It isn’t very often that I step out of my shell in regards to game genres, I know what I like and I stick to it. When it comes to the terms ‘Ubisoft’ and ‘Open world’, I steer clear. The repetitive map layouts and familiar objectives within them show a severe lack of creativity and no sign of futuristic development in my opinion, leaving their franchise begging for something different… ah, another Assassins Creed, Snore!
But then Far Cry Primal came along. A brand new concept, set in the depths of prehistoric wastelands, concentrating on survival, population growth and overall world domination of men and creatures rather than the life and troubles of a generic protagonist. This was something even a ubisoft critic like me couldn’t refuse!
Set in 10,000bc, you are thrown straight in to the trials and tribulations of Takkar, a relatively unknown member of the Wenja tribe who hunts woolly mammoths for food. After a set of unmentionable events that I do not wish to spoil for you, Takkar is left to fend for himself and re-coup the lost fragments of his beloved tribe before his world of Oros is over-run by enemy combatants, opposing tribes or untamed wildlife. Fearing their rival tribe’s, the Udam and Izilia, the Wenja have seemed to have lost all control.
After fending off most of the threat and becoming accustomed to the games initial mechanics, you eventually stumble across your village, destroyed and full of injured Wenja. Once a brief history and overall reasoning for the upcoming plot has been portrayed through the introductions of the main characters, Takkar is told of his added responsibility of increasing the Wenja population and upgrading the village back into the empire it once was.
Set amongst the ever impressively huge open world, filled with gorgeous sceneries of forestry, mountain ranges and varied wildlife, lies multiple resources and collectibles available to hunt and combine. Primal’s main focus is concentrated on survival, reiterated further by the trimming of trees, the farming of plants and the healing process, which is reliant on eating the meat of the animals you have hunted.
Once I had spent a while searching Oros for my first village upgrade, I couldn’t wait to run straight back and get building! The idea of building, creating and transforming my so called base really appealed to me, but I’m afraid that’s not quite the case guys. A small cut scene appeared showing how the newly acquired member of my tribe’s tent had upgraded, and that’s it. So no control or descriptive altering is within our power. Severe shame if you ask me.
Portrayed in a predominantly 3rd person perspective, the setting of Far Cry Primal ‘gameplay layout may appear to be quite old fashioned to some, but this inevitably leads to one of its greatest assets and change from the norm, it’s arsenal.
Launching my spear from 60 feet at the top of a cliff? Most fun I’ve had in 2016!
Rather than the regular selection of ordnance to your everyday protagonist, Takkar is accompanied with a bow, a club and a spear, all available to upgrade and are incredibly fun to use! To compliment these further, his pack also contains a prehistoric collection of traps and various bombs. A little bonus for you, two of the trophies/achievements available for this title requires you to kill an enemy with your bow and spear from an incredible distance away – Launching my spear from 60 feet at the top of a cliff? Most fun I’ve had in 2016!
Now, onto possibly my favourite ingredient to this instant classic, and that’s the supernatural ability to tame and control wildlife. After learning the special skill from an infamous shaman hidden deep within the snowy mountains, Takkar becomes able to collect the games various carnivores, taming them by using bait and silencing their growls and fierceness with a firm hand of confidence, ultimately bringing them to stand by his side. The pets that you acquire act as a severe tactical advantage, giving you the option of making them attack oncoming opponents, or pointing your caveman finger to a certain target, giving a different approach to stronghold conquering. Some of the rarest beasts you can tame in the game are imposed as side quests, adding to the fun. My sabretooth tiger was called Sebastian, just throwing that out there.
Each beast in Far Cry Primal has its own unique set of attributes. Bears are slow, cats are slick but with lower health, tigers and wolves are aggression minded, and rare beasts such as black jaguars have special skills, such as not alerting other enemy combatants while attacking. A little word of warning however, badgers are not as small and cute as they look.
During this illustrious journey through captain caveman’s homeland, Takkar is awarded with XP for almost everything he does and collects. Varying from new weapons and the ability to withstand the cold, Takkar has a vast skill list set, attempting to make Oros a less brutal place and Takkar all the stronger for it. What gives this game so much character however, is that even when you’re at your most powerful, some beasts, hunts and missions are impossible without tactics. Who thought setting someone’s face on fire while your tiger rips somebody else’s head off was possible in current day gaming?
Stealth is still a pivotal part of this franchise, offering extra experience points and items for being undetected while conquering an enemy base. However, due to the nature of its melee system, Far Cry Primal is a lot more aggressive than its predecessors, almost forcing you into an all-out frontal attack whenever it’s available.
Far Cry Primal has been a real breath of fresh air to my gaming catalogue. I have been unconsciously begging for an extreme change or a real gamble from a franchise for a long time now, and Ubisoft have definitely delivered. With numerous and 1 thing’s to do and a real impulse of excitement through survival and the acquisition of village members or new animals for her herd, boredom never even entered my mind. If you enjoy world domination, killing enemies in hilarious ways, collecting interesting items and creating your own weapons and village through hunting? This is the title for you. I completed this 100% with a platinum trophy to boot, and it still hasn’t stopped me sending Sebastian onto the back of a mammoth! Happy hunting fellow Wenja!