Far Cry Primal review

far cry primal

It’s time to step back in time and get in touch with your inner caveman. Say goodbye to all your modern technology and take a trip back to 10,000 BCE with Ubisoft’s newest title, Far Cry Primal.

Right from the get go you are shown that human beings are not at the top of the food chain in the land of Oros. During this era, every day is a struggle to survive when it comes to hunting for your next meal. You play the role of Takkar, a warrior from the Wenja tribe that has nearly been wiped out of existence due to the ferocity of mother nature, rival clans, and other predators that see humans as nothing but another meal. It’s up to Takkar to become the apex predator if he wants any hope of rebuilding his clan so that they can ensure their legacy will carry on. Thankfully he will not have to do this alone. Far Cry Primal feels just like previous Far Cry installments and takes what you like and puts more emphasis on these elements. It will still include many of your favorite features such as hunting animals to upgrade your inventory, vicious takedowns, and an interesting story all set across the backdrop of an enormous and gorgeous world.

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Gameplay

It’s obvious that the team behind the wheel for Far Cry Primal puts combat at the forefront. This element is by far the most fleshed out since it’s the combat that will keep you coming back for more time and time again. It’s fast-paced, fluid and every action counts. The wrong move may be your last. As you travel, rescue and convince lost members of your tribe to join your camp, they will reward you with new abilities and skills that will continually expand your arsenal all the way until the end credits roll. The most influential one will be the beast hunting skills you’ll learn from the village shaman Tensay. After finding him, he will take you on spirit walks that will not only allow you to tame some of the fiercest predators but also command them to devastate all that stand before you. The taming mechanics is very simple which is a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s fun to get excited about finding a new or rare animal, but the fact that throwing bait and pushing a button to tame the beast seems like a missed opportunity. I would have liked to see a bit more depth in this mechanic. While the legendary beasts (yes they are back) require you to literally beat them into submission, only four felt truly memorable during my time in Oros.

There are over 30 different beasts to hunt while exploring the land of Oros. 17 are tamable ranging from animals like wolves, leopards, bears, sabre-tooth tigers and my personal favorite, badgers. Ubisoft always likes to have fun with each of its titles; for example, when taming a (honey) badger, you get its talent where it can revive itself, is immune to poison, and terrifies all wildlife. Take note that many of the beasts will not take kindly to you endangering their lives and will do everything in their power to not become your next meal. Each animal comes with its own special skill set and stats, and you will want to swap between each of them depending on your current objective and situation. Wolves are useful for low vision scenarios as they will reveal more of your map and growl to warn you of any danger, lions and leopards will tag enemies to help you keep track of where they may have run off to, and bears are your warriors and will draw attacks away from you so you can pick off your enemies safely.

Having a terrifying beast as a pet is great and they are a force to be reckoned with, but so is Takkar. As you progress you will learn to craft and use a variety of weapons ranging from clubs and spears to bows, throwing daggers and even fire bombs. Combat is akin to games like Skyrim, where you have a light swing for speed and a heavy swing for more damage and the chance to stun opponents. You are also rewarded extra experience for stealth takedowns and headshots, even when using melee weapons. Primal puts a huge emphasis on resources and is by far the most demanding game for this to date. Clubs and spears will break after extended use or if left on fire for too long, and usually the only arrows you will find on corpses are the ones you used to kill them with (not all are recoverable). Traps are also useful. When you control your owl, you can use it to drop bombs of fire, poison, and even bees (Bees? Yes, bees). Thankfully as you increase your village’s population, you will get more and more resources sent to you daily automatically, so it’s beneficial to save as many of your tribesman as possible.

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Story

The story in Primal is a different take than many other Ubisoft titles. While there is somewhat of an overarching story of you restoring your clan and becoming the apex predator, that is pretty much all you get from beginning to end. You play the role of Takkar, a warrior from the Wenja tribe who is especially skilled in combat, survival, and hunting, and all of these skills will be tested on your journey. As you progress you will come across other members of your tribe who will help you by teaching you new skills from their personal walks of life including crafting, gathering, hunting and many others. The 13-mission journey is split between the multiple NPCs that join your village after you find them while exploring. For me, this hurt the pacing because I never really felt any urgency to undertake any of these missions when exploring until I absolutely had nothing else to do or if I wanted to unlock a new skill or a new recipe for crafting.

The characters and the world are fleshed out with such incredible detail. The entire dialogue for the story is told in a real ancient language that has only been slightly altered for storytelling purposes. The attention to detail is amazing like when I watched my sabre-tooth tiger jumped onto its prey to clamp on its neck with its jaws until the beast eventually met its unfortunate fate. The secondary missions are also set in reality. You will come across missions where a group of wild animals has taken over a territory, and you must hunt enough of them to reduce their numbers so that you can make it safe for your tribe once again. You will also be challenged by the rival Udam and Izila clans. The Udam members are most similar to the neanderthals with their increased size and reckless abandon for their own health as long as they can show off their dominance. The Izila members are more educated, wear crude armor and take advantage of tools such as poison and fire to insight fear and dominance in their own way. It is definitely a treat, but it’s no surprise that Ubisoft did its homework when recreating the past as this is one of its areas of expertise that is nearly unrivaled when compared to other developers.

far cry primal

Final Reaction

Far Cry Primal sets out to give us a look into the lives of our earliest heritage and it succeeds in doing so. While the story was by far not my favorite element due to the lack of urgency and development for the player’s character, it still has enough of a narrative to get you from point A to B with so many things to do, places to see and things to kill along the way. Far Cry Primal is one of those games that lets you play and progress however you see fit, which is great. I would recommend it for those who love tons of exploration in their sandbox-style games. It is a game that is much more about the journey than the end result, and players that take the time to smell the blood of their fallen enemies and explore the numerous caverns will definitely get the most bang for their buck.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

About author

Jada Griffin
Jada Griffin 290 posts

Legends tell of a princess captured and raised by Ninjas to be their future leader. Jada was trained from an early age to max the luck stat, always strike first and to never surrender.

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