Far Cry: New Dawn will bring back some familiar faces, but Boomer isn't one of them

Far Cry: New Dawn was confirmed last night at The Game Awards with a trailer showcasing a surprisingly colorful post-apocalyptic setting, a pair of new villains, and familiar guns-and-vehicles gameplay in what appeared to be a very Road Warrior-like story about an oasis of civilization struggling to survive in the midst of depredation and horror. Now we've got a new video that digs deeper into what we can expect in our return to Hope County, 17 years after the bombs fell. 

My theory that we might play the game as Far Cry 5 psycho-villain Joseph Seed is apparently off the mark, as the hero in New Dawn will be a brand new character coming to Hope County for the first time. There will be some returning characters from Far Cry 5, however, although they'll understandably be changed by the passage of time (and a nuclear war). Some of the returnees were chosen by the writing team for specific narrative purposes, but others were apparently brought back mainly because they're fan favorites: I'd guess that number would include Hurk's mom, Nick and Kim Rye, and maybe that Sharky guy with the flamethrower. Hurk himself is an inevitability. 

One character who won't be back is Boomer, the faithful dog companion. "Boomer is dead," creative director Jean-Sebastien Decant reveals in the video. "It has to be said. I won't say what happened, but 17 years—woo." There will be a new dog, though, named Timber, and unlike Boomer he'll have the ability to actually ride around with you in vehicles. There's also a giant boar you can befriend named Horatio, who looks like he'll be really handy in a fight. 

Far Cry: New Dawn will be centered around an outpost named Prosperity that you'll be able to build out over the course of the game. Opposing your efforts are the Highwaymen, a gang of roving bandits led by "the twins," Mickey and Lou. But the game will also enable players to roam beyond Hope County in "expeditions" to other unique locations that aren't part of the open-world map. 

"[Expedition maps are] one square kilometer by one square kilometer, so it's fairly large. All are totally unique," Decant says. "Because these maps are separated from the open world, we don't have the same constraints. So for instance, we can put way more enemies, so the experience is much more intense." 

Far Cry: New Dawn comes out on February 15, and is available for pre-purchase on Steam and the Ubisoft Store for $40/£38/€45.