It becomes apparent how invested into their new world Ubisoft is, when your first pet wolf cocks his leg and takes a leak on the dead body of the Udam you both just killed. Even more so when, while health depleted, any one of your pets starts to munch on said dead body for a light snack.Click here for our full Far Cry Primal review.
Animals are the absolute hero of Far Cry Primal, with the main protagonist, Takkar, a conduit for the player to control and nurture them. And it’s not even specific to the ‘pets’ you gather -- the game-world is alive with an ecosystem that works, albeit in micro, digital form. Sure, news recently came to light that the game’s map of Oros is maybe a little too close to that of the Himalayas in Far Cry 4, but I’d argue that it’s irrelevant. Far Cry Primal’s setting is still far and away different to any of the previous games, and immersing yourself in this stone age world is one of the best experiences of the series you might ever have.
In Far Cry 3, lamentably we played as Jason Brody -- an OC kid dropped into an island jungle war where the locals were apparently incapable of getting any further than when you came aboard and start killing everyone, despite having no skills in that area at all. In fact, it was the most divisive component to that game, which arguably lead to the introduction of Ajay Ghale -- an American-Kyrati half breed who returns home to scatter his Mother’s ashes, in Far Cry 4, only to be drawn into a rebellion against an all-too familiar dictator. While the location of Kyrat is clearly fictional, it was also obviously based on the Himalayas (or, more specifically, Nepal) and the developers felt that at least having the main protagonist of mixed-heritage from the location, would silence player dissent against pro-American leads.Click here for our complete Far Cry Primal comparisons feature.
Unfortunately Ajay came complete with an American accent and wound up being something of a Jason Brody clone. It’s a problem the series has had for a while now, given the idea they want to drop players into exotic locales, but are too weary to remove Americana altogether from the product, as if no one in the US would buy the game because they couldn’t relate to it.
There’s actually a great balance of sparseness, points of interest and game-world threats as I sprinted across the game world. This idea of exploration and discovery was more engaging for me than the combat, even if playing it stealth is quite satisfying (relocating bodies makes a welcome return from Far Cry 4). There didn’t seem to be an option to block during melee showdowns, which feels like an oversight in a melee-focused game and resulted in me sprinting in and mashing attack to try to kill enemies before my greedy beast companion did the job for me.Click here for our full Far Cry Primal preview, and watch the new "Beastmaster" trailer embedded below.
What’s more effective is the ongoing day/night cycle that necessitates different strategies in how you approach the game world. Predators roam at night, and unless you have fire and an intimidating beast companion, you’ll be seen as easy prey. It reminded me of a more accessible version of what was achieved in that freaky indie horror game, The Forest.