Last week I had the chance to check out the next installment in the Far Cry series, Far Cry Primal. I was lucky enough to play three hours of the game and quickly found myself fully emerged in the beautiful world of Oros.
Far Cry Primal takes you back to 10,000 BC as Takkar, the sole survivor of his hunting group. Left alone in the savage and unforgiving world of Oros, Takkar must hone his skills to unite his tribe and survive against the dangers that face them.
When I sat down to play the game, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant. When I think Far Cry, I think of gun slinging action that has you at the edge of your seat and primal has no guns. Despite the lack of gun overkill, Ubisoft was able to deliver a refreshing experience that challenges players and will have you stuck in your seat for hours. Since I enjoyed the game I want to share with you the 5 Best Things About Far Cry Primal:
THE WENJA LANGUAGE
The first thing that had me in awe was Ubisoft’s ability to create a whole language. Yes, they did! Ubisoft worked with historical linguistics at the University of Kentucky to create the language that players will hear throughout the game, Wenja. The linguist used Proto-Indo-European accents as the base, of the three variations of Wenja that are spoken by the different tribes in the game. Hearing the characters speak in this foreign language immersed me deeper in the world of Far Cry Primal. I was still able to connect with the characters and care about the story, through the character expressions and tone variations that were used in dialogue….although the captions helped too. I doubt I would have been able to get the same immersive experience if the game was in English. Maybe because I’m a fan of Star Trek (the creators of the Klingon language), that allows me to appreciate the effort and time that goes into developing a whole new way of speaking. For a studio to put that much work into just the dialogue alone makes me feel confident on the choices they made in the game.
THE BEAUTIFULLY GURESOME WORLD OF OROS
Oros is a land that was formed as a result of an ancient glacier that melted and created a valley that is flourishing and has abundant resources. Oros’s primitive land has beautiful sceneries that create the perfect back drop for slaying cannibals. Players are able to take in the breath-taking views of the valley, marshland and arctic tundra. I found myself flying my owl over the river banks to take in the views of the sun setting behind the mountains; most of the time my sightseeing was interrupted by a bear gruesomely mulling me. In the game it is easy to get distracted by looking at the scenery and animals; that you may not notice you’re about to be a bear’s dinner, and that is the beauty of Far Cry Primal. It quickly lets players know how messed up primitive times were and emphasizes the need to constantly be on your toes.
HONING YOUR GATHERING/HUNTING SKILLS
In the game’s first sequences it quickly becomes clear to the player, that Oros is a savage place that isn’t ruled by humans and instead run by the animals. After Takkar is ripped apart from his tribe and without a weapon the first thought that goes through your mind is, “I need to craft something NOW”! In Primal it is up to you to find materials to make your weapons and resources that are vital to your survival. Through gathering from the land or hunting animals, players can collect animal fat, slate, wood and much more. Hunting was my favourite way to gather materials because it can sometimes be challenging depending on the animal. Every animal moves and reacts to Takkar differently depending on their species, so you really can’t just run to animals “spears blazing” and guarantee a kill. Deer are very quick to react to every movement and run away very quickly, so if you’re not crouching close the ground you’re wasting your time. Wolves move very different, they are pack animals and a number of them will attack you at once, so you’re better off using a club lit on fire. Many times I found myself sidetracked by hunting because it was so enjoyable.
Sometimes in open world games the AI system isn’t the brightest, but you don’t get that in this game. At one point in the game I attempted (key word…”attempted”) to hunt down a mammoth and thought I’d take the high ground to avoid it stampeding over me, that plan failed miserably. The Mammoth was smart, it first tried to run straight forward to knock me down but after a few attempts the mammoth found a path that led to the cliff I was on. Although I didn’t survive that encounter it made me really pay attention to how AI interacted with the environment and Takkar. Moments like my encounter with the mammoth happened many times; even the Udam (cannibal tribe) gets in on the action of trying to outsmart me. Having smart AI is so important to open world games like Far Cry Primal because it keeps every experience new and refreshing.
In the game you have the ability to also become the Beast Master or as I like to call it, BEAST MODE. Early in the game Takkar meets Tensay, a Wenja Shaman, who gives Takkar a very questionable drink that is garnished with eyeballs. The concoction causes Takkar to have a spirit vision that unlocks the ability to tame various wild beasts in Oros. The spirit vision is a light enjoyable piece of the game that you will have fun playing. Once armed with the ability to tame beast like a wolf, tiger, bear and owl you will feel invincible. For the first time ever in a Far Cry game players will have a companion that you can pet, who will protect you and more. Different animals give you different perks, for example the Owl allows you to scope out enemies ahead and swoops down to attack them. Beast Master introduces a new way for players to survive the game which will have you playing for hours.
Although this list is limited to five things there is more to look forward to in Far Cry Primal, that will be a huge hit for gamers. Far Cry Primal releases for PS4 and Xbox One on February 23, 2016, PC will get the game in March 2016.