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Far Cry New Dawn’s Expeditions Should Become A Permanent Part Of The Franchise

Far Cry New Dawn takes the basic and current formula of the franchise, which was established in Far Cry 3, and tweaks it in some interesting ways. One of my favorite tweaks is the introduction of expeditions, which lets players travel to new parts of the world to explore and of course kill some enemies. This is still Far Cry, but at a bigger scale and I want these missions to return in future games.

These expeditions are unlocked early on in the game. Players meet a pilot who hates the evil Highwaymen gang that is the main adversary in New Dawn. The gang is massive and has bases and operations all across the post-apocalyptic United States. Players can choose to go with their eccentric pilot to travel around the nation, killing Highwaymen and stealing their stuff.

These missions take place in different locations throughout the United States, including Louisana, California and The South West. These expeditions really highlight how talented the Far Cry developers are at creating fantastic looking worlds that feel rich in detail and quality.

Usually, in the Far Cry games, we only get to see one location, like a tropical island or a part of the Midwest. But with these expeditions in Far Cry New Dawn, the developers get to really throw a bunch of environments into the mix. The result is a game that feels bigger and more diverse than previous entries in the franchise.

The first location you can visit is a large US warship located in Florida. It’s a perfect setting for this introductory trip.

Florida sounds and looks very different than the nuked-out forests and fields of Hope County, Montana. The whole area feels more tropical and wet. You can even find sharks swimming in the waters around the boat, something you won’t find in Montana.

This first mission immediately sold me on the idea of traveling out of the main map in a Far Cry game.

As much as I love open world games like Far Cry or Grand Theft Auto, at some point, a big map starts to feel small. It’s still just one place, even if it’s a big place. Eventually, I can feel myself bumping up against the limits of the map. Wanting to go beyond and see the rest of this world, even if it’s just a peek. This is what the New Dawn expeditions do and do well.

Flying to Florida for a simple mission is a great way to really sell the idea that the world of New Dawn is destroyed. You aren’t seeing one wasteland, but instead, you see multiple worlds ravaged by the nukes of the past.

The other locations you visit in Far Cry New Dawn are just as visually distinct from Hope County as Florida. You end up traveling to a theme park in Louisana, the Alcatraz prison located in California and you even end up visiting the crashed International Space Station.

Though the location that I ended up loving the most was the second location players can visit, The Navajo Bridge located in Arizona, just over the Colorado River. This area is gorgeous and really feels, unlike anything I’ve seen in Far Cry New Dawn or really any previous Far Cry titles. Deep canyons and deserts that spread right to the edge of the ravine.

These areas can at times also feel like Ubisoft testing out new ideas for future games or even playing around with areas that might not work for a full game or map. Would a huge map set in the deserts and canyons of Arizona be exciting? Maybe not. Yet, as one small and open area to explore it works wonderfully.

What you actually do in these expeditions is far less impressive than the worlds themselves. Players do the same thing each time they reach a location. First, find where the supplies you need to steal are located in the world. Then steal them. You can sneak to these supplies, which are marked with pink smoke, however, once you grab them all hell breaks loose.

This mix of stealth and action isn’t incredibly creative or fresh, yet it works fine for these bite-sized excursions. I also never got bored of fighting in the last stands that are found at the end of each mission. Each mission ends with you fighting off waves of enemies while waiting for your helicopter to arrive and get you out of there. Every time I escaped, I felt a sense of excitement and accomplishment.

Plus these missions reward some excellent loot and crafting materials. Good loot is always great motivation.

New Dawn in many ways feels like Ubisoft experimenting with the Far Cry formula. I don’t know how many of these ideas, like crafting, will show up in future games. But if I could make a suggestion to Ubisoft, I would keep these expeditions moving forward.

They let the developers try out new themes or environments without needing to build a whole new world and they help shake up the game by adding more visual diversity. I even like the little bits of story that are sprinkled throughout these small maps, which help to really show how large the nuclear war was and how much it changed the rest of the country.

These expeditions are an incredible and fun way to make a Far Cry game feel even bigger and more adventurous, without needing to make a map the size of the entire world.


