A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Far Cry Primal is a violent and bloody first-person action game. Set in 10,000 B.C., players use clubs, a bow and arrow, and spears to hunt animals and to kill their fellow man, both of which actions result in a bit of bloodshed. There are graphic torture scenes, including one where a character is burned alive and another where you poke a hole in someone's skull as they scream. You also skin animals you kill, which is made even more gross by the realistic sound effects. Additionally, in one scene, players drink a bloody cocktail that sends them on their first of many drug-induced trips. There's some female frontal nudity, and though the love scenes have characters keeping their clothes on, they can be heard moaning and groaning. In another scene, a character urinates on you, and later, he refers to you as "Piss Man." Your companion animal sometimes urinates as well.
What's it about?
In FAR CRY PRIMAL, the year is 10,000 B.C., and you're a primitive man named Takkar. After your fellow hunters are killed, you do what you can to reunite your tribe, build up your village, and defend it from those who would like nothing more than to destroy your home and eat your friends. Oh, and you have to do all this while trying to survive in a land where saber-toothed tigers and other predators run wild and free.
Is it any good?
While its unique time frame prompts this first-person action series to try new things, it spends so much time on how you do them and not enough on what you’re doing that it feels a bit redundant. Because the game is set in 10,000 B.C., much of your time is dedicated to gathering resources and hunting animals, with the rest spent attacking enemy villages and defending yourself from random attacks from predators on both four legs and two. You even get help in the form of an owl that can do aerial recon, as well as wolves, bears, and other animals that can attack on command. All of this works together to make you feel like you're wandering a strange and dangerous land. But it also helps that, when you take up your bow and arrow, the game's spot-on controls make you feel like you studied archery under Hawkeye from The Avengers and then interned with Katniss from The Hunger Games.
Still, while having spears, a bow and arrow, and a club makes the fighting feel different than in previous Far Cry games (which armed you with guns), all the hunting and gathering gets a bit repetitive after a while. This is especially true because you're constantly looking for raw materials, but you don't really have an easy way to cart all of them back as much as you'd like (of course, there's nothing like cars or anything to help you haul items off to your village). It even takes a while for you to learn how to train a bear to let you ride it, meaning that until that moment occurs, you're going to be walking across this massive prehistoric land, which can take lots of time. This isn't to say that all this repetition is bad; it just could've been so much better if your missions were more varied or the game were a lot shorter. Overall, though, Far Cry Primal puts a radical, unexpected historical twist on the first-person shooter genre that will intrigue mature gamers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about using violence in video games to solve problems. Is it OK to use violence in this game because that's what life was like in 10,000 B.C.?
Talk about prehistoric man. What do we know about what humans were like in 10,000 B.C.? What can we learn at our local library?
Discuss using resources. What does this game show us about using thing we find in the world? How can we apply this to our lives, vis-à-vis recycling or repurposing things we don't use anymore?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: February 22, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Wild animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.