Initially I thought Ubisoft were revisiting the ideas seen back in Far Cry Predator so to find Far Cry Primal actually has you playing as a caveman really piqued my interest. The core game is still Far Cry and will have you collecting items and ingredients, as well as liberating camps but this time it is all done without mountains of guns and vehicles. Don’t worry though, you can always hitch a ride on a mammoth if your legs get tired.
You are Takkar, of the Wenja Tribe, a caveman with a purpose. To strengthen your tribe to take out other tribes, and with the aid of tribe you will become a formidable weapon, along the way you can even upgrade your cave. The story is fairly light and typically what you expect from a Far cry title. There is a couple of fantastic characters to meet during your adventures though. One seriously funny, the other, well he is quite disturbing in many ways. As for most of the other tribe members, considering my primary goal was to protect them, I was really concerned with their welfare. Not a good thing…
Visually the different time period is a great change with wide open landscapes with a vast array of animals, all of which will try and kill you given half a chance. Even the docile Woolly Mammoth will stomp you if you get too close. Obviously the apex predators are especially dangerous but with a bit of bait and some kind words you can turn a vicious killing machine into a very useful ally. And with the ability to send this new found friend off at some distance to engage the bad guys they are one of your best long range weapons. Stick ‘em boy! With larger tamed animals you can also ride them to cover ground quicker and carry out mounted attacks, although I found I rarely use this. Not sure why? Riding a Sabre-toothed Tiger around the jungle sure sounds cool.
With the aid of your ‘Hunter Vision’ you can spot valuable resources amongst the flora and fauna, resources needed to craft potions, upgrade weapons, and even building huts for your village. The scent of rare animals will even leave a trail for you to follow when you are on the hunt. This ability also lets you see your friends, and enemies, more clearly. Almost a necessity when engaging in combat from a distance with you bow, which you will do on a regular basis considering how stealth is essential to your survival. The pack mentality of predators and other tribes means charging in head on isn’t a great idea, especially early on in the game.
As with many open world games you can find yourself completely off task and just wanting to explore the world. I did this and found I had upgraded all my weapons and skills before attempting most of the story quests. This made a few key moments a lot easier than they should have been, so maybe think about upping the difficulty level if you are prone to wandering. On completion of the story the world all remains open so you can clean up all those side quests and finish collecting the hundreds of stones and other items, if you are that way inclined. There are also a few ‘Easter Eggs’ to find if you check out all the caves throughout the land.
Far Cry Primal is a definitely entrenched in the ‘Far Cry’ style. There may not be a ton of fire power available to you but even with the tools at your disposal it still plays very much like previous Far Cry titles, you even have a climbing hook to scale cliff faces and reach less accessible areas. It’s not a perfect game but I have to admit to completing it before writing this, so there is definitely something that keeps you engaged. It may feel a bit ‘samey’ in places but overall it is a fun diversion from all the gun touting around today.