Wot I Think: Far Cry Primal

A week later than consoles, because apparently Ubisoft have abandoned that promise already, Far Cry Primal [official site] is out on PC tomorrow. I’ve donned my wolf-skin coat, daubed random lines of paint on my face, and killed some local wildlife (sorry Mrs Primms about Fluffy) in preparation to tell you Wot I Think:

Far Cry Primal is a very impressive game. However, Far Cry Primal would feel much more like the very impressive game it is had it not followed Far Cries 3 and 4, and perhaps most of all, Just Cause 3.

If you’re familiar with the franchise, there’s not a great deal to explain. It’s Far Cry 4, but 12,016 years ago. So no guns, helicopters or mobile phones, but pretty much everything else. Even bombs, albeit more likely made of bees’ nests. With the additions of animal taming for conveniently violent pets, and a bit more variety in mission types, it’s downright peculiar just how much it still feels like regular Far Cry. Which, as I mention, isn’t a bad thing. Just a familiar thing.

So, set in 10,000 BCE, late enough in the Stone Age to excuse quite such adept tool creation, you’re Takkar, a member of the Wenja tribe. And the Wenja, by dint of some quite hilariously dreadful storytelling, are the Good Guys of this region, while all the other tribes are inherently evil, making it perfectly acceptable to kill their members on sight.

You’re tasked with gathering Wenja to your home village, and taking down the leaders of the enemy tribes. And really, in terms of arc, narrative, purpose or meaning, there’s absolutely nothing else to this. It is, despite so very many cutscenes in its gibberish language, a game about clearing icons off the map. The setting, the opportunities to either a) explore the time and culture, or b) have a lot of silly fun, were both cast aside in favour of narrative nothingness. Not the end of the world, but a shame.

But boy is that map covered in icons. It’s enormous, ever-growing, and ludicrously packed with things to do. There are the core missions, the usual muddle of Far Cry rescue/escort/defend tasks, giant terrifying animal hunts, cave exploration missions, cave escape missions (these are absolutely ace), random events to rescue Wenja, bonfires to capture from enemies, encampments to capture from enemies, and of course 85 million billion collectables of 479 different types to search for about the lands. You cannot accuse FCP of lacking things to do.

On top of that, the volume of wildlife has been turned up to 11, and most of it has big pointy teeth. At the start, roaming around can feel a little daunting with quite so many packs of animals wanting to eat you. As you progress, and indeed as you learn to tame something bigger than them and have it trot around with you, the wildlife becomes far less of a constant threat. But even the presence of a low-level threat at all times means that just plodding around the world means you’re always “on”, always playing, looking out for wolves (wave a club on fire toward them to save a fight), sabre-tooth tigers (run like shit), or enormous woolly mammoths (hide), and indeed dozens of other species. The scariest animals in the game – and this isn’t a joke – are badgers. Not honey badgers – ones that look just like a regular European badger. Those bastards can take down a sabre-tooth. (And yes indeed, history fans, smilodon would have been pretty much extinct by the time, but this is hardly a game about historical accuracy.)

Taming beasties arrives once you’ve added the right member to your tribe. This allows you to gather a menagerie of creatures that can be called on at your leisure, from leopards and badgers to bears and sabre-tooths (the latter two of which you can even ride on!). Having a pet beside you changes a lot, meaning you don’t need to worry about many random animal attacks, as they’ll either be scared off or taken care of for you. It’s also useful when you want enemy throats ripped out for an unsubtle take-over of their territory.

There’s also a far better reason for the series’ emphasis on hunting this time out. Gathering skin types is less like a morbid hobby, and more a practical action with skins used in crafting and village development (a massively underused idea where you can briefly improve the homes of various Wenja to make more crafting items available), so going out hunting makes sense within the game’s world.

