I was sceptical when Far Cry: Primal was announced. I thought I would get bored by it but instead I come away from playing it with two thumbs and a club up. Far Cry: Primal is a great game that has a few minor issues, and it showcases the talent at Ubisoft and what it can pull off even with a familiar formula.
You play as Takkar, a member of the Wenja clan. The opening section itself is gorgeous thanks to Ubisoft’s Dunia Engine displaying a rich and lively world to you. You start by trying to hunt a mammoth with your tribe, but end up getting separated. Your aim is to find the other tribe members and setup a new village with them. This involves you exploring the rich world, hunting, capturing areas, getting caught between the other two tribes, and more.
Far Cry: Primal’s story is average and just about what I expected, but I do appreciate the voice acting performances that add to the experience with the language spoken in game.
Gameplay involves a lot of hunting and collecting until you find the shaman, who teaches you how to tame animals. Once you accomplish this, the real game begins and you have a lot of freedom to approach the tasks at hand in a variety of ways. Getting your companions, like the owl or the wolf, to do things or help out will change how the game plays, and I love it.
Combat involves no guns, but there are bombs in some form. Traversing through the world of Oros also isn’t problematic because you earn the ability to fast travel, which negates the need for vehicles and you can even ride some animals. While a lot of what I did in my play-through was unnecessary, the world was good enough for me to enjoy collecting, crafting, hunting, and more.
Combat feels great at first, but I wish there was more to it than button mashing for hand-to-hand combat. While it does feel repetitive mechanically, the animations, sound, and feel of each weapon is great and makes up for the negatives to some extent. You can also upgrade these weapons by collecting plants, animal hide, and more.
In 2015, almost every triple-A game ended up going-open world for better or worse. Few managed to hold my attention and keep me interested enough to go the extra mile and do side missions or quests. Far Cry: Primal is one of the few that does. The change in atmosphere as you go across different areas is superb.
As I’ve mentioned above, the Dunia Engine does a fantastic job in Oros and everything looks stunning. You will end up taking a lot of screenshots while playing Primal. Even character models and animals look great and their animations are slick. The atmosphere created with the music, audio design, and visuals is what drove me to complete far more than I needed to in my play-through. The interface is also really good and navigating the map is a joy. Ubisoft even went the extra mile and added support for the PlayStation controller lightbar to indicate your health.
In a time when most games are going for sci-fi settings or looking to the future with mechs and robots, it is good to see Ubisoft take a different approach and come out with something great. Far Cry: Primal is fun, looks amazing, and is definitely worth checking out. If you are too burned out on the same formula they have been using in the past few games, give Primal a shot. It is that good.
- Amazing atmosphere
- Phenomenal audio design
- Looks fantastic
- Taming a beast is awesome
- Combat is a bit repetitive
- Average story
Far Cry: Primal is a fantastic example of building a unique experience with a world that feels real using some old ideas in innovative ways