Exoprimal Hands-on Preview – Dimensional co-op dinosaur fighting

Posted on May 23, 2023

Fighting against dinosaurs isn’t easy since they are ferocious beasts. Advanced technology gives you an advantage, but it isn’t a guaranteed victory. Thankfully, the year 2043 has advanced suits and weaponry perfect for taking down dinosaurs. We stepped into that future when a rogue AI forced us to fight dinosaurs repeatedly, and survived thanks to some help from teammates. It’s an intense experience that makes you coordinate with your teammates and pull out all the stops to win.

Exoprimal puts you in the shoes of a nameless pilot who got their first job at the mega-corporation Aibius. Joining a small crew, you patrol Bikitoa Island which Aibius once used as a research site. During a regular patrol mission, the crew is sucked into a dimensional vortex and crash-lands on the island. You are found by Leviathan, a rogue AI that grabs pilots like you from multiple dimensions to get combat data. After reuniting with your crew, you must continue to fight dinosaurs while planning your escape from the island.

Stepping into the world for the first time, the visuals catch your eye immediately. Everything is sleek and futuristic, even if it is ruined or destroyed. The animations, especially when putting on your exosuit (armour), look fantastic because it’s seamless. Even the dinosaurs you fight against look similar to what you would find in a textbook. The heat of combat doesn’t affect the movements and it’s rare to find any visual glitches.

The audio is also crisp and clear, which is important because you rely on audio cues for gameplay. When Leviathan tells you what your next challenge is or if your teammates have requests, it’s easy to know what they are. Navigating the battlefield isn’t difficult either and you are always shown the right direction.

The bulk of the gameplay is multiplayer co-op missions, where you and four other players compete with another team. The start of each mission is spent fighting dinosaurs of various types, trying to defeat them faster than the other team. This repeats until you reach the final objective, which matches team activities in other games (guarding a data cube, seizing control points). If you don’t have enough players, you will have bots fighting along with you.

Just like a multi-player game, you have assault, support, and tank classes to fill different roles on teams. Each class has different specialisations that allow you to choose the playstyle you prefer. For example, the assault class has your typical long-range fighter, but you can choose to be a melee fighter, a sniper, or an explosives expert.

One of Exoprimal’s strengths is that you don’t have to limit yourself to a specific class, even in the middle of combat. You can change classes anytime you want, as long as you have unlocked the necessary exosuit. If your team needs an additional healer, anyone can switch into that role to support the team. Switching back isn’t difficult either, and it gives you flexibility to adapt to the situation at hand.

There’s a big emphasis on teamwork, since the amount of dinosaurs summoned will always be too much for a single player. Larger dinosaurs will sometimes appear and you must coordinate with your team to successfully defeat them. The bots are competent players and can support you when no one’s around. But with other players, the experience changes for the better since everyone knows what their role does best.

Unlike other online multiplayer games, Exoprimal has a story mode connected to the gameplay. As you take on various missions, you unlock more files that show you the world of Exoprimal. You learn the history of various characters, the role of the Aibius corporation, and how you might escape from Leviathan’s grasp. It’s a good motivation to keep playing since you must win to see what happens next.

If you want an online multiplayer experience that lets you switch classes and fight dinosaurs, you can’t go wrong with Exoprimal. With an interesting premise to investigate, you will continue playing just to see how you escape Leviathan’s grasp. Make sure you have reliable friends to help, since winning is the only way you can make any progress.

Exoprimal comes out in 2023 on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and PS5.