It looks absolutely stunning at all times. Even more beautiful than FC4, and teeming with life, it’s a game that makes you want to stand still and stare. And indeed watch, as the various species get on with fighting each other (humans included). It’s quite ludicrously stunning, and on my edging toward middling set-up, runs extremely well at the highest settings. There’s the same issue I had in FC3 and 4 with creature fur looking weirdly blurry close up, and I wonder if that’s an AMD issue, since only Nvidia seems to love hair enough to get it right. But otherwise, gosh, it’s gobsmacking.

So, lots to do, lots to look at, and then quite surprisingly quickly, lots of repetition. It doesn’t help that the game is so incredibly similar to its predecessors in terms of activities, and even weapons. (Although I’m not sure if most people chose to play FC3 and 4, as I did, primarily with the bow and arrow. That certainly emphasises the issue.) It also doesn’t help that despite there being quite so many activities on the map, most of them come down to firing arrows into the heads of the rival tribespeople. Caves certainly add a lovely variation, but they themselves become very routine very quickly, as you climb, grappling hook and swim from section to section, looking for the same two collectables that will be hidden within.

Provision is also wildly badly balanced, meaning you become replete with absolutely everything you could ever want – every weapon, skill and ingredient – far too soon. After about 10 hours, every single supply sack, looted corpse and even tree and shrub offered me the message, “Pack is already full of these items”. Reaching a hidden supply through exploration becomes ridiculously anticlimactic when even “rare” versions of animal hides are falling out my ears, with no current projects on which to use them.

But the largest issue with this incarnation of the concept is how much of the game is locked behind its dismal story. When I had collected every last hidden item in the world of Far Cry 4, found every poster, taken over every encampment, cleared the map of every minor task, I thought, “Well, I guess I’ve finished the game then.” And only then, genuinely, remembered the main story was still to be completed. Far Cry Primal seems to have seen this wonderful strength as a terrible weakness, and “fixed” it.

Even exploration requires that you obey the core storyline, such as it isn’t. Rescue this key Wenja, then do as he or she says by going over there, killing that, finding this, climbing over the other, and then you’ll get the grappling hook that you need just to reach a bunch of the map’s “?” locations. Want weapons that make it possible to enter certain areas without instantly dying? Do as you’re told. Want to be able to move more quickly than running (ie. beast riding)? Then it’s the same again. There’s no value to the story you’re being told (in subtitles, because apparently having them speak an unintelligible to all language hand-crafted by real-life historians is “more immersive” according to Ubisoft Montreal), but dammit, you’ll be forced to listen to it.

The closest it gets to going beyond, “We don’t like them over there,” is, of course, bloody spirit quests. One involves flying as a really badly programmed owl through some dreary valleys, another – and I’m not joking – involves BLOWING UP THE MOON. In fact, if anything, Far Cry Primal feels like the series’ writers finally finding their way to write the “me simple but magical tribesman” story they’ve so awkwardly and with such resounding cultural tone deafness put in the last two games. Despite an incredibly confusingly mixed race group of tribesmen and women (because god-forbid a game feature all brown people, and not be able to have a really peculiarly white male main character), this feels like their wet dream excuse for including all the Magical Negros they could dream up. Oh, and for having loads more ladies with their boobies hanging out of their clothes, too.

There’s also a really strange inclusion of a character called Urki – a seemingly mentally retarded man who begs you for help with his ill-fated quests to fly, protect himself from spears, be able to survive being attacked by a bear, etc. In each of these endeavours you aid his getting killed, and he then mysteriously comes back to life for the next nonsense in his quest chain. The whole thing appears to be one uncomfortable link in a chain of self-referential Ubi-quity, referencing both Assassin’s Creed and a (thankfully) DLC only Far Cry 3 character called Hurk.

But it’s all so incongruous to the tone of this game. In keeping with Hurk, Urki speaks with a deep-South American accent, rather than the cod-African lilt of the rest of the cast. I don’t know what to make of it. It unquestioningly feels like mocking a man with the mental age of a child, but at the same time, it suggests a whole other game in which the ridiculousness of the setting could have been used for… fun? For a game that didn’t take itself quite so astonishingly seriously.

