I've decided on Far Cry Primal for my first review here on TorontoGameDevs.com. Partly because of the scope and size of the game, but also because Ubisoft Toronto is the biggest studio in the GTA, and while they are working on something new, they did help out with Far Cry Primal (along with Ubisoft Shanghai, and Kiev). It only made sense to have the first review be one for a game made by the biggest studio in the city.
Far Cry Primal has players controlling Takkar, a Wenja tribesman who is stranded in the fictitious world of Oros. The story comes down to pretty much "I hate that other tribe, so let's go kill them" but over the course of 20 or so hours players will hunt and control animals, craft and improve weapons, and gather your people to rebuild the Wenja tribe.
If you're familiar with Far Cry 3, or 4 then you'll be right at home with Primal despite the time jump of 12000 years. Oros is a massive place with lots to see, and do, with just as many nooks and crannies as there are animals that want to kill you. And there are a lot of animals that want to kill you. Oros is a deadly place, and survival is no easy feat. I died multiple times, being eaten alive by a jaguar, or trampled by a mammoth. The other human interactions aren't quite as difficult as the open world animal dangers however, especially later in the game when you control some of the more powerful beasts in Oros.
Controlling beasts is the new feature for Far Cry Primal. Through various skills, you are able to control a dozen or so animals to fight and hunt for you. It isn't a very deep system, but does create some interesting scenarios and gameplay that wasn't in past games. I can send my owl to attack the person who calls in reinforcements, and having my tigers jump in to take out the archers. This doesn't break stealth, and it's nice to have your own little animal army.
One thing that I feel that was totally a missed opportunity were the specific quests in which you go on a spiritual journey, and take control of a Mammoth. The game takes a bit of a third person approach here as you rescue other mammoths, defeat other tribesmen and animals. While the settings is very colourful, and neat idea, the execution falls flat on its head. Controlling the mammoth is frustrating at best, attack with your trunk I had no idea if I was going to hit an enemy or not. You also don't receive any experience points, or supplies so the experience feels empty. I believe these missions are extra though, and so if you're looking to spend extra dollars on more content, I'd skip this set of DLC.
While there is no online, or multiplayer, there are more than enough side missions to keep you going including saving a captured tribesman, joining a hunting party, or defending the land from intruders. The trophies for the game are actually pretty obtainable as well, with no missables, they are simply based on completing missions, taming beasts, and a few hidden surprises like a previous game easter egg.
Far Cry Primal maintains the same solid gameplay from the past few games, but with a unique setting, and a few changes involving taming animals. While the no online multiplayer, or lacking storyline may set players back, Oros is still a fun place to roam around in.
Similar Games I've played: Far Cry 4, most Call of Duty's
Similar Games I Haven't Played: Far Cry 3, Far Cry Blood Dragon