Saturday, April 23, 2016

Far Cry Primal Review: Does it Survive or go extinct !

My friend and a chronic game maniac Kevin Kain, aka U.F.O., goes hands on with the latest in the Far Cry series from Ubisoft. 
Time to hunt, time to Survive ! 
This is a review of the PC version of the game Far Cry Primal.

 "A game based on 10,000 BC... hmmm... Could be interesting..." 

......was my first thought when I saw its trailer for the first time, then about the time of its release, I was hearing many people say

" How can a Game without Guns and Sword be interesting ? " 
....and the answer is:

" Just be a Man " 
Survival of the Fittest !

Ubisoft hit the Gaming world with another Far Cry and many were doubtful about it but after playing it through I can definitely say now that it is amazing ! We're the Wenjas who are trying to survive among the Udams, the tribe of Man Eaters, and Izila, the Sun Worshipers. The story line is somewhat similar to all Far Cry games in the sense that you help your people rise from some form of oppression, but the odds being high this time..... 

This time its a fight against extinction ! 

​Lets Shoot it out:

Primal has the same charisma of previous Far Cry games in it but the "insanity" is missing, if you get the drift :^)...wink wink ! Put simply, Primal has no Bad-ass villain to fill in the shoes of Vaas, which can disappoint a lot, but then who wouldn't get excited to play a game in which you can tame a Saber tooth tiger, fangs and all at your service ...ala He-Man ! You will have to unlock two or three Skills to get there but it sure is worth it and once you soak in the new locale, the game lets you lose with your beasts at your side and you feel the vibe of man and beast roaming and conquering together ! Your humble beginnings are a contrast to this, though, and you start out helpless and with very basic weapons, trying to stay alive in a savage world. Also, nights are ruthless at the start of your adventure. Nights have their own rules in this game, with animals getting more aggressive and roaming in larger packs and attacking you without provocation ! Your first venture into the night will be scary, as you realise you are a feeble human, with no fangs or claws, out at the mercy of all those who have many ! 

...but the adventure and the thrill of night hunts doesn't last long as you soon realise that there is no real need to be out at the night, given its so many dangers. The game offers nothing , nothing at all for taking on the dangers of the night and one soon realises that it is just simply better to sleep it off until dawn than risk being mauled by wolves at night ! The developers missed a big opportunity here, the nights could have been a defining feature of this outing of the franchise ! The woods are lovely, dark and deep at night but there is no incentive to venture out at night and one might as well just never face the night's beauty or dangers !  ...which is a shame ...

Whats new:

Primal shares most of its gameplay mechanics with Far Cry 4 but a few mechanics are new: like an owl which you can control to tag enemies,drop Bee Bombs on them and even kill one for you, with a cool down timer of 60 seconds, of course ( ...its an owl for god's sake, what do u want it to do ! :-P). Its an evolution of the Camera of the previous games, basically, but can be used more freely now, even lethally. Another huge addition are the tamable beasts ! Bears, Tigers, black panthers, Wolfs, you see it, you can eventually tame and ride it into battle !  The different animals also form perfect partners to your playstyle with the Brute-force beasts helping you in all out assault while the panthers bringing their specialty into the silent agile stealth play style ! I am sure every gamer would have his own favourite beast depending on how he/she plays the game but be warned here ..... stealth adventures might not go as planned as the beasts mostly get spotted and spoil the fun of a pure stealth option. Which is, another shame.... -_- !

Weapons, as well the way to acquire them, are different too. Going with the setting, the weapons are mostly melee in nature with your trusty bow, the spear and a sling being the only exceptions. You have to craft your weapons and arrows and the game offers no form of currency or trading system at all.  The Weaponry includes Bows, clubs, shards, spears, slings, traps,and then we we the Bee Bomb which unleashes a Hive of bees on the enemy, the Fire Bomb, which is self explanatory, and Berserk Bomb which drives your enemies crazy and they start to attack each other , something we saw earlier in the fantastic Assassins Creed Black Flag too. All in all there is enough primal weaponry on offer here that you'll not be missing Guns or Swords in this Far Cry.

If one has to single out one most fascinating aspect of the game , then that would be the animations of the animals ! They are so realistic that watching animals fight it out almost feels like watching a Nat Geo Documentary. I once saw a saber tooth on a rhino's back trying to grab its neck, it was so hyper-realistic that Ijust stopped and stared at this play of nature for a while. At another point in the game I used my human power of fire to shoot a saber tooth with a fire arrow and to my suprise it started to roll on the grass  trying to put the fire out !  Such moments make you stop and marvel at the game and , fortunately, such moments are many !

Primal Lands:

The game is visually very pleasing, the God rays everywhere combined with the brownish tone in the morning and dark the blue night is just beautiful. It really does have a prehistoric look  to it with all the varied wildlife all around you and the sounds of nature, interspersed with some pumping Drums, set the mood for adventure just right !

 Ubisoft also created whole new prehistoric languages to make it feel like how its supposed to be. Whether that immerses you or irritates you is subjective, but the effort clearly sets it apart in its sincerity. Ideally, you will not miss the lack of English (or your local dubbing) anywhere.

One little blemish in the pie:

One of the greatest draw backs of the game is that there is no currency in the game, which is understandable given the time period and the setting of the game but there could have been some sort of a barter system between people or tribes. Some way to put to use all the resources that you gather on your way which find no use once you have crafted the weapons/items they are meant for. Being an open world game, it really lacks an economy system to reward your efforts outside of what the story demands. All your efforts feel wasted near the end game as all items become trash by that point. Any thing you find or collect is of no use ! Its literally immersion breaking and its as if the devs never want you to spend too much time in the game or simply forgot to cater to players who like their game !
As for another complaint out there, that the overall map of this game in the game is similar to Far Cry 4 , I would say the developers have altered it so much that its very difficult to spot or point similarities in the terrain when inside the game. SO, even if the overall map might be similar to FC4, I bet you would never notice that while playing at all !
( Fun fact: your footprint leaves a track behind i don't know whats that for, it a mystery! Are we the Yeti to be found by modern man ! lol! )

Final Thoughts:

  • A pet Saber Tooth :P
  • Amazing animal animations
  • Drone Owl :P
  • Wilderness Unleashed
  • Innovative Weapons
  • No Iconic Villian
  • Similar Far Cry Setup
  • No Currency or Batter System for end-game fun.

Verdict: Far Cry Primal is very promising and beautiful and filled with a whole lot of crazy stuff to do. If you want some thing different from the run of the mill shooters, Far Cry Primal is the game you are looking for, but the people bored with the Far Cry Setup might feel jaded by the similarity to previous Far Cry games.

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