Far Cry Primal
Format: ps4/pc/xbox one
Publisher: Ubisoft I reviewed the ps4 one
Do you remember a time before smart phones? Seems ages ago doesn’t it? How did anyone survive before then? It certainly feels like thousands of years ago as opposed to just ten or so. Well, twelve thousand years ago people used to have to communicate by speaking a language that you wouldn’t even understand. They did still have emojis of sorts though and their parents didn’t yell at them for drawing on the walls because wallpaper hadn’t been invented then either. Also it was more than likely that your parents would have been eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger before they got home to find out. It was a simpler time.
I am talking about Far Cry : Primal, a very adventurous game in some respects about a man called Takkar who sounds like Adam Jensen from Deus Ex trying to learn dutch without any augments to help him. As the game began I found myself in control of a slightly freaked out Takkar who was having some problems of Mammoth proportions, and I had to throw a spear at said Mammoth which a helpful bit of text reminded me was my last spear.
Takkar, it seems, is a very under prepared mammoth hunter. I launched the spear right into the mammoth’s snuffloesophagus and peeled another from a recently deceased, mostly naked, companion and kept throwing. Everything seemed to go to plan until a cat the size of an ice cream van decided it wanted the cuddly elephant corpse and killed everyone I knew. This leads to the plot which is primarily about expanding my social circle of Wenja (my tribe), and fighting off dangerous animals and other clans in an attempt to survive, and though I am in charge of all these people at no point do I feel like a megalomaniac with sights on world domination like you might in Saints Row or something.
One of the braver parts of game design is the complete lack of English language. Everything is subtitled. This is world cinema for AAA games, what Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was to the film market in 2000 A.D (the year of our lord, not the home of Judge Dredd comic books). Considering the sheer quantity of people who won’t watch films with subtitles and won’t begin to entertain the possibility of playing a game that doesn’t have a thousand different kinds of gun in it, this seems like a brave move.
Aside from this particular decision the game isn’t wholly original as much as it is a clever use of the best things of games up to this point, the game owes a lot to Dying Light for example, I think.
There is a nice element where they have integrated possible superstition and legend involving human sacrifice and blood rituals. As well as these, the ability to tame and communicate with animals as a way to make the game something just a bit more than semi-naked people running around in a field waving sticks at cats of varying sizes. There isn’t a lot that stands out as particularly memorable though at this point it still has my attention and I have put about fifteen to twenty hours into the game where normally I would only put in somewhere close to five to ten before attempting to review it. It may not be groundbreaking but it’s certainly fun and a slight breath of fresh, twelve thousand year old air.
As an experiment it certainly seems to pay off, and I’m sure there are a lot of people out there getting angry that they don’t speak english, (bloody immigrants coming over here from the past, getting into our digital vast mountainous landscapes) and I’m sure there are people who get annoyed about the lack of guns aside from the fact that there is a near infinite amount of games out there to scratch that particular itch (at least five of them with Far Cry in the title).
I really enjoyed this game and it would suit fans of Dying Light and Far Cry, as well as the Elder Scrolls games, despite not being a masterpiece.
4 out of 5 Nerds