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Please let me start by saying I have already written something once but this is starting over from scratch. I received my m14x literally 7 days after I ordered it. It pays to be EPP and have a DPA. I received it on Thursday April 28th.

REVIEW:

Intro: The M14x details were leaked about 3 weeks prior to release from a Chinese website. Judging by the configuration I dont believe this to be the successor to the M15x, but rather another product to fill a niche market of smaller more portable notebooks.

Order: I ordered the M14x, Soft Touch Black, I7-2630qm, Nvidia 555m GT 1.5, 4 GB Ram, 720p screen and the standard 500gb 7200 rpm hd.

Arrival: Order arrived by Fedex overnight. The packaging is top class and the notebook arrived in perfect condition.

Validation: Powered the M14x and bios and Windows 7 booted quickly. At this point I powered the notebook off with the firm intention to take it apart a bit and swap out the standard 7200 rpm hard drive for a much faster 60gb Corsair Nova SSD. The process took about 10 minutes as you have to remove the battery and optical drive which takes a few extra minutes. The inside is nicely designed and lets face it...Everything is a tight fit due to the size limitations! My one complaint at this point is the spring loaded screws that hold the bottom or base of the m14x to the chassis. One of my screws doesn't fit well and I have never really been a fan of spring loaded screws.

Reload: I performed my usual format and reload of the SSD and applied all the drivers from dell as well as the latest graphics drivers from Intel for the HD 3000 series integrated card and the 170.61 driver for the Nvidia 555 mGT.

Testing/Benchmarking: Stock the system feels pretty strong. I scored a 1336 in 3dmark11 and was immediately impressed by the different games I have installed. I don't believe in the value of 3dmark06 anymore and therefore didn't install it. (I would be that the m14x scores higher in 3dmark06 but my m15x w/i7-720 and 5850 score higher fps). Note: My best 3dmark11 score is 1732 and I will back this up with pics shortly. 3DmarkVantage score is 8350 at 800/1050. 3Dmark06 score 15751 @ 800/1050.

Game Benchmarks:

Crysis 2 - Vanilla Extreme 22 fps average at 1366x768 native. Oc the gpu to 750/1000 and add a custom config to remove FSAA, MSAA and AF and the average fps goes up to 31-34 depending on map and enemies.

2011-04-28 22:13:17 - Crysis2

Frames: 1678 - Time: 41559ms - Avg: 40.376 - Min: 29 - Max: 52 (Vanilla High stock Clocks)

2011-04-28 22:14:28 - Crysis2

Frames: 5548 - Time: 155969ms - Avg: 35.571 - Min: 28 - Max: 45 (Vanilla Very high stock clocks)

2011-04-28 22:17:28 - Crysis2

Frames: 1395 - Time: 63071ms - Avg: 22.118 - Min: 0 - Max: 30 (Vanilla Extreme stock clocks)

2011-04-28 22:18:32 - Crysis2

Frames: 740 - Time: 35256ms - Avg: 20.989 - Min: 13 - Max: 30 (Vanilla Extreme stock clocks)

2011-04-28 22:28:33 - Crysis2

Frames: 775 - Time: 33650ms - Avg: 23.031 - Min: 18 - Max: 28 (Extreme with config minus FSAA)

2011-04-28 22:32:10 - Crysis2

Frames: 8320 - Time: 245499ms - Avg: 33.890 - Min: 25 - Max: 42 (Extreme with config minus FSAA and MSAA) OC 750/1000

2011-04-28 22:42:16 - Crysis2

Frames: 1332 - Time: 46457ms - Avg: 28.672 - Min: 21 - Max: 36 (Vanilla Extreme with OC 750/1000)

2011-04-28 22:43:09 - Crysis2

Frames: 1934 - Time: 66238ms - Avg: 29.198 - Min: 22 - Max: 40 (Vanilla Extreme with OC 750/1000)

Battlefield Bad Company 2 - MP Map, 32 man Rush

2011-04-29 00:57:05 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 13911 - Time: 140042ms - Avg: 99.334 - Min: 69 - Max: 164 (Vanilla Medium OC 770/1000)

2011-04-29 01:00:44 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 8434 - Time: 148356ms - Avg: 56.850 - Min: 22 - Max: 84 (vanilla high OC 770/1000)

2011-04-29 01:08:44 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 5977 - Time: 132226ms - Avg: 45.203 - Min: 32 - Max: 72 (vanilla high stock)

2011-04-29 01:13:40 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 7562 - Time: 139091ms - Avg: 54.367 - Min: 39 - Max: 86 (vanilla high oc 750/1000)

Call Of Duty Black Ops: Very playable at all levels. Here are some numbers again recorded with FRAPS logging while playing full MP TDM Sessions.

