Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023
The game looks and works great, especially when compared to some recent Ubisoft games.
Enlarge / The game looks and works great, especially when compared to some recent Ubisoft games.

Let’s get the bottom line out of the way up front: Far Cry Primal is certainly not the best Ubisoft game, or even the best Distant scream game. However, it is the most Ubisoft game I’ve already played. That says nothing about the breadth, depth or quality of the game’s content. But in terms of how that content is presented, it’s pure, distilled Ubisoft all the way.

This is despite the fact that the game’s setting is about as far removed from the previous one Distant scream inputs as historical as possible. The game begins by literally turning back the clock over 12,000 years. In 10,000 B.C. a prehistoric tribe tries to make a living in the rugged, though apparently still attractive Oros Valley.

The time period is about the only thing that differentiates the plot from the previous pair of numbered ones Distant scream spell. The seemingly exceptional main character, Takkar, has the same habit of overthrowing warlords and leading tribal revolutions as the heroes of Far cry 3 and 4 did. He just does that with a club and a spear instead of a bevy of automatic weapons.

Another turn of the earth

If you’re wondering where it goes from there, don’t bother. Even more than most Ubisoft games, primeval is not so much a sequence of events as a flat, open board with tasks to complete and check boxes to fill. The lack of a linear sequence plays into the gameplay design, as the “story” missions can be completed in any order (with a few exceptions).

Again, Distant scream‘s colorful characters primarily serve as waypoints on a winding journey. They are introduced without explanation and their stories are barely intertwined, except that they share the common goal of overthrowing the stealthy enemy warlords. For the first few hours of Far Cry Primal, I actually believed that there was not an overarching plot. I thought that after a brief introduction to Oros, I would be left to hunt animals and interesting rocks, turn their carcasses into a better club, and just survive. At first it seemed that Ubisoft had created some kind of populist survival game.Rust or Minecraft for the Assassin’s Creed set.

That would have been more attractive than what I actually got. What I got was what I had before, only more. Like most Ubisoft open world games, primeval feels like a remix of all other Ubisoft open world games: complete objectives to get better gear, use that gear to kill people, plant a flag in the corpses. Repeat until you’ve conquered each outpost or feel comfortable closing the story.

At least I didn’t run into any technical issues during my long, steady grind through collectibles and side missions. The game looks and runs great on both the Xbox One and PS4, with snappy load times that I thought developers had given up on in this console generation. One of the most promising things about primevalis what it says about the future performance of Ubisoft games.

Everything that defines one Distant scream™ brand experience is here too these days, just up a notch to match the setting. The central baddies are more screamy, the drug-fueled hallucinations are more colorful, the naked breasts are more numerous, and the pseudo sharpness is more pseudo.

Yet the game’s attitude never dips or peaks – nothing draws attention to itself as particularly harder, easier, more intense, quieter, more beautiful or uglier than anything else. As such none of the traditional Distant scream elements stand out above the others. It’s like what a Distant scream game one Distant scream game was smoothed out and disassembled into the endoskeleton and then packaged as a new product. It’s an allure that stays exactly the same from minute one to minute 1,000 and beyond.

Which is not to say that the game is absolutely without appeal. There’s a low-yield kind of fun in the basic loop of hunting, gathering, crafting, killing, and capturing. The feeling is like the opposite of a mild headache – like a 1-volt current being conducted to the pleasure center of my brain. It’s a narcotic drug that Ubisoft has quite a bit of experience peddling and has done so over the years at great profit.

A career in livestock farming

In the tradition of another Ubisoft franchise, however, primeval does have a unique feature in his mammoth skin sleeve. Instead of a nation of assassins or a pirate ship at your command, the beasts of Oros are ready to serve you – that is, if their guts aren’t stripped for a better class of bowstring.

At almost any time (depending on how you’ve specialized your upgrades) you can recruit a wolf, bear, saber-toothed cat, or lesser animal from a menu of available contacts. Each comes with different stats and abilities on paper, most notably the specially named animal variants earned through ‘Beast Master Hunts’. In practice, almost all of them act as standard AI companions, tackling and tearing up guards and killing animals for wallet leather so you don’t have to.

The exception is your ever-present owl. Summoned by a press of the D-pad, your eye in the sky is a prehistoric UAV that marks targets, bombards chosen enemies and even bombards outposts with poison gas and beehives. This is all done via remote control, thanks apparently primeval‘s early discovery of human-to-bird telepathy.

The “Beast Master” system is a boon for variety. Without it, you’re limited to three basic resources: clubs and spears (which are functionally almost identical), and a bow and arrow set. When you play a game as rooted in recycled formulas as primevalthis is getting very old very fast.

What have we all learned?

Once you’ve mastered the mastery of the beast, as well as all of the game’s barely related plot threads,primeval… just ends. At least in my case it ended in the most anticlimactic way possible. After tracking down the game’s only major threats, I returned to my tribe’s growing village to talk to one last side-quest dispenser. There was a superficial 30-second cutscene, and then… the credits started rolling. It was the perfect abrupt end to a game without a lick of ascending or descending action.

If ever there was a game that deserved a hackneyed sci-fi twist, this is it Far Cry Primal. Unfortunately, the game keeps the face completely straight under the slanted forehead, despite the owl-operated drone strikes.

If you’re still enamored with the blueprint that was originally in it Far cry 3, then give this club a kick. See how it feels in your hands. If not, then nothing primeval attempts will make you change your mind about the trajectory of the series. If you’ve never played this particular grind before, know that there are at least two other games with a little more verve and variety.

The good:

  • Looks good and works great on both consoles
  • The craft, kill, capture loop still provides low-grade catharsis
  • The Beast Master system adds a little touch of variety

The bad:

  • The weakest story of all Distant scream game – that says something
  • Very little weapon and combat variety
  • It feels largely recycled from previous games

The Ugly:

  • Bringing down skulls full of human blood to see “visions”.

Statement: Far Cry Primal is video game aspirin – sedative and unobtrusive but essentially pleasant. Try it.

By akfire1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.