I think it’s Just Cause 3’s fault. That series has always been the open-world antidote to Far Cry’s pomposity, and following on from the glorious fun in the most recent entry, Far Cry Primal feels chained to a rock. No, clearly infinite parachutes would have perhaps been an incongruity too far, but it’s hard not to feel that the series needs to shake itself loose. (Although I say all this with the deep fear that Ubi feel this was taken care of by the absolutely abysmal ‘comedy’ of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, where just shouting badly written silliness over the exact same game was supposed to take care of it.)

Okay, a lot of complaining in a row there, and all of it quite justified. But I come back to my original point: Far Cry Primal’s biggest problem is that it has predecessors, and it’s not fair to damn it with that. What the developers have built here is a massive, complex, extraordinary creation, that has kept me occupied for five solid days, going to bed far later than I’d planned on each of them. It’s a familiar world though, despite the opportunity of the dramatically different setting. (Although, again, I feel that the game’s being quite so similar to the previous two while being set in 10,000 BCE, is perhaps more indicative of the astonishingly patronising bullshit they wrote for those earlier games than anything else.)

I’ve had an enormous amount of fun playing this, obsessively clearing the map of icons, occasionally relenting and accepting I need to do one of the main quest threads to progress, riding around on the backs of mammoths, diving off cliffs into pools hundreds of feet below, wrestling crocodiles, being dazzled by sunsets, escaping labyrinthine caves, and using my “hunters vision” to track enormous beasts. It’s undeniably great fun, and unquestionably a huge achievement. Just a very, very recognisable one, for all the best and worst reasons.

Far Cry Primal is out tomorrow for Windows.

From this site

88 Comments

  1. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    So it seems that Map Janitor: 2016 edition is upon us then.

    • Premium User Badge

      heretic says:

      Sounds like it, was really hoping they would go somewhere with the interesting setting. Didn’t really enjoy FC3 and skipped FC4 so I guess I’ll give this one a miss… what a shame.

    • zal says:

      I don’t know whether to be impressed or disappointed that most of it is an almost perfect height map carbon/copy as kyrat from 4. While it might be interesting to play map janitor on the same place in prehistoric times, for $60 I feel like they could’ve taken it somewhere else or made this an expansion.

      On the bright side if I bought it, I would know my way around I suppose.

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    I’m going to play this right up. I love both pointy sticks and mammoths, but owl just clinches it.

  3. jcvandan says:

    It’s such a shame that they create these beautiful and interesting world’s and turn them into bland nothingness. How cool would it be if they ditched the map altogether, got rid of the cut scenes, and all the collectible bullshit. I truly believe the Far Cry games have the potential to be something great, but instead they wallow in mediocrity and boring ‘gamey-ness’. Like every other Ubisoft game come to think of it.

    • Blackcompany says:

      There are no Ubisoft games.

      There is only the Ubisoft Game. Sometimes, it is a first person affair. And sometimes it relents and goes third person. But there is only one Game.

      • Shadow says:

        Essentially, yeah. It’s a very polished, multimillion-dollar cookie cutter, but a cookie cutter nonetheless. Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry vary only in perspective and certain schticks.

        Ubisoft can make more unique games, but minor ones. They won’t often risk great investments straying from their honed, strict formulae. It’s a shame.

    • OmNomNom says:

      Something like the original Far Cry teased at, before they really got in the swing of the go here, skin this, climb tower.

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        Marclev says:

        Well yeah, but Far cry 2-4 aren’t actually sequels to the original Far Cry, that would by Crysis (brilliant game by all means).

        It’s about as different to the rest of them as you can get, and not all for the better (most people when talking about it, seem to mean the levels before “mutant bullet sponges”…).

  4. pandiculator says:

    Oddly, I thought Blood Dragon was pretty good for that exact reason: letting go of that self-edifying seriousness improved the formula drastically. Shame they missed a chance to do so here.