2011-04-29 17:29:35 - BlackOpsMP

Frames: 39923 - Time: 469813ms - Avg: 84.976 - Min: 59 - Max: 94 (1366x768, Texture High, No AA/AF, Trilinear, Stock GPU)

2011-04-29 17:46:38 - BlackOpsMP

Frames: 29408 - Time: 438051ms - Avg: 67.134 - Min: 46 - Max: 95 (1366x768, Texture Extra, 16AA/AF--max, Trilinear, Stock GPU)

HOMEFRONT: Outstanding Performance!

Homefront Benchmark - System Settings: 2630qm @ 103.1 bclk, 555 1.5 @ 750/900, driver 170.61 whql. PHSYX set to auto detect and went active in game (notification window)

Game settings, DX9, all high, all visual options enabled (only vsync disabled), no AA or AF, 1366x768 (native)

Full 32 man session, Battle Commander, ping @100ms or less

2011-05-05 22:54:04 - HOMEFRONT

Frames: 26113 - Time: 430579ms - Avg: 60.646 - Min: 43 - Max: 81

Temps: During Gameplay at OC levels the GPU reaches 72-74c and the CPU 82c.

Palmrests - The softouch gets a bit hot during gaming and can over 100f.

Screen: Screen is quality for a 720p display. It does exhibit the "glare" that also plagues the m11x. DVD's look nice on it as well as HD720p video.

Noise: The m14x is very loud at performance levels. I mean loud. To compare it, have your wife turn on her blow dryer at low and it's that loud. Seriously. I do not recommend any game or performance activities while in class or at library!

Overall - Having the machine now for over 72 hours I give it a 8 out of 10. The 2 marks off are for FAN NOISE.

3dmark11oc7701050.jpg

3dmark11oc7701050part2.jpg

3dmark11oc7701050part3.jpg

3dmark11oc7701050part4.jpg

wprime1024and32.jpg

Edited by Stevenxowens792
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Nice, thanks Steven, one question, did you try it on battery? how long does it last with normal usage (like browsing the internet and stuff) and how long when gaming?

About the noise, do you believe that reapplying some thermal paste on the GPU could keep the temps low enough for the fans not to kick in all the way?

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Ashtefere mod coming in 3, 2, 1,... :D

Nice review, I'm sure the noise can be reduced at least a little with some modding. I'd try the simplest thing first - thermal paste as StamatisX said and see where you can go from there.

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Hi Steven,

These benchmarks is just what we were hoping to see. Do you have any pictures or vids you could also share? Thanks.

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Very nice!! Seems to be a pretty capable system.

In case you're going to repaste please take some pics of the system opened.

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I dont think a repaste with make more than 6-8c difference and the issue is when the system goes into it's high demand mode the fans kick up fast. It's more like the system senses the gpu or cpu demand is high and kicks the fans up (but dont quote that as fast as I haven't tested against this yet). All I know is that I am kicking a little 14 inch boot~ee. Blue ray is pissing me off to a state of angry that I normally reserve for NBR. Optimus apparently doesn't play well with either powerdvd or total media theater. And for those that know me, know I HATE OPTIMUS!

UGH

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Optimus is one key reason I will avoid nVidia in future notebooks that use it. I also read that the M14x refresh rate drops to 40 hz when it switches to the Intel IGP and you have to manually switch it back to 60 hz each time--how annoying.

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For some reason the 460M does poorly in 3dmark11. The 6970M gets about 3700 default and 4200+ OC'd.

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@Unreal - the R2 has 2 5870's in it. So that's the equiv of the 6970 which also scores 4k.

The link I included below my bench shows the 3dmark11 score for a single 460m and sli. The 1787 is for a single.

StevenX

Edited by Stevenxowens792

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I can only see the first image but 8350 is a very nice score. That little 14" is packing plenty of power, just needed a better display (45% gamut is just not acceptable IMO).

