Exoprimal is a game with an intriguing concept, a technically developed gameplay, and a narrative that may pique your attention. All of this, though, pales in comparison to the ever-present monotony and repetition. I wouldn’t be shocked if the game has a player exodus and eventually switches to a free-to-play model.
The game’s story leads us to the year 2043. We take on the position of Ace, a newly minted Exofighter, i.e. a pilot of dinosaur-fighting assault robots assigned to the Hammerheads squad. However, luck is not on his side, as the hero and his buddies are ambushed and crash land on the lonely island of Bikitoa during the first patrol operation. It soon becomes clear that the whole region is dominated by the dictatorial artificial intelligence Leviathan. This AI kidnaps the Exofighers from other realities, then transports them back in time to the beginning of the dinosaur invasion and compels them to participate in perilous “wargames” in order to gain more information about the Exosuits. Ace must compete in a dangerous game until his allies discover a means to escape the island.
In terms of companions, we shall be joined in the quest by four key companions. The Hammerheads squad is made up of the jovial and sarcastic mechanic Chief, who also serves as the group’s de facto commander, the paranoid technician Alders, the gruff and caustic commando Majesty, and the sophisticated android Sandy. Companions can be loved, and their interactions are entertaining to watch, but our protagonist is the worst. Capcom chose to make the player’s avatar totally silent during cutscenes and instead “communicate” through an exaggerated pantomime. The production does not take itself seriously and attempts to generate more or less hilarious moments on a regular basis, but our character’s behavior remains foolish.
In the story campaign, the title is distinguished by an intriguing advancement mechanism. We acquire experience levels by playing online matches against other players, which unlocks new parts of history – most commonly an audio log to listen to, and less frequently a cutscene – advancing the plot ahead. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most significant manufacturing drawbacks. A terrible streak might result in lengthy “grinding” of consecutive matches only to watch the storyline continue. Discovering the history of the island of Bikitowa is also the sole reason that inspires you to play more fights at the time. For the premiere, just the Dino Survival game mode is available, which reminds me of the Left 4 Dead series as it is similar. Despite the various chores offered to players, this one rapidly becomes quite repetitious.
I was going around the same maps, playing nearly identical battles over and again, with the first half always involving killing a particular number of animals quicker than the other side, and with the second phase bringing greater diversity of chores. It took me approximately six hours to progress the plot enough to unlock a few new areas and tasks, but then the vicious cycle began again. The game could need a few extra exciting modes to break up the monotony of the basic module. Defending the point against endless waves of dinosaurs, competing to see who can kill the most creatures in the shortest amount of time, or even a classic deathmatch between Exofighters: these are just a few of the options that developers could – it appears – relatively easily implement into the game to provide players with a break from Dino Survival. This is sad because the game appears to be well-prepared in other areas. We start with ten Exo Armours separated into three classes – Assault, Tank, and Support – and each of the mechs has a unique set of weaponry, skills, statistics, and even personality. For example, the “Tank” Roadblock has a lot of health points and can deploy an extra durable shield, but it can only use melee assaults. In contrast, “Support” Witchdoctor, in addition to being able to heal his friends, fights with a type of electric shepherd that delivers very little damage but covers a huge area while also slowing foes. Of course, there’s also “Assault” Deadeye, a traditional assault figure with a heavy machine gun and grenade launcher. The objective is to design the squad such that all players complement each other – you may even change the type of Exo Armour flown at any time.
Furthermore, there were no technical issues or performance drops during the game. This is especially striking when hundreds of lizards are running around the screen at once, while characters conduct particle-heavy, spectacular super attacks – yet the game still maintains a consistent and high frame rate. There were no delays or total game disconnections, indicating a good network architecture. Given the present status of the game, I can’t suggest Exoprimal unless you have a Game Pass membership. We received a polished and high-quality title that, regrettably, falls flat in substance. If we are not interested in knowing about the fate of the Hammerhead branch from the start, then the production does not encourage us to churn through nearly similar matches over and over again. Which is unfortunate because simply shooting dinosaurs and other Exofighers is a lot of fun.