By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
There aren’t too many games that I’ve fully completed. I’ve finished the story mode of many. But seeking out every trophy or achievement, every side-quest, and every collectible, and earning my 100 percent completion rate? That’s a short list.
One of the few games on that list is Far Cry Primal.
I’d played games in the Far Cry series before, but never finished them – much less played them to completion. I wasn’t much of a first-person-shooter (FPS) fan when they launched. Though I’ve gotten more comfortable with the format – in fact, some of my favorite modern game series use first-person and FPS elements – I still wouldn’t call myself a big fan of shooters. But Primal was different. For one, the caveman setting was intriguing. There were projectile weapons used from a first-person perspective, but stealth and animal companions were an important part of the game play.
It was the same as other games in the Far Cry series, but different enough in subject matter to be novel and appealing.
It also helped me drop some of my preconceived notions about other titles in the series and, with the newest freebie for Amazon Prime members, I think I’ve found my next “old” game to finally pick up.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, Far Cry 4 is one of this month’s free games from Amazon Prime Gaming. Prime members can add the game to their Ubisoft Connect library by linking their Ubisoft and Amazon accounts and clicking the claim link.
Doing this lets you download and install the game directly to your laptop or desktop computer through the Ubisoft Connect application. If your computer is powerful enough to handle the system requirements – 30 GB of hard drive space, 4 GB of RAM, and an Intel i5 processor at 2.6 GHz, or better – this is the best way to play it. It will run smoothly on operating systems as old as Windows 7 (provided it is a 64 bit version of Windows 7 or 8) and runs spectacularly on newer systems. Even my modest laptop runs it fine on Windows 10, without a fancy video card and running only the onboard Intel chipset.
But if you don’t have the processing power, or the hard drive space to dedicate to a full install of the game and the Ubisoft Connect app, you can also stream the game through Amazon’s Luna service.
Luna is offering the game to all Prime members, even those without an additional Luna account, through July 1.
While I’ve had issues with Luna’s streaming quality in the past, it worked fairly well on my first attempt to stream the game. There were some minor catches and hiccups, but mostly it streamed beautifully. Graphics quality stayed high, and controller inputs felt instantaneous and smooth. But this was outside of peak use hours, well after midnight on a Monday night/Tuesday morning.
When I went back to pick up where I left off later in the morning, the game lag was so severe the game was nearly unplayable. My partner was also using the internet at the time, to stream a seminar for work. And our children were watching Netflix on the television. So, we were using a lot more internet bandwidth in the house than I was at 2 a.m.
However, none of these other streaming services stuttered or had any issues delivering content smoothly. Even with multiple services running, a speed test showed that I was able to achieve download speeds in excess of 51.9 mbps, and upload speeds nearing 25 mbps. With internet service like that, we should be able to handle multiple devices streaming HD video, video games, and other content with no problem.
This leads me to believe that the issue is on Amazon’s side, and daytime demand on their game streaming servers can overwhelm the service.
I’ve discussed the shortcoming of Amazon’s streaming service in previous columns, and though it’s gotten better since launch, it still has a long way to go before it compares to competitors like Google’s Stadia.
None of that changes the fact that Far Cry 4 holds up well for an eight-year-old entry in the series, and is worth your time. Like other titles in the Far Cry series, the story – one that beautifully captures the banality of evil from its opening moments – is completely self-contained and doesn’t require you to have played any previous titles in the series to follow the story.
I highly recommend adding it to your library. Downloading it to your computer is the best way to experience the game, but if you don’t have the hard drive space or meet the hardware specs for a full install, it’s worth giving Luna a try. But be aware of the issues with the streaming service, and maybe plan your gaming session for late nights, outside of those peak demand hours.
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