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Sorry Brian.. still getting used to the image hosting system here

.. I can repost pics if needed. It's not going to win my any awards anyway. It's just the 2630qm doing it's little magic and my 555 1.5 doing it's thang. 800/1050.. that's over a 30 percent overclock!

:)

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Yeah it does pack a lot of power - those are really good scores for 14". I don't like the sound of its fan tho (pun intended :D ). According to Steven its as loud as M17x-R2 when its fans are on max.

I completely agree on the display. M14x is supposed to be top of the line laptop in 14" range - subpar display on $1.4K laptop just doesn't seem right. I just don't get what the heck Dell is doing with their laptop lines. Their eXtreme Performance Shit laptops are back - uglier than ever - with really good display options. But from what I read - again with overheating problems. Why not just toss away 50 crap laptops from their lineup (and thats an understatement) and make 3-4 good ones, with nice options that could be customized. Not saying it has to be super-great-IPS but e.g. HP ENVY has some nice Radiance displays.

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How's your GPU temps with that overclock?

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Yeah it does pack a lot of power - those are really good scores for 14". I don't like the sound of its fan tho (pun intended :D ). According to Steven its as loud as M17x-R2 when its fans are on max.

I completely agree on the display. M14x is supposed to be top of the line laptop in 14" range - subpar display on $1.4K laptop just doesn't seem right. I just don't get what the heck Dell is doing with their laptop lines. Their eXtreme Performance Shit laptops are back - uglier than ever - with really good display options. But from what I read - again with overheating problems. Why not just toss away 50 crap laptops from their lineup (and thats an understatement) and make 3-4 good ones, with nice options that could be customized. Not saying it has to be super-great-IPS but e.g. HP ENVY has some nice Radiance displays.

Couldn't agree more. Dell shouldn't be cheaping out at all with their Alienware line. It's supposed to be their premium segment and therefore should offer premium options. The fact that XPS notebooks offer a B+RG but not the AW systems is fucking retarded and a typical Dell move.

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Here are some cpu logs from Throttlestop while playing homefront. Cpu has bclk set at 103.01 which translates to 102.9 in windows.

DATE TIME MULTI C0% CKMOD CHIPM PWR_mW TEMP

05/01/11 22:22:29 26.06 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:30 26.06 29.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:31 26.05 29.4 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:32 26.04 28.8 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:33 26.03 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:34 26.02 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:35 26.08 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:36 26.12 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:37 26.04 27.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:38 26.03 27.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:39 26.02 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:40 26.01 28.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:41 26.02 27.6 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:42 26.02 28.4 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:43 26.04 27.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:44 26.01 29.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:45 26.01 29.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:46 26.02 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:47 26.04 27.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:48 26.13 26.5 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:49 26.08 26.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:50 26.10 27.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:51 26.14 26.0 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:52 26.13 24.6 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:22:53 26.13 25.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:55 26.18 24.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:56 26.20 24.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:57 26.17 23.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:58 26.16 24.0 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:22:59 26.17 23.8 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:00 26.18 23.5 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:01 26.18 24.4 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:02 26.08 25.3 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:03 26.10 25.4 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:04 26.11 26.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:05 26.10 26.2 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:06 26.06 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:07 26.08 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:08 26.09 26.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:09 26.18 26.3 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:10 26.04 26.8 100.0 100.0 0 82

05/01/11 22:23:11 26.03 28.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:12 26.06 28.1 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:13 26.11 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:14 26.04 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:15 26.04 27.4 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:16 26.02 29.4 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:17 26.02 27.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:18 26.04 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:19 26.03 26.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:20 26.02 26.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:21 26.03 27.4 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:22 26.07 27.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:23 26.07 27.4 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:24 26.03 27.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:25 26.04 27.3 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:26 26.02 27.3 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:27 26.02 27.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:28 26.02 27.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:29 26.09 26.4 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:30 26.09 27.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:31 26.07 26.6 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:32 26.12 27.3 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:33 26.11 26.5 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:34 26.19 25.0 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:35 26.18 24.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:36 26.14 24.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:37 26.14 24.9 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:38 26.08 25.5 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:39 26.10 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:40 26.12 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:41 26.17 24.3 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:42 26.06 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:43 26.12 25.7 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:44 26.09 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:45 26.07 26.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:46 26.06 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:47 26.10 26.2 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:48 26.13 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:49 26.13 24.7 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:50 26.18 24.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:51 26.18 24.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:52 26.12 23.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:53 26.16 23.8 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:54 26.21 23.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:55 26.12 23.2 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:56 25.20 14.6 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:57 24.86 14.0 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:58 24.34 12.3 100.0 100.0 0 76

