'Far Cry Primal' Reinvents the Stone Age

"Survival 101" trailer explores the actual mechanics of taking 'Far Cry' into the past.

As a longtime Far Cry fan, there hasn’t been much about Primal that speaks to me. While I know there’s brush-beating and hunting and the picking of flowers in these games, setting elaborate explosive and dismantling alarm systems has always been the major draw. Given my druthers, the series would be spending more time in weird futures than in the distant past. Did we all forget how great Blood Dragon was?

There were Laser Panthers, man. Laser. Panthers. I don’t know what else I could want from the medium of video games.

Anyway, Ubisoft seems intent on journeying back to the Stone Age in Far Cry Primal, and little in the early announcements has spoken to me. “Oh cool, you’re rubbing sticks together to make fire. Remember in all the other games, when you got flamethrowers, and it was super sick? I remember.” I swear I’m not THAT GUY but this just isn’t connecting with me.

Until this new trailer:

To recap, you’re a beast master with special powers who can ride bears and make them go full Revenant on dudes while chucking spears and casting magic over a world that looks more like Warcraft than the Natural History Museum? OK. There’s also a social system for tribes that includes enslaving your foes while protecting your village? That’s … trickier. Did they mix slavery with a companion follow quest mechanic? That wasn’t on my wishlist.

Finally, Far Cry is borrowing from the Fallout 4 model of base building, and while the trailer shows me gifting some dude a rock (??) the idea of helping move along the development of civilization gets into some SimEarth ranges, and that excites me.

This all goes to say that my biggest fear of Far Cry Primal was that we were just stripping away gameplay elements to make a simple product — this trailer proves that enough thought and time went into Primal to build something new, complicated, and promising. Consider me invested.

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