Far Cry Primal: First Impressions

Far Cry Primal is the latest installation of the roleplay adventure series from Ubisoft. The video game is set in 10,000 BCE in the Mesolithic era and features the adventures of a primitive warrior seeking to reunite his scattered tribe. Far Cry Primal, the follow-up to Far Cry 4, is available for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

First Impressions:

While I’m not one of those girls who absolutely insists on having a female protagonist to play in every video game, I am generally disappointed when the option is not included. In Far Cry Primal, there is only one character choice, the Wenja warrior Takkar (voiced by Elias Toufexis). Historically speaking, it does make sense to have a male as the lead character in a Stone Age setting. However, there were female primitive hunters as well, and the game actually features female warrior NPCs, so it would have been nice to have at least one female option to play.

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Game play and UI was relatively easy to figure out without bothering to read up on it. If you’ve played one modern Ubisoft game, you’ll be pretty comfortable with how things work rather quickly. Personally, I am not a huge fan of Ubisoft’s inventory and crafting management system. I find it clunky and not very intuitive. Not much you can do about it, however, so you just learn to live with it.

The intro was engaging, and the graphics of the game were immediately captivating. Far Cry Primal takes place in a beautiful world, and it’s obvious a lot of attention to detail was put into making the landscapes gorgeous. However, after you walk through it for a while, it does tend to get a bit boring. More different kinds of plant life and landscapes would be more interesting. However, as this is a first impression write-up, and I’m not very far into the game yet, there may be more variety to come.

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When my first real quest in the game was immediately one of those annoying ‘gather materials to craft something’ tasks, I did have to roll my eyes a bit. There is nothing that I hate more than the unrealistic process of gathering a bunch of random materials to make something in five seconds that would actually take a long time to really craft. Plus, the whole act of going around plucking plants and breaking off pieces of wood and such is the most tedious aspect of modern games. I’d rather find someone’s discarded bow and start using it, then have to collect crap and build one. But maybe that’s just me. At least give me more interesting things to do right up front than picking weeds though, because it’s a serious turn off.

Also, I feel like the game’s whole ‘hunter vision’ option is a bit too cheaty. It’s not like you can’t figure out what things are actual materials to collect, especially with that whole shiny flash thing they do. You can also track beasts by blood and with your eyes, so you don’t need a supernatural ability to color everything in yellow. If animal and people tracks were actually visual to the naked eye to follow, I’d never turn hunter vision on, because it just completely breaks immersion for me.

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After going through the basics of crafting a weapon and all that annoying intro tutorial stuff, the real meat of the game started heating up when Takkar met Sayla. She is a survivor of a massacred Wenja village attacked by the man-eating Udam cannibal tribe. Sayla collects the ears of slain Udam to silence the screams of her people she can still hear bouncing around in her head. She comes across as just a bit crazy, and I loved her immediately. In fact, I found her a much more interesting character than Takkar himself, and immediately wished I could play the game as her instead.

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This leads me to say that what I’ve been enjoying most so far about Far Cry Primal are the bits of storyline. Far more than the hunting beasts (who needs to kill THREE goats for a meal?), or killing enemies, although the combat is relatively enjoyable. Although, and maybe it’s just my problem, but I feel like it isn’t all that easy to figure out where the hell an attack is coming from and meet it properly. Maybe it’s just all that damn tall grass.

Far Cry Primal has received a lot of rave reviews, and in all honestly it is a beautiful and intriguing world to roam around in so far. However, it is the NPCs and the storyline that really keeps me playing, not the crafting, hunting, or killing random nasty people/things. I’ve only just started the process of working on my village settlement, but I can see that turning into something that I enjoy as well. Well, that and my inner pyromaniac who seems to just get a weird kick out of setting pretty much everything on fire — including myself.

My first impression of Far Cry Primal is that if you are into action-adventure games, and the idea of mucking about in the Stone Age appeals to you, this will probably be a fun play for you. The world is gorgeous, and there is a lot of content to the game to explore and learn. However, if you are not a fan of Ubisoft games in general, how they work and how they look, then this is going to be a whole lot more of the same. Plus, you can expect to spend a lot of time doing repetitive, boring, tasks to craft things and build up your settlements. If you can get over that, the characters and storyline will likely draw you in, and the idea of eventually building up and leading the Wenja tribe to glory is certainly tantalizing. This wouldn’t be one of my Top 100 games of all time, but for a bit of ‘brain candy’ gaming, Far Cry Primal does the trick. Now I just have to see if it can keep me engaged enough to actually get through the whole game.

Are you a fan of Far Cry Primal? What was your first impression of the game and how did you feel about the game as you got further in? Sound off in our comments section below!

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