Co-op in Far Cry is one of those things that sounds great on paper but have mixed results in practice, and Far Cry 5’s offering never really managed to reach the hilarious and wild highs that Far Cry 4’s co-op achieved. Part of that, I think, has to do with the map. As much as I enjoyed my initial time in Hope County, Far Cry 4’s Kyrat remains one of my favorite maps in any open-world game, and its condensed nature made tethering players together seem less restrictive than it did in Far Cry 5. Thankfully, Far Cry 5’s Arcade mode supplied a good way to play the game with friends in a more condensed, action-packed way, even if the open-world stuff seemed a little lackluster.
While Arcade will unfortunately take a break in Far Cry New Dawn, the sequel’s shiny new feature, Expeditions, provides a perfect playground for co-op action.
At a recent New Dawn preview event, I teamed up with another attendee and took on a couple of Expedition missions. These can be found in Prosperity, your main base, by talking to Roger, the French-Canadian helicopter pilot. You’ll need to have enough Ethanol—New Dawn’s main resource—to unlock these missions, but once you do, you’ll be treated to one of the game’s more interesting side quests.
Expeditions remove you from Hope County and take you to smaller, self-contained maps set in different parts of a nuked United States. During the preview event, my partner and I traveled to three different locations: a tanker off the coast of Florida, the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River in Arizona, and an abandoned theme park in Louisiana. All of these locations are strongholds for different chapters of the Highwaymen, the main antagonists in the game, and each stronghold contains valuable resources you won’t find anywhere in Hope County.
The mission in every stronghold is the same. Roger will drop you off in his helicopter, task you with locating and retrieving a package, and then pick you back up at a designated landing zone. The mission objectives are a little repetitive, but the diversity of the locations is what makes Expeditions interesting.
Raiding the Navajo Bridge stronghold was easily the highlight of my time in co-op. My partner and I each took to a separate bridge and made our way stealthily across to the other side of the river. From there, we located the package and planned a semi-coordinated shock-and-awe attack on the stronghold. Once the alarms were tripped, Highwaymen started pouring into our location, but by that point we retrieved the package, ramped a stolen truck across a small ravine, and made it back to the landing zone to make a speedy getaway. It was fun, somewhat tactical, and the layout of the bridge made for a wacky retreat.
The theme park and the tanker were also fun, even if their layouts weren’t as engaging. The tanker offered some vertical options in our approach, while the theme park was more spread out and atmospheric, complete with crocodiles patrolling the water. These strongholds are only about 1 square kilometer each, but the condensed nature of the maps helpfully focuses the action for two players. Plus, they’re tough to take on alone, which is enough motivation to approach them as a duo.
Hopefully, Ubisoft will continue to support and build upon these Expeditions. They’re promising in concept, and if the developer can provide updates in the form of unique mission objectives and, dare I ask, more locations with its post-launch plans, I can see Expeditions becoming a main draw for a lot of friends eager to grind for the best resources and gear together.