2015 was the year of the multiplayer-only AAA game. While titles like Star Wars Battlefront and Rainbow Six Siege did technically have a single-player component, it was included primarily as a way for players to become accustomed to the components of multiplayer. But Far Cry Primal might be the first game of 2016 to reverse this trend, as the latest entry in Ubisoft’s popular shooter franchise is dropping multiplayer completely.
Jason Paradise, the community manager for the game, explained via Steam that “delivering this fantasy” required “clear priorities for the team.” In other words, this was likely a time-cutting measure to ensure that the game hit its late winter release date. This doesn’t stop Ubisoft from referring to the game as a “full” Far Cry title, however. The game is not only being sold for full price, but also includes a $70 “deluxe” version that includes a steelbook, map, CD, and extra DLC.
Since the franchise’s resurgence in 2012, this would be the first Far Cry game to not include any multiplayer component. Far Cry 3 included simple competitive and cooperative modes, the latter of which amounted to a shooting gallery, while Far Cry 4 introduced a borderline-asymmetric component — its gameplay appears to mirror the bow and animal-focused combat of Primal.
Ubisoft’s 2016 could look very different from past years. Although the open-world RPG experiment The Division releases this spring, the holiday season looks far more barren. A new rumor suggests that, for the first time since 2008, an Assassin’s Creed game will not be released this year, with a Watch Dogs sequel possibly taking its place. The official page for the open-world tactical shooter Ghost Recon: Wildlands currently lists a 2016 release date, but this is likely just a placeholder until a final release date has been set.
Far Cry Primal hits Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on February 23, with the PC version releasing the following week.