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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

Cambridge Studios

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q1 2003

 

 

- Excellent Graphics

- Massive environments

- Good Story

- Some fun game play elements

- Choose between two characters

 

 

- Story gets in the way sometimes

- Game play is sometimes boring

- Not much replay value

- Some puzzles too easy

 

 

Review: Banjo-Tooie (N64)

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Primal

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

I was impressed by Primal's first screenshots.  Even with all of the delays the game went through, Primal turns out to be somewhat worth the wait.

 

primal ps2 review          primal ps2 review

 

Sony seems to have made two stunning visual developments in both Primal and The Getaway. Games such as these push the limits of the Playstation 2.  Sure lush graphics are great, but what really matters is the game play. Does this game deliver when it comes to game play?

 

Primal is a third person action adventure game. You play as Jenn who thinks herself a normal girl who likes to have fun, but as the story progresses she learns that she posses demon abilities. From there the game spirals through a number of interesting plot twists.

 

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The story is very deep and intriguing. You actually have the choice to play as an alternative character -- a gargoyle character named Scree. You can switch between each character almost any time in the game. Scree comes in handy when it comes to climbing up walls and Jenn is good to use when it comes to combat. The pairing is a good one, like Banjo and Kazooie or Jak and Daxter.  And even though the story is great, it seems to get in the way of the game play. Youíll be playing for a 

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few minutes and all of a sudden a cinematic will begin. It gets quite annoying and you really want to get back to the action. This is the same problem that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty suffered from.

 

While the story is extremely deep, Primal plays like a button masher. The game has a surprising amount of blood and gore to go along with Jenn's assortment of fatalities. Jenn also has the ability to transform into different sorts of demons, each with their own power. One really cool thing about Primal is that everything is tied so closely to the story. There wonít be any instances where youíll be asking what a certain battle or puzzle has to do with the story.

 

Primal features a large number of puzzles. Most of the time the puzzles involve both Scree and Jenn to reach a solution. It's sad to see though that most puzzles are extremely easy and donít get harder.

 

Primalís environments are massive, which sounds great but actually creates a few problems.  Both Jenn and Scree move slowly when compared to the size of the environments. Youíll wander the same environment for an extended period of time and no doubt find it extremely boring. Not helping is that there are sometimes multiple pathways, which can cause you to take the wrong turn and suddenly youíll find yourself in the same spot where you started. The in-game map helps a little, but not much.

 

The graphics are incredible. The character detail is amazing and the amount of texturing is insane and the lighting effects are marvelous. The cinematics look great as well. The only real problem with the graphics is the camera angles at time. When your fighting in close quarters the camera angle sometimes makes combat more difficult than it should be. Be that as it may, Primal is definitely one of the better-looking games on the Playstation 2.

 

primal ps2 review          primal ps2 review

 

The character voices are great as they go along with an excellent story. The developers went to a great distance by having the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra perform the gameís music. Otherwise the music is composed mainly of heavy-metal goth music.

 

Overall, Primal is a solid game even with its problems; however, doesnít offer much of a replay value. Youíll probably play it once through and check out some of the extras. That is about all there is to the game.  While Primal isnít a groundbreaking game, it certainly paves the way for a possible sequel.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(April 26, 2003)

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