Zero Punctuation: Far Cry Primal

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Far Cry Primal

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Far Cry Primal.

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...I'm now wondering if there will ever be a game based off the Digital Trips from Watch_Dogs.
Seriously, I think there could be something neat they could do with some of the concepts they made in that.

Yeah this game looks boring as shit, looks we have a contender for blandest game of the year.

Wait, Yahtzee doesn't understand the appeal of a new game and storyline set in an already beloved universe just because it looks and plays like the original?

Erm... ok.

Does DLC confuse, arouse, then confuse him all over again?

Just a question, can you do to the other tribes what the homo sapiens (most likely) did to the neanderthals women and children or this reality is glossed over?

I think the idea with Far Cry Primal might have been that usually people try to scrap around in the sandbox and even forget about the story missions.

(At least there's a crowd that does this, I'm assuming this because I don't have special snowflake syndrome and it's what I do in these kind of games ever since AC3.)

But I can see how that leaves someone looking for story sort of distraught.

Did it at least play like a somewhat fun game?

Politrukk:
Did it at least play like a somewhat fun game?

Going by what I heard, the game's concept seems to be FC4's equivalent to FC3's Blood Dragon if you took out everything that made Blood Dragon so much fun and novel.

Lightknight:
Wait, Yahtzee doesn't understand the appeal of a new game and storyline set in an already beloved universe just because it looks and plays like the original?

Erm... ok.

Does DLC confuse, arouse, then confuse him all over again?

If the game is inferior to the original then there is no reason to play the new one (As is very much the case here). New setting and story line don't really do anything when it comes to replay value. Its literally just playing an inferior version and very often just comes across as an unfun experience.

gonenow3:

Lightknight:
Wait, Yahtzee doesn't understand the appeal of a new game and storyline set in an already beloved universe just because it looks and plays like the original?

Erm... ok.

Does DLC confuse, arouse, then confuse him all over again?

If the game is inferior to the original then there is no reason to play the new one (As is very much the case here). New setting and story line don't really do anything when it comes to replay value. Its literally just playing an inferior version and very often just comes across as an unfun experience.

Yeah, there's really no point to something if it just changes the wallpaper without addressing issues from the previous titles or at least doing something new with the formula to enhance the gameplay experience. The only time the wallpaper change was fine was during Far Cry: Blood Dragon's wacky antics. In fact it's time Ubisoft just bite the bullet and make a Blood Dragon sequel.

Wait, cavemen have bombs? Really?

Thanatos2k:
Wait, cavemen have bombs? Really?

I know, right? That would kinda pull you out of the immersion right there. What would even go into them to make them explode in that era?

Thanatos2k:
Wait, cavemen have bombs? Really?

Well, they resemble educated europian cavemen cosplayers much more than they do an actual tribe, so bombs aren't that out of place.

So, what I'm hearing is Ubisoft basically said to the gamer "Here's some rocks, here's some sticks, and here's some high resolution textures. Now, you figure out whether there's a game in here somewhere". Is that about right?

Sometimes, it feels like about the only thing Triple-A game companies have gotten truly good at is creating high-resolution textures and high-polygon-count models such to cause electronic hardware to achieve high temperatures during rendering. Everything else, i.e. gameplay, game mechanics, story, controls, level-design, art-direction, pacing, UI, and construction of a consistent, coherent, and cohesive experience, seems to have languished over the years (and, in some rare cases, have actually reversed in progression).

Is it too much to ask for a DLC costume that makes me look like Captain Caveman.

JCAll:
Is it too much to ask for a DLC costume that makes me look like Captain Caveman.

Screw that, I want Fred Flintstones! And a foot powered wooden car.

Being that this game had zero plot where you had to take out the other two tribes, I wonder if it would have been better if they had indepth tribe mechanics and village building. So you could invest in your tribe, train them and take them with you on missions. An maybe you yourself had to build the village similar to Fallout 4. Hunt for food etc and make you more invested in your tribe and want them to survive.

