With a random afternoon where I had some time to kill at my disposal, I decided to pick up one of the games I had previously reviewed and generally enjoyed in Far Cry Primal. This one rather caught me by surprise when I reviewed it, because I have generally enjoyed the Far Cry games without ever really falling in love with them. With a weaker story and less memorable villains as part of Primal's makeup, I should have liked it less than the primary games in the series, but instead I have found myself enjoying it more. So, after an afternoon out to lunch with my wife and a newfound growler of Raspberry Elch Tal on a warm summer day, I decided to pick this one up again for the first time since February.
I can't really say exactly why I wanted to pick up Primal again right then and there. I was looking for something without a lot of mental overhead, but that I would enjoy. I have been playing a lot of heavier games of late - RPGs and strategy titles in particular. Also my interest in playing some of my sports titles has decreased a bit knowing that most of them are releasing their latest yearly iterations in the coming few months. So that settled me on something a bit more action-oriented, and seeing as how I had already beaten the core game itself, this was an opportunity to fire it up and pick up a couple more trophies on my PSN account while completing more side quests that I never finished the first time around.
|Seriously, befriending new critters was my favorite part of the game. Though I preferred the big kitties to the big puppies.|
Say what you want about the core story (and frankly, I thought it had potential but was generally pretty lacking. The way that they leverage a new language was cool and as usual Ubisoft is really good at creating open world experiences that encourage plenty of exploration, but the story itself was never really a primary driver for me. Instead, it was the collection of new animal pets, the hunting of the biggest and baddest of the beasts, the exploring of difficult-to-reach caves and more that kept my interest piqued before.
Firing the game up, I poured my first glass of Raspberry Elch Tal. If you have been keeping up on some of my previous Beeps and Beers articles, then you no doubt noticed my observations (or whining depending on perspective) about warm weather and how it has been influencing my beer choices. So, I really feel the need to talk a bit about the place where I got my beer. In this instance, it was not a bottle or a can that I picked up from a nearby store, but straight from a brewery. Here in Michigan the craft beer scene has pretty much exploded, and while some of the places have been pretty hit and miss, I consider myself fortunate that one of the really local places is a hit.
I had gone to lunch with my wife earlier in the day at Eaton Pub & Grille - a very nice local eatery about a dozen blocks from my house. We already enjoyed the food and atmosphere there when we first discovered it (we have been living in this particular town for just about a decade now, and discovered the restaurant a few years ago or so). I liked the selection of craft beers, trying out several for the first time there, but then they started to brew their own and created Charlotte Brewing Co. One thing I will say about the head brewer Jasson is that he's willing to take chances and try new things, which I absolutely love about the place. I generally prefer their darker beers to their lighter, but given the weather of late, I opted for something light with my lunch.
Lighter included the standard Elch Tal to keep my buffalo wings company. I am a mug club member there and had a couple of drinks before heading home with a full belly and an equally full glass growler of their Raspberry Elch Tal. Having settled on Far Cry Primal, I poured a glass of slightly reddish pink beer that is both light in color and offers a crisp raspberry taste. There is a hint of sourness to the raspberry flavor that is complimented by the style (which is a Bavarian hefeweizen that tends to have a yeasty flavor to it). Where as the normal Elch Tal has a slightly banana hint to it, the raspberry in this variant is the dominant flavor. Now I recently talked about another raspberry brew in a prior Beeps and Beers article, and that one is a much heavier, almost syrupy flavor where the raspberry dominates to the extent that it almost tastes a bit like a wine. I really do like that style, but this is the more easily sessionable of the two, especially on a hot day.
The time spent with Far Cry Primal was pretty much what I needed. I was already tired and a few beers in I wasn't up for a lot of deep thought or puzzle solving. I was more than happy to run around points of interest on the map, finishing off small objectives I had ignored on my initial playthrough of the game. In a lot of ways, that is what the Beeps and Beers articles are supposed to be all about - simply playing something and drinking something to relax and enjoy myself while jotting down notes and crafting a more casual article on the two topics.
Far Cry Primal is a game that proves Ubisoft could do some pretty cool, unexpected things with some of their more established franchises if they are willing to take some chances. In the same vein I could say the Raspberry Elch Tal does the exact same thing. It took one familiar recipe, and added something different to it. In both cases, I like the variant more than the original and both have proven enjoyable to take in on more than one occasion. In my review of Far Cry Primal, I had scored the game a 7.5. On my Untappd profile I went back and saw that I had scored the beer a 3.75/5 then - I don't see any reason not to do the same for this article when the system is out of ten.
Article by Nick