If you’re familar with any of the previous Far Cry games then Far Cry Primal will come as a refreshing surprise. The same gigantic open world is there, but gone are the arsenal of guns, explosives, fast cars and planes. Those have been replaced by bows, spears, slingshots, clubs and other Stone Age weapons. The setting is stunningly rendered 10 000 BC and instead of trying to liberate revolutionaries and contend with an evil despot, you now have to deal with sabre-tooth tigers, mammoths and irate cannabalistic and fire obsessed tribes hell bent on your extinction. You’ll have to navigate your way through the land of Oros trying to reunite members of your Wenja clan scattered in thick forest, snow, swampy regions and deep caves while learning the ways of the hunter gatherer and becoming the beast master…taming numerous wild beasts.
You’ll get to save specific warriors that will teach you new skills, allowing you better upgrades and give you your primary missions. Making your way across the map your side missions will include searching for you Wenja tribe members, defending your home base and encountering the dozens of wild animals roaming the land. And if you always wanted to ride a mammoth or have a cave lion as a pet then your Neanderthal dreams will come true.
The low-down: you start off as primitive hunter Takkar, looking for lost members of your Wenja tribe in the Stone Age. You need to reunite your clan and lead them to victory over the hostile Udam and Izila tribes while crossing the prehistoric Oros Valley finding camps, caves and landmark along the way. You soon meet a shaman who teaches you the way of taming and commanding wild beasts that will fight by your side.
Watch this extended trailer to get a better idea of what you can expect.
As always i’m not gonna give you a comprehensive review and instead let you experience it for yourself. Here’s my 2 cents though.
Presentation: as is now common with next generation games the visuals are superb. Lush prehistoric forests, snow covered terrain, swamps and deep caves serve as the backdrop while the many animals you encounter are impressive. Crouching in the reeds while mammoths walk by a cascading waterfall is a sight to behold. There is the now standard day-night cycle with the amber hues of sunrise and sunset thrown in between.
Gameplay: as much as the setting is 10 000 BC the gameplay is pretty much the same formula used for all the previous Far Cry games. You move across the open world landscape liberating camps and strongholds to open new spawn points. Instead of the customary binoculars to scope out an enemy camp you now have the ability to control an owl and fly over the area to pick your method of attack. You start off with an array of basic weapons that can be upgraded and skill points can be spent improving various combat, hunting, tracking and beast taming skills as well as unlocking new abilities.
Story-line: not much narrative to speak of other than the overarching objective of reuniting your tribe and fending off the two other hostile tribes. Main missions are given by special characters you need to find and bring back to your tribe. You’ll soon get the hang out of it and then it’s pretty much rinse and repeat.
Lastability: if you liked the other games in the Far Cry franchise then you will love this new spin. The setting brings a fresh approach, but it doesn’t stray far from the tradional Far Cry formula. Aside from the main quests there are plenty of hunting, collecting and saving your tribe members mission that will keep you occupied for a good 30 hours or so just on the main campaign.
Final thoughts: i’ve always wanted someone to bring out a game set in the prehistoric ages and Far Cry Primal has served up exactly that. Survival in a land filled with extinct beasts where you are a hunter at the bottom of the food chain competing against hostile tribes. Gets a chest-beating 7.5 out 10.
Oh and did i mention you get to ride a mammoth into battle and have a sabre-tooth tiger as a pet. Yes. Yes you can.