Let’s Play: Far Cry Primal Ep.2: An “Archaeological” Exploration

This is a guest post by Philip Riris, an archaeologist with the Institute of Archaeology at University College London. His research interests run the gamut from digital data in archaeology to cave art to the archaeology of South America. Philip’s first post in this series is here.

The second episode of my Let’s Play of Ubisoft’s Far Cry Primal focuses on questioning the Wenja belligerence towards the Udam, picking up on a few of the loose threads I left hanging at the end of the first episode. This time, I take over two Udam camps with some of my new toys while weighing up both the morality and accuracy of the violence depicted in Primal towards the Udam, whom, for reasons I explain, I chose to read as a surviving Homo neanderthalis population in Mesolithic Oros.

The episode title is a play on the casual nature of the borderline-genocidal warfare that forms one of Primal’s core game mechanics. In topical news, a paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology published recently suggested that several diseases (including typhoid fever) were transmitted from early H. sapiens to Neanderthals. These could have had a disastrous impact on the Neanderthal population of Eurasia, perhaps far beyond the pressure that inter-group violence would have exerted alone. This is also ironic given that Udam camps in Primal are filthy and strewn with carcasses (contrasting with your nice clean, modern human camp). Moreover, the Boss Fight in this episode is against an Udam chief called Dah that smells so bad he damages the player’s health.

I have at this point played (and recorded) quite a bit beyond the story shown in the first two episodes, so to avoid spoilers I’m going to leave this post here. Enjoy episode the second!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks Philip, another very interesting episode. I’ve asked this question on youtube, but wanted to ask it here on Play the Past as well:

    I’ve seen a lot of mention of the several percent of Neanderthal DNA in modern Europeans and how that’s evidence for interbreeding. I’ve not seen much discussion though of the extent and character of the interbreeding that might represent though. Do we have a feel for whether that means an occasional Neanderthal individual mating with a Homo Sapiens and joining a settlement or clan, or the occasional impregnation (consensual or otherwise) of a Homo Sapiens by a Neanderthal, or a more comprehensive mixing involving whole families or clans?

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