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I’m not much of a gamer. Like..at all.
Not that I have anything against video games, I just never grew up having them in the house.
Why, you may ask? Because my parents were the type that if I really wanted something like that, I should pay for it with my own money. And neither then nor now do I have the money to buy a $400 dollar game system and then buy a bunch of $60 dollar games for it.
The reason I bring this up is because I’m not an expert on gameplay mechanics or anything that true gamers would actually be interested in when a new AAA title is released, but I know what I think is cool.
And the Pleistocene is pretty freakin’ cool.
Now, some of you may be thinking “But if you don’t play video games, why on earth would you be interested in this?” Which is true, I’m never going to physically play this game. But there is another way I plan on experiencing this…
Have you ever wondered why Let’s Play channels are so popular? They allow people like me who can’t afford games to experience games that interest them with an entertaining personality all without having to buy the games themselves.
And I plan on watching as many let’s plays of this game as I possibly can!
Really, the main reason I’m really excited about this game is because I’ve always kind of wanted a big budget game set in the Pleistocene era. You may remember a while ago when I made a post here detailing a dream video game I would love set in the Ice Age, but with realistic environments and period accurate fauna. You can read the post again here.
So this game really is a dream come true for me, even if a couple of things I’ve seen about the game do raise an eyebrow.
The main complaints I’ve seen about Far Cry Primal (from actual gamers unlike myself) usually boil down to the game not looking especially innovative, with fears that the gameplay will feel to similar to previous installments despite the lack of guns and vehicles. Others say the game looks cheap, with the mammoth and sabretooth models looking like they just reskinned elephant and tiger models from the previous Far Cry game (although I think they do look different enough, even if they did reuse assets from Far Cry 4 to make the new creatures I wouldn’t blame them for being frugal). But for me, with my love of paleontology, I’m concerned most about the world they are creating and the kind of creatures that will inhabit said world.
The environment presented in the trailer seems surprisingly fertile, with green vegetation very abundant. Still, the whole world still looks like it’s dealing with the cold, with the grasp of the Ice Age still within reach. All the plants, although abundant, are still plants you would expect to see in the north. The official lore of the game states that the world takes place in a valley that was carved out by a glacier that has since melted leaving behind a fertile landscape. To me, the land brings to mind the woodlands and swamps of Scandinavia and other northern European locations as well as Alaskan wilderness and tundra. All in all, seems like a pretty good environment for the late Pleistocene.
So judging by the look of the valley, I can judge this land probably takes place in either Northern Europe, Asia, or Alaska at the end of the Ice Age, all classic environments for popular Pleistocene megafauna. But in order to narrow down where exactly this game takes place, I need to take a look at the fauna itself.
The creature that gets the most focus in the trailer is the woolly mammoth, which many consider to be the quintessential Ice Age animal. Once again, it looks like the mammoths are too big (real mammoths were actually smaller than modern day elephants) but I can forgive that.
Woolly mammoths are known to inhabit Alaska, the eastern United States (eastern Canada was completely covered in glacier at the time), much of Europe and northern Russia. So, unfortunately, their inclusion doesn’t really narrow things down.
In the behind the scenes video, we also see deer, dire wolves, and a bear that could either be a European cave bear or the American grizzly bear (doesn’t look like the famous Ice Age Short Faced Bear). Once again, they don’t really narrow things down. But the end of the first trailer does show another infamous Ice Age creature, whose inclusion should narrow down the location of this land.
The famous Smilodon, the sabre tooth tiger, is almost as synonymous with the Ice Age as the woolly mammoth. But thankfully, its range is not nearly as expansive. The Smilodon only lived in North and South America, and the only part of its range that would look anything like the games environment would be Alaska. So from that fact alone, you would think that this game has to take place in North America. Unfortunately, there is a little kink in that theory, and that comes with the inclusion of a specific creature…
…the woolly rhino.
Woolly rhinos are only found in Europe and Asia, and they would have never met the Sabretooth tiger. So this means the game is just a generic Ice Age land with creatures from different parts of the world living in one area.
Part of me is disappointed in this, cause I was hoping for an Ice Age game with period and geographically accurate fauna. Too many times have I seen Ice Age depictions using creatures from completely different continents and ecosystems from all over the Cenozoic living together in the same land.
As bad as this is, it’s still not nearly as bad as the brontotheres from the first movie. At least all these creatures lived in the Pleistocene.
Still, I guess I see why they decided to add a woolly rhino to the game. They’re cool and relatively famous, and they probably had the assets to make a rhino model pretty easy since rhinos were featured in the previous game. But it still shows that this game isn’t going to depict a scientifically accurate Ice Age landscape.
Heck, even the cave painting stuff that was shown in the promotional material brings to mind a more European setting, as cave paintings from prehistoric men are only known from places like Spain and France. This is the main reason why, despite how awesome the image would be, sabretooth tigers have never been found on cave paintings.
OK, so what animals do we have confirmed so far? Mammoths, sabre tooth cats, woolly rhinos, dire wolves, bears, and deer. Since specific accuracy is being thrown out the window, what other creatures would I like to see? Personally, I would be fine if they only use creatures from the classic Ice Age environments (North America, Europe, and Asia) that were around in the late Pleistocene. No brontotheres, no dodo birds, no terror birds, no entelodont, only creatures humans may have actually met in the northern hemisphere. Can you at least promise me that much?
From the cave paintings, it looks like the game may focus a lot on owls (perhaps they have religious significance?), which is completely fine with me. I also see what looks like a bison skeleton, but I may be wrong. Still, bison I think would be an excellent addition to the game.
I think I also see a hyena in the cave paintings, which was a creature that inhabited Ice Age environments but only in Europe. Kind of an odd choice, but they did have hyenas in the last game…
We do see some pretty normal looking deer in the game, but personally, I would like to see Megaloceros in the game. That deer species says ‘Ice Age’ to me more than any other I think.
On that note, let’s add some Ice Age lions to the mix. Smilodon can’t have all the big cat fun.
As far as more prey animals go, lets add some Ice Age wild horses to the mix. They need some love.
Boars I think would work too. They already appeared in the last Far Cry so implementing them into the game wouldn’t be much of a stretch.
But hey, let’s not have the Smilodon the only American representative in the game. If weirder Ice Age animals are what you’re looking for, how about a giant ground sloth?
And personally, I think this game needs some terrors from the sky. Add some teratorns while you’re at it!
If the game just sticks to creatures like that, I’ll be fine. Just please, not chalicotheres, no Gigantopithicus, and please for the love of God no dinosaurs!!!!!
Of course, another thing I’m really excited about in this game is how they’re going to depict the lives of prehistoric humans. In the behind the scenes video the game developers noted how hard it is to depict a culture of people when so little from their lives has survived to this day. So basically, they had to start from scratch. Hopefully they don’t do anything too crazy or outlandish, but I also hope they have fun with this creative freedom. It already sounds like they’ve created an entire language for the people, which shows just how much dedication they’re putting into this.
Personally, I am really freakin’ excited for this game. Sure, it may not be strictly accurate like I was kind of hoping for, but I’m OK with using artistic license it it means making a fun experience. Once this game comes out, you know I’ll be writing a review on it, and if I somehow forget you guys better remind me. This game interests me so much more than those indi dinosaur/prehistoric creature games that get big for a little bit but then disappear without a trace.
Sure, I wanted to review this game, but by the time I get to it nobody would care.