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Exoprimal Review

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Exoprimal from Capcom captured my interest straight off the bat – dinosaurs fighting people in Exosuits, with guns. The Exosuits have the guns, not the dinosaurs, just for the avoidance of doubt. There is a pleasing simplicity about it as pitch, isn’t there? In fact, what could be better? As it turns out, not much.

We’ll start this review by taking a little peek at the story of Exoprimal, mostly as you’ll want to strap yourself in from the get-go because it is pretty bonkers. 

See, man created an A.I. – Leviathan – and this is where the trouble started. Pretty pertinent to what is happening in the world today, no? Anyway, there was an island called Bikitoa, and it was here that Aibius, the corporation responsible for the Leviathan program, built its Stratovator. This is a posh name for a cable joining the island to a satellite in geo-synchronus orbit, and it was here that Leviathan was situated. But almost as soon as Leviathan took over, the world was invaded by dinosaurs, and the Stratovator failed, falling to the island and killing almost everyone in the region. 

exoprimal review 1
The dinos are on the way

As Exoprimal opens, we are an Exofighter, trained to pilot various Exosuits, crash landing on Bikitoa. Straight away, we find out that Leviathan is still active, running wargames which involve sending us back into the past to fight dinosaurs as it attempts to collect data on the perfect Exosuit. So, big robot suits, time travel, dinosaurs and a rogue A.I. – I think that covers the narrative! 

The story is presented in the hub area via the medium of either cutscenes or audio clips, and it does a good job of explaining what is going on. 

The presentation of Exoprimal is very good indeed, with lovely crisp graphics on both the backdrops and the protagonists in the wargames. The dinosaurs are an impressively animated bunch, from the small velociraptors through to the giants – T. Rex, Carnotaurus, Triceratops, and many more. There are also some new types designed for the game, called Neosaurs; these are a real threat when they appear. 

As for the Exosuits, they are designed in three archetypes – Assault, of which there are four suits; Tank, of which there are three; and Support, of which there are also three. If this all sounds a little Overwatch, well, there’s a good reason for that…

Sound is also top notch, with sundry and various dinosaur noises overlaid with gunfire and explosions. Leviathan also talks to us in the wargames, telling us how we are doing. There are a variety of locations to fight in as well, ranging from a cave to an airport; all are large and sprawling. Multiple routes through the areas can be learned to give you the advantage, either over the dinosaurs or the enemy team in the PvP sections. 

exoprimal review 2
Exosuits!

So, what about the actual gameplay then, how does that stack up? The answer is very well indeed, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how Exoprimal has held up to extended play. You see, I was concerned that it would be somewhat limited, but it seems they were unfounded. So, the game as a basis is based around Dino Survival, the only interactive part of the game. This is a team based, 5v5 contest, with a series of tasks to carry out on the way to the final encounter. The last fight can be either PvP or PvE, and you can select which one you prefer on the launch screen of the match. However, if you leave the choice on random, you will receive a 1.2x EXP bonus at the end of the match, so it is worth doing that. 

The fights on the way to the showdown come in various forms but mainly they are either Dinosaur Cull missions, where we have to kill a set number of reptiles to proceed, or Area Defense, left to stay in the proximity of an objective to defend it. It’s here where I’ll give a little top tip – staying near the objective, instead of charging off and fighting, will actually make it easier for success to be found. It is hard to defend a point against a massive dinosaur on your own because your team is off chasing raptors. 

Once you have completed the preliminary rounds (all the while having Leviathan telling you if you are faster or slower than the enemy team) it is time for the big finale. This can also take a few different forms, largely depending on whether the game decides it is PvP or PvE. There are tasks like escorting a data key (which is straight out of Overwatch 2) where you have to stay near the key to get it to move, and defend it against both dinosaurs and enemy players. And another is data collection, where data points appear on the map and must be collected in order to win. However, the enemy can also kill you to steal your data, and vice versa, so it usually turns into a massive ruck in the middle of the map. 

One of the interesting things that Leviathan can give either team is a Dominator, which allows one member of the teams to summon a dinosaur they have control over, which can then be controlled and sent to mess the enemy team up. This is pretty good fun, unless you are on the receiving end! Honestly, I’m not a great fan of the PvP element as the fighting of other guys in suits, while swamped in dinosaurs, is too much for me personally. 

exoprimal review 3
Just. Keep. Shooting.

And that is pretty much Exoprimal, rinse and repeat. Rinsing and repeating is a must too as each suit has its own experience to be gained, in addition to moving up through levels as a pilot. As you rank each suit up, it gets new perks, be it cosmetics or modules to add to the suit. The modules that you gain can help you stay alive longer, reducing incoming damage or aiding recovery. Each suit has unique modules as well, such as Deadeye getting a module that increases his damage with consecutive hits. As your pilot level goes up, not only can you unlock extra suits, but warchests as well, giving new cosmetics. All in all, there is always something to work towards, and this helps with engagement. 

Exoprimal is extremely enjoyable. With so many permutations of levels, missions and suits to play, it’s a game that is always fresh and fun. I mean, it is dinosaurs fighting robot suits after all! With a consistently high player count, the scope for playing with a team is there as well. Just be aware, you’ll certainly find a better time if you can assemble a squad before going to fight – talking to people and coordinating your defense works better than a squad full of Leeroy Jenkins’, that’s for damn sure.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Great looking game
  • Action is non stop
  • Lots of customisation and suits to use
Cons:
  • Still a little worried it may get samey
  • PvP feels a bit forced
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to : Capcom
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 14 July 2023 | £49.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Great looking game</li> <li>Action is non stop</li> <li>Lots of customisation and suits to use</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Still a little worried it may get samey</li> <li>PvP feels a bit forced</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to : Capcom</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 14 July 2023 | £49.99</li> </ul>Exoprimal Review
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