When it comes to daring concepts, nothing was more bold and risky than Ubisoft’s latest offering in the Far Cry series, Far Cry Primal. Upon release, the 10,000 BC-set game received a mixed response from fans and critics, with some praising the shift into new territory while others critiquing the barebones elements that inadvertently stripped the series of its own identity. However, with Primal not being a true sequel to the franchise, could this have possibly been Ubisoft testing the waters of the market for something even riskier? Say, dinosaurs?
I’ve decided to explore some interesting theories and speculation as to why Far Cry 5 could be going Jurassic, and how it could resurrect the now dead and missed dinosaur survival shooter sub-genre.
Old Dino, New Tricks
It’s arguable that the Far Cry series really found its calling with the third instalment, Far Cry 3. Many praised the series’ bold innovations, extremely charismatic central villain in Vaas Montenegro, and a welcomed return to the jungle-island setting that made the first game what it was. However, Far Cry 4 and Primal followed similar patterns and perhaps played it too safe, acting as sort of expansions of Far Cry 3 despite containing their own stories and settings.
While undoubtedly entertaining (I consider Far Cry 4 to be one of the most ridiculously fun games in recent memory), the successors never shaped their own identities, even with the gimmicky premise of the Stone Ages. It seems as though franchise fatigue had set in on a franchise that simply needed a revitalization of new ideas.
Ubisoft (kind of) Listens
Despite Primal not hitting as hard as Ubisoft had planned, it left a certain thirst in fans’ mouths. The Stone Ages presented endless possibilities of a dinosaur-infested jungle setting, returning to the series’ roots while injecting something not done quite as well as the first Dino Crisis many years ago. Fans reacted well to the idea of a new direction for Far Cry, as a fan survey carried out by IGN revealed that a possible Far Cry 5 setting with dinosaurs seemed to be the unanimous demand, and by quite a landslide too. However, before the release of Far Cry Primal, Ubisoft were quick to dispel rumors of dinosaurs appearing in the game. Primal’s cinematic director, David Footman, commented on fans’ appeal for dinosaurs.
“At it's core Far Cry Primal is incredibly authentic and then we sort of build out from there. Dinosaurs, really wouldn’t fit that.” – David Footman
This is not to say that we won’t be seeing a dino-filled Far Cry, but perhaps Ubisoft has inadvertently responded to the demands of fans while trying to maintain the vision of Primal. With the last few Assassin’s Creed titles, especially Black Flag and Syndicate, Ubisoft carried out multiple surveys asking fans which direction they’d like to see the franchise go, including setting and characters. This seemed to be working, as the plead of a female protagonist in an Assassin’s Creed game was finally answered with Syndicate’s Evie Frye. Who’s to say they aren’t listening with a Jurassic Far Cry game?
Homage: Dino Crisis, Turok & Jurassic Park
There’s no denying that a Far Cry game set in the Jurassic era wouldn’t make much sense if a human was mowing down raptors with sticks and stones. Well, that and humans not existing at all in the Jurassic era. However, this is a video game, and many developers have taken creative liberties to warping history around a bit for the sake of blowing up dinosaurs with rocket launchers.
The earliest memory of mine was with the Jurassic Park arcade shooter that had players going through events of the movies while using a motion-sensor gun to kill dinosaurs. Another fine example is Dino Crisis, which placed dinosaurs in a modern setting as part of some garbled dimensional experiments gone wrong (think Jurassic Park if characters exercised their Second Amendment Rights too much).
Turok, another classic dinosaur-filled shooter, took the dinosaur setting and threw in their own spice of Rambo meets The Hunger Games. The result was middling to say the least, especially with the inevitable 2008 remake which doomed the idea of a modern video game shooter having prehistoric ideas, despite lukewarm reviews.
Opportunistic moments are abound for Ubisoft to sweep in and take the dinosaur shooter sub-genre by storm, and what better way to do it than the highly demanded Far Cry dinosaur game we’ve all been yearning for. If Ubisoft is indeed taking fans demands into consideration, we may be seeing Far Cry 5 much sooner than expected.
A Far Cry
Far Cry 5 can only be the subject of speculation at this point, and with only the curiosity of fans to go by, it seems like dinosaurs may simply be optimistic dreams from what the actual results may be, with several others hinting at an Amazonian setting. However, as I explained in my expectations article, video games have come under scrutiny for not living up to the often high-end demands of enraged gamers.
So despite the speculation of a few misguided quotes and the hopes of a few online polls, it’s necessary to keep the dreams just a dream until a surprise reveal, or not. However, seeing the changes Ubisoft may be implementing to deliver upon the requests of fans, it seems that dinosaurs may not be such a far cry after all.