Division 2 Player’s Aim Is Off

Today on Highlight Reel we have bullet curving in The Division 2, Red Dead Redemption 2 dunks, Apex Legends moments and much more!

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

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Far Cry New Dawn Brings Back A Surprising Element From The Franchise’s Past

Far Cry: New Dawn is the latest game in the series and because it is set after nuclear bombs have destroyed the world, things get a bit strange. Weird creatures roam the world, like deer with bright pink antlers or glow-in-the-dark critters. But another weird element of this nuclear apocalypse actually feels inspired by something first found in the original Far Cry on the Xbox.

Spoilers ahead. I’m going to be talking about the later parts of Far Cry New Dawn and the original Far Cry game.

In Far Cry: New Dawn players eventually find their way up North, where Joseph Seed is hiding away with a strange and powerful tree. This tree produces fruit that, when eaten, grants some folks special powers. These powers include strong punches, invisibility, extra speed, and double jumps.

Previous Far Cry games, like Far Cry 5, have included ways to temporarily give your character increased abilities. But giving your character a selection of powers that can be used permanently throughout the game reminded me a lot of the Xbox port of the original game.

Far Cry Instincts was a modified port of the first game in the franchise. It ditched the huge maps found in the original PC version for more linear worlds and also changed the storyline to include new superhuman abilities called “Feral Powers”.

These Feral Powers change the way the game is played and gave Far Cry Instincts a different feel than its PC counterpart. Jack Carver, the protagonist of Far Cry Instincts, can jump farther and higher, move faster, punch harder and track enemies better.

These powers would return in the sequel to Instincts, Far Cry Instincts Evolution. This story had Carver encountering other folks who had his same Feral powers. The campaign for Evolution was much shorter than Instincts and was more an expansion than a full-on new game.

Far Cry New Dawn gives the player similar powers, including a really fun double jump. Like Instincts, these powers change up how you interact with the world. For example, after taking down an outpost I returned with my new powers and suddenly things were much easier. I could sneak around better, get over tall walls without a ladder or door and I could quickly take down elite enemies silently.

While previous games have given players ways to power up, these were usually short term and not as powerful as the Feral powers of Instincts or Eden powers found in New Dawn.

One could argue that in the recent Far Cry games players eventually have so many abilities and weapons that you are already a fairly powerful warrior. While I agree the games tend to overpower the player, I also love becoming some superpowered hunter who can just destroy entire armies and outposts easily.

I have no idea what the future holds for Far Cry. I know some fans prefer more grounded games, while other fans like myself are into the weirder Far Cry adventures. Personally, I would love to see more games in the franchise build on the idea of giving the main character special powers.

Maybe it’s time for Jack Carver to return? What if Far Cry 6 returns to the tropical islands of the first game and gives Carver some new Feral abilities? Unlikely, but maybe a future spin-off like Primal or New Dawn will give us another taste of being a super-powered killer in the world of Far Cry.


Twitter Account Asks The All-Important Video Game Question: Can You Pet The Dog?

Image: Fallout 4

Whether out on the sidewalk, at a party in somebody’s house, or fleeing from a pack of wild dogs, what’s your first instinct—as a rational, sound-minded human being—upon meeting a dog? That’s right: you want to pet it. Video games are meant to let us fulfill our wildest fantasies, and yet, many of them won’t grant us that simple wish. One hero has taken to chronicling every game that lets you pet dogs—and those that don’t.

The “Can You Pet The Dog?” Twitter account describes itself as “a catalog of pettable and non-pettable dogs in video games.” Each entry gets straight to the point, saying whether or not you can pet a dog in a particular game and providing visual evidence. Despite its relative simplicity, it’s resonated with people. After being created earlier this month, the account already has nearly 60,000 followers. This outburst of interest is understandable, because while some video games now have hyper-detailed animations for things like shaving and pushing aside tree branches, some can’t be bothered to let us pet our scruffy canine friends! If, in real life, it came down to a choice between being able to pet dogs and being able to shave and avoid trees, I’d let my beard grow until my face was a forest whose trees I couldn’t stop running into—no question. Clearly, many people, like me, feel that video games need to get their priorities in order.

