May 24, 2024
Exoprimal Review In Progress: Kinda makes the dino-slaying squad a snoozefest

I have now been several hours into Exoprimal, a multiplayer PVEVP game where two teams compete to wipe out hordes of enraged dinosaurs as quickly as possible. And I’m sad to report that I’m having a miserable time. This feels like another cursed game I had to rewatch this year, and I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve this. The chickens – which as far as I know are dinosaurs or distant relatives of the large lizards – have gone home to roost.

On paper, Exoprimal sounds like a hoot. It’s the year 2040 and the world is under attack from swarms of dinosaurs, which certainly isn’t ideal for everyone involved. A company has developed an AI called Leviathan that can predict when these dinosaur outbreaks will occur, alongside the technology needed to outfit humans in anti-dinosaur exosuits. As one of the enlisted, you battle waves of dinosaurs in competitive races to the finish line. Depending on whether you choose PVE, PVP, or Random, you might have to fight against your fellows towards the end of a match because…combat practice? Who knows.


I’m a few hours away and so far I’m only allowed to play one mode: Dino Survival. As I mentioned above, you’re driven through a city overrun by teams of five and shuttled at regular intervals to “kill the swarm of raptors” or “we summoned a slightly larger dinosaur with a complex Latin name.” Between intervals, the other team’s red spawns will flash, alerting you to how they’re doing, alongside an on-screen message that indicates whether you’re clearing hordes faster or slower than them. Eventually you reach a final stage where the lens seems to tip over. I’ve heard there are others, but so far I’ve only experienced Escort, where you push a payload to an endpoint much like the Overwatch equivalent.

Complete matches and you’ll either be graced with a story cutscene where people from parallel universes discuss why dinos are evil, or a slideshow accompanied by dialogue that gives “insight” into the mystery of Leviathan and its wargames. It’s a weird attempt to push a story into a competitive multiplayer game, where most of the time they’re left deliberately thin so fans can flesh them out. Right now, I think the story only compels me because I need to figure out why it’s such an absurd premise as it is. It is perhaps the only driving force that keeps me going.

I normally don’t mind playing the same game mode over and over again if the core of what I’m doing is roaring laughter or mouth-watering rewards just out of reach. The problem with Exoprimal is that it didn’t check any of those boxes. If anything, it feels overconfident and undercooked to me, both in the hero shooter stuff it’s going on and the typical live-serving traits it’s adopted.

Image credit: Capcom

With roles split into tank, DPS, and support, the game instills a sense of camaraderie and a level of teamwork – I’ll give it that. And a few of the classes have abilities that complement each other well, my favorite being a samurai that can deflect damage and then channel what he’s absorbed into a powerful upward slash. Combine it with a grappling hook into a falling rotary strike and you have the equivalent of an Edo period tombstone piledriver. Otherwise, however, most classes seem limited by abilities that work well as separate bursts of healing or quick hits, but never seem to hit the peaks of cohesion.

By “cohesion”, I mean in the most literal sense: a cool piece. In Exoprimal, all I have to do is press buttons or loosely aim at a swarm of dinosaurs and they go down without much of a fight. Not once has an ability hit me like a big twist of the can opener, which I can then follow up with a spoon to scrape up its innards. Maybe later that will change, but it’s worrying that after several hours I’ve had Love Island or Wimbledon on my second screen to keep my brain engaged, because everyone is largely acting in their own interests and getting off scot-free.

Then there’s the whole thing that ends a match, which earns you… guff. Costume Tiers, Battle Pass Tiers, BikCoin, all the most tedious stat boosts or skins. I keep wandering through the menus, looking for something to work towards, anything to hang ! There is nothing ! He seems confident in his setup to play me the same scenario, seemingly forever? Guess I’ll be playing the same game mode over and over again for a green hat and skull emblem hahahakillmehahaha.


This review is based on a review version of the game provided by publisher Capcom

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