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      keefybabe says:

      Best Far Cry hands down.

      • theblazeuk says:

        I still think the first one was the best Far Cry. Enemies were challenging and the open world wasn’t a huge playground but a contained romp where you could screw with the bad guys by striking in one place then legging it.

        Blood Dragon easily had the best writing though.

        • 7vincent7black7 says:

          The final chapter of Far Cry 1 was unbearable, not because it was bad, but because it made Dark Souls look like a casual romp-and-stomp in difficulty.

          The trick to Dark Souls has always been mastering the forms and attacks of the enemies, and learning to counter and exploit their weaknesses and fighting styles. When it came to that final section of FC1 where you were fighting against those mutants, there were no tactics. Those things were bullet sponges that hit like a train, and could not be dodged nor fought on equal footing. There were only two ways to survive. You either ran for your life, or nuked them from orbit.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Blood Dragon and Far Cry 3 were the best, I actually thought the story of FC3 was half-decent, some missions were pretty fun and the map serviced the game rather than the other way around.

      Blood Dragon was just plain fun :)

  5. latedave says:

    I definitely feel the Far Cry formula is very stale now. 3 and blood dragon were by far my favourites, 4 was ok but already getting repetitive. I played some of this on the device that shall not be named and found it very similar. I have less of an issue than John with the tribal elements and the whole other language gives it and nice feel but I think the limited weapons and similar missions hurts it a lot.

    • lagiacrux says:

      how was performance on pc? i heard it has some problems.

      • lagiacrux says:

        obviously shouldnt have been a reply ….

      • John Walker says:

        As it’s not out yet, it’s not possible to say.

        However, when they first sent out review code, it crashed every ten minutes or so. The next day they patched it, and since then on my system (I’ve not spoken to any other PC reviewers) it’s ran beautifully. The only issue is a slight memory guzzling that slows it down, but that only builds up if it’s left running for 24 hours or more.

    • Unsheep says:

      Yeah that’s the risk with any franchise game; they have to balance familiarity with ‘something new’. The number of people who will complain that Primal is ‘too different’ from the previous games will probably be matched by the number of people who will complain that it is ‘too similar’.

      Any franchise game can be seen as repeating the same formula though, depending on who you ask. For example to me the Dark Souls game are equally as repetitive as the Far Cry, Borderlands and Saints Row games. Yet paradoxically I have no issues playing and enjoying every MotoGP release, which to an outsider must seem like playing the same game over and over.

  6. Jac says:

    I haven’t played a far cry game since 2 so quite tempted to pick this up on the basis of this review and badgers.

    • latedave says:

      If you haven’t played any Far Cry since 2 it’d definitely worth a play, I’m just a bit jaded by the formula

  7. Optimaximal says:

    I found Hurk’s missions in FC3 fun, largely because they were basically just jokey ‘blow shit up’ missions which Far Cry excelled at because they can be pretty emergent.

  8. Fiddlestickz says:

    I call these ‘icon chasing games’, because despite the unique environment, that’s basically what you do.

    Also i feel when i played FC4 i can skip this one, the gameplay didn’t look all that interesting to me.

    Good for people wh like it, but i think FC needs a creative break and when im gonna buy Primal, it’s in one of the sales, but not for fullprice.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Haven’t played any FC game apart from a little bit of the first, so the “more of the same” stuff probably won’t bother me, and it looks sumptuous. On the other hand, with most AAA games I fear getting slowly prodded into an endless Skinner box like I was with Fallout 4.

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    keefybabe says:

    4 bored me by being too similar to 3, so pass.

  11. B L Z Bubb says:

    YYYYYAAAAAAWWWWWWNNNN.

    This is like trying to be enthused about getting this years latest Prius.

