Ubisoft's action game series Far Cry has been to some interesting places in recent years, with 2012's Far Cry 3 dropping its pampered American protagonist into the jungles and beaches of a remote and lawless island, and 2014's Far Cry 4 seeing a native of Kyrat (a fictional version of Nepal) return to his homeland of mountains, forests and temples. But while the last two games had a very similar set-up, next year's release Far Cry Primal promises to be something very different.
Far Cry Primal takes the idea of a historical game setting to an extreme. Set in the Stone Age in a fictional land called Oros, the game will center around a hunter called Takkar whose ability to control animals allows him to rise to power and lead his own tribe. Needless to say, Takkar doesn't have machine guns or rocket launchers at his disposal, as was the case in previous games. In order to battle animals and humans alike he will need to use weapons like clubs, knives, and a bow and arrow, which players must craft themselves.
Ubisoft Montreal offered the first real look at this gameplay during The Game Awards 2015, with a gameplay trailer that showcases Takkar's 'beast master' abilities as well as his own fighting prowess. It looks like it will be possible to control some of the animals in the game - which include mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and enormous cave bears - and use them to take on human adversaries. Failing that, there's always Takkar's trusty spear.
Animals have long been a prominent feature in Far Cry, but usually just as a source of danger and a means of crafting wallets from bear leather or boar hides. The ability to gain animal allies is an interesting new development, and the Stone Age period has rarely been explored in video games before. SegmentNext recently spotted that German ratings board USK has given Far Cry Primal a 16+ age rating, as opposed to the 18+ rating that Far Cry 4 received, indicating that this could be less gory than previous entries. Perhaps it's the removal of guns that made the difference.
To celebrate the new trailer, Ubisoft also announced the Far Cry Primal Deluxe Edition, which includes a SteelBook game case, a physical map of Oros and the game's official soundtrack, as well as extra digital content in the form of 'Legend of the Mammoth' DLC missions, an unbreakable weapon called the Blood Shasti Club, and four enhancements packs that provide exclusive customization options and early access to some rare in-game resources.
Based on this trailer, it seems like Far Cry Primal's gameplay will have a similar feel to previous Far Cry titles, and those mammoths probably reuse a lot of assets from the elephants that were introduced in Far Cry 4. Still, this looks like an exciting new adventure and it's hard not to get hyped after seeing Takkar calling for an eagle ally while stood on a rocky outcrop with his friendly wolf.
Far Cry Primal will release on February 23rd 2016 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and on March 1st for PC.