Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Game review: Far Cry Primal

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Far Cry Primal. Photo / Supplied
Far Cry Primal. Photo / Supplied

This is savage. One minute you're watching someone being ripped to death by a sabre-toothed tiger. The next, you're stumbling into a campsite to find cannibals feasting on roasted human limbs. You'll also need to skin goats for food and clothing and, armed with just a rock, take down marauding woolly mammoths.

There are shredded bodies lying everywhere. Now we know how Leonardo DiCaprio felt in The Revenant.

Considering Far Cry's history, all of this comes as something of a surprise. Previous instalments were based around epic villains in far-flung places with an endless supply of guns and vehicles at your disposal. In Far Cry Primal, you're asked to don loincloths, strip moss from rocks, use flint to start fires and club wolves to death to stay alive.

The video game Far Cry Primal.
The video game Far Cry Primal.

It's a massive about-face, one that resulted in plenty of arched eyebrows when the first trailer was released.

So it's a relief to find Primal owning its prehistoric skin. Like previous Far Cry instalments, the scenery is stunning. With the sun glistening off rivers and rocks, and endless caves and clifftops to explore, you'll struggle to find a better looking game on the market. As Takkar, your job is survival first, and rising through the tribal ranks second. The Stone Age animals you'll face and later train - from cave bears to rhinos - are incredibly realistic. And the made-up dialect feels impressively researched.

The video game Far Cry Primal.
The video game Far Cry Primal.

Small flaws let Primal down: some of the missions, like gathering supplies and following tracks, get repetitive. And it all goes on a tad too long. But Ubisoft, developers often criticised for stretching their franchises way too thin, deserve applause. Because Far Cry Primal is a detour well worth sharpening your flint for.

Game: Far Cry Primal
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: R16
Verdict: Let the hunt begin

- TimeOut

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