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Far Cry Primal (PS4) review

On March 7, 2016 by Aaron Meehan

Far Cry Primal takes players back in time to the Stone Age, a period of time that is rarely explored by video games, but while it is interesting to see games explore the distant past, the question is, is Far Cry Primal any good? If you are looking for the game in terms of setting and atmosphere it is fantastic as you feel as though you have been transported back to 10,000 BCE, but while the setting and atmosphere is fantastic I found the overall game to be hit and miss.

In terms of story Far Cry Primal has you take on the role of Takkar, a member of the scattered Wenja tribe whose mission is to reunite the scattered tribe and make a home for them in Oros. While you work on reuniting your tribe you face numerous obstacles with the primary obstacles being the Udam and Izila tribes who control Oros. Both tribes are vicious with the Udam being cannibals and the Izila using fire and slavery to cling to power.

The idea of three different tribes fighting for control of the land and their very survival is an interesting story, but the story wavers from good to boring several times. The story is at its best when it takes a show and tell approach as there are numerous scenes showing and telling us why the other tribes are bad, but at the same time I found the story to be disjointed as the fight for survival is interrupted by character focused missions such as a mission to help a tribesman get revenge on the Udam because they killed his son etc.

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In terms of gameplay, Far Cry Primal is a rather interesting experience as the gameplay primarily revolves around gathering, hunting, and crafting. The reason why the gameplay revolves around these three concepts is because it makes historical sense; I mean it’s not likely you are going to find traders in a hunter-gatherer society. With the three main concepts, you are able to create and make the weapons, items, and food you need to survive in a world that is riddled with dangerous beasts and tribes.

Speaking of weapons, what is combat like? For me combat was dull as it felt just a little too easy, weapons such as the bow and arrow allowed you to get headshots with an insanely high degree of regularity and using a melee weapon such as club or spear revolved around how quickly you could mash the attack button while circling the enemy. Now, while combat is dull I have to commend its weapon variety as the limited amount of weapons you can craft all make historical sense.

So, what else is there to say about the gameplay? Well, there is beast mastery, an ability that allows you to tame a number of beasts including lions, sabre-tooth tigers, and bears. Beast mastery is a nice inclusion as it makes combat even easier and helps keeps other beasts from attacking you.

Now while fighting is a big part of the game what else is there to do? Well since it is a Far Cry game you have a large array of side objectives, which includes looking for collectibles and capturing enemy villages. The game’s side objectives help elevate Far Cry Primal’s run time as it gives you something to do while gathering and hunting for resources, although I confess I found the side objectives to be more enjoyable than a lot of the missions, which revolved around gathering, tracking and killing.

Now one of the primary objectives of the game is to create a village for your tribe, but does the village offer anything? The village primarily exists to make your character stronger by providing you with villagers that offer you several skill sets for you to learn, however while you can learn several skills sets, the skills you learn aren’t anything to write home about. The skills, which are broken down into survival, gathering, beast master, hunting, fighting, crafting, Udam and Izila skills are rather generic as skills can be broken down to increased health, gather more of an x item, increase number of items you can hold etc. Crafting also suffers from generic issue too as crafting revolves around increasing damage, gaining new weapons or carrying an increased number of weapons.

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While I do complain about the gameplay, it didn’t completely put me off the game. The reason for this is simple, the world. The world created by Far Cry Primal is fantastic, especially in terms of world building. As I said each tribe has their own unique way of life and language, yes, in Far Cry Primal the characters your interact with don’t speak English they speak a proto-indo-European language, and while all of the tribes use this language they each have their own dialect to help convey the culture of their tribe.

Now before reaching my conclusion, let’s touch upon the graphics and audio. Graphically the game is beautiful and runs incredibly well, I never once noticed any stuttering no matter how chaotic things got on screen. As for audio, I noticed that the game relied on ambiance sound effects to create an immersive world and very few musical moments.

Conclusion

When it comes to setting and number of objectives Far Cry Primal does an amazing job, but the game is let down by some poor pieces of gameplay and basic story.

Score: 7.5/10

Pros Cons
 + Setting  – Combat
 + World building  – Story
 + Numerous objectives
 + Beast mastery
 + Focus on gathering and resources
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
 Ubisoft Montreal  Ubisoft  action-adventure 18+  PS4, XBOne, PC  February 23, 2016

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Far Cry Primal, visit http://far-cry.ubisoft.com/primal/en-us/home/.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.


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