Here’s everything we know about ‘Far Cry New Dawn’ so far

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Less than a year after the release of Far Cry 5, Ubisoft is set to release the next entry in the series, Far Cry New Dawn. As the first direct sequel in franchise history, Far Cry New Dawn is a mix of old and new. While it takes place in the familiar Hope County, the map looks different after the nuclear blasts that occurred at the end of Far Cry 5. Unlike major, numbered installments in the series, New Dawn will retail for $40, but based on the plot and what we know about the gameplay, it’s a full game rather than a stand-alone expansion like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Here’s everything you need to know about Far Cry New Dawn.

17 years later

In one of the possible Far Cry 5 endings, cult leader Joseph Seed (The Father) ushered you into a bunker where you witnessed the doomsday he had predicted. Nuclear bombs ravaged Hope County. And that was it, or so we thought. Taking place 17 years after that dramatic ending, Hope County is making a comeback after a nuclear winter, with the survivors paving the way alongside burgeoning wildlife and animals that have since returned to this altered version of the map.

You play as an unnamed character who came to Hope County to help rebuild it. By all accounts, everything was going pretty well until a dastardly group known as the Highwaymen converged on the county and claimed ownership over it. The Highwaymen are led by Mickey and Lou, twin sisters who plan on taking everything of value from Hope County. Mickey and Lou took leadership of the Highwaymen by force by murdering their own father after he led the group astray.

The resistance fighters set up base in Prosperity, a settlement where you and your fellow Hope County optimists prepare to take on the Highwaymen.

Hope County and beyond

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As a game set in the aftermath of a nuclear winter, Hope County is understandably less built up and rough around the edges than you remember. You’ll come across mutated animals, rundown buildings, and curious deserts affected by a “super bloom.” In an interview with GameSpot, Ubisoft noted that it spoke with experts about the aftermath of nuclear war. As such, some of the areas you’ll come across in Far Cry New Dawn will have a desert look, a common occurrence in the years following a nuclear war. The world still is brimming with color, though, giving it a unique aesthetic that looks decidedly different than Far Cry 5.

Though the main story arc concerns Hope County, you will participate in Expeditions. These missions transport you by helicopter outside of Montana and into other states such as Arizona, California, and Louisiana. These will obviously be entirely new areas to Far Cry New Dawn. The most interesting setting we’ve seen so far is the Louisiana swampland in the backdrop of an abandoned theme park.

Guns for Hire returns

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Like previous entries in the series, you won’t have to go at it alone. Guns for Hire, the co-op system, makes its return. Hired guns, played by computer A.I., will assist you in combat. You can also play with another human player online, just like in Far Cry 5. During our hands-off preview, we got a glimpse at a few of the Guns for Hire, and we can already tell one of them will be a fan favorite. Sharpshooting grandma Nana picks enemies off from a distance. Don’t mess with grandma, folks.

Nana is just one of six Guns for Hire. There’s also Carmina, the 17-year-old daughter of Nick and Kim Rye, Pastor Jerome, and the hopeless Hurk. Two new animals can be hired as part of the Fangs for Hire program. A boar named Horatio can take out a group of enemies with one charge. Timber, a dog, goes for the throat similar to Boomer in Far Cry 5.

A more imposing threat

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Ubisoft is upping the challenge in Far Cry New Dawn by including tier rankings for enemies. Rather than just mowing down a bunch of same-y villains in quick succession, enemies will have varying strength. For instance, Enforcers are like bounty hunters, wearing high-level armor and wielding powerful weapons. Taking them down will require more persistence and strategy. New Dawn won’t have enemy levels like you’d see in Destiny 2 or The Division; instead, enemy strength will be dictated by the type of armor they are wearing. The Highwaymen also don’t just wait around for you to find them. Sometimes they seek you out and make the first move.

Scavenging to survive

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Goodbye gun shops, hello crafting. Far Cry New Dawn naturally has a survivalist slant to it, meaning that most of the new weapons you acquire will have to be pieced together with items you’ve picked up along the way. Ubisoft has shown off one of these cobbled together weapons already. Called the Saw Launcher, it’s a neat looking crossbow that shoots saw blades at enemies. It’s created from a chainsaw chain, a circular saw, bike handles and an assortment of random pieces holding it together. Weapon attachments such as scopes will also be assembled using random objects such as piping and utensils.

Though traditional firearms exist, signature weapons such as the Saw Launcher are the stars of the show. Signature weapons don’t have any mods, but you can upgrade the damage they deal.

New Dawn will encourage players to use these new weapons by tying them into the Perks system. Some perk points, which teach and upgrade skills and abilities, will be linked to various weapons. Therefore you cannot earn them without switching up your arsenal.

Outposts with a twist

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Outposts, enemy strongholds littered throughout Far Cry maps, will make a triumphant return in New Dawn. This time, however, once you overtake an outpost, the battle doesn’t have to be over. While totally optional, you can abandon captured outposts. The Highwaymen will soon return and make it an even more challenging place to capture. So if you want an added challenge, the tweaked outposts system will have just that. The new outposts system will likely appeal to those who favor co-op, as the increased challenge is ideal for tackling with a friend.

Release date and pre-order bonuses

Far Cry New Dawn launches on February 15 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. If you pre-order the standard edition ($40), you’ll get the Unicorn Trike, an adorable motorized tricycle with mounted artillery.

The $50 Digital Deluxe edition also comes with several in-game weapons and vehicles:

  • Hurk Legacy Pack: Wrath M249, Hurkling outfits, Legacy Offroader
  • Knight Pack: SVD Claymore and Sidecar Motorbike
  • RAT4 Rocket Launcher
  • M133M Shotgun
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