Far Cry Primal preview: The Beasts Obey Me

The Far Cry series is leaving the modern day and going back to the prehistoric past. To get an idea of how much this changes the series as players know it, Shacknews went hands-on with an early version of Far Cry Primal.


After exploring a modern-day theater of intrigue featuring 21st century despots, the Far Cry series is looking to go back to basics, in more ways that one. The latest entry in the series, Far Cry Primal, moves away from the modern day entirely and ventures into the prehistoric past. To get a look at what awaits in the Stone Age, Shacknews recently went hands-on with the next Far Cry game.

Story details are miniscule for the time being. Part of that is intentional. Players take control of a prehistoric human named Takkar, a hunter-gatherer whose main goal is simply survival for both him and his tribe. The world is filled with dangerous creatures, as well as hostile rival tribes. But while Takkar doesn't have modern-day firearms or gadgets at his disposal, he definitely has his own survival tools that makes the Far Cry Primal setting a dynamic adventure in itself.

Takkar's arsenal isn't glamorous by any means. He wields heavy clubs, spears, and a bow, all of which can be crafted through a simple crafting system. Any of these weapons can also be lit on fire to help ward off enemies and predators and given how often something can leap out of the plants, that's definitely a welcome addition.

What makes Takkar so fearsome, however, is his ability to tame and control the world's wildlife. While Far Cry Primal will continue the series' penchant for killer wildlife, Takkar can exert his dominion over them by luring them in with bait. Upon winning them over, these wild animals become faithful companions. About a dozen different animals can accompany Takkar over the course of the game, each with their own distinct advantages. A wolf, for example, can warn players of nearby dangers by growling. A jaguar can use its speed and stealth to quickly pounce on unsuspecting targets. There's even a bear, which is so intimidating that it scares off a fair amount of predators through its sheer presence alone.

Takkar also carries a trusty owl along with him, which can be used to scout distant areas and tag potential hostiles. He can also be upgraded through the game's skill tree to drop weapons or swoop down and kill foes. While Far Cry Primal will include the killer birds of prey from the previous Far Cry games, the player will now have one of their own to inflict pain with.

With that said, any of Takkar's animals can be ordered to pounce on targets, whether they're hostile tribesman or wild animals. Beast kills will provide bonus XP that can be put towards Takkar's skill tree. If they incur any damage over the course of a struggle, these animals can be healed with meat from Takkar's inventory. Likewise, that means that players shouldn't get careless when picking fights with predators. There's almost always something out there that's more than a match for your pet. At one point, I bumped into a sabretooth tiger that was able to take down both my jaguar and my bear. If a pet goes down, it'll take two red leaves found in the world to revive them.

The best thing to say about Far Cry Primal is that the spontaneous stories of wild occurrences are still there. I can remember taking on a tribe of enemy cannibals with my jaguar, getting close to one of the foes getting their jugular ripped out, only to notice that it was actually a wild jaguar and not my own. I can likewise remember trying to switch out animals to my wolf, only for my wolf to literally get intercepted out of nowhere by a wild bear that killed it and then killed me.

Exploring the world is a fun time in itself, which is probably for the best, since there doesn't seem to be much story to Primal at the moment. While Ubisoft is noting that story details are coming later, it's easy to notice that the fortress rushes and the chaotic co-op of Far Cry 4 are sadly nowhere to be found. This is a purely single-player effort and while I love some good open-world chaos as much as the next person, I'm hopeful to see some strong story content to go along with this struggle for survival.

Far Cry players should prepare for the jump to the Stone Age early next year when Far Cry Primal arrives on February 23.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
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    December 3, 2015 8:00 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Far Cry Primal preview: The Beasts Obey Me

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      December 3, 2015 10:37 PM

      Awesome this sounds amazing, I played WOW as a Hunter Night Elf for years so having a pet system and a trusty Owl sounds so cool.

      Man if they manage to add a massive cool story system to it as well this could really turn out to be something really good.

      Thanks a million for the write up I have been dying to know more about it, it has caught my eye, thanks man.

      Lets pray this turns out to be really good. Man this and especially Horizon Zero at starting to be at the top of my list for next year.

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        December 3, 2015 10:39 PM

        No dinosaurs = no pre order

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          December 3, 2015 10:57 PM

          Got wait for: Far Cry Primal 2 : Dino Rebirth

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            December 4, 2015 12:01 AM

            Interestingly, Shinji Mikami said in an interview this year that he'd be interested in revisiting Dino Crisis and that he's decided he doesn't want Evil Within to be the last game he directs.

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          December 4, 2015 12:07 AM

          PS4 has that Robo-Dino game that looks crazy and kinda like Fry Cry Primal. Horizon or something.

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      December 4, 2015 6:58 AM

      So they took the throw meat mechanic and based a whole game around that. Way to go Ubi! (somebody got a raise)

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      December 4, 2015 7:03 AM

      This looks interesting. Glad they went a different route with this title.

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      December 4, 2015 7:04 AM

      Not to be glib.... But is this Far Cry 4?

      The last one was more 3.5

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