  12. AbyssUK says:

    Personally, I’d love to see a Farcry set in the wild west. Red Dead Redemption was awesome, but I think Farcry could do it better.
    Add Will Smith and you have a best seller :)

  13. Premium User Badge

    Aitrus says:

    “… it suggests a whole other game in which the ridiculousness of the setting could have been used for… fun? For a game that didn’t take itself quite so astonishingly seriously.”

    Did anyone else find that fragment at the end a bit confusing?

    • John Walker says:

      I’m not referring to the mocking of the disabled, which I hope would be assumed. I’m referring to characters being able to come back to life, missions based around trying to fly, silly content, non-pompous, non-mystical, light-hearted stuff as a Far Cry game.

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        Aitrus says:

        Now it is you who have been confused! :P I was only referring to the grammar. It threw me off was all.

      • teamcharlie says:

        Why is it a problem for a Far Cry game to be silly?

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          He meant that the rest of the game is so serious that the Hurk thing seems out of place, but that he would welcome a sillier approach in general. I think.

          • teamcharlie says:

            To quote the article itself: “Although I say all this with the deep fear that Ubi feel this was taken care of by the absolutely abysmal ‘comedy’ of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, where just shouting badly written silliness over the exact same game was supposed to take care of it.”

            Far Cry 3 itself has no better writing than Blood Dragon, so I have to assume the main problem is the games in question being silly. Which…why is that a problem, again?

  14. Rumpelstiltskin says:

    At least for a game set in the Stone Age, it should be ok to show ‘boobies’ without being reprimanded for it. As for the races, I think they missed a great opportunity to show other human species instead, such as Neanderthals (that’s unless they didn’t, of course).

    • Monggerel says:

      I’m pretty sure the bad guys are a Neanderthal tribe (never change, Ubisoft).

      • John Walker says:

        Nope, all three tribes are sapiens, but apparently from different geological backgrounds (not that the game bothers explaining this). One enemy tribe is cannibalistic (interviews say because they were in the North, more badly affected by the ice age), the other is fire worshipping, with basic agriculture.

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          In-game they included a vision mission where you play–I believe–the marauding spirit of winter as the Udam goddess tries to kill you. Seemed fairly metaphorical, and I liked that the game tries to provide some context for the struggle that didn’t paint the other tribes as totally evil.

        • OmNomNom says:

          Are there any ‘has sex with monkeys’ tribes?

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, it’s certainly not irrelevant. The point is rather that based on the previous two games, it’s hard not to imagine that at least *someone* involved said, “Guys, if we set it in the stone age, we can have tits EVERYWHERE!”

      • Rumpelstiltskin says:

        They could have at least tried to make them saggy and unappealing though, right? And generally made women live up to the “Stone Age Venus” beauty standard.

    • Zorganist says:

      This isn’t really a missed opportunity, as Neanderthals went extinct before 30,000 years ago.

      • Rumpelstiltskin says:

        Hmm ok, it does say rather specifically that it’s set in 10k BCE, so that makes sense. Although if they really wanted to have the Neanderthals, they could have been more flexible with the time period, I guess.

        • Zorganist says:

          Yeah, although going further back in time puts increasingly bigger limits on the technology you can include.Going back more than about 15,000 years would, I think, exclude having a bow-and-arrow, and spears and handaxes alone don’t make for a very interesting videogame toolkit.

          But, that being said, Primal has a grappling hook in it, so who eve knows what Ubisoft were thinking.

  15. Monggerel says:

    Well, I guess there’s always Crysis to play when I want an open-world shooter set in a pretty place with many valid solutions to objectives.

  16. Ansob says:

    That’s about what I was expecting, honestly, and it’s pretty disappointing.

    That said: I skipped FC4 because it looked like it was just more of FC3, a game that I thought was okay but not particularly gripping. I’m doubly glad I did so now, because Primal won’t feel as tiresome a formula and I can get to soak in the pretty nature and stab people with spears instead of shooting them with boring old guns.

