I’m Already Sold On Exoprimal’s Cooperative Dino Hunt
Capcom doesn’t have a great track record with multiplayer games. While Monster Hunter titles have always been strong, games like umbrella body missed the mark with disappointing gameplay. This puts exoprimal in an odd position, especially since it’s a Capcom dinosaur game that doesn’t use the beloved Dino Crisis IP, a franchise that fans are begging to see revived.
It’s not Dino Crisis 4; it’s something completely new. However, I came out pleasantly surprised by my grip with Exoprimal closed beta, as it’s a much more robust and inspired multiplayer shooter than I expected. While its PvP aspect looks confusing in Dinosaur Survival mode, exoprimal is a promising cooperative shooter with dinosaurs as enemies and a distinct visual flair.
The cavalry is here
In exoprimal, players control soldiers eternally stuck in “Wargames”, where they must survive hordes of dinosaurs because an AI named Leviathan has gone rogue. It’s a lighthearted narrative that justifies why players repeatedly do the same mission, but the concept is far-fetched enough that I buy into it. Visuals and combat are where exoprimal shines though.
exoprimal is a detailed and crisp RE Engine game, yet as vibrant and colorful as you’d hope a game about mechs battling dinosaurs. If the frame rate can hold steady while battling hordes of dinosaurs across all platforms, this could be one of the most visually pleasing games of 2023. Gameplay-wise, exoprimal features flash exosuit weapons and abilities and actually lifts its role-based gameplay out of Surveillance.
Although Dinosaur Survival does not copy Overwatch PvP experience like Gundam evolutionexosuits split into assault, tank, and support roles, just like heroes in Surveillance. Some abilities are similar to those of Surveillance characters, and team composition is critical to success. The player character even shouts “The Cavalry is here” when entering the Deadeye Assault exosuit, clearing up any confusion about his influences. Luckily, Capcom doesn’t have to worry about stepping on Blizzard Entertainment’s toes thanks to its vastly different premise and cooperative focus – at least until Overwatch 2 The PvE content is finally coming out.
In this closed beta, I had access to two assault exosuits, a tank exosuit and a support exosuit. My favorite class so far is the Witch Doctor, a healing-focused exosuit that could directly repair allies or launch an area-of-effect attack that heals everyone in its vicinity. Offensively, it’s not good per se, but I found I enjoyed helping out my allies in a way I haven’t had since Mercy and Baptiste pre-nerfed in Surveillance.
The gunplay is satisfying, and each exosuit’s special abilities lend themselves to unique team compositions that let you mow down dinos effectively. Players can change their exosuits at any time if needed, although this leaves you a bit exposed without any costume powers. If you liked Overwatch role-based system and was wondering what it would look like in a more cooperative experience, exoprimal worth a look.
Confronting the Dinosaur Crisis
The only mode available to play during this closed beta was Dinosaur Survival. The setting and objectives varied a bit from game to game, but the core was always the same: two teams completed a series of objectives independently of each other, with the winner getting a head start in the last innings of the match.
For the most part, co-op objective teams should be all about defeating hordes of dinosaurs, big and small. Sometimes players can even take control of a dinosaur themselves and attack the other team to slow them down. Then comes the end goal. These final tasks included pushing a payload from one location to another and a deathmatch where teams also competed to collect the most data keys.
These PvP sections are a bit lackluster right now, as Exoprimal team play and maps are not well designed for this. It can be fun to ravage your opponent like a dinosaur, but ultimately Exoprimal combat works best when fighting hordes of enemies, not other players. As a result, a very crucial part of the game is more frustrating than fun. As the co-op parts of each match I’ve had the most fun with, I can definitely see myself spending the most time in purely co-op mode if the final version has one.
Whereas exoprimal feels good to play already, the lackluster PvP aspect makes me wonder how good a full priced game it would be without a single player component. If the other modes are even better or Capcom makes it free, this could be a perfect game for fans of co-op games, Surveillance, and dinosaurs to discover. At the very least, it shows more initial promise than some of Capcom’s other multiplayer titles, like the long delay Resident Evil Re:Verse.
exoprimal will be released on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X in 2023.
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