Title: Far Cry Primal
Platform: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, and PC
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Since the release of Far Cry Primal’s reveal trailer I was in total awe to see a company take a risk in an industry full of shooters. The Gaming selection is so saturated with it, that seeing an adventure that takes place in the Stone Age is just a breathe of fresh air. My question though was, will Ubisoft take advantage of a great opportunity to set a plateau for their fans and fellow developers with Far Cry Primal?
If you are a history geek, then getting into a period piece set in 10,000 B.C. won’t be an issue and you’ll appreciate the experience even more. If you are a season Far Cry player, you may have some ups and down in the fun factor department. For new Far Cry Players then you will be in for a treat. Yes this title does have a dynamic type of fun factor experience depending on who you are and your experience with the franchise. Me for example I love history, and I’ve been playing Far Cry since the second installment to notice what makes what it is and here is my take on the experience.
Ubisoft nailed it when it comes to feeling immersed into the whole Stone Age atmosphere. I got a chance to take my time with playing this game with 80% completion and the story 100% completed. So with this time I was able to see how much detail was put in this game to make it feel authentic to the era as much as possible. The life you live through is with Tekkar, the main protagonist. Tekkar is of the Wenja tribe and you are to be their Savior by reuniting your people from trials and tribulations they have suffered from other tribes or wildlife.
The story in itself feels authentic to the time set, but I must admit it starts off a bit slow as you are trying to figure out the issue at hand that you must feat. You rejoin with an important character, Sayla who puts the idea in your head to reunite the Wenja. Through her and other supporting characters you will meet throughout the game they will be your go to’s in completing the story line. They all will be housed in your village. As you gather them, each possess a specialty that you will learn from them, like hunting, beast mastery, gathering resources, or weapons. In the game Tekkar, the main character you play as, levels up due to missions you achieve, side missions, or random events you encounter.
Keeping an eye out on your map will keep you informed on what to do next. For newcomers that may be a little lost, even as a season Far Cry player I was a bit lost because on indication at times on what to complete next. I feel more notifications would have done justice, but adapting to this fault makes you pick up the pattern to go to your village and see what’s next. The sequence of how the story performs is clearly in your hands in efforts to make it not too linear. I appreciate that, but you can get lost in translation on what’s happening at times. With a new addition to the franchise this can be a turnoff for some players.
In overall the story had its up and downs and I felt the primary antagonist fights should have been epic to truly feel like I defeated something big to be proclaimed as this Wenja warrior. Please no more anti climactic boss fights in Far Cry. Give us something Epic to feel like we accomplished something.
The nuances brought to Far Cry Primal is what gives its own characteristic and sets itself apart from the rest in the franchise. Since the game takes place in the Stone Age, compromises were made in a unique fashion. Of course you don’t have your trusty signature binoculars like in previous titles, so you get to acquire an Owl from Tensay the Shaman.
With the Owl you are then able to use it like your handy dandy prehistoric UAV. The owl can scout for enemies, tag foes or animals, attack, and also drop certain types of bombs in the game.
What makes Far Cry Primal is the use of Beasts! There are tons to choose from to be your trump card in battle at all times. You can be a lone wolf warrior and travel alone. Going through your weapon wheel of primitive goodies of weapons is very easy to control and much like the other Far Cry games.
Hearing wildlife sounds realer than ever before, especially if you have a surround sound home entertainment System or a 5.1 – 7.1 headset. I was able to play this title with ASTRO’s A40 TRs, and I must say it was icing on the cake. Hearing animals, warring tribes, and even the roar of a companion beast was awesome and made me even more immersed in the Stone Age atmosphere. A lot of detail were put into the sounds from walking through the grasslands to the snow, to even hearing the bow pulled back and releasing. I can go on and on, the authenticity they were going for was spot on and I appreciate it
The voices that were portrayed by the voice actors were even believable as the languages in the game are fictional, the team hired historians to come up with a language that would sound similar based off of archaic dialects in that time. Each character sold it well except for one character in the game that acts as comic relief.
Out of all of the Ubisoft titles, Far Cry always wins with presentation and graphics, though with Far Cry Primal I noticed this was not one of the more polished ones. We don’t have a The Order 1886 with outstanding textures and polygons, but I would have loved to see an improvement. I will say Far Cry Primal is very beautiful at night as the Moon Cascades down and shine through the canopy of trees in the forest or even seeing different animals at night as their eyes glow.
The character models though in the game were well crafted and even the bone structures represented how people would have looked that archaic time. Details to their clothing and making each tribe look distinctively different was cool. So there was no laziness to the NPC enemies as there were different types even within one tribe that were different. Not sure on what the setback is, but I am waiting for Ubisoft to up their engine and talents in the graphics department.
I really enjoyed playing Far Cry Primal. The experience was very immersive, and I felt the fine detail to make the era as authentic as much as possible in a fictional manner. I went into Far Cry Primal a bit skeptical yet curious, but I was impressed on how much I didn’t want the experience to end. The missions were quite dynamic on how you rush enemies or how you strategically you use your owl for air offense. The use of your beast companion added to bad ass combo kills you can curate along with the weapons used.
Aside from the main missions, the side missions did not feel like a chore as there are different types to accomplish like helping fellow Wenja, Tribal Clash, Cave raiding, and hunting or warding off animals. I actually felt like a Stone Age warrior rolling with the rest of my Wenjas.
To get to the cons of my enjoy-ability, was the bugs that riddled the game. There are several that many can face post the Day One Patch. The ones I encountered were the Snowblood Wolf hunt bug where you cannot tame the rare beast due to him dying, or his health will not go down. This mission is attached to a trophy. The second is fully leveling your skills tree to obtain certain perks from fellow tribes-man you’ve acquired.
When I learned there was no online Co-op, I did cringe a bit as I felt it was a missed opportunity. Needles to say the side missions and village missions, collectibles and other quest add to replay-ability of the game, especially for all you Trophy and Achievement hunters. For those who are not interested in being a completionist then the replay value will be low. I will recommend completing side quests to add to the experience though.
* Immersive Gameplay
* Something new to the Genre
* Beast gameplay is creative
* Sound ( Environment )
* Attention to Detail of the Era is great
* Interesting Side Missions to discover
* Bugs that need to be patched that would disrupt progress on certain missions or trophies/achievements
* Graphical Textures aren’t advance
* No Co-Op like previous installment of Far Cry
* Story has its ups and downs.
In overall Far Cry Primal was a treat to play as Ubisoft decided to try something new and I cosign that they did not fail at the attempt. Improvements on catc I will say that the Far Cry franchise did need this nuance to the theme department but would have loved for new fighting mechanics, and how to go about outposts and fast travel points. Other than that a solid experience that I would recommend.
* Review Copy of Far Cry Primal was provided by Ubisoft – Completed 100% of Story and Side Missions