Published on March 4th, 2016 | by Edwin Millheim
Far Cry Primal XBox One Review
Summary: Far Cry Primal is a great diversion in the series that successfully takes you back to a simpler yet equally as dangerous era!
Far from primal!
When a developer makes a game that they are hoping that millions of gamers will fall in with their vision, it’s a tough challenge, especially bringing in new gameplay mechanics in an already established franchise but also… paying homage to what came before. However Ubisoft as both a developer and publisher have always had a pretty solid reputation for pushing the envelope in different ways by making some of the old ideas new again and of course implementing new elements in order to capture the imagination of the player.
So with Far Cry Primal, the latest game of the “Far Cry” series, I have been watching and waiting to see just what they would do with this title for awhile now. Furthermore, I’ve been impressed in what lengths they have gone to bring the player into a world that many can only speculate at, particularly in a world long gone in the march of time itself. So with it finally here, how does it hold up in the grand scheme of things? Well my gamer friend… let’s find out!
Far Cry Primal is the latest action adventure game in the franchise which takes a spectacular and bold move to make us feel like never before in the world of Far Cry where the role of hunter and hunted is not always so clear. As someone that enjoys ancient history plus paleontology, it was really thrilling to see the lengths that Ubisoft has gone to deliver such a unique and engaging experience to the player.
Recorded history is roughly 5,000 years in age, beginning with Sumerian Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC. But in Far Cry Primal, it sling shots us around 10,000 BCE which is around the Mesolithic period. While a lot of the game is very fictional, the steps taken to make it smack of authenticity is truly inspiring. The adventure takes place in the fictional valley of Oros, some place in what will eventually be Central Europe. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful and yet savage world where only the strong survive.
One of those steps to really make the game standout was that there are fictional languages in the game BUT rather than just throwing some gibberish at the player, the languages have actually been created from experts in the fields and they have structure and a very defined syntax. The language is based on a proto-Indo-European language, with the professional linguists creating three dialects for the game which include Wenji, Udam and Izila. Spectacular! It’s these authentic elements which makes Far Cry Primal such a unique and engaging title for the player.
In the game players take on the role of Takkar who is a Wenja tribesman. Through some misfortune and a true showing of the law of the land, he finds himself alone, relying on his wits and skills to keep him alive. Of course for me, the thrilling part of this is the taming of a world. The predator and prey elements of past Far Cry games have always had somewhat of a heavy balance in favour of the player. Because after all… what animal can argue with a machine gun?
Now set in this savage world, when a Smilodon decides to stalk you, it is now a major concern because here you are armed with a freaking sharp stick. Against 400 pounds of muscle, teeth and claws, it only sees you as part of the food chain and a lower part at that!
As players progress in the game, they of course gain the skills to upgrade weapons and get better melee weapons plus long range weapons to help you on the “great hunt”. Oh and by the way, you are scavenging for these items and not purchasing them from your local arms dealer. So scavenged materials are what you use to make your weapons and gear like for your first bow which is made from reeds, alder wood and slate.
Hunting animals is also something that is more of a must now. After all you have to eat to stay alive too, right? I almost feel like the game has some built in some cheats for the players when it comes to hunting. Using hunter vision like in so many other games, animals can be highlighted from the background and blood trails are far easier to find.
Fire, ah the thing that is said to have rocketed man from the food chain to the top is another important factor… well maybe rocket is to much a simplistic thing. Fire in the savage realm of Oros comes in very handy, especially at night when predators come out to stalk, hunt and kill. Fire will keep you safe and aid you in fighting back the darkness which hides the beasts who become far more deadlier and aggressive during this time.
Oh and one of the things that the designers had decided on was to assist the player once in a while with a companion who aids you in fighting, be your eyes in the hunt and in essence help the player have the skills of a “Beast Master”. Bonus points for ANYONE that remembers that old movie, so nothing subtle here!
Eventually the player will get the skill to tame certain beasts and they will be able to open a beast menu. From this menu they can see what beasts are tameable and assists in your primal adventures. This menu also allows you to call or dismiss a beast and advancing and mastering new Beast Master Skills allows the player to tame new animals.
It’s a hoot (no pun intended) for it feels pretty cool and players will soon find they will lean towards certain types of animals to be their companions depending on what kind of playstyle they have. While others will just decide on the fly and in what situation a certain animal is best suited to their bloody task at hand. That’s another example of how Ubisoft have mastered the “Far Cry” engine because it gives the player choice in how they will complete this game and how they draw you into this wondrous universe.
In terms of the main mission, your goal is to save your tribe who also give you additional missions that of course expands the story and unlocks new aspects for your character and of course, additional animals to tame. I also found it hard not engage in these side missions because you really do become invested in your tribe. So as mentioned, the world of Primal is quite large and the developers should be commended in creating this unique atmosphere of a time long gone. With beautiful graphics and audio, Far Cry Primal is a gorgeous looking game and the sound effects really enhance the gameplay because you do need to listen to what’s happening around you.
All in all, Far Cry Primal is another great game from this series that both new and old players will enjoy as they enter the Mesolithic period.
FAR CRY PRIMAL GAMEPLAY FEATURES
FROM PREY TO PREDATOR
You will play as Takkar, a seasoned hunter and the last surviving member of your group. You have one goal: survival in a world where you are the prey.
- Grow your tribe and hone your skills to lead your people.
- Encounter a cast of memorable characters who can help push back the dangers of the wild.
- Face enemy tribes who will do anything to eradicate you and your allies.
- Defeat predators and humans alike and rise to become the apex predator.
THIS IS FAR CRY’S STONE AGE
This isn’t the Stone Age as you know it. This is the Stone Age with irreverence and mayhem. This is Far Cry’s Stone Age.
- Stalk enemy outposts and plan your attack using weapons and tools crafted from the bones of beasts you’ve killed.
- Master the element of fire to expand your tactical options, setting your weapon on fire or scaring predators at night.
- Land the killing blow on the prey you’ve hunted across the plains. But beware, its scent may attract predators willing to fight you for the prize.
- The rich setting of the Stone Age only multiplies the amount of deadly weapons, dangerous threats, and incredible stories that Far Cry is known for.
A WORLD RULED BY GIANT BEASTS
After the last Ice Age, the glaciers retreated to leave behind a land blooming with nature and resources where humans and animals alike can thrive – provided they have what it takes to prove their dominance.
- Discover the majestic and savage land of Oros with its breathtaking valley of redwood forests, harsh taiga, and humid swamps where you can see Earth as it was before man laid claim to it.
- Oros teems with life from large herds of deer and vicious packs of dire-wolves to warring enemy tribes. It is ruled by megafauna such as sabretooth tigers and woolly mammoths, giant animals that dominated the Earth in the Stone Age and were feared by every other living being.
Primary Format – Games – Xbox One
Game Genre – Shooter
Rating – MA15+
Game Developer – Ubisoft
Game Publisher – Ubisoft