Far Cry Primal Review: Far from Primitive
At the beginning of 2016, Ubisoft released a relatively quick follow up to Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal. I thought it looked fun to step into an unfamiliar era where animals where just as plentiful and are more dangerous than the humans you encountered. Far Cry Primal constantly gives you a feeling that you are on the bottom of the food chain, just one step above a pigeon. But, I thought, variety would be lacking, clubs and spears are fun and all but I was worried that variety would be non-existent. Turns out, I was very wrong. Far Cry Primal was able to keep my attention throughout the entirety of the campaign, and then some.
At first it seems like all you’ll have is a variety of clubs, bows, and a spear. These are your bread and butter for the majority of the game, but they are complimented by a variety of bombs, including bee bombs (that’ll make your enemies look like they’re from Tommy Boy), shards (knives), traps, and some bait. A lot of these are standard fare since Far Cry 3, where this game shines however is your beast companions. You can tame just about any carnivore you find. Doing so is fairly simple. Get a good distance away, lure them in with some delicious mystery meat, walk up, and hold square. Veni Vidi Vici, you’ve got your own, nature grown killing machine.
Most of the beasts have different stats as well plus a buff, some have fire resistance while others may be completely stealthy and are capable of taking out enemies silently. This adds a layer of planning to your attacks. If you want stealth then pick a black jaguar, if you want complete chaos, why not roll on up to that pitiful hay hut and let a bear loose on the enemies inside.
Fire manages to be an incredibly important tool in this game. Like Far Cry 4, you can set whole swathes of land on fire. But being that all of the buildings are made of hay and sticks it makes the fire spread at an insane speed. What you think is controlled fire will quickly envelop both you and your newly acquired Sabertooth. Death comes frequent in the land of Oros. Stepping into an area you aren’t prepped for will almost always end in certain death. That is a welcome challenge that’s been sorely missing for the Far Cry series. Now don’t get me wrong, this game isn’t what I’d call hard, but it can be challenging if you’re punching above your weight.
My only gripe is that Co-op was completely dropped in the transition from Far Cry 4 to Primal. Granted it wouldn’t have been as fun because of the lack of diversity in insanity that you can cause with vehicles and explosives, but I still missed it nonetheless.
Far Cry Primal is a great single player game. One with many diversions that will keep you entertained for 20+ hours. It was a welcome surprise, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to play it.
I'm @AlCornett on twitter if you're interested in discussing some of your favorite games of 2016.