Humanity is under attack.
After years of warring, humanity is in a state of relative mess. This leaves them quite vulnerable when a new enemy the likes of which human beings have never seen before starts to attack. Faced with the possibility of extinction, humanity’s kingdoms ally themselves together with the help of a hero to face a gigantic threat.
Either humanity hangs together, or they will hang separately.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Modus Games
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Release Date: April 10, 2018
This review is based on the review copy provided by Focus Home Interactive.
Diving Into The Game:
For those who have seen any of the trailers for this game or perhaps even just the promotional images, there’s no escaping the fact that it will ultimately remind them very heavily of the ever-so-popular anime, Attack on Titan.
Being able to use grappling hooks to traverse areas quickly and scaling giants hellbent on humanity’s destruction to hit the nape of their necks in order to kill them, what does that remind you of?
In Extinction, you play as Avil who is the last of the Sentinels, brave warriors who can take on giants ogres called the Ravenii by cutting off their body parts with relative ease.
Now the concept of one man being able to take on multiple giants by cutting off their limbs with sheer precision seems like one hell of an awesome concept. Just visualizing how that would work in your head can lead to amazing visuals. So how does the game hold up by itself? Let’s find out!
Extinction’s gameplay is a bit of a hit and miss.
On one part, it does the job of making you feel versatile and fast moving in a very large field. On the other hand, the mechanics of the game at times makes it hard for you to get to where exactly you want. You’ll often find yourself struggling to climb some terrains and to get to some areas.
Being on the battlefield can be overwhelming. While that can be understandable, with Avil being in a populated city, players can be annoyed with the number of civilians they have to save along the way. It is possible to ignore them to their fate and focus on the bigger threats. This gives you that tension of really being in a tough position where you have to act fast. Do you save the civilians and risk more of the city getting destroyed or take down the Ravenii and damn innocent lives?
Despite this, Extinction never really properly captures what it means to be in an invaded city. Most civilians are just standing by at the crystals waiting for you to magically teleport them somewhere. And every time it’s always just Avil saving the city. Where are the guards? This feels more like the city’s sole guard going up against a whole invasion of orcs rather than being in an actual war. Having some allies (even if useless) would’ve added to that feel of immersion.
The basic gist of the game is this: the main things you need to do is get your bar filled up as a full bar is the only thing that allows you to kill the giant Ravenii off for good. You can fill up your meter by killing smaller Ravenii on the ground or rescuing civilians–both of which often go hand in hand.
Rescuing civilians can be the most annoying. They die easy and are spread everywhere and are often under attack. Think just how much pressure that gives you. While this does give off the feeling of fighting for an overwhelming cause, it only really serves to annoy you because the game keeps hammering it in your ear if you’re neglectful. It’s like your allies just have to tell you how cool you are if you get the job done or tell you to get your head straight if you screwed up. That wouldn’t be annoying if what they seldom said it but it’s much too frequent. It just winds up filling your screen with the useless nonsense of the same dialogue you’ve heard time and again.
There’s also an issue with how the Ravenii spawn. Do they come right out of nowhere? Many of them just teleport near the crystal where the civilians are supposed to be and then go on to attack them. This really feels unfair as it feels like you’re fighting against reality warping enemies than an invading army.
Extinction’s highlight is in the giant Ravenii. This is where the game gets really fun. Each limb from a Ravenii can be severed, though it will grow back after some time. The only way to stop them completely is to cut off their necks. What makes them different from Attack on Titan is that they can wear armor although they’re far less scary and intimidating.
Iron Galaxy really puts up quite the effort into making sure that taking down the giant Ravenii can have different varieties. Many come in different armors, some need only one hit and others needing to be hit in different specific areas in order to come off. The real challenge is avoiding the attacks of these giants while you take off their armor piece by piece as they can mostly take you down in one direct hit. Ravenii can even carry a weapon which makes them an even more serious destructive force but can easily be dispatched by chopping off their limbs.
Unfortunately, while taking down a giant Ravenii can make you feel like a badass, what about the smaller army to worry about. Are they an actual threat? Annoyingly enough, yes they are. At times, even more so than their bigger counterparts. This is where the game falls short. It becomes a button mashing hack and slash game with ogres that have way too much health for their own good. You pretty much only have one button for your main attack and another one for dodging. Unlike the giant Ravenii, you can’t dismember their limbs as you have to settle for a kill.
The one button combo system does very little to actually help the game in this regard. Fighting the smaller orcs just feels like a chore than something actually fun.
Another flaw of the game is the shop. You earn points based on what you do in a mission. Although, they do help, they’re really just upgrades at best and feel even more nominal. Nothing ever feels worth investing the time and effort to making your character stronger. It ultimately feels like it was added there just for the sake of having something to upgrade.
There are quite a few game modes to try out.
- Campaign – the story mission and your main tutorial for learning how to get around in the game.
- Daily Challenge – as per its moniker, has challenges to offer you every day.
- Skirmish – randomly generated mission that you can share with your friends to compete for the highest score.
- Extinction – technically Survival Mode for the highest score–one life only, no respawns.
Ultimately game modes all feel the same thing with only a few critical differences. Extinction doesn’t give control to the players of the kind of setting they want as it is always randomly generated for missions. It’d be great to have to not worry about saving civilians and fighting smaller Ravenii and just kill giants with an unlimited spirit bar in a city.
Extinction ultimately falls short for the hype that it attracted.
Initially, I got the impression that we’d be getting a somewhat open world game with multiple side quests and a main story while having to improve the defenses of cities that are being attacked. Talking to townsfolk and getting to know the world around us would’ve made for a much more immersive experience. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case as Extinction is ultimately a mission based game.
The cutscenes are purely animated and even then, they’re not usually there. Most of the exposition is in in-game dialogue that feels so engaging it barely really does anything to flesh out the characters. By the middle, it’s hard to care about the story or the characters in general. Though the story does take a turn for interest later, but by then you’d probably be too bored to get to that point.
There’s not a whole lot about this game for it’s rather expensive $60 asking price. It feels more like a $10 or $20 game for all the content it provides.