Exoprimal Final Preview – Dino Killing Party, But Will This New IP Survive Extinction?
Capcom seems to have an obsession with killing dinosaurs. For years, the developer has been delivering dino-slaying adventures through the Dino Crisis and Monster Hunter series. So I was excited to see them bring together their knowledge of taking down the dino threat for a new IP, Exoprimal. After playing an updated build for around 3 hours, I understand what this game offers, which isn’t translated through trailers alone. However, like other titles with online modes, this game requires a community to ensure it doesn’t meet an early extinction.
Exoprimal has an interesting gameloop where every mode you playthrough progresses its narrative. It isn’t a massive aspect of gameplay, but it does provide milestones for the time invested outside of rank-ups and additional rewards. The story focuses on the cause of this dino invasion, which is controlled by an AI entity known as Leviathan. The characters are all exaggerated personalities that play the role you’d expect. Their comradery and subtle humor seem inspired by The Guardians of the Galaxy, but I never felt too close to them.
Players control a created character named Ace. The equipped Exosuit determines the skillset of Ace. These suits can be changed mid-match and offer a range of offensive and defensive capabilities. Team play is highly encouraged, and the game will tell you if your current team is missing an Exosuit class, Assualt, Tank, or Support. While unnecessary, having a party containing each class will allow for deeper strategy.
While we were in a preview environment, I will say that playing with friends makes each match increasingly enjoyable. As you learn your class and when to best use your abilities, you become a needed crew member. For example, relying on a Support character to keep you healed up will allow players to take on multiple enemies at once. Further, tank-class Exosuits have abilities to shield incoming attacks. Teamwork is emphasized heavily here, and yes, I asked, and it’s possible to kick players through a voting system if they aren’t helping out.
Aside from worrying about the enemy players, some dinos swarm around you during each moment of a match. While grunt enemies can be taken down quickly, large dinosaur classes appear at random to hinder progression. It was always exciting when confronted by a new dinosaur type. These encounters require a different kind of strategy from players, which makes for some hectic battles as you attempt to take on humans and dinos at the same time.
There was a moment during gameplay when hundreds of dinosaurs rained from the sky, and my team and I had to work together to defend against the swarm and clear them out. It was one of the most incredible moments of my time playing, as it seemed to happen randomly and caused the entire team to work together to survive.
As much fun as I was having, I couldn’t help but feel like this game should take on a free-to-play model. Unfortunately, as much fun as I was having, that fun was limited to playing with friends. However, getting them to each buy a copy of this game isn’t an easy task. The biggest problem with Exoprimal is that no one asked for it, but are they willing to put forth the $60 asking to see if it’s good?
Well, I’m here to tell you that this game is incredibly unique, with a ton of different gameplay modes to play with friends, but to understand if it’s your type of game, you’d have to play it for yourself. Sadly, with the highly anticipated summer games on the calendar, Capcom is asking a lot. Regardless, it’ll be available on Game Pass day one, significantly benefiting subscribers.
Exoprimal is an entirely different kind of experience from this team. However, I believe they have created an incredibly balanced and fun co-op experience for fans of online third-person shooters. Each match is chaotic and tense, providing an addicting “Just one more round” gameloop.
Still, getting players to take a chance on this new IP is a completely different battle for Capcom. I’m looking forward to witnessing the evolution of this dino-slaying shooter.
Exoprimal is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC via Steam on July 14, 2023.
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