A very sad dog in The Division 2
Image: VonRaf

The creator of “Can You Pet The Dog?”—who prefers to remain anonymous—is one such person. For them, the breaking point was a recent game: The Division 2.

“I started this account after playing The Division 2 beta and Far Cry: New Dawn in quick succession,” they told Kotaku in a Twitter DM. “The latter has a satisfying dog-petting feature, whereas the former does not. The Division 2 is made worse in this respect because from what I can tell, you can only interact with the dogs in the game by means of violence… Even for a game set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, that is a needlessly bleak and cruel way to design a neutral creature for your world.”

Last year, I wrote about the subject of petting animals in games and said that the ability to do so doesn’t just make a game world more realistic; it adds an extra dimension to both the character doing the petting and the pet. It creates a physical bond of support and trust between them, something that’s rare in a medium where most direct, player-triggered interactions between characters involve violence. And yet, the creator of “Can You Pet The Dog?” has noticed an unfortunate trend toward violence against dogs even in some of their favorite games. They cited Spelunky as an example.

“You can pick up, whip, throw, and even sacrifice the dog to a dark god, but you cannot pet this dog,” they said. “I forgive this game only because you can also rescue the dogs and get dog kisses upon exiting the level.”

Whether or not you can pet dogs might seem like a simple binary, but there are more shades of gray in this shiny, alluringly pettable coat than you’d think. In the case of Fallout 4, for example, some people reacted to a “Can You Pet The Dog” tweet by pointing out that your character does, in fact, pet the dog in a scripted scene shortly after you meet him. Additionally, mods exist that let you pet the dog whenever you want. By the Twitter account’s criteria, however, Fallout 4 didn’t pass the test. When I asked about this, the account’s creator walked me through the finer points of the complex mental task that is discerning whether or not you can indeed pet the dog.

“Each word within the phrase ‘Can you pet the dog?’ can be interpreted in numerous ways,” they said. “Does it count as ‘you’ if a dog is pet during a cutscene? Does a ‘dog’ count as a dog when it is a four-legged alien from a distant planet? I have come to accept there is not an objective ruleset for the account, but rather a loose guideline. Defining a pettable dog is a bit like defining obscenity in that way; I will know it when I see it.”

Surprisingly, the creator of “Can You Pet The Dog?” does not have a dog of their own. They grew up in a household with dogs and are interested in adopting some, but said it’s “not a good time in my life to do so.”

“My current real-life dog situation might be a contributing factor as to my strong feelings about virtual dogs,” they said.

When asked about their favorite pettable video game dog, they gave the only possible correct answer, irrevocably proving they’re the right person to be running this account.

“I have ruminated on this question for a long time,” they said. “I have come to the conclusion that the best pettable dog is all of them. They are all good dogs.”


My Favorite Thing About Far Cry New Dawn Is Seeing How Far Cry 5’s Locations Changed

Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

I’m a sucker for a game series that lets me revisit a place I’ve explored in an earlier game. I loved it when I played Super Metroid, and I’m having a great time with it now in the new Far Cry. I’m not talking about old levels being recreated in new games. I’m talking about visiting a place you saw in one game and seeing how it has changed.

Far Cry New Dawn is set 17 years after Far Cry 5, but was only released a year later. Because of that, the look of FC5’s fictional county of Hope, Montana was fresh in my mind as I played through the New Dawn version. The first game ends with a nuclear blast. By the second game, we see a county where nature is aggressively growing back and humanity is in some Mad Max state of scrappy survivalism.

The jail from the first game?

It’s been overrun by Highwaymen who, by the way, love the color pink.

That spot where a guy named Larry Parker was building a device that he hoped would transmit him to Mars? Here’s that spot in Far Cry 5:

Here’s “Parker’s Vault”in New Dawn.

Being able to stumble across or actively visit places I’ve been to in a previous game and see what has happened to them has been my favorite thing in New Dawn. The game regularly rewards those who played Far Cry 5 with updates to the places—and people—they encountered in the first game. It’s so effective and seemingly such an easy button for the developers to push in their players, it’s a wonder more games don’t do it.

