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The Rundown: While most gaming franchises are modernizing and “futurizing” their sequels, Ubisoft is taking a massive step back (in time) (and risk) by completely revamping their popular first-person Far Cry shooter series. While it is a sequel in name only to the popular adventure games that have greatly evolved since its inception in 2004, this installment is taking an entirely different direction in the next release. Far Cry Primal is an action-adventure game set in the Stone Age, around 10,000 years BCE, when humans have just begun controlling fire and are developing tools. The game’s focus is on survival in a vast open world where players guide a character named Takkar, a hunter separated from his clan, who must find his way home through environments filled with lots and lots of dangers.
Gameplay: As players explore the massive map, Takkar will encounter mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, wolves and other wild animals plus humans, often with terrifying results. As this is not a traditional shooter, the weapons will be mostly melee and short range, such as axes, spears, knives, bow and arrows and clubs, all of which can be crafted with materials collected in numerous locations. In order to survive, the player must learn to hunt and cloth the character, and make fire to feed and stay warm. A new addition to the standard Far Cry gameplay features opportunities for building a tribe, with Takkar able to become a leader and attempt to sustain a clan, defending it from animals and marauders. Additionally, there is a fully functional night and day cycle with weather effects, which will add to the immersion. With a strong emphasis on realism, the graphics look to be on par with the previous installment, running on the same engine. Far Cry has built a reputation as a game series that allows a tremendous amount of freedom for players to stray off the main storyline and explore, causing as little or as much carnage along the way as they see fit that never interrupts the flow of the missions. While Primal is probably more like Far Cry: Blood Dragon than a straight up full-on Far Cry title, in that it will serve as a filler until the next inevitable Far Cry hits shelves (no doubt Ubisoft is already busy working on a new engine and a new adventure), it looks to have a lot of new ideas and it’s nice to see some fresh ideas given to players.
David Says: As the trailer is basically one continuous sequence, it reveals a lot, especially with some basic weapons and hunting techniques. It seems to show some gameplay footage, though I’m thinking all of it is pre-rendered as there are no HUD (heads-up display) items on the screen, which I’ll concede might be a feature the game employs. Still, I’m willing to guess this is pretty much how the game will look, as it resembles very closely how the astonishing good-looking Far Cry 4 appears. While the mammoth hunt looks fun, and a little dangerous, my Want To Play It Now moment actually comes at the end when Takkar is uneasily walking through a nighttime forest with a burning torch, hearing the sounds of something in the near distance. When face-painted warriors emerge and rush at the player, it offers a good jump scare but also hints as some of the combat scenarios that will most assuredly be hand-to-hand, which has me wondering if there will be a new fighting mechanic similar to the time-based button presses of the Batman: Arkham and Assassin’s Creed series or will it be something entirely different. Either way, the brief sequence looks very dramatic and has me wanting more.
Daniel Says: Being a huge fan of the Far Cry series I was obviously excited seeing that a trailer had come out for the latest addition to the popular video game franchise. Far Cry 4 had been my favourite so far and I didn’t know what to expect next. Who knew that what I had to expect next was the the time of the early humans. This actually looks really cool, and I can’t think of a game that’s visited this time in human history before. Games like Halo, Metal Gear and Call of Duty like looking into the distant future so it’s refreshing to occasionally revisit the distant past. I really liked the one continuous sequence that the trailer was set up in, giving a feeling of authenticity, as if you are really in the game rather than just watching a trailer. My Want to Play It Now Moment is when the hauntingly beautiful music is playing and we see the men making weapons. This might seem a bit dull but I like a lot of playing time in story mode and crafting our own weapons in story mode seems like a really cool addition to the gaming franchise. I like the build up as much as I like the battle and Far Cry Primal seems to capitalise on that. While Primal might not look as exciting as Far Cry 4 it’s a definite on my video games to buy list. This big risk from Ubisoft looks like it’ll pay off in a big way.
Jordan Says: Far Cry Primal releases on February, 2016 and while it might be far removed from the expectations of Far Cry fans, it has some real potential to do something different, which many companies just aren’t willing to try; most are willing to coast on a proven formula. That alone should get gamers interested, and the makers of this series have yet to really make a misstep, going all the way back to their immensely satisfying original Far Cry. This is an opportunity in many ways for the franchise; will it be able to implement fun hand-to-hand combat fighting mechanics from the first person perspective? It is also a chance for a decent story to be told, as we are taken back to the dawn of man and in the trailer we can see the tribal aspects that could be a part of the story. My Want To Play It Now moment is what looks like pack-hunting tactics, as there are many moments where we see the player surrounded by fellow hunters. This is further hinted at when we see how huge the Wooly Mammoths are, and then see how useless a single arrow is against them. I think this will prove to be a challenging game and this trailer definitely has me looking forward to its release. Lastly, as a PC gamer, I hope that they leave the local multiplayer in, as the previous games had local multiplayer on consoles, but actively removed this option for the PC release. There are gamepads for computers for a reason, let’s put them to use Ubisoft!