Have you had enough of modern day FPS games? How about FPS’s set in space? Yeah, I agree. I’m also sick of games that rely too heavily on blasting your foes with rocket-firing Gatling guns, or calling in air strikes for an easy victory. Well, if you want a game to satisfy your urge for risk, reward, and feeling like the beast you are (along with having a pet Sabre tooth Tiger) — Far Cry Primal may have what you’re looking for.
It’s time to go Primal!
Far Cry Primal offers players the chance to live within central Europe during 10,000 BC. The evolution of man showed many signs of struggle including land ownership, resources, and fighting off the native creatures of the land. So it’s pretty much what you see today, except with spears, big toothed cats, and people who don’t wash with soap. I will be honest and say that this title won’t be for everyone. It’s been noted by many that the total absence of guns and transportation may have people screaming at the slower pace of the game.
But I, myself, found the overall experience rather enjoyable, a refreshing chance of pace from the loud, explosive nature of many FPS’s today. Far Cry Primal gives greater focus and importance to scavenging, along with more intense combat where quick wits and cunning are required, rather than just having the bigger gun.
Yet the new tone of the game does come with some setbacks. Firstly, the story is fairly primitive itself, and it lacks any of the dynamics or twists that would truly engage players like the previous Far Cry games did. You won’t find a riveting and compelling narrative with deep and interesting characters here, but there are some interesting side plots and genuinely touching and disturbing moments. However, everything feels a little like paint by numbers; it’s too simple for it’s own good, and there’s nothing to note that really broke up the flat plotline.
Our leading character is a hunter, called Takkar, who is destined to revive a tribe of warriors across the land and defeat two warring tribes before they conquer Oros. Takkar is just like any other military drone. There’s nothing about him worth remembering or caring for, as he offers no interesting traits or benefits to the overall plot.
Side characters range from amusing to forgettable, giving us fierce, one eyed warriors who head-butt us as a hello, oddball mystics, and guys who just pee on you for a laugh. Our main villains are nothing worthy to shout about compared to the intensity or engaging natures of Vass or Pagan Min. They have some neat backstories involving ice aged cannibalism, but nothing more than that.
This weak plot, in return, has an effect on the main campaign, causing it to suffer from underdeveloped mission objectives and uninteresting set pieces. Mission structures usually fall under kill, kill, find and kill it some more. It becomes repetitive within a few hours. There are no dynamic story events or mission objectives that stand out from the rest, as compared to Far Cry 3’s numerous surreal freak out missions filled with great set pieces.
Yet the level of detail gone into making the game and the aesthetics of the world is beyond fantastic. The language you speak, to the engrossing detail of weapons and primitive animals, are nothing short of amazing. You’ll become immersed more than ever with Far Cry Primal. Great effort has gone into providing the dialect, the tools, and weapons you’ll use.
The world of Oros is beautiful and a joy to traverse across. Even with the minimal transportation, every inch of the world begs to be explored, and everything you find and discover feels like a reward. Other games make it easy to travel around with much of them being missed off or forgotten about. There are plenty of layers to Oros and each one is vastly interesting to explore. From the dense forests and underground caves, to the ice covered mountains where the great mammoths roam. Trust me, they’re a bitch to kill, but fun to ride!
The formula for Far Cry Primal is pretty much identical to the previous two installments. Similar elements include freeing settlements and taking over enemy camps, to completing a host of small side objectives, and finding collectibles. But the more interesting aspects are resource management — important for building weapons and gear — and taming wild beasts to use as companions. These mechanics strengthen the formerly mentioned side quests and bring a new approach to old gameplay elements. It increases the tension through its limitations and brings a healthy and engaging challenge.
Side quests and the lead up to taking on the larger camps in the main campaign are more worthy of your time. Setting up camps and growing the population have meaning within this installment and provide major player investment with purpose. Levelling up through side quests feels more rewarding due to the immense skill tree and levelling system at play, allowing players to become savage and brutal warriors.
Beast taming has its own rewards by providing a companion for your journey, giving you help in overwhelming situations, or simply giving you something to have by your side when traversing Oros. You can quickly increase the amount of beasts you can tame, and you can call on any of them once tamed. These companions could be either being a wolf, bear, tiger, or badger; each of them have their own perks and abilities.
I found this to be the most beneficial aspect of Far Cry Primal and enjoyed the simple interactions between myself and the beast at hand. They’re your friend and closest ally when the man eaters come forth, and looking after them offers a sense of comfort and attachment to the game. You can use the owl to scout the area ahead, or charge head-on into an enemy camp on the back of a tiger.
I enjoyed petting and feeding my sabre tooth tiger before roaming the land on his back, allowing him to eat and maw those who stood in my way. The beasts also act as transportation, as tigers and other certain animals can be ridden on and provide an amusing tactical advantage when attacking camps.
I even made best friends with my Bear, who I named Ollie. I fed him human flesh, taught him to swim, and we attacked plenty of enemy camps… Then they killed him. That’s when I got mad and blacked out. I found myself living in the park just down the road with my cat roaming for squirrels. Far Cry Primal did have a big impact on my social life.
Anyway. Far Cry Primal may lack in certain areas, but the experience was a refreshing and engaging one compared to Far Cry 4. I enjoyed the beast taming, brutal and intense combat, more reliance on independence, and building of tribes for greater impact on success. Aside from the lacklustre story and repetitive campaign, Far Cry Primal is worth checking out. It feels like the right step in a new direction for a more interesting FPS.