Exoprimal Review 32423

Exoprimal Review (Updated)

Before I started reviewing games, I was enchanted by Lost Planet. So much so the franchise is directly tied to my brand, be it my beloved Gordiant plush toys, guides I wrote ages ago for E.X. Troopers, or my Lost Planet 2 platinum remaining the rarest and most challenging trophy I’ve ever obtained. So when I saw Exoprimal, I immediately saw the similarities and did not leave the alpha/beta disappointed. With so much going for Exoprimal, is it like visiting E.D.N. IV, or is it destined for death?

As the opening suggests, I legitimately enjoy what Exoprimal has to offer. So much so that I legitimately played 60 matches in a couple of days in hopes of discovering all its secrets. While there were some highs, which I’ll touch on later, the experience frustrated and disappointed me.

Issues start with the initial tutorial. Here, you learn the same controls found on practically every shooter in the past two decades, followed by a quick run-through of class archetypes. It’s enough to give players an understanding of fundamentals; it just focuses on the wrong things.

Some Things Never Change…

An extended tutorial explaining each Exo unit’s nuances would help players understand their play style. For example, Murasame is a fantastic offensive tank. Hitting enemies with Crescent Moon will make them target you, which makes it easier to activate Rasetsu Stance through Vajra Counter. When this rotation is used correctly, Murasame can kill hundreds of raptors or even some of the bosses without needing a healer. Instead of explaining this, players are told things like Witchdoctor can heal an area by pushing a button.

After finishing the tutorial, it’s time to join other players. I genuinely appreciate Capcom adding a toggle for PVP and PVE since those with a preference can do whichever they want. However, there are a couple of massive issues with Exoprimal‘s approach to this.

Will I Need a Healer, Tank, or Both?

Most games like Exoprimal allow players to match based on their desired class. Often, less desirable classes are given additional experience to motivate players to take on these roles. It works well for titles like Overwatch, but with Exoprimal you need to hope someone steps up and changes. It’s possible to have matches without a tank or healer. Thankfully, any match played with bots will ensure every role is present.

The other is how the campaign works. Progress is made by simply finishing matches. Unfortunately, it’s possible to reach cutscenes when playing with others, so one or more people might need to wait for it to finish before progressing. Based on my experience, story stages will also not trigger unless every person in the party is at that point or further.

What gets annoying is the possibility of matching at these stages. Even if I don’t want to play PVP or another has no interest in straight PVE, Exoprimal will take whomever, regardless of preference. I’d be willing to give it a pass since these are some of the best stages, but there is no bonus experience for matching against your preference like you’d receive with random.

Annoyances aside, I legitimately believe story stages are the best Exoprimal has to offer. What makes them unique isn’t narrative but giving players new challenges to overcome. These missions contain dilophosaurus, sinornithosaurus, sniper neosaur, and more beyond the typical six enemies you’re expected to survive against. It’s a breath of fresh air that breaks up the monotony present in the typical Dino Survival match.

Update: I played another ten or so matches after writing this review and found one match where higher-tier dinosaurs spawn instead of the usual six I saw for hours. I believe the lowest progress player determines match parameters. This means you can get in situations like mine and YouTuber Rubhen925, where a low-rank person always prevents more fearsome stages from appearing. If so, tier-based matchmaking would make sense like the aforementioned class version, or at least more of an effort to find similar tier players. As more players progress further, this will become less of an issue, though it can strongly discourage helping friends, increase burnout on opening week, and limit positive buzz.

Why Can’t This Be Every Stage?!

There is just something frustrating about playing 60 matches and getting a specific map once or only seeing like five dilophosaurus because you happened to match someone doing that story mission five different times. They also add so much to the experience by pushing players to rethink their build.

Taking out snipers with Vigilant or preventing an overwhelming number of enemies from getting to your team with Roadblock is so much more interesting than shooting Dino spawns for three objectives, followed by doing the same while standing in a blue square. That isn’t to say changing modules (perks you can equip) has no benefit, a good build can help dominate an enemy team, it just limits the need to bother.

Long term, I hope Savage Gauntlet will improve things, but even if it does, the investment is relatively high. It takes about 15 hours to unlock, which is a considerable amount of time, especially when some of these issues were not present in the beta.

Exoprimal Review

Exoprimal: Exoprimal is a good game held back by an overwhelming number of poor choices. Instead of expanding on the fantastic base found in the beta, options are reduced and simplified to the point where it quickly feels repetitive. Even basic things like the triceratops summons are significantly less common than carnotaurus. These negatives will likely turn off most players long before they see the various positives present in Exoprimal. And while the narrative is at least engaging, it's an investment that far exceeds what a lot of players are willing to give. So, unless you're a big fan of the beta, or have Xbox Game Pass to make your own decision, I would wait to see if the situation is improved in the future. Because Exoprimal has a chance of becoming something, just not this version of it. Grant

von 10

[Editor’s Note: Exoprimal was reviewed on PlayStation 5, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]

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