In the video game adventure  Far Cry: Primal, I learned that there is such a thing as “manly,” and then there is “cave-manly.”  As one of the best installments to date for the Far Cry franchise, Primal took me away from the usual style of games I play, which usually involve a ball, a puck or a machine gun.

In an experience as raw as the meat you have to eat to stay alive in the game, Primal dragged me out of my cave for a brand new game review where I give my quips and tips on how to survive in the Stone Age.

You begin the game playing as the main character, Takkar, a prehistoric caveman on a hunt with his tribe for a woolly mammoth.

It goes horribly wrong, thanks to a giant saber tooth tiger attack, when your hunting mentor is killed and your tribe becomes scattered. With your people divided, you must become the beast master to unite the Wenja tribe and help them survive against the many threats of the land.

To become the beast master, you must use your survival skills and manufactured weapons to tame wild and dangerous animals. Throughout the game, you collect elements from the land such as wood, stone and plants to create a variety of clubs and spears in addition to a sweet bow and arrow (which comes in handy big time).

As you hunt different animals and steal from enemy tribes, you will collect raw meat as an absolute necessity. If you take an arrow in the chest from a cannibal caveman, eat raw meat. If you get mauled by a massive black bear, eat raw meat. Every time you chomp into a bloody piece of gristle, your health will start to regenerate.

It’s the answer to everything. With a multitude of different tasks, you earn skill points that give you the ability to upgrade your skills, attacks and weapons. Your missions range from main story missions, secondary missions and beast missions, among others, which randomly occur as you navigate the land.

The scenery is vast and beautiful, showing stellar graphics that really make the game come to life.

The different creatures you encounter throughout the experience are so visceral and vivid, you feel as if you could reach out and touch them – only to most likely get your arm ripped off.

This brings me to the coolest part of the game, which is the ability to tame different beasts who soon emerge as your partners in crime. When you battle with enemy tribes like the Udam and the Azila, you’re going to get in trouble. When you get in trouble, your best friend is your beast, which depending on your skills could be a badger, wolf, mountain lion, bear or a saber tooth tiger. Yes, a saber tooth tiger. Watch your beast shred your enemies to bits to bring the Wenja tribe to supremacy.

I specifically loved how long the game was. Today’s games usually have story modes that are beatable in one day, but this game took  longer and was well worth the buy.

Nick Tocco can be contacted at ntocco@kscequinox.com