Far Cry Primal’s look back at the Ice Age starts off as an intimidating place to live, but once you’ve tooled up a bit, the land will bend at your will – especially when you have a pet Sabre-toothed tiger by your side – but if you crave that feeling of struggling against the odds, striving out as the early cave men may have done, then Far Cry Primal’s new survival mode will certainly tick those boxes.
The free patch is available now and strips the game of its minimap and forces you to pay more attention to your surroundings – scavenging properly for resources and hunting the old-fashioned way – not relying on your hunter abilities to highlight everything. To add to your torment, you must now manage a stamina bar and rest up in between physical exertion – thankfully you still have your beastmaster skills, although the pets have reduced health and can not be revived!
For the ultimate survival experience switch on permadeath – how far can you get?
Here’s a handy infographic of the new mode and what you can expect from its mutators…
Very few developers have been brave enough to put down the rifles and rocket launchers and opt for a primitive take on the FPS genre. Ubisoft have done just that with Far Cry Primal. There’s spears, arrows, clubs and not a single grenade or pistol in sight.
Set in Central Europe around 10,000 BC, you play as the caveman Takkar of the Wenja tribe in search of Oros, a land rife with life and opportunity. Unfortunately for the Wenja two other tribes also live in Oros. The Udam and Izila have established large settlements in Oros and haven’t taken kindly to the appearance of the Wenja, massacring the tribe, leaving the survivors spread out across the land. Takkar arrives with one goal in mind – to unite the tribe and establish a new Wenja community.
Animals play a huge part in the game. You can hunt them for their skin and meat, or track rare species for their unique skins to craft the best gear. There’s even the opportunity to go on larger hunts with other Wenja to kill or tame the most furious of beasts – tame I hear you ask? Yes tame. Once the shaman Tensay has drugged you with his deadly home cooking, a hidden power awakens inside of Takkar – the power to stare down any beast and have it obey your every command.
The combat of Primal is extremely satisfying, particularly when you launch a spear at distance into an enemy’s skull. Takkar can’t block or dodge attacks, which can make some fights a bit of a grind, particularly the boss battles – in one fight I found myself running around a large rock taking cheap shots at the boss and getting out before I got battered.
Boss battles aside, Primal balances its primitive weapons perfectly. A bow and arrow may seem a little daunting when up against a tribe of warring Izila, but by using distraction techniques or throwing in a hive of angry bees, the tables can turn in your favour quickly. Failing that you can opt for a dose of poison to turn enemies against one another. Then there’s your pets – flying in to claw out eyeballs, your owl makes a worthy scout and a dangerous aerial ally, able to pick off enemies one at a time. Of course if you want to make an entrance then you can always jump on the back of a mammoth and go marauding through enemy camps. But nothing compares to the awesome and terrifying sight of a Sabre-toothed Tiger – sending him in to do your dirty work may seem cheap but it works a treat!
The story of Primal rolls around as background noise – the world of Oros is begging to be explored and can easily take the focus away from the main task at hand, especially as the narrative isn’t as flamboyant and prominent as previous games in the series. There’s collectibles to find, locations to explore and materials to gather so that you can craft gear and better homes for your growing community.
The thrill of the hunt or the excitement of being chased makes the world of Oros an intense place to live when you only have sticks and stones to defend yourself. Thankfully with Tensay’s help Takkar quickly turns from meek caveman to badass beast master making Oros a less scary place to live. Once tamed, animals will hunt by your side, warding off other predators and attacking rival tribes – I always felt safer with a ferocious beast by my side.
The sights and sounds of Oros are as believable as the landscape you find yourself in and this is topped off by an incredibly realistic language that has been created solely for the game – complete with dialect changes within the tribes – the language that Ubisoft has created is deserving of commendation. The words are relatively simple and I’ve heard them so often that I could almost speak Wenja myself! This does lead to a somewhat simple narrative lacking in depth when compared to previous games in the Far Cry series. Cavemen don’t make the most interesting bad guys either, that accolade is reserved for your fellow Wenja, particularly the crazy Urki – a descendant of Hurk from Far Cry 4.
