Game Review: Far Cry: Primal (2016)

Release date: 2016
Version played: Xbox One in 2016

A spin off of the main numbered series, Far Cry Primal is a 2016 first-person, open-world action/adventure game by Ubisoft Montreal. Taking place in the stone age, players take the role of Takkar, of the Wenja tribe, as they attempt to rebuild their ranks by rescuing others from rival clans, the cannibalistic Udam and the pyromaniac Izila. Takkar can utilise primitive versions of weapons such as bows, clubs and spears, and also has the ability to tame wild animals (including, wolves, tigers and bears — oh my!). Takkar must also scavenge supplies from all across the land of Oros as he attempts to rebuild his village.

+ the game looks pretty. More than other games, the day/night cycle seems to change the game world entirely. The various environments, such as caves and rivers, all provide some great distraction scenery
+ the animal taming is incredibly satisfying. Once I was able to get a “pet” bear, I was content to stick with him until the end of the game or until I was forced to upgrade to something bigger (which I chose to be a different, larger bear)

– having to stick to bows, clubs and spears for the entire game did end up making the combat rather repetitive. Every encounter could be solved by sniping the lookouts, and as soon as (or if) you were seen, just walking backwards and jabbing enemies in the face with a spear. The club was essentially useless, and the various “grenade” variants (fire bombs and beehives, believe it or not) were more for show than anything
– the story is just so incredibly boring. Warring between stone age tribes should be exciting, but instead it seemed to want to focus on the rebuilding of Takkar’s Wenja clan. The opposing groups (the cannibalistic Udam and pyromaniac Izila) were relegated to standard ‘bad guys’ with only a handful of scenes showing them to have any real culture. I would have liked a bit more moral ambiguity, rather than just slaughtering the enemies solely because they were different
– the lack of currency from previous games meant much more time scavenging for resources is required. Scavenging is not necessarily a bad thing as is, but here it just made the story grind to a halt
– a handful of the available upgrades just made the game far too easy, without much warning and with no way to undo chosen upgrades it turned the game into a slog more than anything

> due to my colour blindness, I found it incredibly difficult to differentiate between the Wenja/Izila/Udam by sight. I just had to run into them and hope they did not attack me. Even my non-colourblind friends told me their UI outline colours were all very similar
> there is no problem that cannot be solved by having a bear

Should you play this game: Simply put, this game took too long to be interesting, and once it was interesting it was too easy. Compared to the other Far Cry games, particularly 3 and 4, this one is worth missing.


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