It’s worth your time. It’s still basically Far Cry 3 so if you’re not down with that then there isn’t much for you, but I think it’s the best game in the series from a narrative standpoint. I also think the basic mechanics of Far Cry 3 are lovely so putting them in a game that doesn’t make me want to put my head through a window was a good idea.
Be forewarned that FC4’s writing staff also suffered from Obsidian syndrome, i.e, hinting at unnecessarily heavy creepy shit that goes unresolved to seem more fuckin Real~ without actually saying anything, mainly to do with the kid character being the chosen one of the fictional religion, which entails letting you side with a dude who believes in forced child marriage and ceremonies implied to be gross as hell, and that character’s almost implied to be better than the lady who kills or exiles the kid while being a drug lord. But Maybe That Means Both Sides Are Bad And The Truth Is In The Middle And The Middle Is You And Only You I Guess.
I’ve basically sworn off hope for this whole series, it’s a melting pot of fuckups getting petty revenge on their high school creative writing C grades when they could swear they were mature for their age, and I heartily include FC2 in that statement. I practically get more entertainment out of the new one already being a trainwreck than looking vaguely competent until its milquetoast release. Hell, the schaudenfreude-craving part of me almost wants WD3 to make Aiden Pearce the protag, just keep shedding all the pretense of this neoliberal hell of a company ever not being dogshit.
Sounds like New Dawn has some things going on with it to address the problems of it’s past, while simultaneously being very familiar.
Taken on its own, Far Cry New Dawn is as straightforward a post-apocalyptic tale as can be told. Indeed, it’s a concept as old (and fraught) as communal history itself: enemies are at the gates. The Highwaymen are the Visigoths attacking Rome. They are the inescapable sin of mankind, made manifest again after the End Times, patrolling conveniently placed outposts for the player to assault. Because of this, it is tempting to say that New Dawn engages with post-apocalyptic iconography only as a means to facilitate more stabby, shooty video game fun times. That’s certainly true on some level, but as things progress it becomes clear that New Dawn provokes a conversation about its genre, its medium, and conflict itself. These ambitious goals are tackled with the series’ characteristic clumsiness, stopping just shy of satisfactory conclusions in spite of an earnest attempt.
The result is both a post-apocalypse that feels distinct and a Far Cry setting that feels much more allegorical. Whereas Far Cry 2 and 4 wanted to touch on socio-political struggles in their respective African and Himalayan facsimiles and Far Cry 5 bumbled about in a muddled American pastoralism, New Dawn leverages its flashy aesthetics into a world that is concerned with broader concepts. It is telling that the series’ most vivid setting and straightforwardly honest villains come after the pretensions of polite society have literally been burned off the face of the earth. Far Cry 5 ’s biggest flaw was attempting to appeal to modern day issues without mustering the bravery to actually point fingers. New Dawn opts for something less complex and is stronger for it. The corresponding freedom allows it to be more visually communicative and altogether coherent than its predecessor in both design and aesthetics.