+Astonishing graphics, animations, and detail
+An original story that deters from modern emphasis on human survival
+New weapons compliment the year 10,000 B.C. and even feel truly unique
+Lack of multiplayer truly makes the game feel alive and believable
-Enemy camps can easily become overwhelming
-Saber tooth tiger feels at times, too powerful, or even not powerful enough
-Woolly Mammoths attack without a warning and will easily kill players
I’ll be the first to admit my past few weeks have been busy. I’ve worked on our hands-on for Tom Clancy’s The Division Beta, Warframe, and even started working on The Witch and the Hundred Night: Revival Edition for our friends over at NIS America. While not playing those? I’ve spent a lot of free time on SMITE thanks to our newest writer, Christopher Adee who handed me an Alpha key for PlayStation 4. Deciding to take a break since I’ve been rather excited for Far Cry Primal, I headed down to our local Best Buy, toss down the money for the game, and headed home. With review copies not available, I still felt obligated to bring out the review the game, but also to enjoy it while I could still be hammering out some time on other titles.
Sitting down while it installed, my mind began to wonder what would allow the series to change, and this included what the graphics engine would be like, what weapons would be available, but also what story arch could they approach with letting go of the known formula once used. Sure I expected an approach that would require me to hunt certain creatures, gather certain resources, and even upgrade my weapons, but what I wasn’t expecting was the lush, beautiful, and massive open world. One that is large, sprawling with life, and even viewed through first person so that I would become largely immersed within the world before me. As the game began to start up, I excited grabbed my PlayStation 4’s dual shock controller, plugged in my PlayStation Gold headphones, and even turned off my gaming room lights. From there my adventure began.
As the opening started, I was given my first glimpses of a rather cinematic experience, one that revealed Takkar and the tribe of Wenja hunters he belonged to as they tracked a herd of woolly mammoths. With food supplies short, they were close to starvation, which put their hunt in a dire situation. The language they used? One I’d never heard before, one that provided even more interest in this newest title, and one that has kept me interested for hours on end. Within opening minutes, the game took a rather familiar turn, Takkar’s tribe was wiped out, him being the lone survivor, I would be prompted to take on his need to survive, which includes him fighting his way through the wilderness to a play of safety. Within the opening hours of the game, I found myself immerse to the extent I was building up the tribe, forging new huts for the freshly recruited Wenja members, and even defending the home village from an Ulda attack only to later begin taming creatures such as wolves, dohle’s, saber tooth tigers, and even cave bears.
With my village built up to 121 people, my pack of animal companion’s almost completely filled up, and even weapons almost maxed out, my mind began to wonder while my focused begun to go outside of the campaign, which has been fantastic, but at the same time rather familiar. With an approach that fits rather perfectly tot he franchise, Far Cry Primal offers something beautiful, unique, and noticeably loved by the developers. The world is alive, it’s realistic, and the graphics are beyond amazing compared to many of this generations games. Even with games like Metal Gear Sold V: The Phantom Pain, Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and even Halo 5: Guardians – graphics have not been a problem for a few games now. Joining those ranks is our latest open world exploration that is primitive, gory, and brutal. One that makes those games almost week in graphics, animation, and lively.
With this tidbit of graphical and audio prowess, Far Cry Primal is definitely a departure from the guns, the explosions, and modernization we’ve become used to with most of today’s games. With this departure it began to grow easy to appreciate what made this game so unique and the fact it reminded me of a game that I have come to know and love – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This was no easy achievement for me to hand to the game I’ve become to love, and even enjoy for hours on end. If it’s even possible to compare the two as Far Cry Primal does not call upon magical items, dragons, and even mystical beings, but instead it calls upon the ways of old, and traditions that ancient tribes would call upon during their days. While there are a few games that call upon bows, hammers, and spears, it’s not common in AAA market anymore. Thanks to Far Cry Primal, we are able to experience this and even appreciate it even more-so than ever.
Unlike Skyrim though, Far Cry Primal doesn’t just call upon the need to revive your companion, once entering mountains that are snow covered and cold? Players will find themselves worrying about Takkar’s warmth whether it means lighting a spear on fire or even one of their hammers. They’ll have to worry about sneaking through the plains that are inhabited by their enemy tribes and even worry about resources that can be used to heal themselves, their companion, and even craft their weapons. Let alone will they worry about all those mentioned things, player swill even have to worry about rescuing other Wenja and even protecting their villages and taking out enemy villages. With this bit of a twist, it’s hard not to say that Far Cry Primal hasn’t taken on a realistic twist in order to show that its world could truly have existed at one point. To be honest? I’m not too sure it hadn’t after having played the game as long as I have. But to be honest? If the Far Cry games could do this? What’s not to say that Far Cry couldn’t keep at it with the right amount of tweaking the skill tree, requirements to unlock weapons, and even modify their weapon crafting system a little bit? To be honest, the Far Cry series would be able to rival The Elder Scrolls quite easily if given a few years of development and decision making behind how many skills could be unlocked, and the likes.
Far Cry Primal – PC, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Cost: 59.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available
But what makes this game more unique than past titles? The mechanics have changed a bit. Players will adjust weapons to the situation such as bee bombs to disperse large groups of enemies while switching to the heavy club to go in for close heavy combat. For range? Players will find themselves lobbing spears at enemies while even taking out the long bow for increased range. If a simple arrow doesn’t do justice and enemies are hiding behind some cover? Easy – light the arrow on fire and send it hurling their way to force them out of cover, or simply send your companion after them only to watch them get mauled while you reap the rewards afterwards. But there is something where the game does begin to struggle in the long run.
As players explore it won’t be uncommon for nature to fight back. In the mountains I found myself frustrated as the sound of a woolly mammoth trampling Takkar became all-to-familiar as I found myself muttering obscenities under my breath or even found myself all-in-all walking away for a few minutes to take a break. Once back? I soon encountered myself fending off not just woolly mammoths at night, but even saber toothed tigers, and even wolves as they went roaming across the mountains of Uros, making Takkar’s fight for survival a bit more brutal than easier. This even would show a difficulty when fighting through enemy camps, bonfires, and even territory while trying to once more tame the lands of Uros and become a master of survival while leading a tribe to the top of the food chain.
Normally this is where we would post the trailer, but due to this games blood, gore, and nudity. We’re not showing the trailer here, but if you want to? Head on over to YouTube here to view the official Story Trailer.
While Far Cry has departed from the approach it once knew, Far Cry Primal has reinvented the franchise for the better. The question at hand is, will Ubisoft follow this formula in the future and do what they’ve done now, but improve upon it? With weapons like the double arrow, the bee bomb, and even the throwing blades, it’ll be interesting to see what Ubisoft has up their sleeves for future content and even improvised content if any are to happen since a season pass is unavailable at this time.
Our review is based upon a copy we purchased ourselves due to the demand for review copies being extremely high. We still want to thank Ubisoft for the chances to do this review! For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.