    • fish99 says:

      FC4 was pretty good though, and received significantly better review scores than Primal. I enjoyed it a lot more than FC3 since it didn’t have obnoxious characters/story, and the main missions were less annoying.

      • Creeping Death says:

        As someone that is currently playing Far Cry 4 it’s bloody full of obnoxious characters! The dude-bro Hurk, the scripture spouting blood diamond smuggler Longinus, Pagan Min himself, and worst of all those irritating idiots Reggie and Yogi.

  17. Premium User Badge

    corinoco says:

    I still think the darkest Africa vibe of Far Cry 2 was the best. At least Primal could have gone ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ and had a bit of a twist, with the added advantage that as the protagonist advances they invent horse riding, the wheel, sex, writing, knots, box girder bridges and finally income tax; a bit like a one-person Civilisation.

    Actually, that would be awesome – Far Cry Civ!

    But seriously, maybe next Far Cry we could be a Syrian washing up in Belize, fighting our way down to Guyana and climbing those weird mountains, while fighting off drug lords and drunken Australian mining conglomerates.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      Yeah I still maintain that the best Far Cry game is Far Cry 2, on PC, with the mod that takes all the annoying stuff away.

      • MHaggag says:

        Which mod would that be? Does it fix/improve the respawning security checkpoints? I tried so hard to love that game, and the checkpoints were the one thing I couldn’t get over.

        • jonahcutter says:

          I can’t remember the name at the moment, but while it couldn’t remove the respawning, it lowered their aggressiveness so they were less apt to chase you if you just barreled by. It’s been a while but I remember it making it tolerable as opposed to game-quittingly frustrating.

        • GallonOfAlan says:

          (a href=”http://www.moddb.com/mods/dylans-far-cry-2-realism-mod”>Dylan’s Far Cry 2 Realism Mod

          “This mod fixes what Ubisoft left unfixed. Dylan’s Realism Mod changes Far Cry 2 from an Africa-based sedan and pickup truck simulator into a (semi accurate)
          African conflict simulator. Realistic weapon damage, recoil, realistic ammo loads and weapon reliability have been added, along with a more effective stealth suit, and revamped AI weapons. (No more SPAS12s and AR15s for militiamen). Checkpoint AI has been tweaked as well. Checkpoint guards now have a 60% chance to chase you after passing through, as opposed to 90%-100% in vanilla. Militiamen also communicate more frequently in combat, and use suppressing fire more often. However, you are now as vulnerable as the AI. A single burst of rifle fire can kill you, so you are probably going to need that extra ammo and stealth suit.”

    • Sarfrin says:

      I’m to go out on a limb and say I’m pretty sure sex was “invented” well before 10,000 BCE.

    • Premium User Badge

      Marclev says:

      “they invent horse riding, the wheel, sex…”

      Hate to break if to you, but they wouldn’t have gotten to 10,000BC if at least one of those hadn’t been invented a bit before then.

      Unless I guess you believe that some magical being dropped a an apple on someone’s head…

  18. Unsheep says:

    The concept alone of Primal makes it more interesting to me than Far Cry 3 and 4. So if asked to play one I would pick Primal.

    Things like ‘repetitiveness’ is highly subjective, if you really enjoy a certain mechanic then what you are doing doesn’t get boring.

    • jonahcutter says:

      I agree. I dropped Far Cry 3 after a few hours from the boredom, ridiculous incongruity of the hunting/crafting gameplay and stupidity-inducing writing.

      Skipped 4 completely because it more of the same.

      And I’m going to pick this up because the setting seems to make what aggravated and bored the hell out of me in the earlier versions make actual sense. For whatever reason, setting and immersion make a big difference for me in map-clearing games like this.

      Guess I’ll see if that holds true.

  19. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    The earlier Far Cries never grabbed me, though I can’t quite put my finger on why; maybe that they always seemed like somebody else’s very specific fantasy? Fortunately, Primal is my very specific fantasy, and having only played a few hours of any of the preceding games means I’ve been having a blast with it (albeit on PS4).

