As I launched a circular saw blade from a crossbow into the back of an unsuspecting enemy’s head, and petals of a nuclear super bloom floated past my next target, it occurred to me how strange it was that Far Cry has never ventured into the post-apocalypse before. It seems like a natural fit; Far Cry’s outlandish escapades feel right at home in the wasteland. The franchise’s usual hallmarks – capturing outposts, hunting, liberating prisoners, managing moral conflict – all transpose effortlessly into a world coming back to life following nuclear winter. Far Cry New Dawn, conceptually, is a no brainer.
But it is the first time the franchise has ventured into the post-apocalyptic first-person action game and the first time the franchise has adopted somewhat of a serial approach. New Dawn picks up some seventeen years after the events of Far Cry 5, which – as you can imagine – conclude rather dramatically. As James Nadiger, the game’s Associate Narrative Director, notes, it is a “standalone sequel”; whilst you benefit from having experienced the conclusion of Far Cry 5, “you can jump right in.” The introduction, all too familiar this many iterations deep, propels an unwitting protagonist into a dangerous mission, only for things to go seriously wrong almost immediately.