On paper, far cry patch New Dawn looks like a bad joke from 2008. That year, Ubisoft decided to release the true ending of Prince of Persia in DLC paying a few weeks after the game’s release. Humor has obviously not taken a wrinkle at Guillemot with this sequel to far cry patch 5 which could very well have been part of the original game as an epilogue. The difference being that, this time, there is almost a real proposal behind it.
far cry patch 5 was not a great game. Bringing nothing to a formula installed since the third episode, he didn’t have much to tell either. Survivalist outbursts, a timid criticism of the United States and a finger pointing towards community withdrawal as so many mixed reflections without a general message. On the other hand, a little like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, he offered a cheerful playground where everything seemed possible, under the governance of an improvisation catapulted as a fundamental law.
Especially since its wild and particularly immersive setting was a great advantage for this open-air experiment. This success of the open world, however, had a downside, namely a dilution of interest as it progressed. Too many things to do, too much space, an avalanche of events, which gave the game an image of a tote bag toy box. So much so that the game found its strength in pure, aimless exploration. A fantastic hike, but one that ended up emptying itself of its meaning once the adventure was over, as the endgame left so much to be desired.
far cry patch New Dawn proposes to take advantage of this “after”, in a region ravaged by a nuclear winter. Seventeen years after Joseph Seed’s premonitory stroke of madness, nature has regained its rights as if the radioactive fallout had been nothing more than a Breton drizzle, and mankind has decided to put its nose out of the bunkers scattered in the wooded hills. In general, apart from fluorescent boars and 2-metre trout, everything went rather well. Irradiation has even allowed itself a little coquetry by dressing in rosewood deer antlers and wild herbs. It is in this Mad Max in full rise of acids that the player embodies a cop now leader of a rebellion against two Machiavellian twins. Nothing to do with far cry patch 5 where the hero is a sheriff now leader of a rebellion against several members of a Machiavellian sect. Fortunately, recycling is not as marked as the pitch would suggest.
It is still of course an open world FPS with a crafting dimension and driving a vehicle without any license. But far cry patch New Dawn is a slimmed-down version of its predecessor. By abandoning a painful systematism where each zone had to be freed from its boss in several stages, the game gains in efficiency. The better it becomes, the more organic it becomes, both in its narration and in the player’s progression. All encounters with binoculars take place in a linear fashion, with dedicated missions, each based on a different event.
Nothing new in the world of FPS, but the diversity of the phases is regularly reviving interest, with the addition of rescue missions of old acquaintances, also varied, who will be able to join the ranks of the resistance. Enough to win unique weapons or special outfits. Quests follow one another, with no downtime, and just enough side activities to pass the time, from fishing to hunting rare animals, in the pure tradition of the series.
So why find renewed pleasure in it? Simply because the map of the region is now three times smaller, plenty of space to find something to enjoy. And this without overwhelming the player with a forced fill in the face of the ever-present fear of a lack of activity on every square meter. New Dawn, like Blood Dragon in a way, has begun its transformation into a light arcade game with a still crazy purpose, but much more detached from a kind of subversive message that is not well mastered.
This devastated future is embodied and offers with surprise a real adventure well carried out. Still badly written though, no wonder. You have to make up your mind at Ubisoft on the subject. The proposal therefore seems tempting, and proves it a good deal of the time. As you can see, the latest hobby of the publisher/developer had to break this pretty still life.
The problem in reducing the far cry patch New Dawn map is the impact on the player’s speed of progress. With weapons available quickly and access to numerous vehicles, it is easy to line up missions and challenge the binoculars in the middle of a motocross trip in double tens of hours. The solution is then to create stages, in order to slow down the progress. This can be through the loss of skills, objects, a script twist or a gradation of difficulty for example.
But right now, Ubisoft likes to give its productions a false RPG feel. As a direct consequence, the enemies have hit points, in a style similar to The Division, which increase as the number of past missions increases. The main concern then comes from the fact that the player doesn’t necessarily have access to a wide range of better guns at the same pace. To do this, it is mandatory to increase the level of the weapon bench located in the recovered base at the very beginning of the game. A building in which many other areas need to be improved, such as more life, more efficient vehicles, etc.
The trick lies in the resource needed for all these upgrades: ethanol. Except it’s not on trees, unlike radioactive dust. A very rare commodity, it can only be obtained in crates dropped at random for good luck on the playing area, during collection missions on an aircraft carrier, or following the capture of strongholds. Evidence of a profound imbalance in game design, these places can be left to the enemies and then taken over by reinforced opponents to collect more ethanol.
So there are forced farming sequences in an FPS that is meant to be effective. Because as much as it is possible to reach the end with level II weapons by a few old-fashioned tricks, as much as the last bosses have tank resistance. The curve of difficulty is so steep that one comes to ask oneself existential questions about one’s life choices, in front of a motionless mouse and still sweaty, inert hands near the keyboard. This choice of artificial progression is a blow to an episode that did not deserve it. Because under this useless layer remains a game pleasant to the original universe, much more able to charm than a stale far cry patch 5.