Far Cry Primal is all about cavemen. (And cavewomen too, I’d assume.) There’s a certain amount of historical record there, which Ubisoft is delving into with their latest developer diary.
Look, Primal probably isn’t going to be the most realistic depiction of prehistoric life that has ever graced the screen. (Of course, I’m still a little sore about Primal not going the full Flintstones route and having dinosaurs living alongside humans, so maybe I shouldn’t really complain about scientific or historical accuracy.) That being said, I was really impressed with Tommy Francois’ talk at DICE this week about Ubi’s approach to open-world design, which incorporates a lot of serious, hand-on research and serious considerations of world-building verisimilitude.
So hey, even if the end result is built around a modern power fantasy, the input of history and anthropology is pretty significant to the depiction of the setting. The game’s various factions are built around different branches of early society--hunter-gatherers, inbred animalistic humans, and more technologically advanced folks who’ve figured out cutting-edge ideas like irrigation (and slavery!).
Most impressive is the level of linguistic study, which features three distinct dialects reconstructed from dead Indo-European languages. Then this semi-historical language had to be taught to a full set of actors.
I majored in English and minored in History, so this stuff is right up my alley. Whether or not it improves the final game… Well, we’ll see. At least there’s a strong attention to detail. I guess that makes up for having fuzzy elephants and giant cats instead of dinosaurs.