Far Cry Primal

A leaner, hungrier Far Cry from a bygone age that falls slightly short of achieving its potential.

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Far Cry Primal's latest patch lets you disable the HUD

Far Cry Primal's latest patch lets you disable the HUD

Role-play as a nature photographer.

Far Cry Primal's latest patch lets you take prettier screenshots of its prehistoric jungle by allowing players to disable the game's obtrusive HUD.

Outside of that, there are plenty of minor tweaks, fixing numerous bugs, performance issues, and even adjusting the game's difficulty in some small way.

Weighing in at 577MB on PS4 and 570MB on Xbox One, the latest patch notes are as follows (via the Ubisoft forum):

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Face-Off: Far Cry Primal

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Far Cry Primal

A superb console rendition - but what does PC add to the equation?

Ubisoft's second Far Cry title on current-gen consoles adds plenty of visual extras over Far Cry 4; Primal is a better-looking game for its use of volumetric lighting, but also impressively upholds a sturdy 30 frames per second. Equally, there's a sense Ubisoft's comfort with the hardware is only growing at this stage, and the entire package is drawing much closer to a maxed-out PC experience. Even so, those running on higher-end GPUs reap a few enticing rewards here - and not just in the frame-rate stakes.

Clearly, the theme for Ubisoft's latest series instalment is refinement over revolution, and as such we see this Dunia-engine-powered title share many similarities with Far Cry 4. PS4 once again hands in a native 1080p image, while Xbox One's native resolution comes in at around 1440x1080, as before. The lack of straight geometric edges in this prehistoric world makes pixel-counting a challenge, but overall image quality is comparable to the previous game, and we see many of the same visual characteristics on each of the two consoles. Ubisoft's chosen anti-aliasing method once again appears to match HRAA, with a higher-precision implementation on the PS4 giving it a more pristine image.

Impressively, it's rare that Xbox One's lower resolution has a visible impact in play. Trees and foliage appear a little rougher, but elsewhere environmental details and the game's vibrant range of wildlife hold up well. Like its predecessor, Far Cry Primal adopts a soft-focus image where edges and texture details are smoothed over to a point, and here the extra per-pixel sharpness provided by a native 1080p resolution on PS4 doesn't hold as much of an advantage compared to other titles. The gain in clarity is perceptible with like-for-like shots, but thanks to Ubisoft's applied anti-aliasing, the gap is narrowed to a surprising degree in motion.

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Performance Analysis: Far Cry Primal

The good news is that from a technical perspective, Far Cry Primal retains everything that impressed us so much about its predecessor: expansive environments, beautifully long draw distances, a solid lighting model and a rock-solid level of performance. The bad news is that in terms of both graphics and gameplay, perhaps not quite enough has changed - any enhancements are a subtle evolution, as opposed to the visual overhaul you'd expect from a second generation title for the latest wave of consoles.

That said, there's still much to enjoy here. The post-processing pipeline sees greater use of volumetric lighting and effects, while performance is actually even more stable than Far Cry 4 - in itself, an impressive achievement. However, the overriding feeling is one of commonality - there's the same full 1080p framebuffer on PS4, along with a sub-native presentation on its Xbox One equivalent. Owing to the advanced AA in use (plus the lack of hard edges for analysis), getting a precise lock on resolution here is difficult - but the smart money is on the same 1440x1080 set-up seen in Far Cry 4.

Once again, the overall presentation is extremely clean - and it looks as though the same HRAA technology used in its predecessor is in effect here. This combines a smart post-process anti-aliasing technique with temporal super-sampling (effectively using data from previous frames to smooth off the current one). Again, there are minor differences here between Xbox One and PS4 - the Sony platform could well be using the same four-frame temporal sample as Far Cry 4, and again, we wouldn't be surprised to see a two-frame equivalent on Xbox One in line with the last game.

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Far Cry Primal day one patch adds extra hard Expert Mode

Far Cry Primal day one patch adds extra hard Expert Mode

Smarter enemies, less health, and mini-map won't show unmarked foe positions.

Far Cry Primal is out today on PS4 and Xbox One (with a PC release set for next week), and it comes with a day one patch that adds an entirely new extra challenging difficulty level Expert Mode.

As stated on the game's official blog, Expert Mode makes the following changes to Ubisoft's latest open-world opus:

Players' health has been halved compared to Hard difficulty.

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Far Cry Primal review

Far Cry Primal review

Gotta skin 'em all.

Picture a moment in space and time. It can be anywhere and anywhen. It could be aeons ago, long before the first upwardly mobile fish ever unlocked the ability to walk on land, or it could be a few centuries into the future, during the 31st term of President Trump Al Saud. However far-flung the scenario, frame it in your mind and I'll make you a promise: Ubisoft is there. Ubisoft has always been there. Waiting for you, with a sackful of fast travel points and upgrade materials, pop-up escort missions and fluidly chaining takedowns.

Far Cry Primal

Publisher: Ubisoft

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Far Cry Primal trailer shows first-person mammoth gameplay

Ubisoft has shown off a section of gameplay from Far Cry Primal's special Legend of the Mammoth missions - where you play as a mammoth in first-person.

(First person? First mammoth?)

Regardless, these three mammoth-based missions are the only time you play as the massive woolly mammal. You'll have to help your mammoth elder by squashing some humans, fight a rhino and then... stomp some more humans.

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Digital FoundryDigital Foundry: Hands-on with Far Cry Primal

The new tech Ubisoft adds to its Dunia 2 engine, plus PS4 performance.

Ubisoft Montreal takes Far Cry Primal to the next, natural step: a foggy, Mesolithic land of raw survival, set 12,000 years in humanity's past. As delivered by the team's Dunia 2 technology, it plants us in an era of sabretooth tigers, looming mammoths, and tribal warfare - all bolstered by new animations and upgraded volumetric lighting. The pre-release PlayStation 4 code in analysis here is a step forward from Far Cry 4 in several aspects, but with so much of the template also remaining as-is from last year's entry, is it evolution enough?

VideoWatch: Base building and beast riding in Far Cry Primal

The opening 15 minutes of gameplay, too.

It's a close category every year, but Far Cry Primal looks set to be the best video game in which you can beat someone's brain out with a stone club in 2016. Ian Higton loves stone clubs so, when a recent hands-on opportunity with Far Cry Primal came up, he jumped at the chance.

Our Ian's a bit of a fan of Far Cry. He's played all of the games in the series, and has even attempted to string them all together in some sort of cohesive narrative - the brave soul. Anyway, given his superior knowledge, Ian went off to get an early hands-on with Far Cry Primal last week. Though he enjoyed his time with the game, an interview with Ubisoft Toronto's creative director Max Beland left him somewhat disappointed, as Beland confirmed that there would be no multiplayer mode.

Stone Age-set Far Cry Primal launches in February

Stone Age-set Far Cry Primal launches in February

Not a digital spin-off, more a mammoth undertaking.

Ubisoft has now confirmed the recently-teased Far Cry Primal, which will launch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One worldwide on 23rd February 2016.

A PC edition will then follow in March 2016.

Ubisoft describes the game as the "the next exciting chapter" in the Far Cry series and a "full-fledged single player experience".

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