After investing some 15 hours into Farcry's latest installment, I cannot help but reflect on how far this franchise have traveled. But that sentimental mood was short lived as I go back to my needful ways of one of its best in-game features - crafting.
Primal sets you back to the Mesolithic-Stone Age era where Mammoth and Sabretooth tigers were still as common as the pigeons. It is way more dangerous now as compared to its predecessors as beast roam around scouring for the next victim, which unfortunately, includes you. You just have to appreciate seeing that Alpha Male leading a wolf pack, or that single cave lion chasing down a herd of deer. It can be quite silly too as the animal conflicts could cross path frequently. You could see a cave lion chasing a deer and suddenly bumped into a brown bear. And the bear ended up chasing off everyone away. Comical as it is, it is still scary to travel from point to point, always on the look out for angry beast coming to maul you.
You are Takkar of the Wenja tribe. Your people are oppressed by the cannibalistic Udam and the fire-wielder Izila. As the beast master of the Wenja, you go about in the land of Oros building a life and home for your people. As soon as the mandatory introduction is over, you are free to choose your own adventure as you tackle missions, craft items and upgrade your village for survival.
Primal's mechanics is similar to the previous Far Cry games. Missions are given when you interacted with your allies. But this time round, I felt that the missions are like GTA, where it gives you that choice to tackle which one you like to do first. It is less linear than Far Cry 4. The missions are spread all over the game world. The stories are linked, but you need to follow through and join the dots together to get the full picture.
Outposts are again introduced which also serve as spawn points as well as fast traveling points. Bosses are dug in, in some of the tougher and more complicated ones too. Campfires near the outpost also serve as spawn points. You get XPs as well once you have located them.
Weapons and Tools
As with other Far Cry, you have a host of weapons at your disposal. But because its 10,000 BC, weapon choices are far more primal. You are left with clubs, spears, bow and arrow, firebombs, shards, traps, dagger, bait and bee bombs. The spear is awesome in my opinion. Although the clubs and spears are also throwable, the spear throw is by far the most powerful. When you have upgraded to its max level, throwing 1 or 2 into the face of a small mammoth, will get the job done.
Gone are your binoculars, that trusty scouting tool to search for enemies and dangers ahead. But the upgraded Spirit Owl, is a great addition. You can call upon it to scout the land ahead, tagging enemies and dangers alike, as you plan your tactical move on how to tackle the challenge beforehand.
The ability to tame animals, is a nifty addition too. You now, can befriend animals such as leopard, bears and even sabretooth tigers that acts like a follower/companion in an RPG game. You could send your animals to attack, call them back and even feed them meat to heal them. Animals such as the sabretooth tiger and bears, are ridable. I kid you not. You could friggin traverse on the animals' back.
I thought that since survival is the whole focus here, it would be great if your allies could be more than just mission givers. What would be great is they can be your traveling companions too. They come as great characters, but fell short coz they were all under utilized.
Even your villagers are under-utilized. A great feature would be to have the ability to see your villagers going on hunts or scavenging, something like what Fallout 4 did. You only get to see them sleep, cry, fight, play music and dance throughout your stay in Oros. It would be awesome if you can assign them to duties, such as tending to craftable farms or go our and look for badger skins.
Primal is a good game with many of Far Cry's 4 features recycled. The new additions are great. The storyline could be better written. Your allies could be utilised a whole lot more. But overall, it is fun to hunt, gather, craft and for once, feel how its like to live among Cro-Magnons.