While there are hues of Far Cry mechanics littered throughout, Primal doesn’t feel like a mere reskin of the last game, something Far Cry 4 was heavily criticised for. There’s a greater emphasis on gathering and hunting making Primal almost play like a survival game – but with respawns rather than a game over screen – encounters with the aggressive Udam tribe and the many ferocious animals never feel too life threatening.
Far Cry 4’s co-op was rather light in what you could do together, but Primal doesn’t have any, and this makes me sad. I would have loved to go hunting with Dave – setting a trap or running an animal into a choke point.
Far Cry Primal takes a bold step into a genre that has only dipped its toe into waters where guns have no place. Bows, spears and clubs are all that stand between Takkar and uniting his lost Wenja tribe. Throw in a crazy shaman with mad herbal skills, and this Far Cry makes for one heck of an experience that will strike a chord even with those that hold Far Cry 3 close to their hearts. Far Cry Primal is a prehistoric playground that’s fun to explore, hunt and survive in.
Far Cry Primal is out in a mere few days, but if you can’t wait for Ubisoft’s latest take on the Far Cry formula, this time set in the Stone Age, then the short documentary video below that explores the recreation of the Stone Age is just what you need:
The documentary talks about what it takes to create a game set 10 000 years ago. The creation of a brand new language, Wenja, based on the Proto-Indo-European language, and the combined efforts of animators, programmers, historians and movement coaches to achieve the level of realism and authenticity the team wanted for the game.
Far Cry Primal is out on February 23rd on Xbox One.
Are you as excited for Far Cry Primal as we are? Let us know in the comments below.
Last night Ubisoft began to tease a new game, the unveil was slightly ruined by IGN Turkey letting the prehistoric cat out of the bag – Far Cry Primal has now been officially unveiled and rather than a Blood Dragon expansion, Primal will be the next full instalment to the series.
Releasing February 23, Primal rids the modern-day skin that the series has been renowned for and goes back in time to 10,000 BC where a savage land is roamed by woolly mammoths and sabretooth tigers.
Playing as the hunter TAKKAR and set in the land or Oros, the aim of the game is survival – and by the looks of the game’s cover – you won’t be alone.
Is it me, or does that sabretooth tiger looks like a pet rather than a potential threat! As the first man, you need to survive, hunt, master fire and (unsurprisingly) craft weapons and tools. Dan Hay, Executive Producer, Ubisoft had this to say:
The interesting thing about Far Cry is that it’s flexible, so when a team proposed to explore the idea of a Far Cry taking place during the Stone Age, we just said ‘let’s hear it!’ And the more we heard about it, the more we realised how much of a damn good idea it actually was
Far Cry 4 Kyrat Edition trailer shows the game’s collector’s edition that includes a Pagan Min figure, a collector’s edition box and more.
In Far Cry 4 Ubisoft have gone big and are pushing the boundaries of the serious further than they have before. Far Cry 4 is set in the fictional Himalayan country of Kyrat ruled over by an evil dictator called Pagan Min. Players will take up the story of protagonist Ajay Ghile as he fights to remove Pagan Min from power… you can read more from our Hands-On here.
Far Cry 4 is due for a release on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 18th, 2014.
Available as of today on the Xbox LIVE marketplace for Xbox 360 is Far Cry Classic, a standalone downloadable title that returns players to where it all began and relive the game that launched a legacy. With graphical enhancements, revamped cutscenes, and a fresh new UI, Far Cry Classic allows players to experience all the action and chilling gameplay that made Far Cry legendary – now remastered in HD. Choose firepower, strategy, or stealth, and use your freedom in a massive open world environment. It’s never too late to rediscover a classic.. although it will set you back £7.99.
To celebrate the launch, here’s a new trailer for you.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone that didn’t enjoy Far Cry 3. It’s totally understandable; the game was a non-stop thrill ride that could keep you entertained for the longest time. So when Ubisoft announced Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, it was perceived as a bit of a joke. It didn’t help that the game’s announcement came on April 1st either. But we soon found out that Blood Dragon was indeed very real. We also saw that it was a satirical retro take on Far Cry 3 and 80’s action flicks. It could’ve proven to be risky, but did it work out in the end? Read on and we’ll see.
