I mentioned last week that Far Cry 5 is a stunningly attractive game and the series in general has the formula down to a science. All true. Now, I don’t typically go for expansions to games because most of the time, a core game is enough for me, but Far Cry is so immersive, that a little more time in that world sounded appealing to me. I mean, the thing is, if a game costs $60 already, do I really want to drop another $10 to $15 on an expansion? In the case of this series: absolutely, and it cost me more than that to play this one!
Gameplay is basically the same as the core game so if you liked that, you won’t be disappointed here. There’s not a lot for me to add to what you already know. You get to drive anything and use an array of weapons. But in this case, it’s the psychology of the story that really got to me. News flash: spoilers are coming both for the main game and the expansion. Read on if you are ready for that. (It won’t ruin the fun of playing the game, believe me!)
Far Cry 5 ends with the main bad guy, Joseph Seed, surviving. Not only does he survive, but he triggers off nukes that destroy Montana, and possibly a lot more of the world than we get to see. At the end of that game, you get to a bunker but get knocked out and wake up as his captive. I wanted desperately to kill him. This was the main reason I went for the expansion, in fact; to wrap up Seed’s story. Far Cry 5: New Dawn takes place 17 years later and you play as a totally different character. The biggest difference visually is the flora; it’s lusher and more alien. The plant life has changed but you’re basically living in a Mad Max world. The main baddies are two twin sisters, Mickey and Lou (that’s them on the cover art, above). Joseph Seed is somewhere out there and eventually you get to encounter him again too. But this is where it got tricky for me and really had me thinking about the game hours after I played.
I’m a people person. I like them. Even fictional ones, if they are written with backgrounds and personalities, I like them too. The first person you befriend in the game is a young girl of about 17 or 18 who you help find her mom, Kim. When I saw Kim, I actually found myself delighted, as if I had really seen an old friend. Kim is a character who was pregnant in the core game. You help get her to a hospital with her husband Nick. Yes, the girl who you first meet is the daughter you helped bring into the world. So when you find out that Nick is held captive somewhere, I was hell bent to go save him. And save him I did! Throughout the game, you find a host of characters from the previous game, all aged now. Grace Armstrong was a badass 17 years ago, but now her eyes are shot and she’s nearly a blind old woman. Pastor Jerome and Hurk are both there too; older and somewhat wiser. (Hurk’s story is even more surprising but only realized it when I replayed Far Cry 4, after replaying this.) The crazy thing was how much this played on my emotions. I felt like I was really hanging out with old friends.
This alone would have won me over and had me singing the game’s praises, but there’s another weird psychological thing it did to me. Upon encountering Joseph Seed, he realizes the error of his ways and wants you to kill him. Now, look… in the core game, he’s a monster. He deserves to be killed. But I’m not playing that character now. I’m playing a very different character. And you know what? I couldn’t do it. Well, maybe the main baddies of this game are so much worse, I had a change of heart? I mean, hey, Mickey and Lou are bad people! They killed your friend in cold blood right in front of you! They deserve to die! In the final battle, after beating them, the cut scene has them both lying on the ground dying. They crawl to one another, twin sisters dying in each others arms. After one passes, the other weeps over her sister and you stand over them, gun in hand. It’s time to end it. Really. Just end it. “She deserves it,” I tell myself. After minutes, I say “it’s really ok, it’s just a game. She deserves it.” I walk away and come back and tell myself, “no one will judge you, it’s a game, do it.” I get up, go get a drink, come back. “They are just a bunch of pixels; not even slightly real… meant to be killed at the end! I’ve got it… I’ll throw an remote explosive on them and run, press the button from afar. I’ll be able to press the button if I’m not standing over them… right?”
Far Cry 5: New Dawn retails for $40 on Steam (but act now, and it’s only $10). Both prices are worth it, but assuming your name isn’t Brewster, you probably don’t want to spend more than you have to, so now is a good time to buy it. I pulled in just over 33 hours with the game, so even at a dollar an hour, it’s worth the investment. You do get all the same style missions including the fishing and those daredevil missions, but you also get all the exciting ones too, along with some really fantastic base-attack missions. Overall, this series gets it right and I just learned that there will be a Far Cry 6 coming next year. I will buy it. It’s not a far cry from a perfect series! (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.) ML