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Exoprimal Review: Unleash Chaos, Save Humanity, Dominate Dinosaurs

EDITORS' RATING : 7 / 10
Pros
  • Varied exosuits with unique playstyles
  • Fun, chaotic action
  • Expands and changes as you play through it
  • Interesting implementation of story and worldbuilding in a multiplayer-only title
Cons
  • PvP is poorly balanced
  • Story is lackluster and needlessly complicated
  • Lack of proper tutorials to help players learn new exosuits

An Xbox Series X|S code for "Exoprimal" was provided to Zaaz for this review. The game is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Capcom's "Exoprimal" takes an joyously ridiculous premise and combines it with an amalgamation of gameplay genres and ideas to create a unique multiplayer experience unlike anything else in the studio's catalogue. Set in a future where dinosaurs repeatedly tear into the world through strange bubble rifts in the timeline, they pour out to kill everything nearby, which has led to soldiers in exosuits known as "exofighters" being deployed to kill them and protect humans. 

When it comes to actual gameplay, however, "Exoprimal" sees two teams of five players racing to complete a series of challenges against hordes of dinosaurs first. It blends together elements of "Destiny 2's" Gambit game mode, hero shooters like "Overwatch 2," and horde shooters like "Back 4 Blood." Matches are filled with raptor swarms, explosive weapon salvos, imposing tyrannosauruses, and the occasional climax of PvP to cap games off. It all works remarkably well, but to fully understand why, there is a lot to break down.

A blend of genres

At the time of launch, "Exoprimal" only has one game mode: Dino Survival. In this mode, you have to travel through maps set in a collapsing futuristic city on a remote tropical island to reach each objective. There is no time for exploration, and nothing notable happens, but there is a small variety of objectives that build most of each match. The Dinosaur Cull objective sees players having to slay a target number of different dinosaurs, while other objectives require players to protect areas or chase down larger dinosaurs to kill them. 

Once a team wraps up their base objectives, they move on to the final round. Some of these are similar to the normal objectives with increased difficulty, but most are extremely distinct and act as a good climax for the energy of matches. The biggest element added to final rounds is PvP. In each final round, both teams get a special power-up that allows one member of the team to control a large dinosaur to attack the other team as both teams face off.

The exosuits fighting one another directly suffers from poor balancing, but sections where teams have to face one another in addition to hordes of dinosaurs and interesting objectives are a ton of fun. Luckily, if you end up hating PvP, you can select to only play PvE final rounds when matchmaking.

It's all about exosuits

At the start of each match of "Exoprimal," players are sent to a technological realm where they stand on a platform with the other members of their team. This gives them the opportunity to swap between exosuits and get their team composition ironed out, although players can change between exosuits whenever they want during matches as well. Exosuits are at the core of your experience for a match, with each one supporting its own kit of a weapon, abilities (with cooldowns), and an ultimate ability that needs to be charged through dealing damage. Each exosuit has an entirely different playstyle that are all a lot of fun, which is great for replayability and offering something for every type of player.

At launch, there is a total of ten exosuits that are split into the traditional roles of damage, tank, and support. Each suit can be further customized through three pieces of buffing equipment known as modules, and a piece of gear known as a rig that gives them a universal ability like an extra gun, a jump, or a small healing area. As long as a team has one tank and one support, they can get through matches easily enough, which is nice when playing matches alone so that you don't have to worry too much about losing — everyone wants to focus on damage. However, coordinated teams that synergize abilities and communicate throughout can still dominate teams that don't. 

There's a story buried in there

Whether it is "Apex Legends" or "Rainbow Six Siege," it is fair to say that multiplayer-only games don't usually have more story than is absolutely necessary to offer players. "Exoprimal" doesn't follow this trend, and instead devotes a considerable amount of resources to its world and story while also featuring a unique way to deliver that story to players. After playing through a short single-player section to kick the game off, the only option available to you is playing multiplayer matches. Completing so many matches then gives you a cutscene that moves the story forward. There are also some special occasions where you will be matched up with other players at the same point in the story. You'll all play through a special story-centric match, which is really exciting when it first happens. 

Unfortunately, for all the effort put into "Exoprimal's" story, its content is nearly as interesting as how it is presented. It is a mashup of science fiction elements like time travel, loose corporate condemnation, and characters that end up falling mostly flat. It does just enough to be able to sit through its awkward cutscenes, but that's as high as it reaches. The basis of the narrative is also confusingly convoluted. You would think that players being sent out to fend off dinosaurs in exosuits would be enough, but no, it also includes an evil super AI, time travel, and a lot of parallel universes. 

In the end, "Exoprimal" successfully offers a unique and enjoyable experience. With its blend of elements from different genres, the gameplay is engaging and provides lots of replayability, even with the convoluted and less captivating story. Despite any shortcomings, "Exoprimal" achieves what it sets out to accomplish, earning a solid 7 out of 10.

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