05/01/11 22:23:59 24.51 12.6 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:24:00 25.19 11.9 100.0 100.0 0 77

05/01/11 22:24:01 25.36 12.7 100.0 100.0 0 77

05/01/11 22:24:02 25.36 11.7 100.0 100.0 0 74

05/01/11 22:24:03 24.53 25.6 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:05 26.00 72.0 100.0 100.0 0 84

05/01/11 22:24:06 26.00 81.4 100.0 100.0 0 84

05/01/11 22:24:07 26.00 79.1 100.0 100.0 0 84

05/01/11 22:24:08 26.00 76.7 100.0 100.0 0 85

05/01/11 22:24:09 26.00 70.2 100.0 100.0 0 85

05/01/11 22:24:10 26.00 69.1 100.0 100.0 0 86

05/01/11 22:24:11 26.00 59.0 100.0 100.0 0 83

05/01/11 22:24:12 25.94 25.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:13 26.01 22.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:14 26.01 23.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:15 26.03 19.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

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CPU temps are kinda high for stock but that's expected from a system cooled by a single fan. AW should have made it a dual fan system IMO, especially since it's an M15x replacement but I guess they had to take space + size into consideration.

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That alone makes repasting the CPU and a retention mod a necessity, lower temps for both CPU and GPU with less noise

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StevenX did mention it does look pretty cramped on the inside. 100 F is relatively warm for a palmrest. What's underneath it? I thought both CPU and GPU are positioned further back.

Another thing I note by rereading his posts - he is running at M11x-resolution: 1366x768. There's a choice either going with lower-res screen but getting higher performance, or a little higher res, but little lower performance.

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Is there a way to change stock Dell fans for better quality (silent) ones ? I recall ash was talking about it a while ago, but i don't remember what was the conclusion

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I would say in most cases they should find a way to make sure any laptop in the least has dual fans... I have never in my experience had systems handle well with one fan that's supposed to keep a cpu and a gpu cool.

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      There are also animal vision quests which make you play as an animal and set out to do specific tasks per creature. For example your first vision quest leads you to be flying behind a creature which sends you through multiple screens of beautiful terrain and landscape following behind your spirit animal. Every subsequent vision quest will present you with the these same feelings just invoked on different animals. 
       

                                                                                                                                                                    Mammoth vision quest.
       
      The vision system you learn about from the very start of the game seems to add a fun unique way of planning your attacks against enemy tribes or helping you locate resources. This enables you as the player to not feel like gathering is a tedious and painful task as it's much easier to notice the crafting materials and it's not nearly as "grind" feeling as some other games which require gathering. This is extremely helpful to you as the player because this game does force you to utilize the crafting system quite frequently to make arrows, upgrades to your tribe, first aid, and so forth. In the video posted at the bottom you can see this in action.
       
       
      Caveman MacGyver
       
      So about this crafting system, lets take a quick peek at it. As you can see from the picture below there's a good deal of things you can craft in Far Cry: Primal. Some of these items are useful, others, not so much. The bow upgrade is a must along with the spear and club. You can also upgrade your pack which is where you store all of your supplies when you're out of your village. The game gives you many different ways you can attack the opposing tribes which is pretty fantastic. Want to use a bee hive as a bomb, done. Throw stones at their face, easy. As you progress through the story you'll notice more and more things becoming unlocked for you as you rescue each of the individual key tribe members, so pay attention as you play through the story to pick the tribe members with the upgrades you want in the right order.

      The crafting/upgrading page.
       
      Another crafting system you can utilize is the quick crafting menu, this menu is used frequently when you're taking over a very large outpost or you forget you're low on supplies and in the middle of combat. This screen is absolutely clutch for so many reasons. This is the screen you use to craft more arrows, more clubs, spears, extra meat for taming, and adding rocks for your slingshot. Holding Q will bring up this menu which is almost mandatory to be used when you're taking over the extremely large outposts because when you're fighting sometimes your clubs will break, you'll eventually run out of arrows or spears and this page is your savior. The best part about this window though, it doesn't cause a "freeze" in the game, the game is still playing it just simply slows down time so if you're being attacked by enemies bringing this window up won't save your life but it does cause you to be rather quick on your decisions if you're low on supplies.
       

