Far Cry Primal (PC) Review

By Ofisil 30.03.2016 2

Review for Far Cry Primal on PC

After Far Cry, which was a slightly non-linear, but otherwise typical FPS, the series retreated to the oversaturated realm of open-world sandbox games, and got to tread on all sorts of different settings, from jungles, savannahs, and steppes, to the retro-futuristic, '80s cinema-inspired realms of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Despite the shift in location, however, the franchise didn't really evolve gameplay-wise; after all, it was all about guns and bullets, bullets and guns... up until Far Cry Primal time-travelled back to 10,000 BC, the time of spears and clubs, claws and razor-sharp fangs. Does this feel any different, though?

An hour into the dense forests of Far Cry Primal, and Takkar of the Wenja tribe will meet a - surprisingly - good-looking Stone Age cutie, craft crude-but-effective weapons, hunt goats, boars, and mammoths, tame wolves, bears, and even sabre tooth tigers, fight rival cavemen, and, finally, enter a "dreamworld" (after drinking blood mixed with eyeballs) in order to get in touch with his spirit animal. Drawing inspiration from the Shamanic/Spiritual branch of fiction, realism is obviously not the main focus here, and nor should it be so.

Sadly, and while there are definitely plenty of fantasy elements available, Ubisoft has been strangely conservative. There are no dinosaurs, weird Palaeolithic fauna and flora, and nothing extraordinary besides forests and snowy mountains… and not a single leopard-bikini-wearing Amazon warrior. After a Spartan - yet effective, immersive-wise - countdown from the 21st Century towards 10,000 BC (accompanied by sounds from the myriads of wars that humans have fought throughout the millennia), the protagonist of this story will start his odyssey with a mammoth hunt, and this will be the moment when it will be realised that this is yet another Far Cry with fantastic audio-visuals.

Screenshot for Far Cry Primal on PC

From the breathtaking mountain range in the horizon and the behaviour of animals, to the sounds of the surrounding biome, everything is perfect, and runs pretty good even at 60fps - and wait until you see the humans. Besides their insanely flawless animation, facial expressions, and overall design, the Canadian developer was smart enough to have some linguists create a unique, yet extremely convincing language, which sounds very African (as it should), and at the same time very original.

The problem is that the first few hours into this prehistoric epic will offer everything there is to do here, and while it can all be quite fun, it's not something special. Fighting is all about mashing the attack button and waiting for the other guy (or beast) to die, or sneaking behind an enemy to carefully aim at the back of his head. Takkar can also tame predators, and while each one provides a unique perk, the only thing that matters is their position on the food chain: if it's big and mean, everything will run away, and if it's small, it will need a juicy steak once in a while in order to remain standing on its four legs.

Screenshot for Far Cry Primal on PC

The biggest problem is that it takes little skill/strategy to do anything here, something that decreases the fun factor quite a bit, because nothing, from this woolly rhino, to that pack of wolves, can really pose a threat to Turok… err, Takkar. Not to mention that this makes the same mistake as many sandbox games, where becoming stronger doesn't really mean that it's possible to approach harder areas, instead that the world just becomes even less dangerous.

For the most part, and like many of Ubisoft's creations (*cough*Assasin's Creed*cough*), this is a very casual-friendly array of checklist ticks. In other words, it's all about activating all checkpoints, finding, all - otherwise useless - collectibles, crafting every piece of equipment, upgrading Takkar's village, bringing all secondary NPCs to it to unlock more skills, and, of course, completing all quests. It's easy, it's simple, it's repetitive… and, yet, it's great fun. Make no mistake, though, while this certainly caters to the OCD nut inside us all, it can safely be described as "little content, stretched over much game time."

Screenshot for Far Cry Primal on PC

Unfortunately, there is a deeper problem at hand, and that's that there's little incentive to do anything. The story of Far Cry Primal is just… there. Once or twice it may seem like it tries to go somewhere, but it really doesn't. In fact, the plot synopsis can be summed up in one short sentence: Takkar must unite his fellow tribesmen, and fight their common enemy - that's it. It's the weakest storyline in the series' history, and that's saying a lot.

Those willing to approach this should definitely know what it is, and what it isn't. It's not an RPG - it's a big, green open-ended valley, where the name of the game is an endless loop of killing, gathering, crafting, finding, and capturing… it's an Elder Scrolls title, but without the deep lore. Furthermore, anyone tired of the Far Cry recipe should best avoid this for the simple fact that it is just like any other release in the franchise, except with a Stone Age re-skin - instead of guns, bows, instead of radio towers, campfires, and instead of jeeps, mountable tigers and mammoths.

Screenshot for Far Cry Primal on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Despite nothing new or innovative, since this basically recycles past titles and just covers everything with a wild boar's hide, Far Cry Primal can be very entertaining, and the repetitive/simplistic task of crafting, upgrading, collecting, and capturing, can be very addictive and even cathartic. To put it another way, this is just a casual experience, but a very good one at that. It's all about having fun and getting engulfed in the magnificent primeval landscape while at it… as long as you can stomach the lack of any gameplay depth, the zero challenge, the generic, placeholder plot, the current price… and the need to use the very problematic Uplay client.

Far Cry Primal can be bought from Green Man Gaming in disc or Uplay format today, along with many other great titles from indie developers, those on the Nintendo eShop, and you can even see what's new on GMG in general.

Image for

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Christos (guest) 28.08.2018#1

So let me get this straight, again, because as i visit older reviews i more and more hate your reviews Ofisil... You gave this game, which in your words:

"as long as you can stomach the lack of any gameplay depth, the zero challenge, the generic, placeholder plot, the current price… and the need to use the very problematic Uplay client."

a 7/10, while just a few months later Mankind Divided got a 6/10, which by your own admission had great gameplay (and actually had a plot)? So a game that is more or less a reskinned Far Cry 4, which lacks any gameplay depth, has zero challenge, has a generic placeholder plot, deserves to be rated higher than a really good and unique AAA single player experience?

I am at a loss of words, your hypocricy is astounding. You seem to just like boring cookie cutter first person shooters for some reason and hate any game of substance, being Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, or even Morrowind... Why review games you don't like playing?


I am at a loss of words, your hypocricy is astounding. You seem to just like boring cookie cutter first person shooters for some reason and hate any game of substance, being Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, or even Morrowind... Why review games you don't like playing?


1) Stop reading my reviews
2) Stop comparing different scores of different games - Far Cry is mainly an action/survival title, Deus Ex is an RPG.
3) The way you jump to conclusions is as astounding as my hypocricy
​4) "Why review games you don't like playing" There is a shady corporation which pays me to do so.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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