Ubisoft is getting experimental with its Far Cry franchise and taking players back into the Stone Age with Far Cry Primal. Console players have been exploring the prehistoric era for a week, but today is the day for PC users to get in on the action, so it's a good time to look at what the critical consensus is for Ubisoft's latest. We've put down our Shacknews review, along with four of the best reviews from across the internet. We've also made sure to a bonus two reviews from PC-focused sites that reviewed the PC version, for a more diverse perspective. The consensus? Well, it's certainly more Far Cry, that's for sure, and whether that's a good thing appears to be a matter of opinion.
Shacknews 6/10: "Overall Far Cry Primal is a promising idea, but the underlying potential of Takkar's journey is wasted on a stereotypical surface level story that keeps players from really connecting with the protagonist and supporting characters. The Master Beast Hunts are exhilarating, and require tons of preparation if you want to pull them off without a hitch, but aside from the few hunts offered up in the end game, the forced specialist quests are just as much a letdown as the game's underwhelming story. In the end the new abilities, like taming animals and riding them, are great additions to the game, but they just aren't enough to save Far Cry Primal from being a fairly average and mindless adventure in a time long forgotten."
The Jimquisition 8.5/10: "Far Cry Primal is a great example of trying new things in a smart and relatively safe manner, demonstrating how a popular series can keep itself invigorated. While other venerable franchises like Call of Duty are afraid to challenge themselves and make only halfhearted gestures toward invention, Primal plots a course through uncharted waters with a battle-tested vessel and actually commits to making its new ideas more than vapid window dressing. The result? You can ride on a g****mn bear. Enough said."
Polygon 85/100: "But something about the utilitarian nature of Far Cry Primal clicked with me, beyond my own magpie-esque affinity for picking up every scrap of flint and animal fat dotting the landscape. By removing some of the more ostentatious tics from the franchise, Ubisoft has also removed many of the distractions from the beautiful, brutal land it has created for players to explore. This leads to the most immersive world in the Far Cry series, and one that didn't bore for a moment of the hours I spent attempting to tame it.
"I don't want every Far Cry game from here on to trade bullets for arrows, motorcycles for tigers, but Primal is an invigorating example of how to reimagine a tired franchise while keeping its soul intact."
Giant Bomb 3/5: "Ultimately, that's my main issue with Far Cry: Primal. It feels like it has even less of a story than Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon has, but that's because that story is spread incredibly thinly across a large world that's packed with cookie cutter content. There's nothing inherently wrong with Primal, and I found the game's combat systems to be pretty exciting at times, but the structure of the game and most of the tasks you're given are one-note. It's a monotonous grind that gets a good lift from its approach to combat and a handful of other tweaks to the formula, but it's still the formula. And it's not an especially great take on said formula, either. Far Cry: Primal feels like it's trying to use every part of the animal, but the overwhelming majority of it is filler."
Destructoid 7/10: "In some ways, Far Cry Primal is a breath of fresh air, but the methods it uses to shake things up are largely superficial or ancillary. There's a dissonance between what is new and what is not. While Far Cry Primal is a well-made experience, one I enjoyed a great deal, it oftentimes had me thinking about the routine the series has settled into, and envisioning a future where the Far Cry formula may not be as compelling as it once was, no matter how extraordinary the setting."
PC Gamer 79/100: "Otherwise, it's business as usual. You brutally kill thousands of animals to craft gear and weapon upgrades; you light bonfires to reveal more of the map; you attack enemy outposts; you have trippy dream sequences; you complete story missions that steadily unlock more stuff. It’s Far Cry, basically, but in the Stone Age. But as much as I love Oros as a setting and all the animal-based tomfoolery, I can’t shake the feeling of déjà vu. If you’ve invested significant time in Far Cry 3 or 4, you’ll find your enjoyment of Primal dampened by its deep-rooted similarity to those games.
"With a GTX 970, 16GB of RAM, and an i5 CPU clocked at 3.40GHz I got a steady 60FPS at 1440p on max settings, with the occasional dip to 40-50 when things got really busy. A big improvement over Far Cry 4."
PC World 3/5: "I hoped for better. I hoped Far Cry Primal would be to Far Cry 4 what Blood Dragon was to Far Cry 3—that is to say, 'the fun(ny) one.' Sliiiiightly more creative. A bit more humorous. A testament to why Ubisoft should give its properties room to experiment.
"Instead, it's Far Cry. Another in a long line of Far Crys, and this time without even the benefit of Blood Dragon's crazy art style. Again we arrive at the conundrum that has plagued Ubisoft these past few years: Competent games that are built around some enthralling core mechanics, but have no spark."