Primal takes fantasy, sci-fi and gothic elements, throws in some demons and places a feisty female character called Jen at the heart of the story. The first title on PlayStation 2 from the developers behind the acclaimed MediEvil series, this third person action-adventure is set in a parallel universe, where the balance between chaos and order has been thrown out of kilter. Jen is the person chosen to restore harmony. But it's not easy being the saviour of the universe, and battles with demons, overcoming obstacles and solving puzzles are some of the activities Jen will have to engage in during her quest. Oh, and there's also the small matter of rescuing her boyfriend, Lewis, who's been abducted in the confusion. A cross between a futuristic rock chick and Buffy, Jen is one of the most unique characters to grace PlayStation, and truly injects the fantasy adventure genre with some butt-kicking credibility.
Jen's story begins in the real world, when following a rock concert she and her boyfriend, Lewis, are attacked by a cloaked figure who abducts Lewis and leaves Jen in a coma. While she's lying unconscious Jen's soul is whisked away to a different sphere - the astral world of Oblivion. It's here that she meets Scree, a diminutive gargoyle whose physical proportions betray his truly awesome powers. Once a strong warrior, Scree is an immortal soul who was transformed into a gargoyle by Chaos. He quickly becomes Jen's mentor as she begins to understand the true complexity of her situation and that rescuing Lewis will involve traversing Oblivion's four demon realms. Where she was once just a regular girl hanging out at rock concerts, she's now got the weight of the world on her shoulders, and the shadow of Chaos hot on her heels.
In basic terms, Primal is an adventure game, and while it defies comparison with other games in the genre, you could say this title has the same scope as Final Fantasy. With four expansive realms to navigate, Jen's journey takes in a variety of demon races, each with individual attributes, cultures and societies. As the story unravels, you get to know more about the main characters and their reasons for undertaking a crusade against Chaos. But it's Jen who really fires the imagination in this game, not least when she discovers she possesses the ability to morph between demon form and human, turning her into a veritable fighting machine. Scree, meanwhile, possesses both mental and physical agility, useful for solving puzzles and scaling a variety of surfaces throughout the game.
Primal's twisting plot line is complimented by beautifully constructed environments and characters, and graphics convey everything from realistic water reflection to energy beams. Beautiful to look at, engrossing to follow, Primal is a truly epic title with enough originality and credibility to keep you playing into the wee small hours.
- Next generation action-adventure, with sophisticated characters and story
- Vast levels - four demon realms
- Dramatic combat system featuring a variety of fighting styles
- Feisty and cool female protagonist, who kicks plenty of demon ass!