Sure, we see iconic levels in older games recreated in new ones all the time. What I don’t recall seeing much of, despite the many sequels I’ve played, is many games that simply take me back to where I’ve been and show me what happened next. My favorite example of this is Super Metroid which I played in, wow, 1994? Twenty-five years ago?? Anyway, in the beginning of that game, the player finds themselves in a location that should feel familiar to anyone who played the first Metroid game. The designers are having you walk through the wrecked caverns where the original Metroid’s violent finale took place. It’s wild to be back there.

Far Cry New Dawn, which uses a smaller version of Far Cry 5’s map, is constantly doing that Super Metroid thing.

See all these spots in this corner of Far Cry 5?

You can re-visit them in New Dawn. They’ve all changed.

Far Cry New Dawn has a whole sidequest about how the virtual Montana landscape has changed. Players are given several photos of locations from 5 and are challenged to find them in New Dawn.

That water tower photo goes about here:

Here’s the iconic big bridge from Far Cry 5.

And here, through the glory of New Dawn’s photo mode, is my character in the new game comparing a photo from the Far Cry 5 era to what the bridge looks like a nuke and 17 years later.

Far Cry New Dawn’s transformed locations often include notes and audio recordings that add more details about how or why a place has changed. They tell stories of new survivors taking shelter in spots that other characters lived in in the last game. They reveal the fate of allies long gone in the 17 years that passed. That big bridge, it turns out, was wrecked because the folks in Hope County who were just trying to stay alive tried to run a supply train over it, but the bridge couldn’t take the weight.

Sometimes I’m even struck by a site in New Dawn that looks so familiar that I dive back into Far Cry 5 to find the old version. Take this thing in the new game. It rings a bell, but I haven’t found it back in Far Cry 5 yet.

So much of what I enjoyed about New Dawn is its constant comparisons of its people and places to those in the last game. I found it moving and exciting to go back, and I realize I’d happily play a whole series that stays in the same place but lets us revisit it as dozens of in-game years tick by between each sequel. It’s a phenomenon games are uniquely suited to doing well, so it’s a shame that games do it so infrequently.


Far Cry New Dawn Players Love The Judge And Think They Know Their True Identity

Far Cry New Dawn is set nearly 20 years after a nuclear bomb has hit Hope County, the stetting of Far Cry 5. While many were killed in the blast and aftermath, some Far Cry 5 characters survived. Fans of Far Cry New Dawn believe The Judge is a surviving character from the previous game and a very important one too.

In Far Cry New Dawn players can find a silent and helpful gun for hire simply named The Judge. This gun for hire never speaks, unlike other gun for hires who will often talk about events happening around the player or locations they visit. The Judge will occasionally make some grunts and groans, but that’s it.

While The Judge might be silent they have still built up a big fan base. A lot of New Dawn players love The Judge. On Twitter and Reddit, fans are sharing artwork of the character and sharing photos with the silent warrior. Some even think The Judge is cute! “Who needs co-op when you’ve got The Judge,” said Reddit user hxcdrummer.

But who is The Judge? The character never talks or takes off their mask, so it takes a bit more digging to figure out who this masked friend might be.

New Dawn spoilers ahead!

Sprinkled throughout the game, fans can find clues and conversations that heavily hint at the The Judge being The Deputy from Far Cry 5.

The Deputy was the player character from Far Cry 5. They were a young rookie officer who became wrapped up in all the cult killing business of the game. Along the way The Deputy helped the folks of Hope County fight and defeat Joseph Seed and his deadly cult.

A conversation Carmina has with The Judge seems to be one of the most direct hints of the character’s real identity. In Far Cry 5 players help Nick Rye and his wife with the birth of their first child, a baby Carmina. In New Dawn, Carmina is now an adult and will mention to The Judge how her parents told her the story of how The Judge, before they were silent and wore a mask, helped during her birth.

So what happened to the hero of Far Cry 5?

It seems after the bombs fell and destroyed the world, The Deputy became a believer in Joseph Seed. Players can find a note which heavily implies this is the case. In the note it seems The Deputy wants to help “judge” the world and seeks forgiveness and too be reborn. So why does The Judge never speak?