What's really hilarious is that an ad for this game played before the episode. I got to go from one screaming troop of monkeys saying "THIS GAME IS AHMAHZAH!!!!!" to one disgruntled monkey saying the game is boring and shitty.

I like hearing both sides of an argument. :3

SonOfVoorhees:
Being that this game had zero plot where you had to take out the other two tribes, I wonder if it would have been better if they had indepth tribe mechanics and village building. So you could invest in your tribe, train them and take them with you on missions. An maybe you yourself had to build the village similar to Fallout 4. Hunt for food etc and make you more invested in your tribe and want them to survive.

That would require actual thought on the part of the development team, and remember: this is Ubisoft we're dealing with.

geizr:
So, what I'm hearing is Ubisoft basically said to the gamer "Here's some rocks, here's some sticks, and here's some high resolution textures. Now, you figure out whether there's a game in here somewhere". Is that about right?

Sometimes, it feels like about the only thing Triple-A game companies have gotten truly good at is creating high-resolution textures and high-polygon-count models such to cause electronic hardware to achieve high temperatures during rendering. Everything else, i.e. gameplay, game mechanics, story, controls, level-design, art-direction, pacing, UI, and construction of a consistent, coherent, and cohesive experience, seems to have languished over the years (and, in some rare cases, have actually reversed in progression).

That's the impression I get about the game based on this video and Total Biscuit's.

Politrukk:
I think the idea with Far Cry Primal might have been that usually people try to scrap around in the sandbox and even forget about the story missions.

Isnt that one of the reasons why Mount and Blade is so great? But I do remember some very poor reviews because the game lacked focus.

And honestly, I have been playing Far Cry 4 and I have all the towers and outposts done for the first area and still havent done a mission after gaining access to it.

I've been playing it....whole family has. It's actually quite fun, and despite assertions of no plot, I can safely say that--at least so far as a neolithic hunter's idea of important stuff goes--we do have some plot. It's just not all "I'm a crazy psycho ruling some tiny kingdom/island and trying to destroy you and your friends" for a change. Instead the plot is, "I'm this dude and these other dudes who are all probably second cousins or something keep getting eaten by sabertooths, so they want me to band together. Oh and this chick really flips out and guilts me in to killing those guys over there. Oh and that guy's kinda freaky and makes me drink mushroom-tainted blood all the time but why not, no one's inventing entertainment media for another ten thousand years so let's do it!"

josemlopes:

Politrukk:
I think the idea with Far Cry Primal might have been that usually people try to scrap around in the sandbox and even forget about the story missions.

Isnt that one of the reasons why Mount and Blade is so great? But I do remember some very poor reviews because the game lacked focus.

And honestly, I have been playing Far Cry 4 and I have all the towers and outposts done for the first area and still havent done a mission after gaining access to it.

What Mount and Blade lacks eventually is engagements and things to keep you busy but for the time it was a grand undertaking and a quality game.

But yes that's basically what Mount and Blade does it gives you that 1 introduction and from there on out you can do what you want.

Although some form of story might have made it easier in that game to y'know earn money/exp to do the rest.

Thanatos2k:
Wait, cavemen have bombs? Really?

The closest thing to bombs I've seen in this game's ads are beehives. It's like the Bioshock Plasmid power of shooting BEES out your hand.
Also, why are you guys comparing Primal to Blood Dragon? That was FC3's DLC add-on, and had that Yeti thing.

Lightknight:
Wait, Yahtzee doesn't understand the appeal of a new game and storyline set in an already beloved universe just because it looks and plays like the original?

Calling it new is arguable considering all they did was take out the guns and give everything a fresh coat of paint, and saying it has a storyline is laughable

I've been wondering for some time why Ubisoft games have started to feel bland and lifeless, and have started to suspect it might have to do with the fact that story and character seems to have taken a backseat to repeating side missions and collectibles, every game being open world, and every open world game having you hunt down small audio clips or flowers as a way of padding the 3 hour long main story

Yeah... Who fucking cares that I'm watching an episode featuring a turtle, the next featuring some random kid, and the next featuring a stuff bear, I'm breaking bad through all this canon shit!

