You'll love it if:
- Blasting waves of zombies all day does it for you.
- Have Game Pass and some friends to try Exoprimal.
- You like doing the same thing over and over.
Not for you if:
- You life is already full of Live service games.
- Are looking for a diverse single player experience.
- You dislike repetitive content.
I was pretty excited to play the Exoprimal preview build for this Exoprimal review, out of curiosity about what Exoprimal exactly is and how the mix of robot suits and dinosaurs would turn out. Just like the concept of Exoprimal, my feelings after the preview period are a mixed bag.
Exoprimal is a match-based PvE-PvP-third-person-shooter-brawler with a focus on switching to the right suit for the right job during a match. If you are looking for a single-player or co-op experience without having to face other players, Exoprimal is not the game for you. The story is the foundation and explanation for everything that happens. It’s fairly decent, intriguing, and a good drive for playing if you want to unveil the mystery.
While the gameplay and matches are randomized in every game, they do get repetitive fast. And going to the conclusion of the story will force you to play matches if you are curious about its outcome. Performance wise Exoprimal ran great but due to being in a preview built I never encountered a full team of human players.
Exoprimal preview – When climate change goes from bad to worst
From the moment I heard about Exoprimal, until I actually got into a game, I had no clue what Exoprimal was supposed to be. Exoprimal is a Destiny 2 gambit-style game where you and your team fend off waves of dinosaurs while trying to complete objectives. All this while racing against another team of players trying to do the same. With a shared objective at the end where both teams can square off.
Once upon a time, we had raptor weather – Story
For a multiplayer game that is based around playing matches vs other players; Exoprimal ends up having quite a decent story. The intro scenes are like watching a newsfeed, you get updated on the world and events that led up to the start of our story. Your recruitment into the Aibius corporation. The Aibius corporation is a globe-spanning corporation dedicated to protecting humanity from dinosaur storms. Yes, you read that right, dinosaur storms. Literal dinosaurs are raining from the sky all over the world. Due to space-time distortions something has gone terribly wrong with the weather.
The Aibius corporation set out to develop Exosuits and train Exofighters to fight the dinosaurs. You are assigned to a team with the objective to investigate Bikitoa Island. Aibius lost contact with its research facilities some time ago and your team is sent out to find out why. Upon entering Bikitoa airspace a sudden raptor storm causes your ship to crash. You enter your Exosuit and jump out of the plane. You find the weathered corpse of a scientist clutching a device as you are suddenly pulled through space and time.
You re-appear in the year 2040 mere hours before the collapse of the space elevator on Bikitoa Island. This will be your first head-to-head encounter with the dinosaurs and our main villain, Leviathan. Leviathan is an AI created by Aibius to run Wargames for Exofighters and Exosuits to gather data and improve the suits to better counter the dinosaur threat. In order to do this Leviathan constantly pulls in Exofighters from time and space to contend in his Wargames. Reliving the final moments of Bikitoa Island before the space elevator collapse.
Gladiator of the future
And that was the background on why you will be playing Wargames to progress the story. Each completion of a game will unlock more clues or main story elements. You will meet new characters, uncover clues of what happened in the past and slowly work on a solution to escaping Leviathan’s grasp. Not long after running some matches, you will also pick up hints of another faction, headhunters. Basically, headhunters represent a shadow force outside Leviathan, exerting pressure and changing events for an unclear purpose. Basically, headhunters represent the other players you are playing against as well.
That’s how the story in Exoprimal will go, you play Wargames, find clues, look at clues in between matches and lift the veil surrounding the Bikitoa Island mystery bit by bit.
A literal gameplay loop – Gameplay
Exoprimal is no more than playing matches of Dino survival on a loop. At least for now, Exoprimal will definitely be a live-service game. The preview build only had Dino Survival and training available. Capcom already announced they are working on several other modes, a fully PVE mode where you compete for the best time without enemy team intervention. More Exosuits and tools to diversify builds and collaborations with other Capcom games.
As for the Wargames I was able to play there was some randomisation. But not nearly enough to keep the gameplay engaging. However, 99% of my playtime was done with bots and against bots. The interactions between players can vastly differ, for better or worse. After picking your suit and class you run from objective to objective and either kill X amount of this enemy or protect point X for X amount of waves.
During the Wargames Leviathan will keep you up to date on how you are doing compared to the other team. If your team loses too much time there will spawn a dominator, this tool allows you to invade the other team’s run. Not as an Exofighter but as a huge hungry Tyrannosaurus. You spawn in and wreak havoc on their team or objective to give your team the upper hand.
Next-level class design
The Wargames themselves can get pretty stale, the Exosuits you play with are some next-level fun to play around with. There are three classes to choose from, including Assault, Tank, and Support. Each of these classes has several suits ready to test. I mainly played the Tank class to support the team of bots that was tagging along with me. Both Tanks within that class played so vastly differently. One of the Tanks played like Overwatch’s Reinhardt, using a big shield to protect him and the team from any frontal danger. Bashing with a fiery fist at anything dumb enough to come close.
The other Tank class used a mini-gun, deployable shield and missiles to stun. Completely changing how you performed your Tank role within matches. So even when I preferred playing a Tank I had the option to completely change how I wanted to play a Wargame, within the class that I like.
Exoprimal also doesn’t lock you in your class or suit for the complete match. You can freely switch suits during a match. You either do this when you die or can even hop out of your suit without dying. After a short cooldown, you select a new class and suit and switch it up. Ideal for that last round of PVP where you can go from tank to assassin and cripple the opposing team.
Taking a bite out of my GPU – Performance
Exoprimal is an always online game so if your internet is terrible your performance may vary. I tested Exoprimal on an RTX3080, Intel i510600K and 32GB of ram. With my setup, I was able to run Exoprimal on max settings without many problems. I noticed the fans on my GPU ramping up quite frequently and when I checked my GPU usage and temps they maxed out. So Exoprimal used a steady 94%-100% of my GPU power. Even when I was simply watching a cutscene or in menus.
The most annoying thing I encountered was that I was unable to change any settings before watching the intro cutscenes and creating my character. If your rig is on the older side you might have to go through a rocky start, severely impacting your first interactions with the story and world of Exoprimal.
Steam Deck – Dinosaurs are too old-school for handhelds
I was unable to get the Exoprimal preview build running on the Steam Deck. Even upon the release of Exoprimal, I suspect there won’t be any Steam Deck support. Exoprimal uses anti-cheat software as it’s an online competitive multiplayer game. The standard setup of the Steam Deck does not support that software. Unless you have your Steam Deck setup with Windows.
Exoprimal PC Review – Conclusion
Was I blown away by Exoprimal? Not really. Did it run well and does Exoprimal have an interesting setting? Definitely but I don’t feel like it will be enough to carry it in the long term. There is only enough room in a gamer’s life for one live service game. Exoprimal won’t be groundbreaking or diverse enough to overtake my dedication to Destiny 2 for example.
While the preview build had an overview of the Season pass, I was unable to check the store or what was going to be on sale. The current selection of Exosuits could all be unlocked without spending any real money.
Will this change when Exoprimal is released? We will see. Capcom is definitely supporting Exoprimal for some time after release and Exoprimal will release on Game Pass. So I would definitely recommend you check it out there.
Looking to get Exoprimal on release without GamePass? Our partner has you covered right here. Thank you to our sponsor CD Media for access to the preview build.