The development team at Capcom have brought us a new game action game with dinosaurs. No, it isn’t Dino Crisis remake we all hoped for, but a new online competitive shooter called Exoprimal. Players can suit up and go head to head as of July 14th of this year. You can buy the game on Steam, Xbox and PlayStation for £49.99 or the Deluxe Edition for £54.98.
You should have stayed extinct!
I’ve been eager to play Exoprimal since I saw the trailer last year. The first thing that caught my eye was obviously fighting large amounts of dinosaurs, but what really hooked me was the Exos. Each one looks unique, and after I played the beta, I was sold, especially with Krieger. Seeing that the game wasn’t only multiplayer but had a story was a bonus. I’m very excited to see how this plays compared to the beta. Let me know in the comments which Exo was your favourite to play and why.
Exoprimal starts off with players customizing their own pilot. There isn’t much for cosmetics, just some basic haircuts and choosing to be either Male/Female. Once you’ve created your pilot, you run through a brief tutorial showing the fundamentals of the game. After finishing the tutorial, we get assigned to the Hammerhead crew. However, we don’t start with much information on them or their dynamic, as there seems to have been an off-screen time skip.
After being attacked by a random portal that sends dinosaurs to attack the aircraft they’re in, they crash land on the island called Bikitoa. Ace (the name given to the pilot) quickly gets abducted by the rogue A.I. known as Leviathan. Leviathan transports Ace back in time by three years and forces him and other pilots he has captured to run continuous combat missions so that Leviathan can collect combat data.
How the story works.
How the story progress in Exoprimal isn’t like your traditional way single player. You have to keep playing online matches to continue the story. After finishing some games, a piece of data is found and will give access to the Analysis Map. The Analysis Map looks more like a brainstorming diagram, and it’s here where you’ll get the more in-depth story.
Most of the data unlocks dialogue from the crew trying to escape Bikitoa. Other entries consist of the Hammerhead crew bonding. For example, Adler, the team’s technician, talks to Sandy, the onboard A.I., that a special screwdriver belongs on his desk and not to tell anybody. It surprised me that a cutscene played during one of my matches. I wasn’t sure if this meant that my story coincided with other players or that it was simply halting the game for the other players until my cutscene ended.
Beginning combat mission.
Before a game starts in Exoprimal, players get warped to a digital space, and here they will see Leviathan and the opposing team. Once everyone warps to the combat zone, the objective is to complete several missions faster than the opposing team. The tasks usually want the team to kill specific dinosaurs, such as Raptors or the infamous Carnotaurs. After completing an objective, you’ll see the red ghosts of the enemy team, and Leviathan will say if you’re finishing tasks faster or slower than the enemy team.
The final part of the missions differs depending on if the player selected PVP or PVE. When choosing PVP mode, the end of the match allows both teams to fight against each other. Selecting the PVE mode sees which squad can finish the final task quicker. The animation that plays is both cool and brutal, with the Raptors tearing the Exosuit apart.
What are the Classes?
Picking the best class to play can be difficult at times in Exoprimal. Players choose from three classes; Assault, Tank and Support. Assault will help deal massive amounts of damage to dinosaurs and will be the vanguard for most squads. The Tank class (and my go-to) will assist other teammates by placing a shield and taking the most hits.
I enjoyed playing Krieger a lot as he attacks at a distance with his shoulder missiles and chain gun or can provide cover with his bubble shield. One of the most crucial roles is the Healer; they will keep your team alive when dealing with enemy squads or can stun larger dinos such as the Triceratops. Although the Exosuits all play in their own unique way, some play better than others. For example, Roadblock feels redundant compared to Krieger, as the only good skill Roadblock has is taunting.
How do the Exosuits and dinosaurs play?
Each Exosuit plays very differently, such as Vigilant being a long-ranged fighter with her sniper. The sniper works similarly to Widowmaker from Overwatch, with the sniper doing a brief charge-up for maximum damage. Murasame can block oncoming attacks and, after a few hits, will launch a counter-attack that provides him with a buff to damage. All Exos get an Ultimate called Overdrive that charges up throughout the game. Skywave will lock all enemies and dinosaurs in place, while Barrage will turn into a bomb and fly a short distance and can detonate, leaving him with minor wounds.
Near the end of the match, Leviathan will summon a pick-up that allows the player to control a dinosaur temporarily and attack the enemy team. Playing as the Carnotaurs seemed the most fun as I find the Triceratops’ moves too challenging. For different attacks, when playing as a dinosaur, simply push in the direction you want them to go.
