Friday the 19th of February 2016, Ubisoft in conjunction with Megarom launched Far Cry Primal at Maropeng in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, a world heritage site.
The venue was a great fit for the launch. As we made our way to the Tumulus building (the main exhibition area at Maropeng), each step feeling like we were walking back into the past as we were being enveloped by the bush (and nervously looking around for any signs of lions). Upon entering the uniquely designed exhibition area, we were greeted with some cocktails to quench the thirst we had built up before being taken on a guided tour through the exhibition hall.
The tour started with an underground boat ride, which at first sounded really boring but turned out to be quite a fun little adventure. The ride takes you through a tunnel designed to educate visitors on the various stages of the creation of our earth. Each of the caverns we went through on the boat ride took you even further back in time. From the cold snow covered ice age to the shifting of the tectonic plates forming the earth’s crust, each area was fascinating and felt distinct.
At the end of our little adventure and with the memory of almost capsizing still fresh in our minds, we were taken through a nausea-inducing three-metre tunnel symbolizing the ‘Big Bang” which created the earth.
After dizziness had passed we made our way into the interactive exhibition area where we were allowed to interact with all kinds of exhibits. These exhibits weren’t only educational but some turned out to be really hilarious. One of these (also one of my favourites) is the exhibition where visitors can pick up an old-timey telephone handset, and listen to various animals explain more about themselves, each in their own distinct and interesting accent. It was these interactive exhibitions and areas that made the tour so much fun and had us laughing and joking.
Finally, we made our way to the final exhibition area where we were able to look at fossils of some of the animals players would get to tame and would encounter in Far Cry Primal, my personal favourite being the Sabre-tooth tiger.
Before leaving the exhibition space, we were shown a video showcasing the work that had gone into the making of Far Cry Primal. These included constructing three languages out of existing ancient languages to create the unique versions that the three factions in the game speak and teaching the motion capture actors how to move and act in the same manner that our ancient ancestors would have.
After all the walking and educational stuff we were all starting to get really hungry (me hungry, me want food), luckily we were taken to the outside area were some great smelling (and tasting) food was waiting for us. But before we could dig into the food we were treated to one more very interesting presentation about the weapons and artefacts players will get to use in the Far Cry Primal game, as well as those that were found at Maropeng.
We ended the evening playing some Far Cry Primal, which not only felt unique, due to the Stone Age setting but also felt familiar enough for Far Cry fans to appreciate it. Hopefully, the game turns out as interesting and engaging as the launch event was.
Thanks to the Megarom and Ubisoft team for a great educational, fun and enjoyable launch event.