Far Cry Primal (FCP) is the latest in the Far Cry series. This time, the new country we have to explore is the past: 10,000 BC.
We no longer have guns, our allies are ‘primitive’ cave-people, as are our hominid enemies. We have mammoths instead of elephants, and the Saber-tooth tiger exists and is as deadly as you’d expect.
You play Takkar, a hunter from the Wenja tribe. As the story begins he and a few of his fellow hunters are heading towards the land of Oros to find Wenja that traveled there and didn’t return.
His fellow hunters are taken out by a sabertooth, and Takkar is left to fend for himself. This all serves at the tutorial. At the end you have one other tribe member, Sayla, who specialises in gathering of plants and herbs. From here, it’s up to Takkar to find other lost Wenja, build his village and destroy the other tribes.
As you’d expect, FCP is a huge open world game. In some respects, it’s similar to the earlier entries where you craft weapons, bags and the like, take over settlements, help your fellow tribes in various quests, and kill a lot of animals and other people.
There are, of course, a few differences. There are no modern weapons. The closest you get are bombs that can contain bees, or potions that (for example) cause your foe to start attacking their own side. Other than that you have bows, clubs, spears and shard knives – all of which can be upgraded to do more damage, or gain other abilities.
You can use bait to try to draw animals in to attack your enemies, but in a new twist, you can also tame some of the animals. If you pick up enough skills, you can ride Mammoths, tame sabretooths and even ride those big cats.
Like other Far Crys you have various skill trees you can put points into. You can improve things such as your hunting ability, your gathering ability, your fighting ability and more. As usual, it’s sometimes hard to tell where to put points – but that’s part of the game, really.
As you take over settlements, or help wandering Wenja fight off other tribes, your village population grows. As it grows you get more bonuses – from supplies that are added to your ‘cache’ daily, through to XP bonuses. While they can occasionally be annoyingly persistent, doing the various random events that crop up can give you more people for your village. Assuming they survive the confrontation …
Along with these normal villagers, there are ‘specialists’ you can find and recruit and they give you other skill trees to fill out. There’s a shaman1, a hunter, a crafstperson. If you help them out, do quests for them, and build them nice homes, you’ll get various rewards.
There are still a lot of ways to play this variant of the Far Cry games. You can use mostly stealth, or you can be a tank. You can try to take settlements sneakily, or by outright force. Being able to tame animals increases the amount of options you have available because you can use them to attack and distract. It’s a matter of playing around and finding what works for your style.
It feels like there’s a lot more variety in FCP, even with the ‘limited’ weapons. As usual, I’m having most fun exploring and only occasionally doing missions. I don’t quite know how far through I am, but I also don’t care. Being a primitive hunter is a lot of fun. Especially in such a pretty wilderness.
So, right now, I believe this is the most fun Far Cry so far. I like the change in time, the step back to more primitive weapons and ways as it adds a different feel to the whole thing.
Besides, I also get to tame wolves.