by Drew Nordman
As we move towards the second quarter of 2016, triple-A game releases are fewer and farther between. That being said, Montreal based developer/publisher Ubisoft has two big titles scheduled for March; one of which is poised to make a lasting impression on the industry. Here’s what March has in store!
2012’s Far Cry 3 was ubiquitously touted as a phenomenal game. Its moment to moment gameplay of traversing a pirate ridden tropical island, taking down outposts and hunting deadly creatures was so truly outstanding that it more than made up for its lacklustre narrative. Though what really cemented the Far Cry series as a special intellectual property in my eyes was its spiritual sequel and spin off, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. It took every low-fi 80s action movie stereotype that you can think of and jacked it up to 11. Everything from The Terminator to RoboCop was simultaneously lampooned and payed homage to in this masterful 80s send up. Now the same team who created Blood Dragon has gone back to the drawing board for its next iteration, Far Cry: Primal.
Instead of traveling to the dystopian future of its predecessor, Primal takes us back to the pre-historic year 10,000 B.C.E. It’s a genius move really. For a franchise whose core mechanics are hunting and scavenging to make yourself stronger, where better to take place than the beginning of the Mesolithic era? As if the elephants and mountain lions of Far Cry 4 weren’t daunting enough, now you have to contend with mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers! Taking cues from tremendously successful series such as Dark Souls and Minecraft, you’ll need to create your own campfire, craft your own tools and weapons in order to protect your companions and survive untamed wilderness. Will Far Cry: Primal bring out the beast in you? Find out on March 1st when it hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.
First announced a whole three years ago at E3 2013, gamers and critics alike have been wondering for quite some time whether or not Tom Clancy’s: The Division would ever see the light of day. When unveiled, the game was met with nigh universal hype and praise as it showed tremendous potential, both graphically and mechanically. Taking place in the near future in Manhattan several weeks after a smallpox pandemic cripples the U.S. Government, it’s your task to as a Homeland operative to team up with your friends and return some modicum or semblance of order to the now chaotic no man’s land that the streets of New Yorks City have devolved into.
At first glance, The Division seems to be no more than your average third person shooter, however at its centre, it’s a role playing game first and foremost. Your stats and gear drive the core of the experience, just as they would in The World of Warcraft or any of the myriad Final Fantasies. During the last few years, Ubisoft has taken their time to learn from the missteps of similarly functioning games such as Destiny. Since September 2014, Destiny has proven though not without its drawbacks, shared world shooters with MMO influences are more than viable in today’s market. Where Destiny is a shooter first and an RPG second, The Division is the other way around. This mentality allows for more depth and customization to your character which results in a more compelling and fulfilling experience overall. With additional content planned to be released over the course of the next couple years, The Division is set to keep you busy for quite some time. Look forward to taking back New York when The Division hits stores for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on March 8th.