- + Focus on your environment and gathering resources in order to survive
- + Taming animals results in powerful companions
- + Beautiful environments
- - Not being able to block attacks
- - Having the ability to swap genders with different storylines would have been nice
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “Primal Instincts”
If I had told you twelve years ago that Far Cry would feature an entry without guns, you’d think I was crazy. Far Cry Primal takes players to the year 10,000 BC, and whilst it doesn’t contain any modern weaponry the series is known for, this drastic departure is an absolute gem. The removal of guns and motor vehicles has mean’t that this time it’s not about explosive action, instead, weaponry is crafted from items found in your environment; stone, wood, etc.
You take lead as a member of the Wenja tribe, Takkar, who is separated from his hunting group after being ambushed by a sabre-toothed tiger. With nothing but your instinct to survive, it’s up to you to hunt for food and forge weapons, before gradually building up to become the leader of a new tribe. Much like any other entry in the series, Primal’s map is huge and caters well to open exploration. Set in the fictional land of Oros, there’s plenty to do amidst its dense and well-populated locations.
Where ever you go wildlife plays a key part throughout your journey. Though, firstly seen as a threat, many of the animals patrolling the thick forests of Oros can also become a loyal companion. Soon after settling into its world you’re given the ability to tame wildlife through the use of bate. It’s a feature I instantly fell in love with, as I paid more attention to encounters in the wild. Not every razor-teethed wolf, tiger or bear, needed to remain an enemy. Once tamed, animals can be used in combat situations and even be ordered to attack a point of your choosing. Progressing your taming skills will open up more species as a buddy, alongside allowing you to ride certain ones as well.
Given the lack of bullets and explosive barrels a slower pace is more evident this time around – something I personally appreciated. Far Cry Primal’s focus on its world and resources ensures that the lack of guns isn’t a problem. Gameplay offers a similar structure to previous games and allows for multiple ways in which to play; whether that be head-first with a club, or more stealthily with a bow. Making a mark for yourself in the wilderness by growing your tribe is important, and dynamic missions across Oros keep exploring every corner worthwhile. Fast travel across the map is available after liberating enemy camps.
Whilst Far Cry Primal is a solid game, I do think there’s room for expansion. Its story is pretty linear, and it would have been nice to choose either a male or female character. In today’s gaming scene women are becoming more prominent, and taking creative liberties by showing them in a stronger presence could have proved ground-breaking. In terms of combat, the lack of any block functionality is annoying if you run out of ammo.
That said, collecting resources and upgrading your skills is both satisfying and addictive. I always felt an urge to do as much as possible within a short space of time, in order to become more powerful. Its lack of multiplayer is a shame however, when you consider the potential for a cooperative campaign, but there’s a certain charm about discovering Oros by yourself.
PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One
Taking guns out of Far Cry has reinvigorated the series for me. Fending for myself across the exotic land of Oros presented a bunch of new opportunities. Gathering resources and taming animals provided an addictive mix, as I constantly felt an urge to become more powerful and make a mark for myself. If you’re tired of Call of Duty, Far Cry Primal offers an overdue mix up.
*Far Cry Primal was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Ubisoft, and Xbox One by Xbox