On February 23rd, we were pleased to attend Ubisoft’s Far Cry Primal Launch party. The beautiful Rialto Theatre was tastefully adorned with stone age themed decorations. We enjoyed listening to presentations about the making of the game (in both english and french), viewing videos of game features, test playing Far Cry Primal, and interviewing Naomi Savoie!
We learned many interesting things about the game while we were there. How decisions were made for the look of the game, the language, the culture, and the setting. At first they had started off with the characters speaking broken/simple English (“me want food”), but they decided that didn’t sound good enough, so they hired linguists to create three indo-european sounding languages. The three tribes all have very different cultures, based on real cultural differences in different populations at that time (one of the tribes is based off the Neanderthals) and one tribe has less advanced technology. Geographically it takes place where the Czech Republic is, but in 10,000 BCE.
Ubisoft took a slightly stylistic approach to designing the Homo Sapiens and fauna in the game. They sought to design them to look somewhere between the impressions of the general public and the scientific reality. Though ‘old’ Homo Sapiens would not have looked too different from you and me, they are made to look slightly more like their caricature in popular culture; more hairy and hunched over. The fauna in the game consist of modern animals (deer), extinct animals (mammoths), and pseudo hybrids of Ubisoft’s design. Their sabertooth tiger is a hybrid between an actual sabertooth and a lion that is more muscular. I am not sure what made them take this creative direction, but perhaps it is more compelling for their demographics.
Instead of the usual ‘stranger in a strange land’ approach that we’re used to seeing in other games of the franchise, the main character is accustomed to his environment, though, like the main characters in the other games, still somewhat at a disadvantage.
The lack of firearms is a notable difference in this iteration of the franchise. However, what they lack in first person shooting, they make up for in animal combat. Using animals as weapons against other tribes will now be an integral part of gameplay.
We had a very pleasant and informative evening. The only questions that still linger on our minds are: if there are strong female characters in the game, would it not have been possible to make a female option for the main character? Did the increasing popularity and prolific nature of survival/crafting games impact this direction of the franchise? What can we expect from future Far Cry games? As of now, the franchise seems like an anthology of adventures exploring human cruelty and survival in a brutal environment.
Check out our interview with Naomi Savoie above. She is currently a concept artist and illustrator, with a background in 3D Animation and CGI, at Ubisoft.
Article written by Shannon Tucker, interview done by Pierre-Olivier Jourdenais and video editing by Catherine Ashley.