These days it's all too common to see publishers churn out sequel after sequel--and the Far Cry series shares some guilt in this. With Far Cry: Primal, however, Ubisoft sheds this trend to forge a new, unique path for the series. In this sense, Primal isn't a sequel, but is more of its own standalone adventure--but that isn't to say that Primal won't be Far Cry at its core.
In a recent interview with IGN, Far Cry: Primal's lead writer Kevin Shortt revealed the lengths that Ubisoft went to make Primal historically accurate and entirely new at the same time. "For us, Primal is a full-on Far Cry. The main campaign is around 30 hours, we've created a whole new world, new flora and fauna. it's a full game, and so if anyone has doubts about that, they just spend a bit of time in the game to realize it's something huge. This is our new Far Cry game."
Ubisoft did tons of research trying to pinpoint the right period to serve as Primal's backdrop. The team ultimately settled on the dinosaur-free Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age (10,000 B.C.) as a convenient period. "We had to do a lot of research. We had to figure out what the period was, and decided that 10,000 BC was a good period - that's the mesolithic period - because that's when humans went from more nomadic tribes to settling down and establishing villages. As a result of that, they started more wars, they started more conflicts, because they're settling in the same regions and fighting over resources."
Primal's Wenja clan was actually built with the help of real anthropologists, who visited prehistoric caves and shaped the game's tribes with a staggering level of authenticity. Ubisoft also created its very own Mesolithic language with the help of top-tier linquists.
"We reached out to a lot of experts," Shortt said in the interview. "There was a professor who was actually from Montreal. He knew homo sapiens and neanderthals, he'd gone to France and visited the old caves and studied all of that, so we brought him in and he was able to give us perspective on all these people."
It's clear that Ubisoft is incredibly dedicated to the game, and so far it looks quite tantalizing. In a sea of sequels, Ubisoft devs were all too eager to sink their teeth into something new and fresh, and have said that working on Primal is quite refreshing.
Although the devs hint that Primal isn't just a re-skinned sequel, early gameplay footage says otherwise. While the world genuinely looks brand new, the core concepts remain--the FPS action, HUD elements, AI alarm and RPG progression systems all resemble previous Far Cry entries.
Sadly, there won't be any dinosaurs in the game, but players will be able to semi-domesticate sabertooth tigers and bears for transportation. Ubisoft also asserts that multiplayer has no place in the new Stone Age adventure, and that it'll be a singplayer-driven experience.
Far Cry: Primal releases on February 23, 2016 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and March 1 on PC.