In 2014 Ubisoft took players to the mountainous region of Kyrat in Far Cry 4, introducing them to a world fraught with contentious, contemporary politics. In 2016 Ubisoft is back with a new Far Cry game and plans to take players back in time; in the fictional land of Oros, at the end of the last ice age, giant mammoths and sabretooth tigers still dominate the landscape, leaving humans somewhere in the middle of the food chain. Playing as Takkar, the last surviving member of his tribe, the player will be tasked with mastering the primitive skills of our ancestors in order to climb the food chain and dominate the unforgiving world of Far Cry Primal.
The fact that this game is takes place before the discovery of gun powder certainly changes the weaponry available to the player. In lieu of guns and explosives, the player will rely on primitive technology like bows, clubs and spears to defend themselves against the onslaught of beasts and warring tribes. Crafting has featured heavily in previous Far Cry games and Primal looks to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors. While there are no explosives, players will be able to construct “bombs” from things like beehives as well as craft weapons, tools and upgrades from the bones and skins of hunted animals.
One weapon available to the player that is new to the Far Cry series is the ability to tame wild beasts and use them as companions. Each animal will have unique benefits to the player in terms of accomplishing objectives. For example, players can use the owl to scout enemy camps and terrain from above; the direwolf will growl to alert the player when enemies are nearby; and the jaguar relies on stealth to take down enemies quickly and quietly. It is true that Far Cry 4 did contain missions that featured animal companions, however, they existed in a kind of spiritual realm that existed tangentially to Kyrat and were not available at all points in the game. Generally tending toward realism, this is a distinct break from previous Far Cry entries as it borders on magical.
From the volatile, vicious Vaas and dapper but sadistic Pagan Min, to the deviously zany Yogi and Reggie, Ubisoft aims to populate Far Cry games with a diverse cast of memorable characters. Something that is interesting to note with regard to Primal is that the characters will not be speaking English, or any other identifiable language. Much of human communication is based in tone, facial expression and body language and it will be interesting to see how Ubisoft uses all of these elements to create a connection between the player and the world. Ubisoft hasn’t divulged too much information on the personas that will be populating Oros, but if the picture above is any indication, the game will continue this tradition.
Ubisoft has stated that there will be no multiplayer or cooperative element in this version of Far Cry. Admittedly, one of the best parts about Far Cry 4 was adventuring through Kyrat with a friend, hunting animals, clearing outposts and tandem wingsuiting off of cliffs. Ubisoft’s stated reason for not including these elements was the desire to focus all of its effort on creating a compelling single player campaign. In a world that is constantly demanding more multiplayer options and games like Battlefield and Call of Duty are catering to that demand, it’s refreshing to see that companies still put a great deal of effort into their single player campaigns.
Far Cry Primal will release on February 23rd in North America for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles and on March 1st for PC.