In a bit of an unusual move, Ubisoft’s upcoming Far Cry Primal is about as thematically different as it’s possible to get. In fact, it’s roughly 12,000 years removed from gung-ho Himalayan slaying of Far Cry 4. AK47s, RPGs and gunboats have given away to sticks, stones, and a remarkably intelligent owl.
Arriving on February 23rd for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and now just a week later on March 1st for PC, Far Cry Primal has players entering this Stone Age world as Takkar. He’s the last surviving member of his tribe. Beginning the game totally unarmed, Takkar must forage, hunt and craft his way up the food chain, with the eventual aim of becoming leader of the most powerful tribe in the land.
A large part of both Far Cry 3 and 4 was contending with nature’s beasts. Taking down a honey badger with a shotgun is one thing though, while single-handedly slaying a sabre-toothed tiger with a stick is an entirely different matter. Unlike those games though, in Far Cry Primal your first instinct isn’t to shoot every animal in sight. Wild animals will be both your biggest friends and your biggest foes.
Taming abilities mean you can fight alongside them and send them to attack at will. When it comes to the bigger beasts you can take things a step further and even ride them. Riding atop a sabre-tooth tiger? I rest my game of the year discussion. Once you’ve tamed an animal it is added to your roster (17 in total) to be called on at will. Each comes with unique abilities useful in certain situations.
Owl Be Back
Possibly one of the most useful of your animal buddies will your trusty owl. This can can be used to reconnoitre your surroundings; spotting enemies, finding secrets, dropping bees nest, and even going in for a bit of drop-claw with its attack. The best bit is that you control the owl youtself. With the toot of a horn the owl companion flies in, and you can then fly about and spy on what's going in. It’s a pair of 10,000BC binoculars, basically.
The Land of Oros
I’ve done a little research on this and I think Oros is a totally fictional land. Following the end of the last ice age, during the Mesolithic period, a massive ancient glacier melts away to become a fertile valley beneath. Ideal for harbouring life. While Ubisoft hasn’t said exactly where this is based, the inclusion of redwood forests suggests it’s North America. Oros promises to be a very diverse world though, with volcanic valleys, humid swamps, vast savannahs and dense forest. Interestingly it will even stretch to a snow-covered colder land to the north, where Takkar must battle the effects of exposure to survive.
Exploring this land will be a little different with the removal of towers. The fog of war will return, but this time players must peel it back inch by inch on foot.
Through The Fire And Flames
For thousands of years, man has had a fascination with fire. To this day it’s still difficult not to stare, enraptured by the flickering flames. Naturally Far Cry Primal is set around the time at which humanity was still mastering with fire, and it’s become a tenet of gameplay. Takkar can set alight all of his weapons using animal fat for additional damage or to scare away dangerous animals.
Humans being humans, practically everything has been constructed using timber that’s drier than an EA E3 press conference. As such, everything goes up in flames at the merest hint of a spark. This can be used to flush out enemies and burn down encampments.
Lastly, there’s bonfires. These kind of act in a similar manner to radio towers. Setting these alight grants your tribe control over that area and grows the population.
Even with the radically altered setting, there’s still plenty about Far Cry Primal which stays in familiar territory. Despite the renewed focus on melee weapons, crafting throwing spears, a slingshot or bow and arrows does lend Primal a first-person shooter element. Takkar even has access to a rope which can be used to grapple in the exact same same manner as Far Cry 4.
There are also outposts littered throughout this ancient world which must be conquered by killing all of the inhabitants. As you conquer these settlements your tribe grows, gaining more ground, resources and abilities.
Far Cry Primal System Requirements
Far Cry Primal Minimum System Requirements
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
CPU: Intel Core i3-550 3.2 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz
RAM: 4 GB System Memory
GPU RAM: 1GB Video Memory
GPU: GeForce GTX 460 or Radeon HD 5770
HDD: 20GB Available Space
DX: DirectX 11
Far Cry Primal Recommended System Requirements
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz
RAM: 8 GB System Memory
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 280X