A game’s story is only as strong as it can maintain the impact made by its introduction, and this one makes quite the impact indeed.
Continuing with the great BioWare tradition of having the PC called by a title instead of their name, you are the Captain (I have to say, it does have a nice ring to it). And the introducing hook is as old as the wild, wild west itself: the train attacked by bandits, the badass hero-dude survives, now he has to avenge his comrades and bring peace to this lawless land. I can dig it.
I do also like how the game in general seems to be significantly more RPG-esque. The addition of health-bars, the dynamic circle menu (which, make no mistake, was present in Far Cry 5, but I can appreciate it even more now) makes the whole thing look more like The Division or what we saw in the 40-minute proof-of-concept presentation of Shadowrun 2070.
Of course I can’t attest to whether there’s going to be even more RPG elements like branching storyline (doubtful, but then again not necessary), dialogue options or limited-use abilities or some kind of leveling system. I mean all those elements worked wonderfully for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, so I can’t see how they wouldn’t work great here.
Especially given the dramatic weight of the plot. Far Cry games are usually somewhat relaxed with the story. Don’t get me wrong, stuff happens, but it’s usually very personal stuff, in the grander scheme of things, the locals Far Cry takes place in are remote and have little bearing on the greater world around them.
Not so much in New Dawn though. A whole new world of post-apocalyptic and yet vibrant, rural America is a really cool idea for a world, there’s so much that could be done with this! And I really like Rush as a character, he’s immediately likable with his delinquent looks and impressive leadership skills. And conversely, the twin-sisters leading the Highwaymen are god-damned terrifying and the whole gang has this Walking Dead, Liberators vibe (I hope that helmet has a name). How can I not love it?
Do I smell a new setting that could later be adapted for an entire series of games? Hopefully.