. This sort of thing happens after (incoming spoiler if you’re not up with the events of Far Cry 5), as Jack Bauer might put it, a “nucular” blast.

But, as some old movie or other once taught us, life finds a way. While survivors tried to be happy underground, flora and fauna began to thrive once again up top – although everything does have a rather day-glo, mostly pinkish tint that makes us suspect that Barbie was consulted somewhere along the line. Either that or fairy floss has begun to grow organically.

So far, so Fallout. Story-wise, those survivors are emerging into the sunlight, only to discover that supplies such as sweet, sweet ethanol are in high demand, and dastardly types are out to do a whole mess of plunderin’. Chief amongst these is The Highwaymen. Yes, even American country supergroups need to live, except that these here Highwaymen are a bunch of lowlifes led by twin terrors Mickey and Lou. They’re mean chicks, and you don’t want to cross them.

But to get anywhere here you need to cross them. You’re a security person simply known throughout as “Cap”, you fall in with a group of survivors in the ironically named community of Prosperity and basically become their great [insert skintone here] hope. You set off into the aforementioned remixed Hope County with several missions available to you. Want to stick to the main story mission? Sure. Diggin’ those side quests? There are oodles of ’em. Like searching out crafting resources? Goodness gracious, great rolls of duct tape! Oh, and outposts. So many outposts to take by force – plus expeditions to what are basically further-afield (and often rather out-there) outposts. To take by force, natch.

All the while a side aim is to earn folding stuff, which allows you to not only upgrade your mammoth and more RPG-styled weapons arsenal (we’re talking “role-playing game” here, not “rocket propelled grenades” – although they’re kind of nice) but also your base. After all, a nice base means happy base denizens.

Far Cry New Dawn

In all, Far Cry New Dawn takes a lighter tone than Far Cry 5 – well, as light as you can get in a post-nuclear playground being overrun by merciless raiders. What we’re saying is that there’s less story heft, with a more action-leaning vibe. Play-wise, everything’s also quite well balanced – unless you decide to do something like running full tilt into a fire fight armed with nought but your fists. But why would you do that…?

If it all sounds a bit familiar, that’s because, well, it is. This is where you get to decide if Far Cry New Dawn is for you or not.

If you’re keen to discover what happened to Hope County after that big bang, including nutter Joseph Seed and his nuttier Eden’s Gate disciples, then you’ll likely be in. If you like the general and rather well-established vibe of Far Cry through the years, and its mix of everything from shooting humans to slaying wildlife, driving about in various things with wheels, shooting some more and collecting various bits of fauna and other stuff while toppling outposts (pause for breath), then roll up. The same goes if you want to do the Far Cry thing in co-op – it can really add to the experience teaming up with a mate.

If you’re a more cynical type who wasn’t super-enamoured with Far Cry 5, and are of the opinion that this is just a cynical cash grab that could as easily have been a chunk of DLC rather than a standalone (and, we must stress, reduced price) game, then maybe you should look the other way.

For what it’s worth, we really enjoyed getting in the pink. Think of New Dawn as a B-movie partner to Far Cry 5‘s A-game and you’ll be on the right track.

Far Cry New Dawn is available now for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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