One theory is that Seed and his cult cut the tongue out of The Judge’s mouth. Fans point to a conversation The Judge can have with the granny sniping Nana. She wants to help The Judge which makes The Judge cry. When she asks them to speak and tell her what’s wrong, The Judge just cries more.

Based on all of this evidence and more clues found in New Dawn, it seems certain that The Deputy and The Judge are one in the same. Though Ubisoft hasn’t confirmed this yet. I did reach out to them, but they didn’t respond with an answer.


Hurk Has Become The Mascot Of Far Cry

I remember the first time I encountered Hurk in a Far Cry game. It was his very first appearance in the series, in Far Cry 3 as part of a downloadable mission pack called Monkey Business. I remember thinking “This guy seems annoying. I can’t take any more of him.” Seven years later and he is still around and still popping up in every game.

In his first appearance we get a good sense of who Hurk is. Hurk is loud, dumb, love explosions, beers and guns. In Far Cry 3 Hurk mentions that the tribal leader Citra is a MILF, “Malyasian I’d Like To Fuck!”. Hurk sucks.

Kotaku’s own Heather Alexandra had this to say about Hurk in her Far Cry New Dawn review:

I hate Hurk. I hate his fucking guts. He started as a joke character… and has been featured in all games since, including a baffling presence as ‘Urki’ in Far Cry Primal. Nothing he says is funny, every moment with him makes me want to choke on a pretzel.

Harsh, but fair. Hurk really isn’t enjoyable to be around. The idea of Hurk though, I like. The idea of a fun and exciting character who is all about big action packed missions is a solid idea. But the execution of Hurk is just the worst. Part of the problem is that since his appearance he hasn’t really changed. He still says the same sort of shit, still is written as an annoying asshole and still gets stuck with jokes that aren’t very funny.

A great example of this is found in Far Cry 5. Hurk has started a monkey cult, a reference to the cult found in Far Cry 5. The problem is that this bit isn’t really funny and gets constantly referenced and driven into the ground. That sort of sums up Hurk. He’s a joke of character that has been beaten to death over and over.

Hurk in Far Cry 5
Image: Ubisoft

And yet…I weirdly enjoy his appearances. Don’t get me wrong, I hate Hurk’s dialogue, attitude and general behavior. But he has almost turned into the Far Cry franchise’s Stan Lee. This cameo that you know is coming and keep an eye out for. However, unlike Stan Lee’s cameos, which were short and hilarious, Hurk’s appearance always drag and never really make me laugh.

I can’t help but appreciate the dedication Ubisoft has to the Hurk joke, even going so far as to include him in the Mars DLC from Far Cry 5. While he doesn’t appear in Far Cry Primal, one of his ancestors does. The lengths Ubisoft is willing to go to include Hurk in Far Cry games is astonishing. This much work for such a bad character.

Urki in Far Cry Primal
Image: Ubisoft

I hate sounding so negative about Hurk. I actually want to like Hurk. I love the idea of all the Far Cry games being connected in this weird action-movie-like-universe. I enjoy Willis Huntley, the CIA agent who appears in many Far Cry games. I really want to enjoy hanging out with Hurk, but he’s just so unfunny and annoying.

Hurk’s voice actor seems to be a good guy. He interacts often with fans on Twitter and even records Hurks lines bare chested. I’m not sure why, but hey, he’s certainly not phoning it in. Which is another frustrating aspect of Hurk. The voice acting is great. It feels like a waste to have someone this talented saying of some of Hurk’s dialogue.

The community reaction is mixed on Hurk. Checking Reddit and Twitter you can find plenty of fans who love him and folks sharing favorite Hurk quotes. You can also find people asking for less Hurk. Though I would say overall the internet seems to mostly enjoy Hurk, at least they enjoy him more than Heather or I do. Which is fine. Like I said earlier, I oddly enjoy searching for the Hurk cameo in Far Cry games. I guess I just wish the actual missions and jokes were better and writing less grating.

If you enjoy Hurk, don’t let this article ruin your love of the big idiot. In his less annoying moments Hurk can occasionally make me smirk. There is something to love about a big, dumb buffoon running around making references to Beyonce.

