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When Exoprimal was first announced, I wasn’t confident that it would do well in the long run. The concept of the game was entirely bizarre and Capcom was obviously being experimental with new games. Baring Street Fighter, Capcom doesn’t really have a good track record of handling multiplayer titles, especially one that is exclusively multiplayer as Exoprimal.
Exoprimal is essentially a hero shooter with team-based gameplay not too dissimilar from titles like Overwatch. Pick the Exosuit of your choice and work together with your team to complete objectives as fast as possible while fighting through hordes of dinosaurs. You’ll win team battles when you accomplish objectives faster than the other teams.
The story of Exoprimal is surprisingly more entertaining than it sounds. The main cast, the crew of Hammerhead, aren’t the most entertaining characters but the twists and mysteries you uncover as you find a way to free yourselves from Leviathan more than makes up for it.
In the near future, humanity finds themselves facing the threat of extinction due to time traveling dinosaurs that are dropping randomly throughout the world. In an effort to combat this, humans designed Exosuits which can allow them a fighting chance against this prehistoric enemy. They also designed an AI called Leviathan who can predict future dinosaur outbreaks before they happen. It all comes to a head when Leviathan betrays humanity and traps the Exosuit pilots in a never ending combat simulation against hordes of dinosaurs. Now you have to fight with and against alternate versions of yourselves from other dimensions as you look for a way to undermine Leviathan’s authority.
Exoprimal definitely has a wacky premise, and seems to be self aware of how ridiculous it can be at times. It isn’t ground breaking but it is fun to watch unfold. Despite the game’s exclusively multiplayer aspects, it unfolds much like a typical campaign.
The problem with Exoprimal is its accessibility. From the beginning, you’re pretty much forced to play Dino Survival over and over again before you can unlock new game modes and fight against new enemies. By the time you’ve unlocked some of the more fun aspects of Exoprimal most players would have already dropped the game.
Dino Survival is fun but it’s extremely repetitive, forcing you to fight against the same hordes of dinosaurs until you unlock a new story portion. After a couple of games, it’s easy to get bored of doing the same thing all over again with only a few changes to spice things up. Exoprimal simply asks for too much of your time before it gives you the good stuff.
As you progress however, Exoprimal will begin to open up. You’ll be playing in new maps, game modes, and fighting against tougher dinosaurs. It will even drop the mutated Neosaurs which are powerful variants of their regular counterparts. There’s quite a bit of dinosaurs to fight in the game but most of them don’t feel too different to fight from each other.
At first, the dinosaurs are fun to fight against with multiple variants each packing their own punch but they quickly become a bit too stale to enjoy. The new dinosaur variants never really spiced up the fights as much as they should. Unless a T. Rex was summoned, fights would usually feel rather repetitive at least until the PvP section came where directly competing and interrupting the progress of the enemy team makes things interesting.
Because of how Exoprimal is geared towards finishing objectives faster, you’re always pressured to kill dinosaurs as fast as you can. This can lead to some pretty tense moments as it always feels like a race against the other team. At other times, it can lead to some unfair and frustrating moments especially when one player on your five person team disconnects putting you in a large handicap.
Exoprimal is at its best during team-based direct combat where you can eliminate other players and prevent their progress. This is where the game is at its most fun, where you can even control dinosaurs to your side to trample on enemy players and prevent their progress.
You fight dinosaurs with primarily the use of Exosuits which each have their own abilities that set them apart from each other. The game lets you switch Exosuits at any time even during the middle of combat which is a great mechanic that lets you swap roles quickly if you’re on the losing end.
Exosuits can be upgraded the more you play the game by installing mods. This doesn’t change the way they act but they do enhance abilities. While Capcom does its best to balance them out, some Exosuits excel more than others. Particular issues can be found with Exosuits like Krieger whose small jump can block him from getting to the objective which costs his team some time. And some like Barrage are more favored for their ability to thin down hordes faster than other Exosuits.
Considering that Exoprimal released on Xbox Game Pass as a day one addition, it’s clear the Capcom is trying to experiment with what becomes popular for the players. It does feel a bit burdensome to require a Capcom ID in order to play.
Exoprimal is a fun game but feels like it falls short due to how it can fail to open up until you invest a significant amount of time in the game. The story is worth checking out but don’t expect to be sucked into the gameplay loop of fighting dinosaurs for a long period of time.
Exoprimal – Review
You better must choose if it’s worth spending your spare cash because it might not be the game for you and it might be for others.
Story is surprisingly interesting
Exosuits are fun to use
Can feel repetitive after a few games
Takes too long to open up it's more fun game modes