Other than that, I guess this game really hammers on about "the journey is more important than the destination"...

I hate that kind of thing. One man single-handedly killed the sabre-toothed cat. Unless it's a role-playing game, that doesn't make sense; video game or not, it just ruins immersion.

Funny thing, my brother actually did watch the second season of Breaking Bad first. I'd watched the first season on Netflix and stopped before the second, when he started watching it he didn't realize it was already on the second season until he'd completely finished it

Dont know if its been said already but Bows were very fucking long during the stone age, you could have a bow that was taller than yourself in that era and like most bows it would snap your spine if you used it too much.

Nice Flintsones reference at the end! lol

Sooo, basically skip this and go back to playing The Long Dark? K.

Politrukk:
I think the idea with Far Cry Primal might have been that usually people try to scrap around in the sandbox and even forget about the story missions.

The issue I have with this argument is that Ubisoft is actually rather poor at making sandboxes to "scrap around in". Which means the main quest line is pretty much the primary focus of the game; remove that and you're left with a weak sandbox that you don't have an awful lot of flexibility in to do fun stuff.

I used to be a huge fan of the AC games and I loved FC3. But over time its become very evident that Ubisoft suffers heavily from collectables syndrome rather than adding any actual depth to the game. Assassinate ten officers, collect fifty flags, castrate a hundred bears. There's a very distinct lack of content with any actual weight and characters with any individuality and instead there's just tons of "stuff to do" and a scant handful of chracters. I've said this before but its very notable that rarely does an Ubisoft game have actually memorable locations outside of one or two set pieces. I must have played hundreds of hours of Assassins Creed games, I couldn't tell you a single location in any of them. I finished playing Far Cry 4 the other day and the only real places that stand out in my memory as being really notable are the Royal Palace (and the fortress preceding it), King's Bridge and Noore's Fortress. Pretty much everywhere else is just a mush.

In short...there's somehow lots to do but very little variety in any of it. Far Cry 4 is a great example of this. One 32-mission long main quest chain. Two main side-quest chains with other characters. One 'dream sequence'-like quest chain that was apparently a proof of concept for Primal. It amounts to a grand total of five identifiable allied characters (and I'd argue that only three of whom had any real personality and presence in the game) and four identifiable enemy characters (admittedly these were quite good, though Yuma at least definitely could have done with a little more to her), plus Willis who I'd forgotten was even IN the game first time I typed this bit up. Outside of that? Well you've got the usual radio towers and camps, big pile of them; then five different types of collectable amounting to 285 different items to pick up. And a bunch of extremely similar activities where you do the same thing in slightly different areas over and over. The only real variety I found in any of those was the animal hunt quests which were quite fun mainly because of the weapon restrictions it put you under. The hostage rescue and assassination things were okay but given that the entire context was 'they took people, go save them' and 'bad person, go kill them and don't get seen' and the relatively limited variety of environments it became just repetitive as hell.

Compare and contrast with something like Skyrim. Skyrim gets a lot of flak for being shallow, but its the Marianas Trench if you put it alongside a recent Far Cry or Assassin's Creed. With a huge variety of environments and some real attempt to put a variety of different characters in there and a wide range of different approaches, attitudes and quest types to go for.

Transdude1996:
Going by what I heard, the game's concept seems to be FC4's equivalent to FC3's Blood Dragon if you took out everything that made Blood Dragon so much fun and novel.

And charged three times the price.

Once this is in the $20 I'd highly recommend it. I had some store credit so I picked this up and platinumed it in a week and just traded it back in. It's fun for what it is but once you've beaten the game and tamed all the animals it gets pretty boring fast. It's already been shown that they used the map from FC4 so you'd be correct in assuming this is just a re-textured FC4 with some new melee mechanics and animal mechanics. Fun game but not worth $60 since Ubisoft clearly didn't start from the ground up with this.