You have to understand something from the get-go. Blood Dragon is something of a joke. That’s not to say it’s bad. It’s just the least obvious follow up to the intensely serious Far Cry 3. The blend of the mass hysteria that was 80s machismo and the neon glow that has been added to the easily playable Far Cry engine seems genius for the most part and works extremely well.
In a desolate future, the year 2007 (hilarity in itself) finds the planet being a hollow shell of itself due to the outbreak of nuclear war. An entirely new kind of super soldier known as the Cyber Commandos have been born. They are genetically altered bionic humans who are sent out to do the missions that no ordinary man can do. The Cyber Commando that you take control of is known as Sergeant Rex ‘Power’ Colt. He descends onto an island filled with cyber soldiers that are controlled by yet another cyborg. Rex Colt will have to do everything within his power to overcome great odds and come out alive.
Blood Dragon is constantly coming at you with reminders that it is an homage to every bad action film that you had seen in the 80s and early 90s. Every piece of dialogue in the game is penned to perfection. Every line coming with a barrage of dated clichés that will slap you in the face with a fist full of nostalgia. They even secured the extremely appropriate voice acting talents of Michael Biehn, who played Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Alien and Kyle Reese in The Terminator. Every line delivered by Biehn feels like an open apology for the bland and frankly upsetting nature of Aliens: Colonial Marines.
So we’ve set the retro tone that the game displays, let’s talk about how it handles. Precisely like Far Cry 3. Not a thing changed, each button is assigned exactly where it was with its predecessor. It feels just as smooth and easy to play as Far Cry 3 as well. Therefore, you know that this arcade game already has a head start on several others. It’s strange to say as it is essentially just a re-skin of Far Cry 3, but Blood Dragon just might be the most well-made game on the Xbox LIVE Arcade. Like Far Cry 3, there are many ways to ‘skin a cat’. You can take it stealthily, cutting alarms so that your foes cannot call reinforcements to stop you. Or you can charge in all guns blazing, taking names and kicking ass. You don’t take any damage from big drops due to your bionic legs, and you can completely breathe underwater now. But you will still need a hint of strategy to succeed in this game. Taking out alarms, marking enemies, and silently killing them is the best way to advance here.
We’ve come all this way and we’ve not even mentioned the Blood Dragons. They are huge mechanical beasts shoot lasers from their eyes and mercilessly hunt you down. You can use them to take out your enemies though, if you’re smart enough. You can lure them to certain areas by throwing cyber hearts that you pilfer from dead enemies in your desired direction. The AI on the dragons is pretty bad, and they look a bit more like mutated T-Rex’s than dragons. But it is fun watching them tear apart and dine on enemy infantry.
The game map isn’t as big as Far Cry 3. That’s almost a given, but it is still large enough for you to have plenty of endeavours all around. There are still towers to liberate around the island. Liberating these towers will unlock extra side missions for you to waste time on.
The sound in the game is top-notch. As I’ve already mentioned, the acting talents of Michael Biehn are ever present and pretty damn funny. The soundtrack itself is amazing, showing off plenty of guitar riffs, power ballads, synth, with a hint of hard rock and metal. The voice acting and the score and soundtrack almost transforms you into the realm of these cheesy action flicks. Hell, the phaser guns even fire with that much heard ‘pew-pew’ noise that we’ve all heard in sci-fi films.
The game will only take you around 5 hours if you power through the story missions. Although there is quite a lot to do on the side. There are strongholds and towers for you to liberate, as well as side missions to be done.
In short, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a hilarious game that is damn fun to play. It has succeeded where Aliens: Colonial Marines and Duke Nukem Forever had failed. They were successful in recapturing an era and personifying it. It’s well worth playing this if you’ve never played Far Cry 3 and are just wondering what the gameplay is like. It’s a barrel of laughs and a it’ll open up a can of retro on your ass. Basically, if you like Far Cry 3 and you like to laugh, buy this game.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is currently available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points.