Far Cry Primal, the Sabertooth growl

The audio in Far Cry Primal will almost always consist of background animal noises, the sounds of nearby rivers, or dialogue between several non-player-character. It is therefore a combination of diagetic machine and operator for the sounds created by the player controlled character, non player controlled characters, and animals, but also non diagetic machine music. It is also one of the most important factors in avoiding an untimely death. Playing at a difficulty where the most fearsome apex predators can easily kill an unsuspecting player, being able to hear something before it can see you is an important advantage that must be leveraged efficiently. By playing music while also playing the game I was without this advantage and frequently found myself getting attacked in frustratingly impossible scenarios. When exploring less dangerous areas the ambient audio is much more relaxing than it is tense, and is an important piece of what makes the game immersive. Using a headset that gives a better surround sound experience elevated both the immersion of being able to identify nearby sounds based on their location, as well as the tension of knowing that a small growl is likely the difference between making it to one’s objective successfully and finding yourself getting mauled by a sabertooth tiger. Comparing the game’s audio while playing music in the background, with a headset, or without either played a factor into my ability to fully experience what the creators of the game intended to create with well developed audio. Many of the diagetic operator sounds are not dialogue, but generic grunts from swinging weapons and the sound of the character moving around.

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