Far Cry Primal will arrive on Feb. 23, 2016 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and in March 2016 on Windows PC, Ubisoft revealed today after a daylong tease on its YouTube channel.
In Far Cry Primal, players will take on the role of Takkar, "the sole survivor of an ambush on his hunting group," according to a post on Ubisoft's official blog.
"Like any good hunter, Takkar carries an extensive set of survival skills, including the ability to craft tools and weapons from the bones of the beasts he slays and the resources he gathers in the wild. These are not only crucial for his own safety against predators (both human and animal), they’re also essential in maintaining the safety of his tribe. Takkar will need to guard his fledgling group carefully to ensure its survival and growth."
Ubisoft's official YouTube channel fleshes out the game's setting.
"The award-winning Far Cry franchise that stormed the tropics and the Himalayas now enters the original fight for humanity's survival with its innovative open-world sandbox gameplay, bringing together massive beasts, breathtaking environments, and unpredictable savage encounters," the YouTube description for Far Cry Primal reads.
"Welcome to the Stone Age, a time of extreme danger and limitless adventure, when giant mammoths and sabretooth tigers ruled the Earth, and humanity is at the bottom of the food chain. As the last survivor of your hunting group, you will learn to craft a deadly arsenal, fend off fierce predators, and outsmart enemy tribes to conquer the land of Oros and become the Apex Predator."
The just-announced Far Cry Primal is available for pre-order at Best Buy, GameStop, UPlay and Target, according to a link on the franchise's official site, though the pre-order links aren't live at the time of this writing. All pre-orders come with the "The Legend Of The Mammoth Mission Pack," which Ubisoft does not detail on the site. The game's description on Best Buy's website, however, says that it includes "3 exclusive Mammoth Missions."
Ubisoft is also running a contest whose winners will play Far Cry Primal this December in San Francisco.
The news comes in part from a video aired by the publisher featuring a single image of a cave drawing with the title "Ubisoft Announcement - COMING SOON." The stream began at noon ET yesterday with Ubisoft tweeting a link to the video and a clue about what was coming.
"Survival is timeless" was the publisher's sole clue, and it immediately reminded fans of the Far Cry franchise, which sends players to exotic locales and tasks them with staying alive. The music, too, was reminiscent of the series' earlier games.
After many hours of a camera slowly peeling away to reveal a detailed cave painting — which, about eight hours deep into the stream, became terrifyingly animated — Ubisoft finally revealed that the prehistoric drawings were referencing Primal.
Earlier this year, Ubisoft teased a possible Jurassic setting for the new game in the series. A questionnaire sent out in January solicited gamer reactions on possible settings for the fifth mainline Far Cry, including one featuring zombies and another inspired by the dystopian world of Mad Max. Also featured in the survey was a potential "Far Cry game set in the modern day on a Jurassic Park-style island with dinosaurs," which sounds a lot like the one revealed today.
A few hours into the stream, IGN's Turkish site spoiled Ubisoft's secret when it posted about the new game, even including a screenshot in a news tweet. While the tweet remained up, the article on the website was quickly pulled down upon realizing that Ubisoft had still not officially confirmed the game.
Most recently Ubisoft released Far Cry 4 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014. Polygon gave that game a 9 out of 10 and included it on our shortlist of best games of the year.
Press play below to watch Far Cry Primal's first trailer, which shows a terrifying old world.