Far Cry Primal Video Card Performance Review

A new game in the Far Cry series is out on the PC called Far Cry Primal. We will run FCP through its paces on six video cards including SLI and CrossFire with the latest drivers and game patch to see what it takes to push these pixels. We will discuss this games stripped down graphics quality compared to Far Cry 4 and what it means for gaming.

Introduction

Far Cry Primal is a game not many saw coming, or expected, and certainly was not marketed with any big push such as Far Cry 4 was. However, here it is, another Far Cry franchise game, but not based on anything that has come before in the series and not a sequel of anything that exists in the current series of Far Cry games.

Far Cry Primal is a standalone game, set in a new time period not yet explored by any other Far Cry game, but sharing many gameplay elements, achievements, crafting, and goals as Far Cry 4. In fact, Far Cry Primal is so similar one could almost call this a "re-skin" of Far Cry 4, and in fact, people who have played this game have called it exactly that.

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Far Cry Primal was released on the PC on March 1st, 2016. The console versions were released before the PC version on February 23rd. Unfortunately that little bit of extra time before the PC launch did not go towards separating the game visually compared to the console versions.

There are in fact no PC-specific graphical features used in Far Cry Primal that make the game stand out on the PC like there were in Far Cry 4. Although Far Cry Primal is not a sequel to Far Cry 4, the obvious comparison visually and gameplay-wise is Far Cry 4.

Far Cry Primal is of course developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. This is a single-player action-adventure game. What makes this game unique is the time period it is set in, going back to the year 10,000 BC. Setting this game in pre-historic times give it a unique feel, but once you start playing the oh-so-familiar game mechanics of Far Cry 4 are evident very quickly.

Far Cry Primal is based on the Dunia Engine 2, which is the same game engine powering Far Cry 4. We can note no improvements to the graphics in this new game compared to the last one. In fact, if one were to describe the graphics, they would be described as "stripped down."


Graphics Features

Here are a few of the forward looking graphics that Far Cry 4 had that Far Cry Primal in fact does not have.

Far Cry 4 had an "Enhanced Godrays" mode that created realistic tessellated Godrays. Far Cry Primal does not have this option, instead it just has the Volumetric Fog Godrays.

In Far Cry 4 there was an option to enable HBAO+ Ambient Occlusion for better shadowing and depth. Well, this game has fallen back to Ubisofts own in-house Ambient Occlusion and has in fact not even given us an option to change the quality of this feature, there is no Ambient Occlusion setting at all!

Far Cry 4 had the option to enable a simulated fur on creatures, this feature is gone in Far Cry Primal.

In Far Cry 4 there was an option to enable a much better looking Soft Shadow image quality. Well, this is gone in Far Cry Primal as well.

Finally, the AA options have been stripped down so that is offered is FXAA or SMAA; there are no MSAA or SSAA options.

What it looks like to us is that Ubisoft stripped every option that made Far Cry 4 stand out on the PC and instead turned this new game into a clichأ© console port on the PC. Slow clap to Ubisoft everyone.

Graphics Menu

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Here is the very stripped down graphics menu in Far Cry Primal. Just look here for a comparison to the graphics menus in Far Cry 4.

There are global presets you can set: "Ultra," "Very High," "High," "Normal," and "Low." You can manually adjust each setting as well, there are texture settings, shadow, post fx, geometry, terrain, water, environment, volumetric fog, motion blur and AA. None of these settings have any hidden settings, when you set the global option to "Ultra" you are getting the highest possible in-game settings.

Under AA there is only FXAA or SMAA or Off. As you will see in our evaluation today, "Ultra" was all we needed to concern ourselves with.

Patches

On Day 1 of this game being launched there was a day 1 patch. This was version 1.1.0. Just this past week another small hotfix patch was released bringing the game up to version 1.1.2. For a while there weren't any patch notes, finally a response was given. (Thanks for wasting our time on retesting that patch because of no communication!) That said, we went ahead and re-tested all our data under patch 1.1.2 to represent the latest state of the game. Therefore, all our testing today is using the latest version.