Rigs & Modules
In Exoprimal, each Exosuit can equip three modules and one rig. The rig serves as an additional piece of gear. Players will start off with a shoulder cannon but can unlock an Aid attachment to provide smaller heals to the team or a shield to cover themselves from attacks. These rigs can help during matches, with the shoulder cannon taking out Pteradons in one hit.
Three modules are available to be equipped on each Exosuit. Each suit has six unique modules that are easily recognisable by the different colours from the other modules, which are grey. For example, one of Krieger’s modules allows him to fire longer before his gun overheats. Players can upgrade their modules with Bikcoin, the in-game currency earned through matches.
What are the rewards for levelling up?
There are two types of levelling in Exoprimal. One is for the overall account and the other for each Exosuit. When Levelling up over time, the player is occasionally rewarded a War Chest. These serve as the game’s version of a loot box. Players get to unlock some random stamps, emotes or best off all skins for Exos.
After reaching level twenty, I was rewarded the Exosuit Nimbus; but as I already had her thanks to the Headstart Pack, this item was useless, and the game didn’t provide another reward. When levelling up your desired Exosuit (mine being Krieger), players are rewarded with their unique modules and Exosuit-related avatars or banners. The max level for the overall account is fifty, which leaves me a little worried as this is the only way to earn War Chests, and the max level for Exosuits is a hundred, but rewards seem to stop at twenty.
Graphics & Audio
Graphically, I am impressed with Exoprimal. Their shining stars are, of course, the Exosuits. Firstly, their designs are brilliant, with their skins even better so. Yggdrasil, Hooded Horror, Otakemaru and Seraph are some of the (but not the only) unlockable skins that stood out to me. Inside the Exosuit, it pulsates similarly to organs, an incredible detail that makes the suits feel alive. The animations to exit an Exosuit and enter a new one are also some of my favourite details in the game. The Exosuit’s design isn’t the only exciting thing in the game. Leviathan’s design is intriguing, with his body made of binary code shifting about. It is simple and somewhat unsettling. Seeing this giant figure staring blankly through the players is pretty haunting.
Speaking of which, each Exosuit has a different voice and personality, separate from whatever gender or design you choose for your Pilot. Additionally, it helps the Exosuits to feel intriguing to play as, and not just hollow shells you wear. Leviathan’s voice acting was also stellar and suited the character perfectly, with his blunt demeanour making me laugh at times. Another cool feature involving Leviathan is when he speaks to you with unique dialogue at the beginning of a match when you’ve either lost or won a few games in a row.
I’ve been playing Exoprimal for nearly twenty-four hours and have reached level fifty. I have also reached level twenty with two different Exosuits and nearly finished all the Analysis Map. Matches can take ten to fifteen minutes or longer, depending on if players are sucked into the abyss section to fight massive hoards of dinosaurs released by a character named Durban.
The longevity of the game honestly depends on the player. I’ll continue to play the game even after my review to see how it develops and what gets added later. Capcom has shown a Street Fighter collab is in the works.
The gameplay of Exoprimal plays really well, with the suits being easy to learn and feeling like each brings something to the team as intended. The story is where the game starts to lose my interest, as sadly, playing multiplayer repeatedly to get some data or cinematic is pretty boring. The choice to make the story progress as you play multiplayer feels more like a free-to-play game than a £50 one. When hitting level fifty, I worried that the loot boxes would stop. Luckily this wasn’t the case, and you will still earn them every other level.
Exosuits, on the other hand, when reaching level twenty, no rewards are given. It is a big issue since it leaves no incentive for players to bother with the Exo after unless they enjoy playing them. Matches become too predictable, and only having three maps doesn’t help it. Though it has the foundation to make itself a great game, Capcom needs to add more content to justify the price. Releasing with several skin packs separate from the Deluxe Edition also seems cheeky. Some legendary skins in the game look great such as Skywaves Nightmare skin, while others look lazy, like Witchdoctors U.F.O.
Our Thumb Culture crew thoughts on the game
Stuart ~ “Exoprimal has the potential to be great, however, it seems to feel more like a free-to-play style would suit it. The visuals are stellar, the dino models are spot on. The 5v5 model works well, however, it would be nice to just have the option to play as a solo squad as well. Bringing Exosuits and dinosaurs should be a surefire hit, but it just falls a little light. Fun in short sessions, but rapidly get tedious and repetitive.”
Tyler ~ “Exoprimal is the same basic map over and over you do the same tasks of killing the same dinosaurs in different areas of the map. Nothing special about the dinos and with so many species they picked maybe a handful. Then when you go through those tasks suddenly you must race the other team in an Overwatch-style battle or a race of tasks. It felt odd and disconnected.”
I give Exoprimal the Thumb Cultures Silver Award. After some content and a few updates, it could reach a gold rating from me.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.