What even is a Far Cry game anymore? There were hints to indicate that it was just an open world shooter set in an exotic locale. Then there were hints that the villains of the games were the cornerstone of each game. But with Far Cry Primal, we go back to square one. We literally go back to where it all began. And while it’s dripping in rich history, it’s not entirely convincing that this Far Cry outing is anywhere near as groundbreaking or as fresh as it first appeared to be.Far Cry Primal takes place in the Oros Valley, which is a fictional location based somewhere in Central Europe. Taking place in 10,000 BCE where the Ice Age is over and the Stone Age is just beginning. You play as Takkar. Takkar is hunting with his tribe before being ambushed by a Sabretooth Tiger. With most of his clan wiped out, he is brought back to good health by Sayla and brought to Oros. With their tribe, the Wenja in the middle of a vicious clan battle between the Izila and the Udam, Takkar is tasked with surviving the enemy clans and rising to the top of the food chain. More intriguingly, Takkar is revealed to have the ability to tame the various forms of the wild in Oros.
The storyline of Far Cry Primal is easily its weakest aspect. You’ll meet a colourful cast of characters throughout your adventures in Oros but unfortunately all of their motivations and their interests are tired and dull. It’s all a rather by the numbers approach to storytelling.Barely any of the characters are memorable. Far Cry fans will enjoy the not-so-subtle throwback (or is it forward?) to a recurring character in Urki, who brings some levity to an otherwise dull narrative.
On the other hand, Primal’s setting is rather simplistic and thus is limited in where conflicts can arise – but even if the events of Primal are simplistic there are ways that the writers could’ve made them a little bit more excited. Honestly, it just feels like a budgeted concession that the game has a lesser emphasis on a thrilling story but it is a let down given the series pedigree.The land of Oros itself is easy on the eye, mixing together a “greatest hits” of sorts for previous Far Cry games, not counting Far Cry 2. In the north you have the snowy tundra which is reminiscent of the snowy alps of Far Cry 4. In the south you have the muggy marshlands which are reminiscent of certain areas of Far Cry and Far Cry 3. And of course in the middle you have a jungle. It’s a reasonably varied map that definitely feels just as big as previous Far Cry games even if on paper it might be slightly smaller.