Wednesday, March 15, 2023
When Exoprimal was announced last year, we all saw the Capcom logo. We all saw the dinosaurs, and we all put two and two together, only to come out with five. No, this isn't a new Dino Crisis game. Exoprimal is an altogether different dinosaur experience – a 5v5 hybrid co-op and competitive multiplayer affair, which, based upon some hands-on time with the game's open beta, is surprisingly enjoyable stuff.
Exoprimal places your custom 'exofighter' pilot in the service of Aibius, a corporation tasked with culling the hordes of prehistoric creatures that have started pouring into the world via blackholes. You're part of a so-called 'never-ending wargame', which is just about all you need to know from a narrative perspective – it's an adequate enough excuse to justify the blasting of countless dinos. The open beta introduces us to the 'Dino Survival' mode, which pits two teams of five against one another, separately competing to complete a series of dino-shooting objectives faster than the opposition.
The first team to complete the various tasks is given a head-start during the match's endgame, which involves a random team objective – it's this phase that pulls the competing squads into the same arena, fighting amid rampaging scaly beasts, to collect energy cells, hold a zone, or escort a big cube to its respective base. What sets this apart from other third-person multiplayer shooters is not just the dinosaurs, but the ability to switch between exosuit classes on the fly, so you can mix things up whenever you like.
From the default Deadeye Assault class, you can switch to the nimble Zephyr, flame-headed Barrage, or sniping Vigilant, or change things up with one of the Tank class exosuits, like the shield-wielding Roadblock, minigun-toting Krieger, or the close-quarters Murasame, who packs a long katana blade. Alternatively, you can hang back and provide assistance as any of the Support class exosuits, flexing the healing power of the Witchdoctor, the aerial supremacy of the Skywave, or skating mobility and adaptability of the Nimbus.
Each exosuit type has its own suite of abilities and attributes, so, if you feel you'd be better suited to a different class, you can experiment and see which works best for you. The action can get quite frantic, pretty quickly, but despite the staggering number of beasts on screen at any one time, it's astonishing that the whole thing doesn't get overwhelmingly chaotic. Everything is clearly presented and easy to follow, and it's all remarkably good fun. Being able to switch out different shoulder-mounted rigs further expands your options, too, so you'll be culling dinos like a pro in no time.
There's a good variety of dinos, too, with even the herbivores like the Triceratops and Ankylosaurus happy to tear you a new one, alongside the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex, Raptors, Carnotaurus, and the like. Will Exoprimal change the world? Probably not. Is it a substitute for a new Dino Crisis game or remake? Nope. Nonetheless, Exoprimal looks primed to deliver a solid chunk of frenetic co-op multiplayer dino blasting, but its success depends upon the quality of those other modes outside of Dino Survival. The second-to-second gameplay seems robust enough, but the jury is out on whether Exoprimal will hold your attention for more than a few hours – will it flourish or go extinct? We'll get to find out when Exoprimal launches on 14th July.
The Exoprimal Open Beta runs from 17th to 19th March.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 @ 09:55 PM
Thursday, March 16, 2023 @ 05:54 AM
Thursday, March 16, 2023 @ 11:50 AM