The last few entries in the “Far Cry” series were some of my favorite games of the last console generation. The concept has been the same in the last few iterations; you get dropped into a beautiful location with a huge arsenal of weapons and you have to hunt animals, collect treasure, craft items and deal with an interesting madman who is oppressing the locals. Part three was on a tropical island and four was in Tibet which was different but the gameplay was just more of the same. “Far Cry: Primal” provides a new spin on the classic formula by changing the time period which changes most of the things you can think of about the series.
“Far Cry: Primal” is set in pre historic time period, not in the time of dinosaurs but at the dawn of man. Not only does it shake up what you are used to in the series but it shows off a time period that isn’t experienced in too many other games. That doesn’t sound too radical, but because there are no guns, no bombs and no jeeps to drive around it feels much more wild and primal than you’re used to.
Your character is a tribal warrior named Takkar who got separated from his group after a mammoth hunt goes awry. Takkar meets up with another group of hunters and gathers who are at war with another tribe of cave men. Now you must help the Wenja tribe build up their village and fend off the attacking Udam tribe. Unlike the previous couple of games there is no real eccentric madman that you have to take down but there are some interesting characters you encounter along the way.
Not having as much story is fine because there is a ton of stuff to do and explore. There is a huge amount of things to collect and animals that you can kill to get crafting materials to make improved gear, weapons and clothing. The things you have to hunt are way more dangerous than ever, there are wolves, bears, sabertooth tigers, and even woolly mammoths. Even though you don’t have crazy guns you can craft things like bows, spears and even tame and train animals to help you out. These beast-taming abilities take the place of some of the skills you had in previous games. For example, you don’t need binoculars to scout because now you can train an owl to spot enemies from the sky, and don’t worry about not having grenades because now you can throw a bee’s nest making it a “bee-bomb.”
The activities you take part in “Far Cry: Primal” are the same as previous games; you still have to climb up lookout points to open up different parts of the map and conquer enemy outposts to free areas of the map from control of rival tribes. Liberating these outposts is a little different than previous entries because you don’t have long range weapons like a sniper rifle, but you do have silent weapons like spears even though you have to get much closer than usual. The most reliable way is to send in one of your animal friends to do your dirty work.
Overall I really like “Far Cry: Primal.” The gameplay is similar enough to the last few entries to be recognizable but change things up by making everything more primitive. The world is simply breathtaking and the variety of animals to hunt and treasure to find will ensure you will have lots of things to do and collect. The story isn’t as good as previous entries but there are a bunch more actives to keep you busy for quite some time.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]
System: PS4, Xbox One, PC ESRB
Rating: M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal