Chase a ghost rhino and avenge the deaths of your woolly bredren.

“This is why we pay extra money and waste hours of our lives, herding mammoths and chasing fucking ghost rhinos.”

I like Far Cry Primal. It’s bonkers in all the right places and has a streak of creativity like warpaint across a neanderthal’s face. But we’ve got to talk about the Legend of the Mammoth missions. They’re bloody awful and hilarious at the same time. They’re part of the preorder package or you can pay a little extra for them with the Special Edition. They let you play as a woolly mammoth. I know! If you paid extra for them you’ve been done.

Mission one starts like this: a yellow comet flies through the sky and lands in a mammoth’s head. That comet was you, after you drank the strongest booze blood in the land. You are now a mighty mammoth and looking around you see your mammoth friends are slaughtered across the plain (actually it’s a thin hemmed-in corridor). You must avenge their deaths. You will avenge them by chasing a ghost rhinoceros. I shit you not.

The mammoth (we’ll call him Bernard) has one attack, a charge, and a rally call. Bernie walks and runs like a bus so anything other than a straight line will have you wrestling the controls. You must first follow a ghost rhino. When you find it, you then have to attack and kill all these other rhinos. I’m not sure if they’re ghosts or not but I think they are because when you charge and kill them they slide across the ice and burst into snowballs and disappear. I think this lack of death animation is explained away with “magic”.

mammoth_graveyard_far_cry_primal

So that’s it for the first mission. You can trick a few rhinos into falling into water where they sink. But there’s lots of them for Bernie to kill, clearly added because there’s nothing else to do. You follow the ghost rhino three times and have three fights. One is in an arena.

Bernie’s attack seems so weak you’re not even sure you’re actually connecting with the ghost rhinos. The camera sits just above Bernie’s head, so you don’t get to see any impact between the beasts, and aside from a comedy *smack* soundeffect the only feedback you get is the sliding and bursting into snowballs. It’s terrible. Once you kill the big baddie ghost rhino the level ends. Phew.

The second mission once again begins with the magic comet and then you have to free an old granddad mammoth from captivity by crushing and flinging cavemen around. The animations are a bit better here, with cavemen flying through the air screaming. But it’s laughably basic, and there’s not really the sense of destruction you’d expect from a giant prehistoric beast tearing up a camp full of Early Man. You then get Granddad Mammoth to follow you by trumpeting with the rally call button, but like all old people, he doesn’t listen to you and won’t leave the area until everyone is dead. He’s probably racist against cavemen. Then you walk around a hill and see more mammoths on an outcrop and it’s meant to be an emotional reunion like in the Lion King or something but you’re just glad another five minutes of tedium are over.

mammoth_herd_far_cry_primal

The final mission is an escort mission! No one likes an escort mission at the best of times. They’re universally awful. In this one, you have to escort five mammoths through a valley at the same time. You can press the rally call button all you like mate, it makes no difference. You’ll end up crushing the cavemen as they attack and possibly falling off a cliff. You can avoid the pit traps in the floor but your five mammoths buddies don’t give a toss which direction you go, they walk into them anyway. Just when you think you’ve escaped with your fur intact, you’re automatically captured. Ah, the futility of it all.

So then you have to break down the wooden gates of stone age oppression and rescue the other mammoths and lead them out of the camp. One of them died and it was probably my fault but there’s a reason these beasts are extinct and I’ve given up caring. Once you get them all down a hill, you swim out towards the rest of your herd, and live happily ever after.

It’s not all completely pointless because you get a Skill Point to spend in the main game for each mission. And that’s what really counts, isn’t it? This is why we pay extra money and waste hours of our lives, herding mammoths and chasing fucking ghost rhinos. Far Cry Primal isn’t a bad game, and I like the madness of it, but these mammoth missions are so bad they would get a budding game designer thrown off a Train2Game course.

The lesson here is this: don’t preorder a game or pay extra for it on the promise of “exclusive” missions that have anything to do with pretending you’re a fucking mammoth chasing a ghost rhino. Fucking hell.

Read more here: VG247