So, here it is - Far Cry Primal is a good video game. It does the video game thing well. Not much about it is particularly standout (though the taming and petting of all manner of beasties is a great addition) and there isn’t anything I can point to and say “yup, that’s terrible” (though, to be honest - the “story” here isn’t great.) I quite enjoyed the obtainment of bases and the satisfying upgrade loop, but once that was over I was ready to be done. Another 8 or so hours later I’d completed the story element, but felt like I’d accomplished basically nothing.
At least the cast of characters were entertaining. Urki, who is seemingly some kind of invincible painless god (seriously, I put 6 spears in his guts then threw him in the lake and he still came back!) gave me a few laughs. I felt a twinge of sadness at the end of both Jayma the huntress and Dah the Udam’s storylines. All up though, you know what to expect here - the conquering of a land through brutal and widespread destruction and devastation. You know, what being a caveman was like in that era - the creation and use of Bee/Berserk/Fire bombs, ordering your saber-tooth tiger buddy to maul a dude, mind control an owl to scout ahead and tag your enemies for you.
One oft-unspoken but intriguing point of design for the Far Cry series is how Ubisoft really push the immersion of having you inhabit the space - namely, the trademark “seeing through the eyes of the protagonist”. I get it, it helps you to embody the character, but boy, I did not enjoy watching the camera shake every time I climbed up a damn cliff. Gone are the days when you simply moved up a ladder smoothly (Turok comes to mind in this regard.)
Honestly, the best part of the whole experience was near the beginning. Sitting on the couch with my partner Loren next to me, I was wandering the beginnings of my village when I heard a woman grunting in pain. I ran to investigate, only to find a woman squatting next to a tree, taking a dump. I shit you not. Loren and I both just kind of sat there and stared, dumbstruck that this was actually happening. The Far Cry team sure do go the extra mile for the sake of immersion.
I guess that’s fitting; a dump in the woods will forever be my defining memory of Far Cry Primal.
Games left to play: 114
Current game: ?