Overall - 50%
Exoprimal was clearly designed to be free-to-play, and much like Capcom's other competitive multiplayer offerings, I kept trying to find a hook. It's worth a go on Xbox Game Pass, but this dinosaur just can't beat the kings of the genre.
After being announced last year, Capcom’s Exorpimal releases in a relatively quiet summer season. Is this title dino-mite (couldn’t resist), or should they have just remade Dino Crisis?
The story is Exoprimal is pretty wild: In the near future, portals start to appear on Earth that spew out dinosaurs. Instead of becoming extinct ourselves, humans fight back to push back the dinos. To do this, the human race made Exosuits (mechs) to even the odds. Thankfully you also have an AI that can detect the portals before the dinosaurs come out. Using that knowledge, you go from mission to mission to push back the scourge.
Exoprimal is a third-person shooter at its core, but you can also use melee. Each Exosuit you can use is basically a class and has different abilities and weapons you can use. The assault classes are meant for damage and typically have explosions, strong rifles, and evasion skills. Tanks are the tanks and get shields and crowd control. Supports heal you up and buff you while doing a little bit of damage. Each role works fine, but the game’s repetitive nature means you’ll likely only play a few of them.
The best feature of the game is the special abilities of the Exosuits. Each has a unique skill that you can get once or twice a match if you are lucky, dishing out damage and looking pretty in the process. One of them is just a barrage of endless bullets shredding dinos. One of the tanks can call in an air strike that will decimate everything it hits. For me? It’s all about the tornado spin. One of the tanks spins in place, gathering up dinosaurs around it in a vortex, and can then shoot the tornado out. It feels good to use every time.
I’m not sure how many maps the game has, but they all start to blend together after a few hours. I just played a match where I was about to load into a new area, only to load right back where I was and have new objectives spawn, making the load completely pointless. Speaking of loading, it takes far too long to get into a match. I’m unsure if it’s a lack of players or poor servers, but I shouldn’t have to wait over a minute to find a lobby.
Exoprimal is supposed to be a competitive game where teams race to complete objectives faster than the other team. If you fall behind, your team gets a dinosaur ally that one player can be. Being the dinosaur is the funnest part of the game. From my experience, the team who gets the dinosaur not only catches up, but also gets ahead and wins. It’s almost a better strategy to lose the first few rounds to get the dinosaur and wreck the enemy team with it. Alternatively, a noob takes the dino and dies in less than 30 seconds.
The upgrades and progression are also dull. You get new decals for your suit, new colors, emotes, some minor upgrades, and charms. There are no new guns or parts you can switch out on your Exosuit; it feels like they shouldn’t have even bothered including mechs if you can’t do that. Oh, but don’t worry; there is a paid battle pass that also unlocks avatars and exclusive skins. Killing dinosaurs can only carry a game so far.
Speaking of killing dinosaurs, they don’t spawn enough. Sometimes you have to kill 200 to move onto the objective. However, they don’t all spawn at once, instead dropping piecemeal with 20-30 at a time. The game feels like it’s caught between being something similar to Earth Defense Force and a horde-mode game. As is often the case with trying to do multiple things, it gets neither right. I actually think this game would have been better as a wave survival game. Tech-wise, I didn’t run into any frame drops, crashes, or bugs.
Exoprimal was clearly designed to be free-to-play, and much like Capcom’s other competitive multiplayer offerings, I kept trying to find a hook. It’s worth a go on Xbox Game Pass, but this dinosaur just can’t beat the kings of the genre.
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