Prehistoric Permadeath: Far Cry Primal Adding Survival Mode

Hot on the heels of Fallout 4’s Survival Mode, which brings exhaustion and dehydration back to the world of post-apocalyptic entertainment, Ubisoft have announced that Far Cry Primal [official site] will be getting the survivalist treatment.

The keystone of that survival mode is the change in the exploration, crafting, and difficulty of the game to make it even more realistic. After that, there are options the player can activate to go further.

Survival mode will arrive as part of a free patch on April 12th. We called this earlier in the month, of course, when we made Robert Zak play the game wearing nowt but a loincloth. More details below.

Of the options that can be activated alongside survival mode, permadeath is the most significant. I’m glad that Ubi are allowing people to play with the survival features without permadeath should they choose to, and they’re going even further – there’s a mode that gives players one spare life, which can be replenished at certain points. Letting people choose exactly where they fall on the risk/frustration spectrum is smart.

It’s possible to tailor the survival mode even further as it’s not locked to a specific difficulty. Want to play on the easiest difficulty setting with survival and permadeath enabled? You can do that, or any other combination of modes and difficulties.

Permadeath will always be switched on for animal companions, however. While there’s still a window in which tame animals can be saved as they’re on the brink of death, once they perish, they’re gone for good. To replace them you’ll have to head back into the wild and win over the affections of a new beast. You’ll do that by punching said beast until it’s close to death, at which point it’ll throw in its lot with you. Taming will be tougher all round.

The other changes restrict elements of the UI and change the way stamina and crafting work:

Survivor mode adds a stamina gauge, making protagonist Takkar slower and weaker when it runs out, and forcing him to sleep in order to replenish it. The minimap is now turned off by default, pushing you to pay more attention to your surroundings, and the fog of war has been strengthened, lessening the amount of the map you reveal as you explore. You’ll encounter humans and animals less often as you explore, which means hunting takes a little more patience. Even fast travel is a little tougher, as it now consumes stamina and food.

Takkar himself has also been weakened in a few key ways. He can no longer rain remote-control death on foes using his owl, for example, and crafting ammo now takes a few seconds, instead of being instantaneous. He’s also now a lot more susceptible to cold, which increases his dependency on fire, and makes crafting cold-weather gear a top priority if you’re planning to venture into the chillier parts of Oros. On the upside, the duration of Takkar’s Hunter Vision has been increased – which should come in handy for surviving the longer, darker, deadlier nights that now befall the land of Oros.

I’m all for this new trend. Rise of the Tomb Raider’s endurance mode was nifty, Fallout 4’s excites me even though I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, and the embers of my interest in Primal have now been stirred.


  1. Gnoupi says:

    “we made Robert Zak play the game wearing nowt but a loincloth”.

    And in the game?

  2. Blackcompany says:

    This game was completely off my radar.

    And now its back on again. Eager to see how this turns out. Potentially very well done, Ubi.

  3. Mortivore says:

    “Even more realistic”, indicating that it was already realistic to begin with..

    How about rewriting the missions so one can do them without the obnoxious quest markers ruining the emersion?

  4. Premium User Badge

    Alfy says:

    I have been playing the game almost daily for the past 10 days, about an hour or two at a time. It’s enjoyable, but it’s best described as an activity, rather than gaming, mostly because of its complete lack of difficulty. The main thing that got me going is the vistas: I think the sceneries look gorgeous. But it’s a multimedia experience, not a game.
    So I’m actually looking forward to this patch. And I really hope this is something Ubi will start including in future day 1 releases of Far Cry and AssCreed.

    • Zenicetus says:

      That’s my take on it too. It’s an enjoyable theme park, when I just want to enter a different world for a little while.

      I don’t think I’ll try this survival mode because it’s hard to take the gameworld that seriously, but I hope Ubi puts all those features on separate check boxes in the Options screen. I’d like to play with just the “fewer animals and humans” option, along with turning off parts of the HUD. For me that would be perfect.

  5. Unsheep says:

    I think this mode should have been in the original game though, better late than never.

  6. fish99 says:

    Surely the silly hunter vision should be the first thing to go in a survival mode, followed closely by the map. Or have a map, but don’t show you on it. Or have a map that you can only access at your base camp, because it’s drawn onto a cave wall.

    • Premium User Badge

      Alfy says:

      Actuelly, I’m fine having the map with me (painted on hide). It just needs to be simplified to show only outstanding landmarks and no icons. But then, that’s not the kind of game that Primal wants to be. I think it’s a missed opportunity, and that a true “throwback” kind of experience that would have required you to actually pay attention to the world around you would have been great. But then, Ubi…

    • jonahcutter says:

      I play that way already. Sorta.

      I only use hunter vision when stationary. To encourage this, I remapped it to a key I have to move my hand off wasd to get to.

      I also keep all map icons toggled off except in one of the big camps. Justified as being able to get info from other weeks while in camp. I’ll study it for an area I want to travel to, and use the placed marker to assist this.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Just remake Farcry 2 really…