If you’ve ever played a Far Cry game before, you likely wouldn’t be the least surprised by the content and storyline this newest game in the fold holds. If, on the other hand, you’re new to the franchise, it certainly doesn’t take long to get up to speed.
Far Cry: New Dawn is a first-person shooter, an adventure game sequel that follows directly on the heels, story wise, of the previous entry, Far Cry 5.
It’s a few years in the future. The big one has dropped and wiped out everything like you’d expect a modern A-bomb to do. But a mere six years later, the grass has once again begun to sprout, the flowers are blooming, the air is clean and mankind has somehow survived and collectively crawls up out of the hidey holes it’s been cowering in.
Some people band together and create communes. They live together, plow together, plant together, reap together: creating a Green Dream paradise. Ah, but then the ugly side of mankind’s fallen nature lifts up its lacerated head. Groups like the Highwaymen—a weaponized gang led by two hardhearted twin sisters—begin roaming the land, taking what they want and destroying the rest.
In one of those battered and put-upon communes of survivors, a young woman named Carmina has finally had enough. So she sets out to find a man called Thomas Rush. It’s been rumored that his army of men and women fight to defend the defenseless. But when that group of good guys ride a rail line up to Carmina’s Hope County, they’re viciously attacked mid-route. As Rush’s male or female security officer, players must take the fight to the Highwaymen (as well as a local cult) and riddle, hack, slash, blast and eviscerate their way to peace.
Hack, slash and blast you say? Yep, there are scores and scores of deadly missions. And whether you’re standing around and launching saw blades at enemies from a handheld contraption, hiding behind rock formations for heavily armed shootouts, or riding on the back of a motorbike and mowing baddies down with a mounted Gatling gun, it’s all about the bloody kill.
Hundreds of people die in nasty ways in this gritty dystopian world as you wield your colorfully reconstructed variations of pistols, shotguns, and sniper rifles. Blood gushes and characters scream and writhe in their death throes. Some areas sport stacks of bloody corpses. Screeching characters expire while consumed in flame.
Even beasts and demons get in on the battling front. There’s an odd drug-laced spirituality in the cult side of the game’s action. Drinking a concocted “sacrament” tosses players into a spirit world filled with its own battles and a hypnotic experience with an apple from a designated tree of life sends them off to fulfill “God’s test”—a deadly struggle against dark ravenous creatures. Oh, and there’s also a psychotropic drug called bliss that fills the air in certain locations and throws players into a hallucinatory haze.
Scattered in amidst all of that gore, gush and delusion you’ll also find an ever-flowing stream of foul language—featuring f-, s- and n-words and every other form of crudity and profanity—and coarse sexual conversations.
Now, for those who might rise up in defense of an M-rated shooter such as this, I should note that the game story does deliver a cautionary tale if looked at with a certain squint. The nearly insane villains of the story are certainly reviled for their murderous, anarchistic ways. But will gamers walk away with a message espousing hope over destruction? Or will they simply wallow joyfully in the New Dawn’s foul language and rampant death dealing?
Hard to say.
But one things for sure, you can’t have one here without the other.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.