Ubisoft Montreal has announced the latest instalment in it’s best selling Far Cry series and it’s not necessarily what you might expect. Titled Far Cry: Primal, the game is set in prehistoric times and puts players in the role of an ancient human who must survive fierce animals like woolly mammoths and sabre toothed tigers in a hostile world. The game will launch on the 23rd of February 2016 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A PC version will be released later in March of 2016. This does not appear to be a Far Cry: Blood Dragon style downloadable game either; it looks as if it’s a full retail game and it is priced at US $59.99.
This announcement comes after a day of teases from Ubisoft based around a slowly expanding cave painting in a web video. The plan was undermined a little though, after IGN Turkey accidentally leaked the game early, shortly after the video began. In a press release following the game’s reveal Ubisoft described Far Cry: Primal as follows: “Gamers play as TAKKAR, a seasoned hunter and the last surviving member of his hunting group. Arriving in the majestic and savage land of Oros, players will pursue one single goal; survive in a world where humans are the prey. They will meet a cast of memorable characters who will help them push back and tame the dangers of the wild. Players will journey as the first human to tame the wilderness and rise above extinction. Along the way, they will have to hunt for food, master fire, fend off fierce predators, craft weapons and tools partly from the bones of slain beasts and face off against other tribes to conquer Oros.”
The game’s executive producer Dan Hay was quoted, saying “The interesting thing about Far Cry is that it’s flexible. So when a team proposed to explore the idea of a Far Cry taking place during the Stone Age, we just said ‘let’s hear it!’ And the more we heard about it, the more we realized how much of a damn good idea it actually was.”
Creative Director Jean-Christophe Guyot also described the Stone Age as “the perfect setting for a Far Cry game. Far Cry usually puts you at the edge of the known world, in a beautiful, lawless and savage frontier. The Stone Age is, in a way, the very first frontier for humankind; it’s the time when humans put a stick in the ground and claimed land for their own, the time when we started climbing the food chain. That came with conflict, against other humans of course, but also against nature itself.”
The Far Cry series has seen it’s popularity grow exponentially over the last few years. The series began with 2004’s original instalment, which saw positive reviews but made little impact in the long term, which was followed by the divisive Far Cry 2 in 2008. It was 2012’s Far Cry 3 that saw the series hit mainstream popularity, with the addition of Ubisoft’s refined Assassin’s Creed style open world structure. The aforementioned Far Cry: Blood Dragon was the first example of the series experimenting with it’s setting, taking place in a bizarre ’80s action/science fiction movie world that played with stereotypes of the era’s now-clichéd storytelling. A full sequel Far Cry 4 was released in 2014 and now Far Cry: Primal is scheduled to release about a year and a half later. It’s seen franchise acceleration similar to that of Assassin’s Creed at the beginning of the last generation of consoles and I wouldn’t be surprised if Far Cry became Ubisoft’s yearly series, with Assassin’s Creed adopting a more traditional, sporadic release schedule due to it’s waning popularity.