Rise above extinction

Set in the Stone Age, Far Cry Primal takes the award-winning Far Cry franchise back to a time when woolly mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers ruled the Earth. Unlike past Far Cry games, Far Cry Primal was built from the ground-up as a single-player experience. Developed by Ubisoft Montréal, you’ll play as Takkar—a hunter from the fractured Wenja tribe, who’s hunting party was ambushed and killed by a sabretooth tiger.

Known for its innovate open world sandbox gameplay, is it possible for a modern day first-person action-adventure shooter such as the Far Cry franchise to take a giant leap back in time and still be successful? Will trading in the use of high-tech weapons and vehicles for arrows, spears, and clubs still offer the same electrifying experience?

Game Details

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Developer: Ubisoft Montréal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: First-person, Action-adventure
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

Immersive Stone Age world

After just a few short minutes into Far Cry Primal, and the reality of the Mesolithic world sinks in. Located in a valley in Europe, Oros is a massive open-world that comes to life with a variety of breathtaking environments including lush forests bursting with life, rolling plains, and a harsh ice cold tundra. Not only is the land of Oros visually stunning, the ambient sound effects of the Stone Age setting are all here. From the sounds of distant warriors engaging in battle to the hum of insects by the river’s edge—Ubisoft Montréal has pulled out all the stops to give you the best experience possible.

Filled with savage beasts where humans are the prey, Far Cry Primal has a single goal: survive and become the dominate tribe. As part of the Wenja tribe, you will compete against two other tribes, the Udam and Izila. Known for their savage like actions, the Udam are a bloodthirsty tribe that like to eat their enemies. While on the other hand, the Izila tribe is a stark contrast and are a technologically superior tribe that like to enslave their enemies. As you can see you will have your hands full!

Adding to the experience, all three tribes in Far Cry Primal speak modified versions of a real ancient language called Proto-Indo-European. With subtitles at the bottom of the screen so you know what the characters are saying, the story also unfolds by the characters emotions, and gestures that they use. Although at first I wasn’t too keen on this element, it grew on me and it quickly became evident that it adds to the overall experience to immerse you in the pre-historic world.

Conquer the world

In order to succeed in Far Cry Primal, you’re going to have to work with several different allies to gain abilities needed to defeat the leader of each opposing tribe. In order to make it to these allies, you will start out with basic weapons such as spears, clubs, and arrows. However, as you progress through the game, you’ll learn to use primitive bombs, traps, animal bait, and more.

Weapons are created though a superbly executed crafting system, which has been streamlined to make the worry of having to carry certain items easier. Although, you’ll still have to collect animal pelts, wood, rocks, and such, the primary progress marker is focused on your village. Building up your village provides you with new abilities, XP boosts, and a visual reward as you watch it flourish.

With a day/night cycle, Far Cry Primal encourages you to not only hunt and scavenge during the day but also to go out at night to hunt. Although it’s much more dangerous at night, you’ll find unique animals and plants that aren’t available during the day. In addition, most enemy camps and outpost inhabitants sleep at night—giving you the cover of the night as surprise element to take them out.

Taming the beast

One of the best new features of Far Cry Primal is Takkar’s Beast Master ability, which allows you to tame predators and have them fight by your side. I quickly found out that by taking the time to learn the unique abilities of each animal greatly improved my chances of survival in Far Cry Primal. From owls to bears to wolves, you can summon these companions at any moment—adding a completely new level of gameplay to the game.

More than just taking down an enemy, you can use your companions to perform a variety of different tasks such aerial reconnaissance, or acting as a distraction during battle and hunts. The first animal you will tame is the Owl, under your control it will act as a scout and as fly over the land marking enemies for you.

Just when you think Takkar’s “best master” ability can’t get any better, it does. Imagine mounting a sabretooth tiger and galloping across the land—it’s a thrilling experience to say the least. One of the best aspects of riding your companions is the fact that you don’t have to get off to pick up resources or search bodies—thank you Ubisoft.

Final thoughts

Far Cry Primal is a welcomed entry into the Far Cry franchise. With over 30 hours of gameplay already put into the game, I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it. Far Cry Primal is a testament to the flexibility of the Far Cry francise, and proves that it’s not just limited to a modern day setting with high-tech weaponry and vehicles.

It’s not too often that you see a company take a multi-million selling franchise such as Far Cry with a tried and true formula, and move the setting back in time some 12,000 years. Kudos to Ubisoft, for taking the chance with an idea that will ultimately open up other doors for the series down the road. Although I wish there were some sort of co-op or online gameplay included with Far Cry Primal, ultimately that does not take away from the fantastic experience.

Let me know in the comments section below what you most like about Far Cry Primal.

+ Incredible atmosphere
+ Addictive gameplay
+ Huge new open-world that is fun to explore
+ Beast Master abilities at an exciting new level of gameplay to the franchise
+ Streamlined crafting system
+ Night/day cycle that effects gameplay

– No co-op modes
– No online play


Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5

Overall Rating 4.6/5 (92%)

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Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter @4Scarrs_Gaming.