Archery Popshots | Far Cry Primal
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Archery Popshots | Far Cry Primal

August 16, 2019


With the announcement and upcoming release
of Far Cry: New Dawn, a post-apocalyptic spinoff, now would be a good time to head in the opposite
direction. For fans of primitive archery, you can’t get much more primitive than Fry
Cry: Primal. Set in the fictional European region of Oros, Primal puts players into the
hide boots of Takkar of the Wenja people, and his journey of survival in the untamed
wilds of prehistory. While Primal is entirely made-up, it’s worth
noting with some fascination how little we retain of true primitive archery. Archery
predates recorded history, and we know of archery being used from cave paintings. However,
as bows were made from organic materials, nearly every specimen has been lost to time.
Fragments of arrowheads and bows have been dated to well over 10,000 years ago. Primal
doesn’t exactly present us with a realistic or historically accurate take on primitive
archery, but…it’s not a huge suspense of disbelief. This is, after all, a world
where the developers have created their own languages, and our protagonist rides a saber-tooth
tiger. Join me in my journey through the primitive
lands of Oros from the view of a modern-day archer. While bows have been in the Far Cry series
since Far Cry 3 as an optional stealth weapon, in Primal, bows are the primary weapon. Of
course you have clubs and spears, all of which can be thrown – and spears especially do
significant damage. Bows, are however, are the first weapon you obtain, with several
different types of bows for different purposes, and generally being the most versatile weapon
set. Not only does this make archery fans happy, the primitive setting really makes
this fascinating. As a first-person shooter, Primal adopts Far
Cry’s smooth gunplay…without the guns. All bows can shot from the hip – if you
can call it that – with the widening reticule representing the spread that we are more familiar
with in gun-based shooters. Aiming replaces this with a single dot, which is nearly pinpoint
accurate. While a far cry from realism compared to more immersive games like Kingdom Come
Deliverance, this simple method facilitates faster engagements. In fact, the archery is so smooth, the bow
is probably going to be your go-to weapon, unless you really need to smack someone with
a club or bring down a wild animal with a spear. Ammunition is plentiful, either being
found on fallen enemies or crafted with basic materials – the latter option being significantly
easier with some skill upgrades multiplying the number arrows crafted. This faith in the good old stick and string
is shared by your allies and adversaries. Most fights take place in mid-range, with
most fighters being armed with bows or javelins and skirmishing with each other. As the human
player, you have much more mobility and better reaction, taking control of the situation
with more robust tactics. The responsiveness of the controls and the frequent quick engagements
is a hallmark of the Far Cry games, and Primal feels just as good. Beyond just shooting things, Takkar has the
ability to set his weapons on fire. This makes the most sense with arrows. While this can
be used to set fires to control the environment, this is most likely going to be a utility
tool to burn objectives and set signal fires. That said, the bow is going to be the weapon
you use from start to finish, and integrated into the gameplay and story. There’s even
an amazing dream sequence in which you take on the persona of a flaming warrior to literally
shoot down the moon. This makes Primal one of the most dedicated archery games in the
mainstream market. As an open-world game, the player is given
a few basic tools and then has the option of going out into the wider world to collect
materials to upgrade items. Later weapons and tools are locked behind missions. Takkar’s starting bow is…the Bow. I seriously
had to look this up on Google to make sure I hadn’t missed a more obvious name, but
here we are. The Bow is the general-purpose bow, with well-rounded stats for speed and
accuracy – though it’s worth noting that “accuracy” is more or less exactly where
the dot is. Suited for most scenarios early in the game, the upgraded Bow increases damage
and speed, making it the equivalent of an assault rifle in modern Far Cry games, just…with
single arrows. But rapidly. Takkar can then unlock a primitive Long Bow.
This fills the role of the sniper rifle. The Longbow does more damage, and provides the
player with a small degree of magnification for better accuracy on long-distance targets.
The improved long-distance accuracy and power is compensated by having a much slower rate
of fire. The third type of bow is the Double Bow. The
Double Bow shoots two arrows at once for double the damage. While the stats imply that it
has the best speed, that seems to go to the upgraded Bow rather than the Double Bow. Of the bow types, I found myself defaulting
to the regular Bow most of the time, especially after upgrading it. The Longbow has some use