      The quick crafting menu.
       
      Within the world of Far Cry: Primal, you also have a very extensive skill tree which is comprised of all the important villagers you have met and brought back to your tribal town. This is the bread and butter of crafting and survival, it will make your life so much easier. There's 8 different members each with skill trees which help different elements of your game. One may help you with making your crafting supplies more efficient, another may help you increase the size of your map and notice more resources on your minimap. Another may help you with your animal abilities and taming. Every aspect of the game has a skill that will help you in your quest of liberating your tribe from the Udam and Izila. 
       

      The skill tree
       
      In the video below, I do a quick run from one of my fast travel spots to go take over an outpost run by the Udam tribe so I can get more crafting supplies sent to my main home as well as a fast travel unlock... and maybe because I just love chucking spears and shooting my bow at bad guys. In it, it shows the primal vision, the quick craft menu, a good bit of combat showing the three primary weapons (club, bow, spear), and how to take over an outpost. The AI didn't act like I would have expected but I think I simply eluded their vision quick enough to not get the horde in my face and allowed me to pick them off without being caught out much.
       
       
       
       
      The final word
       
      The story is fairly short and the game feels like a reskinned version of FarCry 4 set in 10,000 BCE. I say this simply because the map that was utilized in Far Cry: Primal is almost a direct replica of Far Cry 4, as well as the campfire/fast travel locations. Now I'm not knocking on the previous iteration as I enjoyed that game quite thoroughly, I just think this game could have offered more to the user aside from a pretty visual element tackled with a mediocre story line in the dying age of single player games.
       
      What I found quite unique was the fact that there is no English, Spanish, French, any modern or common language. The game is spoken in a made up language and that's really unique and something I thoroughly enjoyed. As for re-playability, even after completing the main story, FarCry: Primal offers a lot of side quests and activities to keep you busy. For example, your village is still begging to be upgraded and you can still bring in more of your tribe to create a little mini city.
       
      Overall I feel this game is quite fun despite some of its shortcomings and if you're looking to grab a copy, then I'd recommend checking out Green Man Gaming.
       

    • By Sorrora
      Far Cry: Primal is the latest iteration of the Far Cry series, set in year 10,000 BCE. You play as a man named Takkar, a Wenja tribe member. Your tribe has been seperated and split up due to ongoing conflict between two imposing tribal factions, the Udam tribe and the Izila tribe. You instantly jump into action hunting a Wooly Mamoth and Takkar's journey begins. As Takkar, you must navigate through many different types of terrain, all of which are absolutely gorgeous and well detailed. From caves to fairly dense forests and glacial areas, this game is beautifully detailed. 
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      Visually speaking, this game is a treat and offers eye candy superior to that found in Far Cry 4.
       
      So how does it play?
       
      The gameplay of Far Cry: Primal is extremely satisfying. Coming from a huge fan of first person shooters and tired of the standard M4's and AK's this game provides very smooth and fun bow and arrow ranged combat. What's that? Guy in a wooden guard tower? No problem, lets torch our arrow and catch the whole thing on fire with him in it! It is some of the best ranged combat I've come across, it's fluid, fast, and fun. When enemies come in close though, it gets very interesting. You can perform either a series of fast attacks, slow and powerful, or a combination of them to out perform the enemy AI.
       
      Another unique thing I noticed was you don't have a crosshair visible when you have a club out, you may ask why, it's because your melee swings don't just target one enemy, but have a full range swing hitting many if you're surrounded. The ability to tame new animals and utilize them in combat scenarios is so much fun as well, nothing beats finding a pet in the world and then sending it to go hunt your enemy down. Throughout the game there's many different animals you can tame ranging from wolves to leopards to big brown bears. A nice little touch of being able to pet your animal was also implemented and makes you feel like there's a larger bond with your little companion. 
       

        Petting my newly tamed animal
       
      As for the missions, there's a decent variety of them, most of which you get to go free a tribe member by wiping out a random amount of enemies or you liberate an outpost held by enemy tribes. Whether you want to be stealthy and take them out or be in their face getting personal with melee weapons is up to you.
       

      We had a slight issue with the current inhabitant of this camp..  
       

       This is what the village looked like before I was tasked with turning it to ash. 
       
