Far Cry Primal is an interesting one, and a brave thing for Ubisoft to do in my opinion. The game has always been about facing adversity in a paradise setting and this game is no different, although it is set in central Europe in the year 10,000 BC! That’s right, there’s no twist here. You’re literally a caveman of the Wenja tribe who must fight for survival and fend off a tribe of cannibals called the Udam in order to save your people from starvation.
The reason I think Ubi are brave is that there are no guns in this game – and not even any dinosaurs as movies from the 50s would have as believe. In case you’re still wondering, people weren’t around when big scaly lizards were walking the Earth. Instead, you’ll be encountering many beasts of the wilds including wolves, mammoths, sabretooth tigers, cave lions, bears and even badgers as you hunt and forage for skins, meat and supplies and do quests in order to craft bigger and better items I in order to survive.
Far Cry fans will be right at home, despite the fact that you’re using arrows, spears and clubs to do your damage. You start from a point on the map and discover new locations as you explore. You’ll meet characters, unlock fast travel locations and collect items so you can gain more skill points and of course try to get 100% if you’re so inclined. If you’re not a fan of 3D platforming, you’ll be glad to hear that climbing towers has been replaced by simply lighting bonfires as you take over new territory. By far the coolest bit of Far Cry Primal though is the Beast Master skills you have. Like a loincloth-clad Dr Dolittle you can throw some bait out into the wilds and wait for an animal to go for it. You can then tame these beats by holding the action button and add them to your companion list. They’ll then follow you around and attack other animals and Udam that threaten you. It’s great having a big beast by your side and you can dismiss or call any of them at any time. You also have an owl you can call which can scout ahead for you, attack from above and even drop bombs such as bags of bees on enemies to cause some chaos.
Some trippy moments also make a return in the form of visions. Some work better than others. For instance, a mission where you become a mammoth fighting rhinos is really frustrating and just not fun to play as you wrestle with the controls. I died a lot here, simply because my mammoth was so tricky to control. It’s no wonder they’re extinct!
Another barrier that some people may not like is the fact that the characters don’t really have any kind of charisma in the fact that they don’t speak and kind of modern language. Some of them are memorable such as the one armed due who calls you Piss Man, but if you’re expecting any bad guys with the charisma from the last two games, you can forget it. Everything is also subtitled thanks to the cave man speak. I tell you what, it probably saved Ubisoft a tonne of money in translation and voice over costs!
Graphics are also a mixed bag. The lands you explore all look lush enough, and the animals are well animated as well. One thing that isn’t so nice to look at is the checkpoint system. Icons look unfinished and float in front of you in a really horrible manner. It’s not a game breaker but it’s definitely a thorn amongst all the roses.
Far Cry Primal has a certain charm but it’s certainly a departure from the usual FPS fare, which could put some fans of the series off. Because of the lack of guns, gadgets, speech and characters you can really get involved with it does feel a bit light so it gets a very good 7 out of 10.
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