as a long-range weapon, but most of the time you should be able to dispatch enemies with
the regular Bow stealthily and quickly. I found the Double Bow to be the least useful
of the three, mostly because it doesn’t do anything the other bows can’t. The spread
of the double-shot is unfavourable compared to just hurling a spear, which has the most
raw ranged damage of any weapon. Now, you might be wondering – how authentic
is all this? There’s a surprising amount of detail. Sure, spears are just pointy sticks
with stone heads, and clubs are big sticks or bones, the amount of time you spend using
the bow makes you think about how plausible they would be in real life. The regular Bow is…fairly regular. While
most bows in the real world are made from a single piece of wood, Takkar’s bow is
made from two pieces lashed together with leather strips to create what would be a decently
sized bow by modern standards. This is certainly plausible, especially if you don’t have
the length needed to make a bow from a single piece, but it does rely on the bow not falling
apart from poor crafting and uneven torque. The upgraded Bow is really fascinating. From
the player’s point of view, you can admire the engravings in the belly of the bow. However,
if you look at the bow in the menu, and especially seeing it in the Izila’s hands, it’s very
clearly a visual replica of Asiatic bows. The long “tips” are referred to as “siyah”
in Arabic sources, and serve to provide extra leverage for shorter bows. This design far
pre-dates actual usage in real life. This is probably an implausible design in the game.
In reality, Asiatic bows were composite bows, made from layering horn, wood and sinew. The
all-wood design in Primal would probably not be that strong and not necessitate the elongated
tips. The Long Bow is certainly not a plausible
design. It’s tough to see what the bow is made from. If it’s bone, the long length
would simply snap. Bone is too inflexible and brittle to be suitable for the flexibility
needed for a bow. If the bow is made from wood, it would need to be a very strong wood.
Having a longer bow doesn’t make it a more powerful bow, and bow length was mostly a
matter of necessity. In reality, self-bows were typically made from a single piece of
wood and the length was required to get the maximum power without snapping. Shorter bows
were often made from composite materials. The Double Bow might look like the most ridiculous
fantasy design to the layperson, but it actually is based off a real design. These bows are
commonly referred to as Penobscot bows, also known as double bows. The purpose is to provide
extra strength by combining two separate bows and having them work together, as compared
to a single bow. The version in Primal is a bit more decorative with the split limb
tip, but otherwise the bow should function. The double-arrow thing has to be addressed
though. While it is possible to shoot multiple arrows at once, the game does a good job of
replicating the spread it would have in real life. However, what is overlooked is that
the energy in the bow is divided between the arrows. Shooting two arrows at once means
that they will only be half as effective. There are a couple of small nitpicks. The
shooting animation, for some reason, keep the arrow pinned against the bow rather than
resting on the hand, which would have certainly been the only way to shoot without an arrow
rest. The bow limbs don’t flex when fully drawn, so the bows look a little static from
the player perspective. The bows also contain some decorative blue stones at the tips. This
is not good bow design – the tips have to be as light as possible, as adding weight
will slow the bow and have a negative effect on performance. It would be more suitable
to have these decorations closer to the grip. A small positive is the shooting animation.
The bow and hand seems to jump forward on release, and this is actually what happens
in real life, though different styles of archery control this differently. Overall, Far Cry Primal offers an interesting
take on archery in a series that is otherwise known for its excellent gunplay. Fights are
smooth and fast, controls are on point, and it makes you want to pick more fights just
to get the satisfaction of drawing the bow and hitting another warrior in the head. The
small nuances in control, visual and sound effects is pleasing for the player. If you haven’t played Primal, you’re not
missing out on too much. It lacks the deep story and twists in the main Far Cry games,
and its main appeal is in the prehistoric setting. If you like FPS games or open-world
games, especially of the Ubisoft variety, you’ll like Far Cry Primal. As an archer,
it was pretty fun running or riding around a colourful landscape to inflict primitive
death on my foes. For me, this game does hit the mark. Thank you for joining me on another episode
of Archery Popshots. This is NUSensei, and as always, shoot straight and aim for your
best.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Nice video, and this is a good game. Though I have never shot a bow I want to try to learn, Do you need a permit to shoot a bow like in your backyard at targets?

