Far Cry Primal has the potential to be legitimately interesting. It’s â€œdefinitely a Far Cry game,â€ as we declared in our hands-on earlier this month, but it’s set in the Mesolithic era, so you’ll be playing as a primitive human hunter—a caveman, basically—armed with rocks, clubs, bows, and a pseudo-magical ability to tame and command animals. It also means that your motivations for killing will be different than in previous games in the series. As Creative Director Jean-Cristophe Guyot said in a recent developer’s blog, â€œIt’s not war, but survival.â€
â€œThroughout the story, we give you good reasons why theyâ€™re here and why theyâ€™re dangerous to you, but we donâ€™t want them to feel like stupid guards,” he explained. “So they have a life. We try to create a culture and religion for every type of tribe, and at some of the outposts, theyâ€™re actually playing music, fishing and doing other tasks.â€
It sounds almost like a kinder, gentler Far Cry, unfettered by the plagues of politics, greed, criminality, and insanity. But the ESRB descriptor suggests that the game will in fact â€œget pretty raw,â€ as Kotaku put it, and I don’t think they’re wrong. I’ll let the relevant bit speak for itself.
â€œOne cutscene depicts a character being held in a fire while screaming; another depicts Takkar tapping a hole in another character’s skull as the man screams. Some scenes depict corpses in various states of mutilation: heads and torsos on spikes; ears cut off and kept as trophies; headless bodies lying in pools of blood. Certain scenes or camera angles can depict male genitalia under garments or in shadows; some female characters are depicted topless. A handful of scenes depict characters engaged in sexual activity while clothed; grunts and short moans can be heard, though no explicit details are seen.â€
That last bit about the absence of explicit sex is probably why, despite the incineration, trepanation, mutilation, and decapitation—on top of the run-of-the-mill murder and mayhem—Far Cry Primal has been rated M. It comes out on March 1.