'Far Cry New Dawn' Narrative Designer Explains Changes in Hope County

Far Cry New Dawn may be set in Hope County, and even uses the same map from Far Cry 5, but don't expect this to be a straight copy. Thanks to nuclear blasts, extreme weather changes and time, the landscape has been altered forever.

far-cry-new-dawn-map-screenshot
A look at the altered landscape of Far Cry New Dawn's Hope County Ubisoft

"Far Cry starts off by designing the world first. The narrative team puts a lot of research into what the world would look like based on science," Far Cry New Dawn narrative designer and script writer Olivia Alexander told Newsweek. "We spoke with two expert meteorologists who specialize both in volcanoes and the potential aftermath of a nuclear event. Both of these things have a lot of particulates in the air. It changes weather patterns, geography, geology, wildlife and population."

Many gamers might think of a nuclear post-apocalypse as something brown, gray and dead. Far Cry New Dawn is the opposite, a world full of nature and life. This decision wasn't one based purely on aesthetics, Alexander says there is also some science-based facts there as well.

"One of the things we got out of our talks with the meteorologists was something called Superbloom," Alexander said. "It's a real life phenomenon that happens in deserts in the United States. In periods without much rainfall, seeds and nutrients get dried up and dormant in the dust, but when the rain does come back everything bursts out of the ground. There are these big, big bursts of life and color." The Montana in New Dawn was initially turned into desert after the end of Far Cry 5, but rains returned and life blossomed. "Animal life retook Hope County and people were able to start farming again."

far-cry-new-dawn-animals
The animals in Far Cry New Dawn are familiar, but their looks and behavior have shifted Ubisoft

Far Cry New Dawn also allows players to explore beyond Montana in the new Expedition missions. These short, but challenging, missions give players opportunities to earn big rewards. "There's one in the bayou at a carnival, but it's derelict and there's water up to your knees," said Alexander. "In addition, once the Highwaymen came in, there are dead alligators strung up on the carousel because that's the Highwaymen's idea of a joke. In each Expedition, there is really wonderful methods of visual storytelling to tell you these periods of time we weren't able to see."

From Vaas to Joseph Seed, Far Cry villains are notorious for being scene-stealing, charismatic figures and Alexander says the twins Mickey and Lou fit right in with the rest. "They were just kids when the bombs fell, and they were shaped by the world that came up around them," she said. "A big theme with Far Cry 5 is how these different people deal with this worldwide trauma, the different things different people are attracted to. I think the twins represent a very understandable and empathetic view of how to view the world after something like that. They're really impressive and really badass, and I'm really excited for people to get to know them better."

far-cry-new-dawn-hands-on-preview
The twin leaders of the Minutemen, Mickey and Lou Ubisoft

While the twins may elicit some empathy, they are still villains. As the leaders of The Highwaymen, the twins view the world as something for the taking. "They adopted this philosophy that there are two types of people in the world: problem solvers and problem makers. They saw their dad as a problem maker and they solved him. This allowed them to turn into these peacocks. Really loud, bright colors with chapters all across the country. They're here for a good time, not a long time. Even if that's at the expense of others."

Far Cry New Dawn releases for PS4, Xbox One and PC on February 15.

So what do you think? Are you excited to explore the warped world of Hope County in Far Cry New Dawn? What questions do you have about the game before it releases? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

'Far Cry New Dawn' Narrative Designer Explains Changes in Hope County | Gaming