July 21, 2024

Exoprimal, developed by Capcom, thrusts players into an adrenaline-fueled multiplayer experience where they control powerful exosuits to combat hordes of dinosaurs. With Capcom’s recent streak of successful releases, Exoprimal arrives with high expectations. Does it deliver on the promise of intense battles and prehistoric chaos? Let’s delve into the world of time-traveling exofighters, explore the immersive story, thrilling gameplay, impressive visuals, and evaluate the overall experience.

AT A GLANCE
DEVELOPER
: CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
PUBLISHER: CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
RELEASE DATE: 13 Jul, 2023
FINAL SCORE: 9/10

Story

Exoprimal presents a compelling and intriguing story that adds depth and context to the fast-paced multiplayer gameplay. Set in the year 2043, the game’s narrative revolves around a world devastated by time-traveling vortexes that unleash dinosaurs upon the Earth. Players take on the role of Ace, an exofighter from the Hammerheads squad, who becomes entangled in the sinister machinations of the enigmatic AI, Leviathan.

The story begins with Ace crash-landing on the perilous Bikitoa Island due to an unexpected vortex during a routine patrol mission. This event sets in motion a series of wargames orchestrated by Leviathan, wherein the exofighters are sent back in time to the very date of the initial dinosaur outbreak. The mystery deepens as players confront questions about Leviathan’s true intentions, why these wargames are always on the same day in the past, and the reason behind the dinosaurs’ summoning.

As players progress through the campaign, they unlock clues and additional story elements in the form of cutscenes and analysis map entries. While the story’s pacing is generally well-structured, it may occasionally feel convoluted, especially when deciphering the enigmatic Lost Data pieces.

The developers’ efforts to incorporate a narrative within a primarily multiplayer-focused game deserve commendation. Exoprimal manages to strike a balance between the action-packed battles and the unfolding story. The wargames and competitive missions effectively immerse players in the struggle against dinosaurs and rival exofighters, providing a sense of urgency and purpose to the gameplay.

The story adds an interesting layer to the overall experience, encouraging players to uncover the mysteries behind Leviathan’s actions and the dinosaur outbreak. However, some players may find themselves more focused on the multiplayer elements, possibly neglecting the story progression and analysis map.

Gameplay

Exoprimal’s gameplay centers around piloting powerful exosuits and battling waves of dinosaurs in diverse war games. As I first stepped into the exofighter’s shoes, the sense of control and fluidity immediately stood out. The exosuits, categorized into three roles – assault, tank, and support – each possessed unique abilities that catered to different playstyles.

Exoprimal’s primary game mode, Dino Survival, blends PvE and PvP elements. There are two modes that you can select from, the PvPvE mode, where you can directly engage the enemy team in the last round, and the PvE mode where you can only engage the enemy team by calling in a dinosaur using a “Dominator”. Regardless of which mode you choose, the initial missions always feature two teams of five exofighters competing against each other while facing off against relentless waves of dinosaurs, guided by Leviathan’s mysterious directives. The seamless transitions between PvE and PvP kept the gameplay fresh and unpredictable but might be disappointing for players who were expecting a pure PvE experience.

In one exhilarating match, I assumed the role of Barrage, an assault exosuit, equipped with devastating firepower. As the dinosaur hordes closed in, I unleashed my ult, obliterating a group of raptors with one precise blow but bringing my health down to critical levels, before my teams support swept in and healed me. The feeling of power and impact was gratifying, and the responsive controls made the experience truly enjoyable.

I then found myself as Krieger, a tank exosuit, in a tense 1v3 scenario. My teammates were respawning, and the enemy team was closing in, determined to halt our payload’s progress. With adrenaline coursing through me, I used Krieger’s defensive abilities strategically, holding my ground against the enemy onslaught. The intensity of the battle kept me on the edge of my seat, as I fought tooth and nail to protect the payload until reinforcements arrived.

Like any multiplayer game, Exoprimal is best enjoyed with a group of friends. From clearing waves of dinosaurs to defending vital points, each mission demanded teamwork, strategy, and quick thinking.

Exoprimal excels in maintaining a well-balanced gameplay experience, ensuring that each exosuit feels not only distinct but also equally fun and impactful to play.

The flexibility to switch exosuits mid-battle added an extra layer of strategy, allowing me to adapt to different situations and the ever-changing demands of the match. This mechanic not only kept the gameplay dynamic but also encouraged teamwork and communication as we synchronized our exosuit choices to complement each other’s strengths.

The missions in Dino Survival varied in complexity, but unfortunately due to the dynamic nature of the wargames, I often found myself repeating the same maps and modes over and over again till I finally got a new one. But once I did find myself in one of the other game modes, it felt like a treat. The game does not do a good job of explaining that new content unlocks once you progress through the analysis map, and players who eagerly rush into matches without caring about the story may find themselves burned out at the lack of variety.

A highlight of my Exoprimal journey was a surprise mode that felt reminiscent of an MMO raid. This mode, featuring a colossal boss battle, required seamless coordination and communication among the exofighters to take on its different mechanics. I’ll never forget the adrenaline rush as my team and I strategized and executed attacks, working together to bring down the massive, menacing creatures. I hope that Capcom continues to focus on these experiences, as stuff like this is what separates Exoprimal from the other hero shooters or similar games.

While the gameplay felt consistently engaging and rewarding, I did encounter feel that the DualSense features were a bit underutilized. Though present, their impact felt subtle and could have been better utilized to heighten immersion. Nevertheless, this did not detract significantly from the overall gameplay experience.

Visuals, Audio, and Technical Performance

Powered by Capcom’s reliable RE Engine, the game’s environments are detailed and animations feel fluid and realistic. The combat and action sequences feel delightful due to how good the suits and the dinos look and move.

The dinosaur design is a notable highlight, showcasing a diverse array of prehistoric creatures that feel both authentic and awe-inspiring. Each dinosaur is rendered with meticulous attention to detail, making encounters with these colossal creatures an unforgettable experience. Whether it’s facing off against a towering T-Rex or a swarm of nimble raptors, or the weird neo variants.

While the voice acting occasionally ventures into the realm of cheesy charm, it seamlessly aligns with the game’s B-movie style premise, adding a fitting touch of excitement and nostalgia. The dinosaur roars, on the other hand, are exceptionally well done, intensifying the tension and creating an immersive soundscape.

The attention to detail in the dinosaur design and character design is evident, portraying a world teeming with vibrant and visually striking elements. The exosuits exude a sense of power and technological advancement, while the dinosaurs are rendered with impressive realism, further contributing to the game’s immersive atmosphere.

In terms of performance, Exoprimal impressively runs smoothly, even during chaotic scenarios with numerous dinosaurs and intense battles. I was really surprised when the game managed to remain stable while I was being bombarded with missiles, while a T-Rex was kicking up rocks across the battlefield and my teammates were using every ability in their arsenal(along with spectacular special effects). I didn’t face a single technical issue or bug, aside from the rare rubberbanding, which I suspect was due to my network and not the game’s fault.

Final Thoughts

Final Score
9 / 10
9/10

Summary

Exoprimal successfully carves out a distinctive identity in the multiplayer shooter genre, offering an engaging and adrenaline-pumping experience. The captivating story, although lacking focus at times, complements the action-packed gameplay, providing a unique twist on dinosaur-themed mayhem. The dynamic PvPvE format and diverse exosuits keep the gameplay fresh and exciting, while the seamless performance and impressive visuals contribute to the immersive world. While repetitive missions and a lack of dedicated PvE content might deter some players, Exoprimal remains a fun and enjoyable game, especially when played with friends.