  2. I actually enjoy this game more so than Far Cry 4 or 5. The relative limited ammo and close quarter combat scenarios make for some tense moments, especially in harder difficulties. Definitely the only game out in the market that has archery as its main focus, and personally I would have loved a sequel to this one than New Dawn.

  3. imagine an accessory that tracks your breathing. and an accuracy mechanic that makes you more accurate if you fire at the proper part of your breathing cycle.

    good or bad mechanic?

  4. The tips on the longbow in this game are even worse looking than the upgraded normal bow lol. So weird and bulky looking

  5. This is easily my favourite Far Cry and the primitive weapons were the main reason I enjoyed it so much.

    And I played this before I started archery myself.

  6. Still definitely prefer "Kingdom Come: Deliverance". It just automatically feels so much more immersive and still becomes quite "easy" and quick once you get used to it. Having this sort of learning curve makes it feel much more worth, too.

    What I don't like about it: It kind of ruined bow handling in most games for me :D. Just feels "wrong" most of the time.

  7. Don't they mean the double bow has the best speed – per arrow? It might shoot slower but if its faster than 50% of the upgraded bow speed, then in terms of arrows per second it would be faster – though it wouldn't actually be quicker per target since every 2 arrows go to each target.

  8. One of the game that I used to play and want me to do archery were the Thief Gold and Thief 2: The Metal Age. You were only carrying a sword, an maze (to knock out) and a bow. I practically ended both games using only the bow. Another cool archery game was the Mount & Blade series.

  9. I just finished playing this.
    I was really surprised at the very easy physics of the long bow once I unlocked it.
    The standard and double bow have very short range, even when you try and compensate for drop, but the long bow is easily 95% accurate at 50-100m. Little to no sway, almost literally none once you get the bow sway perk. The only time that I found it to be a very mild challenge is when shooting at an upwards angel. But when shooting down it became child's play.
    I mostly used the long bow and spear (for when you need to take down a bigger animal or "elite" enemy that don't go down very easy with a bow).

  10. I love this game. I found myself relying heavily on the longbow, as I enjoy the challenges of long range shooting and controlled distractions (setting fires, breaking cages, carefully planned kill shots).

    Funny enough, I also found myself relying on the bow a lot in Far Cry 3, and hoped I could find a similar game where the bow would be much more prominent. Then came Primal. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Although not point-for-point realistic, I always found it did a great job from an archerโ€™s standpoint to make things challenging and satisfying. Easily a favorite of mine.

  11. This game should really include an Atlatl. The Atlatl predates bows and arrows, but are more advanced than spears. They were widespread for thousands of years, and present on nearly every continent. No prehistoric shooter should be complete without them.

  12. This was a fantastic game, specially because I love using bows in games. A great continuation from the bow in Far Cry 3 which was so fun. I routinely shot people with the bow from so far away that you had to aim above them to hit, and I think that's a great detail.

    You should do a video for Skyrim, the arrows drop no matter the distance, and how far you pull the bow effects how far the arrows travel, as well the time taken to travel the distance to the target you have to lead them if they're moving. I haven't played the vanilla game but I'm assuming it wasn't much different to my heavily modded game, the only related mod I can remember is faster arrows for more realism, they're strangely slow in vanilla.

  13. Hello NUSensei, I like all your Archery Popshots videos, for next will you make video about "Archery Popshots | The Elder Scrolls V: SKYRIM"

  14. Hay layda kashyam, tu Winja warha hawcham. Nu kwayda hay layda, gwisha, hisu-kwa-ha warja haw-hawcham.
    "I love this game so much, I learned Wenja. And now, because of this game, I'm learning to work with a bow and arrow."

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