Have you ever wanted to hunt down a massive mammoth in true caveman-like fashion, toting a big handcrafted spear? Or maybe you prefer to chase down a rampaging wild boar with a barbaric club? Ever wondered what it might be like to spend some time in the epic and dangerous wilderness of 10,000 BC? Well, then look no further than Far Cry Primal to fulfill your caveman fantasies and satisfy those primordial urges!
Introduction: Dive Into The Stone Age And Save Your Tribe
Ubisoft’s Far Cry franchise is no stranger to releasing spin-offs to their mainline games, and Far Cry Primal (2016) sits atop the list when it comes to which of those spin-offs is the best in the series. Based off of the mechanics and map structure of Far Cry 4 (2014), Primal is set in the very distant past. Following the story of Takkar, the lone survivor of his hunting tribe, players embark on an epic journey of survival, and revival. Your goal is to create a new and safe village for your people, the Wenja, and along the way, encounter many enemies and allies, both human and animal-kind alike. During this review, let’s take a look at what I consider to be five key factors that set Far Cry Primal apart from other games of its time.
Gorgeous Landscapes: A Real Feel Simulation of 10,000 BC
Graphics had come a long way by the debut of Far Cry Primal, and this game is proof of just how far they have advanced. The natural landscape and open-world design of the game helped it stand out against most of its competitors on the market. With rolling mountains, treacherous waters, and thick forests, running through the map of Far Cry Primal really makes you feel like you are submerged in the year 10,000 BC. Add in the natural sounds of wild animals and deep wilderness, as well as some realistic weather elements, and you can almost feel yourself roaming throughout the Stone Age landscapes. I have personally found myself getting lost in the beauty of the game, spending hours just walking around checking out different views and elements of this visually flawless world.
Animal Whisperer: The Ability to Control Animals was Mind-Blowing
As you progress throughout the game, you learn that Takkar has the special ability to tame and command wild animals. Being named “The Beast Master,” has gifted you with the ancient power to tame otherwise deadly animals and make them your loyal companions. From owls to wolves, tigers to bears, and more, there is a plethora of beasts to make up your own personal furry and feathered attack force. You start off with this power after finding a Wenja spiritualist, who makes you drink some rat blood, and then all of a sudden you are warped to an ethereal world. In this world, you follow a spectral owl, which then becomes your first animal ally, and a drone of sorts to assist on your adventure. This animal taming feature was definitely unlike anything else of its time and a ridiculous amount of fun to add to the intensity of the game. What’s better than telling a sabretooth tiger to attack a group of blood-thirsty cavemen? Nothing, the answer is simply nothing.
The Power of FIRE!: Commanding the Element of Destruction
If making clubs, spears, and other rustic human weapons from natural resources found in the world isn’t enough to get your primordial juices flowing, how about flaming clubs and spears? In Far Cry Primal, you can literally set almost all of your weapons on fire, making your simple bow and arrow an even deadlier combat choice. Adding a little “fuel” to the fire, all of the grass, trees, and structures of the game are also completely flammable, making it extremely entertaining to just fling fire everywhere possible. Be careful, though. You might accidentally harm yourself in the middle of a big fight or incinerate those innocent Wenja you were trying to save from their Udan captors. I personally like finding a high point to lob fire arrows into unsuspecting enemies, raining fire from the mountaintops (see my screenshot above), striking fear into all who oppose Takkar the Beast Master!
Steady Progress: Easy Quests Make for Consistent Growth
One admittedly flawed part of the game is how simple and sometimes repetitive the game’s quests are. Don’t let that steer you away from this epic blast from the past, though. Far Cry Primal dives deep enough into its own lore and story elements to keep you hooked for hours. A story following an ancient Beast Master trying to create a new home for his people is pretty epic if you ask me. On top of that, the leveling system progresses perfectly, making the game a good balance of challenging and fun. Even after finishing the main storyline, you can find entertainment in hunting and taming beasts you may have missed, as well as continuing to level up to become the ultimate beast master. Crafting, killing, collecting, and questing all grant XP, which is nothing new of course, even in 2016, but in Far Cry Primal it seems like almost everything you do helps you level up!
Ancient Vehicles: That’s Right, You Can Ride Your Tamed Beasts
Mounts and rideable animals being a part of the gaming world was nothing new in the year 2016, but Far Cry Primal found a way to make their mounts something truly amazing. After you get far enough into the game, you can tame two specific animals to ride around at will. You can also find another creature in the overworld to ride around, similar to one from Far Cry 4. Any mammoth you find in the game after a certain point (similar to the elephants of Primal’s mainline predecessor) can be ridden around the map! All you have to do is jump on and go for a “spin”. Likewise, after taming the bear and sabertooth tiger companions, you can take them for a caveman-killing joyride through the forest. Yes, it is just as cool as it sounds, and yes, it makes you feel like a complete and total stone age renegade. Riding a grizzly bear through a village of hated enemies is definitely close to the top of my “awesome gaming moments” list.
Conclusion: Far Cry Primal Is Just Great
Although it is only a spin-off and therefore shorter than a normal length game, Far Cry Primal is still a powerhouse in its own right. From the graphics and world-building to the unique abilities and story line, you can most certainly lose yourself in the game for quite some time. It stands as one of my personal favorites in the Far Cry series, as I consider it a sort of prequel of the entire franchise, really giving it a real-world and historical type of feel. If you haven’t experienced this masterpiece yet, I highly recommend you give it a go, even if it seems a little outdated. With it being as old as it is, the game is super cheap from any source, so even if my review turns out to be the opposite of what you think, it won’t hurt your wallet at all to give it a try.
Far Cry Primal is an action-adventure spin-off game released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Grab your copy on the PlayStation Network or a local used game store, and get back to your ancient human roots with this 2016 Ubisoft classic! As far as the Far Cry franchise goes, I personally rank Far Cry Primal as the third best in the entire series, only sitting behind the iconic Far Cry 3 and it’s immediate predecessor Far Cry 4. When it comes to story, combat, unique elements, and fun, Far Cry Primal is all of that and more. Step into the dangers of the Stone Age and live the action for yourself!
- Amazing Graphics
- Unique Storyline
- Beautiful World-building
- Fun Animals
- Replay value is sort of low
- Shorter than normal game-length