Story wise it's pretty straight forward so don't expect the depth of FC3.

Thank you for the review Yahtzee - Good pun at the end for meander : ) I will have to use it for the next driver I see down here. Why are they drifting back and forth in two lanes? Oh right it is not the cell phone that is distracting them, it is their state of being - Meanderthals!

Somewhere in an Ubisoft board room a person or several people won a bet. "Hey I bet we can make a game about cave men with the same bullet point feature list and people would pay full price for it!" "No way! But if they do, does that mean we found a new core audience or is it that they will buy anything we shovel at them? We need more metrics! Let's keep selling them games until they stop buying!"

Honestly, it looks pretty but all the live video of the game that I have seen so far, not really my cup of tea sadly.

Jburton9:
Let's keep selling them games until they stop buying!"

It's clear this has been the development direction of Assassin's Creed for years now.

Lightspeaker:

Politrukk:
I think the idea with Far Cry Primal might have been that usually people try to scrap around in the sandbox and even forget about the story missions.

The issue I have with this argument is that Ubisoft is actually rather poor at making sandboxes to "scrap around in". Which means the main quest line is pretty much the primary focus of the game; remove that and you're left with a weak sandbox that you don't have an awful lot of flexibility in to do fun stuff.

I used to be a huge fan of the AC games and I loved FC3. But over time its become very evident that Ubisoft suffers heavily from collectables syndrome rather than adding any actual depth to the game. Assassinate ten officers, collect fifty flags, castrate a hundred bears. There's a very distinct lack of content with any actual weight and characters with any individuality and instead there's just tons of "stuff to do" and a scant handful of chracters. I've said this before but its very notable that rarely does an Ubisoft game have actually memorable locations outside of one or two set pieces. I must have played hundreds of hours of Assassins Creed games, I couldn't tell you a single location in any of them. I finished playing Far Cry 4 the other day and the only real places that stand out in my memory as being really notable are the Royal Palace (and the fortress preceding it), King's Bridge and Noore's Fortress. Pretty much everywhere else is just a mush.

In short...there's somehow lots to do but very little variety in any of it. Far Cry 4 is a great example of this. One 32-mission long main quest chain. Two main side-quest chains with other characters. One 'dream sequence'-like quest chain that was apparently a proof of concept for Primal. It amounts to a grand total of five identifiable allied characters (and I'd argue that only three of whom had any real personality and presence in the game) and four identifiable enemy characters (admittedly these were quite good, though Yuma at least definitely could have done with a little more to her), plus Willis who I'd forgotten was even IN the game first time I typed this bit up. Outside of that? Well you've got the usual radio towers and camps, big pile of them; then five different types of collectable amounting to 285 different items to pick up. And a bunch of extremely similar activities where you do the same thing in slightly different areas over and over. The only real variety I found in any of those was the animal hunt quests which were quite fun mainly because of the weapon restrictions it put you under. The hostage rescue and assassination things were okay but given that the entire context was 'they took people, go save them' and 'bad person, go kill them and don't get seen' and the relatively limited variety of environments it became just repetitive as hell.

Compare and contrast with something like Skyrim. Skyrim gets a lot of flak for being shallow, but its the Marianas Trench if you put it alongside a recent Far Cry or Assassin's Creed. With a huge variety of environments and some real attempt to put a variety of different characters in there and a wide range of different approaches, attitudes and quest types to go for.

Transdude1996:
Going by what I heard, the game's concept seems to be FC4's equivalent to FC3's Blood Dragon if you took out everything that made Blood Dragon so much fun and novel.

And charged three times the price.

I liked Far Cry 4 and enjoyed collecting stuff in there, I do remember most of the locations in that game, but I couldn't tell you a single memorable moment in the entire AC franchise.

Skyrim bored the shit out of me, I share Total Biscuit's opinion on that game.

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