Just maybe don’t put him in every Far Cry game. Who knows, if he doesn’t appear in Far Cry 6 I might actually miss Hurk.


Apex Legends Player Waves Meekly Before Exploding

Today on Highlight Reel we have weird Anthem javelins, flying Metro Exodus guards, killer Apex Legends moments, and much more!

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!


How to Play Far Cry New Dawn in ‘Dad Mode’

Image: Courtesy of Ubisoft

Far Cry New Dawn, the newest release in Ubisoft’s open world Far Cry series, is set years after the apocalyptic nuclear event that ended Far Cry 5. Hope County, Montana has been nearly destroyed, but a rag-tag band of survivors wants to rebuild. Your job is to help them by scavenging supplies, building up the settlement of Prosperity, and battling the evil Highwaymen who terrorize the populace.

It’s possible to play Far Cry New Dawn in Dad Mode (i.e., avoiding the most egregious violence in favor of more peaceful game activities in front of the kids), but it isn’t easy. It’s rated “M,” and unlike some open-world games, violent confrontation is woven into the all aspects of the game experience. But if you don’t mind sending your kids out of the room occasionally to shoot up some fools, there are a ton of child-friendly, no-violence activities in this game.

A life affirming post-apocalypse

Screenshot: Stephen Johnson

New Dawn’s post-bomb open world is positively lush. Unlike the bleak, rubble-strewn urban hellscape of games like Fallout 4, Hope County is overflowing with sunlight and vibrant neon plants and flowers; apparently, the bombs were good for flora and fauna.

There are no wandering zombies or super-mutants to trouble you on your travels either, so the overall look of the game won’t scar your child with the crazy idea that things would suck after nuclear bombs fell.

Constant confrontation

Image: Courtesy of Ubisoft

While the setting alone probably won’t disturb impressionable youth, the action might. In keeping with the “crazy shit can go off at any minute” ethos of the Far Cry series, enemies show up at random and they show up often. You can’t reason with them, or even run away most of the time, so you gotta kill or be killed.

If you’re playing with a kid in the room, you’re going to be yelling “cover your eyes” and racing for the mute button regularly. Even after finishing the game, totally sprucing up the settlement and vanquishing the boss bad guys, Highwaymen still appear regularly to mess up your serenity (where do they even sleep?). On the plus side, the game’s kills are not overly gruesome or bloody, with the exception of stealth assassinations.

Fishing: the friend of parent-gamers everywhere

Screenshot: Stephen Johnson

New Dawn’s fishing system is pretty basic. First, you earn some perk points to get a fishing pole, then you plunk your line into the water and start reeling them in. You don’t have to worry about bait, technique or improving your fishing pole.

There are six types of fish to catch, and getting them all earns an achievement or trophy. Fish can also be traded for valuable supplies, so there’s an in-game reason to go down to the old fishin’ hole for a while.

The Highwaymen, of course, have no respect for angling and will attack you randomly while you’re fishing. I haven’t found a spot where it’s “safe” to fish, even after the main game is over. So be wary.

Let’s go hunting

Screenshot: Stephen Johnson

The wildlife in New Dawn have been jacked up by the apocalypse, but not in a terrifying way—so if you’re cool with your kids being exposed to hunting in general, New Dawn’s animals aren’t likely to be more disturbing than any other video game prey.

To find animal hunting grounds, you can either purchase a map from a vendor, or just explore Hope County, where you’ll run across road signs that point you to the habitats of various animals, including the tough “monstrous” animals that take a lot of bullets but can be used to craft higher-end weapons.

Like its fishing system—and really the rest of the game—hunting in New Dawn is stripped down and basic: Point your weapon at an animal and shoot it until it dies. Then collect the skin and trade it for duct tape or gears to build cars and guns. Unlike the fussy hunting in Red Dead Redemption, you don’t have to use the right weapon on specific animals, and you don’t have to worry about getting a clean kill either. You’ll still get tradable skins, unless you blow animals up with grenade or light them on fire or something.

There’s a perk that boosts your hunting ability, and one of your companions is the ultimate hunting buddy. Timber the dog marks enemies and animals, and that makes hunting way easier, so definitely bring this goodest boy along. Plus, you can ride around with Timber in the sidecar of your motorcycle, and that’s adorable, as you can see in the screenshot above.

