Xbox One, PS4, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
July 14, 2023
Fighting against dinosaurs with futuristic technology sounds amazing, especially when you are working with friends. Fight on the frontlines, absorb hits, or support your allies against the waves of dinosaur enemies. Throw in a mystery to solve and you have the recipe for an enjoyable experience. Exoprimal weaves together a dinosaur hunting experience that lets you adapt to the situation at hand. Work with your teammates to slay dinosaurs and complete objectives, trying out a variety of upgrades and classes. As you try to solve the mystery, you gain new upgrades and fight against more varieties of dinosaurs.
However, the execution is far from perfect. The initial charm of fighting dinosaurs is great for the first few hours but suffers from repetition. Progressing with the story means you must constantly play the same games over and over, which builds fatigue quickly. A lack of upgrade options also means you can only use teamwork to progress. Exoprimal has a nice concept, but its repetitive nature means only dedicated players will uncover its secrets.
The story of Exoprimal starts in the far future, where technology and AI work together to fight off dinosaurs. Life is good and you are an aspiring exosuit pilot trying to develop your career. Your first mission is patrolling an abandoned island that was once used for dimensional experiments. An accident occurs, pulling you into a dimension where an AI known as Leviathan is testing humanity.
You, along with other players who were dragged into Leviathan’s experiment, must participate to survive. Along the way you will learn more about Leviathan’s goal, other dimensional participants, and hopefully a way out.
Exoprimal has an interesting story and good development throughout. You learn more about your allies, the history of the world, and grueling experiments that led to the current situation. You develop a bond with the cast because they have real concerns and problems. Unraveling the mystery and finding your way out is genuinely interesting. You experience the story by unlocking fragments of information. Some of them provide the backstory of Exoprimal, while others cover the dimensional circumstances that you find yourself in.
This helps break up the story and helps you digest the information slowly. It genuinely feels that you are working towards a mystery and are slowly unraveling it. Every fragment provides some insight into your current situation, and hopefully a way out. As you progress, story developments also begin appearing as you aren’t the only dimensional fighter who wants to get out. Neither is Leviathan the only threat to your survival. The stakes are ramped up slowly, which helps establish the story without overloading you.
The problem is that your story progress is tied to your multiplayer matches. You must play matches to unlock story nodes, and the amount gradually increases. While this normally isn’t a deal-breaker, the matches themselves have little variety to offer. You must grind your way to each story node, fighting dinosaurs and doing the same activities repeatedly.
It’s a shame because there is a good story to be found, but the game’s repetitive nature can turn you off. Even though there is some variety with new activities and dinosaurs, it’s largely the same thing over and over, and dragging yourself through the story with similar events wears you down quickly.
Exoprimal’s gameplay is simple; there are ten players split between two teams of five. Your goal is to complete certain objectives faster than the opposition while fighting off dinosaurs. This includes extermination, large dinosaur takedowns, and capture-the-flag activities among many others. Dinosaurs will be repeatedly summoned throughout the event to stop you, but other players can interfere with your progress as well.
Fighting dinosaurs is great fun, as they come at you relentlessly. Using your weapons and abilities, you must fend them off while completing your objectives. Exoprimal’s action is smooth and technical, which is reflected in each exosuit. While every exosuit has combat capabilities, they also specialise in certain functions. Some are offense oriented while others are more defensive. Support exosuits heal everyone up to keep them in battle.
Each of the roles work perfectly with each other, and it’s easy to learn how to play. If you have never played a team shooter before, Exoprimal is a great introduction. While most of the game is shooting dinosaurs, the objectives will be difficult to complete without your teammates. The final objective will also have both teams fight each other in a showdown, which makes teamwork even more important.
“Whether you want long-range combat, close-range attacks, or healing powers, there’s something for everyone.”
Each objective is clearly spelled out and it’s not hard to know what to do. Since most of your time is spent attacking dinosaurs, it’s not hard to have fun. Whether you want long-range combat, close-range attacks, or healing powers, there’s something for everyone. There are also options to take control of larger dinosaurs and wreak havoc on the enemy team.
The various options for combat and teamwork are fun to experiment with. The first few games will be unforgettable as you battle against dinosaurs. You can also switch exosuits during combat, letting you choose the suit that’s perfect for the situation. It’s also helpful for team play, as you can change roles if your exosuit isn’t working out well.
As you progress through the missions, you gain new upgrades that enhance your abilities. You can also unlock more exosuits which gives you a goal to work towards. The mission types start increasing, giving you more activities like capturing points or taking down large dinosaurs. The dinosaurs you fight also start to change, giving you more variety to work with. You must work with your team to battle against new threats, not just the larger dinosaurs that you encounter.
Unfortunately, the fun quickly wears out its welcome as you continue playing. While each objective is fun to clear at first, the variety doesn’t proceed quickly enough to keep things fresh. There are no new weapons or significant upgrades to make a notable difference in combat. Your main arsenal when starting out is largely the same as what you will end the game with, barring a few upgrades.
Unlocking new upgrades requires a lot of work and a willingness to grind the ladder. While hardcore PvP players will enjoy the grind, it can be exhausting if you’re looking to unwind. The upgrades grant minor improvements which make a decent goal to work towards. But it will take a significant amount of time before anything substantial arrives.
This review was done on the PS5 and some additional players helped to get a good grasp on the gameplay. The intention was to play games with each other and see if tighter coordination was possible. Unfortunately, most of the time we spent together was spent failing to join each other’s games.
Not all players experienced this issue, as two players were able to join together in a team. They were able to work together and fight dinosaurs without any connection issues. Another team member playing on Xbox encountered no trouble playing with friends across multiple sessions, while others struggled to connect and online feedback seems to confirm that it’s a known issue. While playing online has its share of difficulties, it’s unfortunate that playing with friends might not be easy.
While the whole repetition of dinosaur fighting has an actual story reason, it’s still tough to sit through. Even if you can get your friends together, the combat and objectives never change. The upgrades make a slight difference, but it’s teamwork and practice that gets you through. That’s also assuming that your teammates are willing to stick around and practice.
Bots will appear if you don’t have the numbers, but there’s no way to speed up the progress. Just like DotA 2, all matches must be a full five-on-five game or it doesn’t happen. The bots are competent at replacing people who aren’t present, but it isn’t the same as a human player.
When you realise that what you see in the opening hours is literally all there is, the fatigue begins to set in. While Exoprimal is good for the occasional game, it’s not something easy to keep playing. Once you finish the story, all that’s left to do is conquer the leaderboards.
If you love the thrill of competing against other players, you might enjoy this for a while. But if you can’t deal with repetitive grinding and making slow progress, Exoprimal is a hard pass.
- Amazing concept goes well with futuristic setting
- Combat is fun for the first few hours
- Lack of variety will make the game boring after some time
- Must play a massive amount of games if you want to see the whole story
- Multiplayer connectivity isn't perfect
Exoprimal makes a fantastic first impression as you enter the world of futuristic dinosaur combat. You have an intriguing mystery, cool exosuits, and several varieties of dinosaurs to fight. Unfortunately, the gameplay quickly becomes stale as you realise its repetitive nature. If you want to enjoy the mystery, you must play a large number of games. Only the most hardcore PvP players will want to continue, as others may tire of the lack of variety. As interesting as the concept is, Exoprimal doesn’t take full advantage of the premise, instead providing a decent multiplayer experience for a few hours.