After an early teaser, Ubisoft has officially announced Far Cry: New Dawn at The Game Awards, offering a new spin on the first-person shooter franchise by shifting the story of Far Cry 5 years later to a post-nuclear apocalypse world.
But as seen in the trailer, the world of Hope County has changed a whole lot since Far Cry 5, with the kind of improvised weapons, colorful spray paint, and scavenged gear that brings to mind the lighthearted tone of games like the upcoming Rage 2 more than the dour world of the previous game.
The cover art for New Dawn depicts a similar landscape as Far Cry 5’s cover, along with a man tied to a wrecked car that seems to be Joseph Seed, the villainous cult leader from the last game, along with a pair of new characters known as the Twins, leaders of a band of highwaymen who don’t seem too pleased with him.
For fans of the series, the new setting likely isn’t a complete surprise: as Polygon recaped (and uh, spoilers), the “good” ending of Far Cry 5 ends with the villainous Joseph Seed detonating a nuke and destroying Hope County. And according to Ubisoft, that ending was hinted to throughout the game, clues like “radio news broadcasts hint of a larger problem unraveling outside of Hope County as the game unfolds, like increasing tensions and a world in chaos, stating that nuclear war seems imminent.”
It seems that for the first time, Ubisoft is creating a direct sequel, with Far Cry: New Dawn set 17 years after the nuclear ending of Far Cry 5, leaving players to pick up the pieces in a familiar but different version of Hope County. A post-nuclear war setting would also put the Far Cry series on very interesting footing against a different, post-nuclear apocalypse first-person survival shooter: Bethesda’s Fallout series.
The shared setting also means that Ubisoft is likely pulling a similar move with Far Cry: New Dawn that it has with other spin-off entries, where it uses the map and systems of a previous game (in this case, Far Cry 5) and uses it as a foundation for a themed spin-off. It’s a startegy that worked for Far Cry Primal in 2016, which borrowed heavily from the existing map from 2015’s Far Cry 4, or 2013’s Far Cry Blood Dragon, which was a sci-fi skinned take of a chunk of Far Cry 3.
Fans won’t have long to wait for Far Cry: New Dawn, though — it’ll be out on February 15th for $39.99 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.