This week I had the pleasure to step back into a simpler time where there was no electricity, indoor plumbing, and all it took to ride my very own saber-tooth tiger was some meat bait and going “shh” as I made hand gestures at it. As someone who has never played a Far Cry game, I have to wonder how much of this one holds up to other titles in the series. Also, how does this game get away as first person shooter without a whole lot of shooting or projectile weapons? Let’s be honest, though–I threw a lot of clubs in this game (because I suck at first person melee). Anyway, let’s break down some of these thoughts. Apologies for any spoilers to the story. There isn’t much to spoil though, so…
A Tale of Survival
The story begins with Takkar (you), the only surviving member of a hunting party after an attack by a sabretooth tiger. While on their way to the Land of Oros where your people, the “Wenja”, are from, this tragic attack occurs. To make things worse, after you escape from the beast, you arrive in Oros only to find the Wenja are in big trouble with the neighboring cannibals and pyromaniacs. You may be asking yourself “why are they being killed by the the rival tribes?” Who knows would be my answer, but when you play, it’s very obvious that the Wenja look more like normal humans, and the cannibals/pyromaniacs look like neanderthals. Regardless of my personal theories on this, the game never gives a good reason, but do you need one? You’re the protagonist and your people are in danger–time to roll up your animal skins and hunt to secure the future of the Wenja, making them the dominate race…
Playing as Takkar was, overall, a pleasant experience. The ease of controls and smooth movement of the character made the game easy to learn. Unlike the Assassin’s Creed titles and their problems with the up run and down run mechanics, I didn’t experience any problems with movement or getting stuck. In addition to that, I haven’t encountered any glitches or freezes during my playthrough, which is an improvement over past Ubisoft titles. The mostly melee aspect of this first person shooter game was difficult to get the hang of. I still think that some of the timing and distance of certain weapons was off, but I may just need more practice.
Master of Beasts
Probably the most unique aspect of the game is the ability to tame and direct various animals to do your bidding. These skills are acquired pretty early in game and I used them constantly. The various animals you control range from Dhole (which are like little hyena dogs), giant bears, saber-tooth tigers, and badgers! You heard me right! The fiercest of all beasts! With some investment in certain skill trees, which become available as you complete missions, you can learn to ride the bears, saber tooth tigers, and mammoths. While riding these animals, you don’t really get to control when they attack because you still use your main weapons while riding, which is is something that could have been improved on.
Wenja, Would Ya?
In the end, the big question is: “Should I buy this game?” If you are a fan of Ubisoft and the Far Cry games, then it’s a definite “yes”. This game has a big world with beautiful environments, not to mention that sandbox freedom that most love. The only drawback is that I don’t think this game has a whole lot of replay value. Once I’m done with the story mode, I’m probably going to be passing my copy around or selling it. You can only play so far in a game where you collect items and conquer territory until it becomes repetitive. Some minor annoyances are hearing the word “Wenja” over and over and OVER again. Otherwise, it’s a unique game with characters and scenery that stand out, and it has plenty to keep those “collectors” busy.
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- Crisp, Clean Environments
- Unique Characters
- Riding a Mammoth
- Generic Story
- Combat Timing and Spacing issues