Far Cry: Primal Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Far Cry Primal. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
Far Cry Primal is anything but a safe bet. Sure, it's a re-skin of an existing franchise but it's setting places the game in a tricky predicament; it can no longer use the vehicles or guns that have become so ingrained in the Far Cry experience. The result is a game that's both daring and lazy, it's at once a fun experience and a let down. I enjoyed Far Cry's trip back through time but there's no denying that Primal lacks several key features that have made recent games in the series such must plays. Still though, for all it does, Far Cry Primal is at least worth a look.
Let's be straight though, this is nothing but Far Cry with a prehistoric coat of paint. If you've played the last two games you'll know what to expect here and that's both good and bad. Far Cry's mechanics are some of the best in modern big name shooters and though there's no real shooting here (of the gun variety anyways), that stays mostly the same here. The rules mostly stay the same here as well, go mostly anywhere and do mostly anything. The map opens up slower here but that's mainly because you're truly exploring uncharted territory here. You play as a Wenja soldier who has seen most of his tribe slaughtered by the dangers of the prehistoric world; mainly the deadly jaws of a sabertooth tiger. While searching for food and shelter you run into another traveling group of your tribesman who has been locked in a war with other tribes and that's when Far Cry Primal begins proper.
The story of Far Cry Primal is undoubtedly it's weakest point, I can't remember a point where I actually cared about what was happening besides the fact that it likely meant I got to beat someone with my club. It's full of characters, some more than others but none of them add up to a tale that ends up meaning anything. Each tribe has it's own language which is impressive but it's a bit hackneyed when they speak without verbs like Captain Caveman did because that's how we expect cavemen to talk. The biggest downfall from the story by far is how the game lacks a true big-bad that even comes close to Far Cry 3's Vaas or 4's Pagan Minn. Was it still satisfying to take them down? Of course, but it never had the same feeling as the previous games because the characters from Primal were such caricatures of what we expect Caveman to be like, ooga Booga and all that.
Mechanically though I liked Far Cry Primal a lot more than I thought I would. While it still features the core combat that makes Far Cry so enjoyable it takes it down to it's bare mechanics and the result feels like a much more focused experience. I loved Far Cry 3 enough to make it my runner-up for top game a few years ago and while I still really liked Far Cry 4 it felt too focused on the craziness possible with it's plethora of vehicles and weapons. Due to it's lack of guns you're much more focused on crafting a worthwhile attack than ever before. I was stalking my prey, I was using the environment to my advantage. This is a big difference from Far Cry 4 where I was grabbing vehicles just for the hell of it. Combine this with the fact that the core combat mechanics, which find you shooting spears and arrows at enemies and you've got a combat system which is both challenging and thrilling.
That's not to say that there's not the possibility of off the wall fun in Primal, in fact far from it. The big addition that Far Cry makes to the series is the beast master mechanic which allows you to control and team up with the animals in the game. You'll start with smaller animals but as your progress you'll have access to controlling animals like bears and even holly mammoths. Strangely enough the most valuable animal you'll control is the first, your trusty owl that can go ahead of you, scout the environment, attack enemies and even tell bigger animals to attack enemies it's found. I highly enjoyed being as strategic as I could with these combinations and plus...I got to ride a bear into battle while carrying a flaming club, so there's that.
After everything though, I couldn't help but wonder if I was missing something with Far Cry Primal. I enjoyed the hunting and everything but where is the co-op that made Far Cry 4 so much fun? It feels like it would fit perfectly in with Primal. There is a base building mechanic here but it's pretty basic. You won't be building giant structures ala Fallout 4, you'll just go out and get the supplies you need, report back to your village and you'll then either build new units or upgrade current units. By doing this you also gain more villagers so you'll have access to more people in your fight against rival tribes. It's pretty simple but it did add more depth to the game than I was expecting.
Almost against better judgment, I enjoyed my time with Far Cry Primal. I couldn't escape the feeling that I've already played the majority of it (which I have) but it's a fun enough experience to warrant a recommendation. It's fun to hunt and stalk your prey in this stripped down version of the popular franchise, even if the story is incredibly lackluster. Oog like Far Cry Primal. Ooga Booga.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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