    I’m not sure about your criticism of race. The main character doesn’t seem any more white than the rest of the cast, who are ethnically ambiguous to the extreme. His picture on the skill tree is just another hairy, grimy face. The whitest characters so far have been the brutish Udam.

    I also disagree about the story. Yeah, there’s not really much in the way of plot, but that’s because the whole point of the game is “make your tribe thrive even at the expense of other cultures.” It’s about simply existing in an area more than anything else, and in this way the many vignettes–which the game doesn’t really try to string together into any particular order–work really well.

    I do agree that the village is underused. So far the game has done a good job of not being too easy, but sooner or later I’m sure I’ll become overpoweringly tough. It would’ve been better to keep the game rather difficult and allow you to bring villagers along to take down tougher enemies (and would also mean that gaining population would be meaningful and something that might require maintenance if you have a disastrous hunt).

  20. Buttless Boy says:

    My takeaways from this WOT:

    1. The series is still plagued by exceptionally terrible writers forcing players into astonishingly terrible plotquests.
    2. RPS still doesn’t know what “Magical Negro” means. It’s not literal, guys. Seriously, just look it up, this is embarrassing.

    • Distec says:

      As per to the second point, I knew immediately that this was a John Walker review when I reached that point.

    • feralspecies says:

      Did you read it properly? It was used correctly and in context.

  21. GameCat says:

    “looking out for wolves (wave a club on fire toward them to save a fight)”

    Good God, at last someone somewhere said “hey, you know, actually wolves aren’t fearless death machines and they don’t try to kill everyone in sight 2 seconds after spotting them” and no one in the team replied “John, go home, are you drunk or what? of course wolves ARE fearless death machines”.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Wolves are responsible for 100% of deaths in Canada, medieval Spain, and Scotland. You know nothing!

  22. Kiwilolo says:

    The earlier Far Cry games never totally appealed to me… Something about being a random foreigner traveling to a beautiful landscape and proceeding to kill all the local people and wildlife kind of turned me off. But being a prehistoric local who hates the other tribes and kills wildlife for defence and sustenance? I can roleplay that, even if it gets a bit ott.

  23. draglikepull says:

    “Although I’m not sure if most people chose to play FC3 and 4, as I did, primarily with the bow and arrow.”

    Of course they did. At least, I assume they did, because I did, and why would anyone play differently than me?

  24. Deviija says:

    Thanks for the review, John, and touching on a lot of aspects of the game.

    It feels like it is very much more of the same Ubisoft Game mold, with a hefty side platter of blandness. Some people enjoy the “busy work” collecting and empty task clearing of the map, and that’s fine; I just wish there was more meat to such things, and more reflection upon the world/plot/consequences when you do them. Put some choice and consequence, success or failure outcomes in there, too, and make them a little more responsive.

  25. Laurentius says:

    Ubisoft is incable of delivering a great game. Evry great idea they have for a game is squanderd by their standarized fare. AC, FarCry, The Division, Watch_Dogs. Maybe devs aren’t give enough time and have to settle for this “grid” that premates all their games, for me they produce most disappointg titles of AAA, you can fell this, it’s so interesting on paper, have some strong ideas in them but delivery can not reach there.

  26. Spuzzell says:

    I had no idea it was even possible to not enjoy Blood Dragon.

    link to youtube.com

    It’s just that, but with neon and robot dragons breathing lasers.

  27. PancakeWizard says:

    I watched the TB livestream for this, and it was an almost instant turn off for me. ‘Return to the Mission area’ indeed…

  28. Simplex says:

    According to TotalBiscuit the game’s performance is poor on his monster of a PC and positively abysmal (and that is not a complement, unless you are Joey Tribbiani) on his midrange laptop. So I was really surprised to read that “on my edging toward middling set-up, runs extremely well at the highest settings”.

    • John Walker says:

      I imagine, as with every pre-release PC game, tech issues that will be patched out are affecting him. Or his drivers are out of date.