      There are also animal vision quests which make you play as an animal and set out to do specific tasks per creature. For example your first vision quest leads you to be flying behind a creature which sends you through multiple screens of beautiful terrain and landscape following behind your spirit animal. Every subsequent vision quest will present you with the these same feelings just invoked on different animals. 
       

                                                                                                                                                                    Mammoth vision quest.
       
      The vision system you learn about from the very start of the game seems to add a fun unique way of planning your attacks against enemy tribes or helping you locate resources. This enables you as the player to not feel like gathering is a tedious and painful task as it's much easier to notice the crafting materials and it's not nearly as "grind" feeling as some other games which require gathering. This is extremely helpful to you as the player because this game does force you to utilize the crafting system quite frequently to make arrows, upgrades to your tribe, first aid, and so forth. In the video posted at the bottom you can see this in action.
       
       
      Caveman MacGyver
       
      So about this crafting system, lets take a quick peek at it. As you can see from the picture below there's a good deal of things you can craft in Far Cry: Primal. Some of these items are useful, others, not so much. The bow upgrade is a must along with the spear and club. You can also upgrade your pack which is where you store all of your supplies when you're out of your village. The game gives you many different ways you can attack the opposing tribes which is pretty fantastic. Want to use a bee hive as a bomb, done. Throw stones at their face, easy. As you progress through the story you'll notice more and more things becoming unlocked for you as you rescue each of the individual key tribe members, so pay attention as you play through the story to pick the tribe members with the upgrades you want in the right order.

      The crafting/upgrading page.
       
      Another crafting system you can utilize is the quick crafting menu, this menu is used frequently when you're taking over a very large outpost or you forget you're low on supplies and in the middle of combat. This screen is absolutely clutch for so many reasons. This is the screen you use to craft more arrows, more clubs, spears, extra meat for taming, and adding rocks for your slingshot. Holding Q will bring up this menu which is almost mandatory to be used when you're taking over the extremely large outposts because when you're fighting sometimes your clubs will break, you'll eventually run out of arrows or spears and this page is your savior. The best part about this window though, it doesn't cause a "freeze" in the game, the game is still playing it just simply slows down time so if you're being attacked by enemies bringing this window up won't save your life but it does cause you to be rather quick on your decisions if you're low on supplies.
       

      The quick crafting menu.
       
      Within the world of Far Cry: Primal, you also have a very extensive skill tree which is comprised of all the important villagers you have met and brought back to your tribal town. This is the bread and butter of crafting and survival, it will make your life so much easier. There's 8 different members each with skill trees which help different elements of your game. One may help you with making your crafting supplies more efficient, another may help you increase the size of your map and notice more resources on your minimap. Another may help you with your animal abilities and taming. Every aspect of the game has a skill that will help you in your quest of liberating your tribe from the Udam and Izila. 
       

      The skill tree
       
      In the video below, I do a quick run from one of my fast travel spots to go take over an outpost run by the Udam tribe so I can get more crafting supplies sent to my main home as well as a fast travel unlock... and maybe because I just love chucking spears and shooting my bow at bad guys. In it, it shows the primal vision, the quick craft menu, a good bit of combat showing the three primary weapons (club, bow, spear), and how to take over an outpost. The AI didn't act like I would have expected but I think I simply eluded their vision quick enough to not get the horde in my face and allowed me to pick them off without being caught out much.
       
       
       
       
      The final word
       
      The story is fairly short and the game feels like a reskinned version of FarCry 4 set in 10,000 BCE. I say this simply because the map that was utilized in Far Cry: Primal is almost a direct replica of Far Cry 4, as well as the campfire/fast travel locations. Now I'm not knocking on the previous iteration as I enjoyed that game quite thoroughly, I just think this game could have offered more to the user aside from a pretty visual element tackled with a mediocre story line in the dying age of single player games.
       
      What I found quite unique was the fact that there is no English, Spanish, French, any modern or common language. The game is spoken in a made up language and that's really unique and something I thoroughly enjoyed. As for re-playability, even after completing the main story, FarCry: Primal offers a lot of side quests and activities to keep you busy. For example, your village is still begging to be upgraded and you can still bring in more of your tribe to create a little mini city.
       
      Overall I feel this game is quite fun despite some of its shortcomings and if you're looking to grab a copy, then I'd recommend checking out Green Man Gaming.
       


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