Far Cry 5

Underwhelming: a few thoughts about the New Dawn

FarCry2 - Underwhelming: a few thoughts about the New Dawn
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Hey, I've just finished the New Dawn in about two days and after the brilliant (though often frustrating) FC5, I'm so disappointed I want to share a few thoughts and see if other people have reached the same conclusions. I think the word that best describes it is underwhelming.

First off, let me start with the positives. No more annoying gameplay mechanics like liberating bases, skinning animals, crafting pouches, counterintuitive kidnappings, etc. I think the developers have improved the gameplay and apart from a few situations such as the demolition derby where it was best to just step out and mow down everyone with an LMG or explosives, the movement and combat have been rather enjoyable.

Now to the issues:

  1. The main villains have no interesting motivation and no character. Two manic psychopathic twins who terrorise defenceless people for fun and resources are boring. Compared to the intriguing Seed family who were igniting interest right since the very beginning of the story, or FC3's Vaas and FC4's Pagan Min, the twins really suck arse and when I had the option to execute one of them at the end, I just pulled the trigger and ran to see the conclusion of the more interesting side-story of Joseph Seed.

  2. Bullet sponge enemies are infuriating. For example, the final battle with the twins was so absurd it was almost hilarious. Those two weak girls could not be brought down by 1200 DMG hitting arrows right to their stupid faces, yet in the same game, the player was able to beat them up and throw them around like kittens after they executed Rush. I can sort of accept the monstrous enemies like when Jacob ate the fruit and turned into that huge ape-thingy, but turning ordinary humans in motorcycle gear into superheroes to make the fights last longer is just lazy incompetent game design.

  3. None of the choices matter. The previous games have been much better at showing the player the consequences of his actions. Obviously, it's still a rather linear FPS and the choices weren't as important as in say Mass Effect, but when you're given two seemingly incredibly important choices—to kill Mickey Mouse and Joseph Seed—you should see and feel the impact of those choices in the game, not just in your imagination.

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  4. FC5's protagonist Deputy (i.e. formerly us, the players) was first repeatedly denied logically executing the Seed family and thus ending the threat whenever he had an opportunity, and then forcibly turned into a mindless drone following Joseph's orders as the Judge. It is an insult to his (our) achievements in FC5 and an action that significantly changes my perception of Deputy in FC5 from a character I shaped into someone with a given mindset (doesn't buy the Seed propaganda, determined to destroy the cult, mentally and emotionally strong) and who acted as an extension of myself, to a very shallow shell of a character written by someone at Ubisoft Montreal whom I simply guided along a route of checkpoints on a predetermined path. It's like they couldn't decide whether to give the player a choice and so they initially made him feel like his actions mattered only to reveal they really didn't.

  5. ‘Womyn’ are all over the place, successfully fighting against trained men in armour and overpowering them. The granny sniper companion looks like a bad caricature, and the leader of Prosperity whose name I already forgot acts like the classic ‘I wield all the power but won't get anything done; that's up to you’ archetype. The one actually strong and likeable woman from FC5 I adored and brought everywhere with me—Grace Armstrong, who was believable because she was a sniper, dealing with enemies from a distance—was made practically blind and thus incapacitated. To me, a crime against her legacy…

  6. The absurd ballistics. I think that .50 BMG bullets which can fly miles feel like arrows while arrows feel like throwing stones. Enough said.

I could go on, but these six issues are the most important and turn the game into something without a captivating story like in the previous instalments (heck, even Primal was better) with meh characters and difficulty through turning ordinary enemies into bullet sponges.

To sum up how underwhelming the story was, when they effectively murdered one of the less prominent sorceresses in Witcher 3, I cared so much I searched the web to see if I could prevent it, but when they executed Rush right in front of me in FC New Dawn, I just thought: “Ah, that's a shame.” And that is an even bigger shame… 🙁

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