      • ComradeSnarky says:

        You’re really suggesting that TotalBiscuit just forgot to update his drivers? I believe you when you say you did not have problems, but that is a little insulting.

        He explicitly said he was using the latest drivers, forced SLI to get better performance, and tested the game on *another* PC just to make the problems weren’t unique to his configuration (on his $7000 PC). Oh yeah, and this is literally his job.

        • GWOP says:

          Merely suggesting that TB perhaps forgot to update his drivers is enough to insult him? He sounds like quite the umbrage-taker.

          • ComradeSnarky says:

            Suggesting that someone who spent a considerable portion of his critique addressing this very issue didn’t do the first thing that anyone would do, and that he said he did do? Yes.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          Considering TB has, on numerous occasions, said that he delays/does not update Windows, it’s not that far of a stretch to think that he might not have the latest drivers. His main complaint about Windows 10 and why he didn’t want to upgrade was because he didn’t like the idea of mandatory updates.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Hurk seems to be a recurring character in recent Far Cry games rather than a cheeky reference point; he appears as both a quest-giving NPC and as the skin for a co-op partner in Far Cry 4, and is not exclusive to DLC.

  30. Shazbut says:

    So it’s Cookie Clicker dressed up in some AAA clothes.

    If we’re talking about ethical concerns, this is the main one here as far as I’m concerned.

  31. KastaRules says:

    *correction: “Magical N-word”. Now you truly are PC.

  32. Scrape Wander says:

    I find it so odd, but at 20% of the game complete at this point, this is the most fun I’ve had with a Ubisoft IconCrush game in years. I think it has to be the environment, which I think might be my favorite one in a game since Assassin’s Creed’s Italy. The forests are some of the most visually compelling forests I’ve ever seen virtually.

    People are comparing the weaponry and saying it’s basically modern action under a paleolithic trapping. I find this definitively untrue. Here is an example of a random skirmish, to help elaborate on what I mean.

    – Slinking through the underbrush, I come upon an enemy party hunting goats. I’ve got my brown bear animal companion with me.
    – I sneak behind the most imposing one for a silent kill. I click the button and gut him.
    – I thought I was out of sight of his associate, but he turns around and interrupts his goathunt with shock at the site of me killing his companion.
    – As he raises a spear to throw at me, I tag him for my bear to attack him.
    – Good thing I do, because an unseen enemy behind a tree rushes me with a club.
    – I stab him with my spear once.
    – I backpedal a few steps back and lift the same spear to throw at him, it catches him in the head and he falls.
    – My bear finishes off his prey, then eats a portion of his flesh to replenish his health lost from the battle.
    – I loot the corpses.

    This is chewy combat right here, and I’m not even talking about a camp assault, just a random skirmish in the beautiful Primal world.

    I highly recommend those of us who (like myself) have ditched icon hunt games to give this one a shot. Maybe it’s just that I’ve left them for so long that I’m fresh to it now, but this one is marked by something special. I especially like the fact that your club and your spear are throwable, renewable melee options that break, get set aflame, and feel good in your hand.

    The spirit animal quests are utter shit tho. Half-baked bad controls, they could’ve been excellent vignettes but are just janky, broken wastes of time.

    Hope this post helps!

  33. Morcane says:

    I think this is the best Far Cry since Far Cry 2, lol.

  34. aircool says:

    Is there a vegetarian version? I don’t like killing animals, even ones that want to eat me.

    • Creeping Death says:

      This might be of interest, I believe this is the first Far Cry that you can optionally skip all the skinning animations so you at least dont have to look at that (and more importantly dont have to sit through a repetitive cutscene).

      They’ll still try to murder you though.

  35. sg1969 says:

    “while all the other tribes are inherently evil”
    well i only played a bit, but the other tribes are carnivores, and attack you on sight, so I don’t know if that makes them evil, but it makes them assholes, IMO.