Treasure hunting

Screenshot: Stephen Johnson

What kid doesn’t like a treasure hunt? Various survivors and preppers left caches of supplies around the landscape before the bombs dropped, and if you follow the clues and figure out some puzzles, you can take ‘em.

There are ten treasures in total, and each provides a ton of valuable supplies for crafting. To find them, either talk to survivors or buy a map to get the locations. You even get a trophy/achievement for solving them all. But again, sometimes the starting point of treasure quests are guarded by violent thugs you gotta kill.

Taking pictures

One of the first side-missions in New Dawn starts with the discovery of a box of nine pre-bomb photographs. Your job is finding the location where each photograph was taken. It’s the kind of quest you either keep up with as you play the missions, or totally neglect until you’ve already beaten the game and want to get 100 percent. If you’re in the latter camp, you can buy a map from a vendor, hop in a helicopter, and cruise to each location with your kid at your side, snapping photos of Hope’s various landmarks.

Hidden music players

Screenshot: Stephen Johnson

Someone has hidden 10 music players in Hope County, and if you find them all, you will be rewarded with an achievement and new tunes to play on survivor radio as you tool around the post apocalypse.

The good guys prefer listening to oldies like Herman’s Hermits, while the bad guys like hip-hop in the vein of Run The Jewels. (There’s no accounting for taste.) This is a great kid-friendly scavenger hunt, as long as you are aware of the Highwaymen that guard many of the locations.

Racing around like a lunatic

Screenshot: Stephen Johnson

It’s not an “official” activity, but riding around Hope County, smashing through trees, finding cool jumps, and having spectacular wrecks is crazy fun, especially once you’ve crafted beefed-up, Mad Max-style vehicles.

Make sure you bring along one of your companions. I recommend Nana, a senior citizen who dishes out homespun wisdom and deadly sniper fire in equal measure. In the screenshot above, Nana and I are jumping over a canyon in our unicorn trike. That’s how we do.

For more from Lifehacker, be sure to follow us on Instagram @lifehackerdotcom.


Far Cry New Dawn Is Filled With Splinter Cell, Rabbids & Other Ubisoft Easter Eggs

Screenshot: The Easter Egg Hunter (YouTube)

Far Cry New Dawn players are discovering that the wasteland of Hope County, Montana is littered with Easter Eggs to other Ubisoft games. Popular YouTube channel “The Easter Egg Hunter”put together a video showcasing some of the secrets players have already found in New Dawn.

Some of the secrets are small references to previous Far Cry games. For example, in an underground bunker you can find a small bobble head of Far Cry 3 villain Vaas.

Another YouTuber, Dan Allen, showcased that players can also find some Blood Dragon eggs in New Dawn. These eggs are from the Far Cry 5 mission where you help a director with his movie. You can even find a note from the director in New Dawn. This mission itself was a reference to the popular spin-off game, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

Outside of Hope County, players have spotted a Rabbid. These strange creatures have starred in multiple Ubisoft games, even appearing alongside Mario and other Nintendo characters in a game that was similar to XCOM, because video games are really weird.

Rabbid in New Dawn
Screenshot: The Easter Egg Hunter (YoutTube)

The most impressive Easter Egg is a reference to the Splinter Cell franchise. Players can find a crashed plane, which looks very similar to the Paladin featured in Splinter Cell Blacklist. Once players go inside, they can find more references to Blacklist, including a computer that looks like the ShadowNet featured in that game and notes from Splinter Cell characters discussing the end of the world.

The best part of this Splinter Cell secret is that players can actually find Sam Fisher’s stealth suit, complete with tri-goggles. Once unlocked, players can don the famous sneaking suit and explore Hope County dressed as the master spy.

Considering last year Ubisoft had Sam Fisher pop up in Ghost Recon Wildlands, maybe this is another hint that we will finally get a new Splinter Cell game.

About the author

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a a writer living in Kansas City, Missouri. He has written for Gamecritics, USgamer, Killscreen and Entertainment Fuse.