Far Cry Primal’s Prehistoric Language Was Created By Actual Historical Linguists
Ubisoft going the whole hog to keep things authentic.
Let no one ever accuse Ubisoft of not striving to make their games authentic- or at least, seemingly authentic, which all comes down to the same thing in the end anyway. From the historical playgrounds of Assassin’s Creed to the various intelligence and spy agencies in Rainbow Six, from the coast of America in The Crew to the exotic locales in Far Cry, they try their best to make the worlds they set their games in seem authentic.
So they did the same with Far Cry Primal. The game is set in the prehistoric era, with early tribal societies living amidst giant, prehistoric beasts, such as the saber tooth cat and the woolly mammoth. Since this is a video game, the various human characters in the game interact with one another- and they interact with one another in a prehistoric sounding lingo. And to have that language developed, Ubisoft enlisted the help of historians, linguists, and anthropologists to come up with something that sounded authentic.
“As we started to dig into the Stone Age, we found all these very interesting things. And, one of the difficult aspects is reconciling the reality of the history and our impression of how primitive man was at the time,” explained creative director Jean-Christophe Guyot during an interview with GamesRadar.
Originally, the tribesmen spoke English- which felt very jarring and immersion broking, Guyot explained. As a result, Ubisoft enlisted the help of historians, linguists, anthropologists and even film makers in order to create a language that sounded properly prehistoric.
Ubisoft went a step further- once the language had been created, they decided to have slight variations in pronunciation and word usage between the different tribes in the game- sort of like how accents function in modern linguistics. The end result? A brand new language, one that has been dead for almost 7,000 years.
“The linguists, they’re amazing. And they’re super excited, because this is a language that has not been spoken for thousands of years. For them, it’s their science, it’s something that they’re super attached to, so they were super enthusiastic.”
Far Cry Primal will launch next month on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.