Exoprimal is the latest multiplayer third-person action shooter from Capcom after coming off an amazing run with successive hits including Resident Evil 4 Remake and Street Fighter 6. This brand-new IP involves a fast-paced competitive PvE experience that pits a team of 5 players versus a horde of dinosaurs. Is Dino Crisis making a comeback?
Players take the role of Ace, a new recruit in the Aibius corporation. After an accident with his squad over Bikitoa Island, Ace finds themselves trapped in the Wargames set by its rogue AI, Leviathan. Transported three years into the past, Ace must work together with other variants to participate in Leviathan’s forced survival game.
Will Ace succeed in each battle, find the truth about Leviathan, and ultimately escape Bikitoa Island? And what’s the deal with the dinosaur swarm? Strap on that Exosuit and let’s get primal! Exosuit and primal, get it? Like and subscribe…
We got a Dino Crisis!
Exoprimal is unlike anything of what we’ve seen from Capcom in recent memory. While it tried to find its own shooter formula with somewhat failed attempts like RE:Verse, that didn’t quite stop them from pushing through with this once-thought Dino Crisis revival.
From the opening cut scenes and all of its tutorial missions, you are quickly onboarded into the world, and its meaty 20-minute introduction will guide players into setting up their character while finding themselves trapped in Bikitoa island, where most of the game will take place.
Just like other multiplayer hero shooters of its type, Exoprimal doesn’t take long before the tutorial missions end, throwing you straight into the lion’s (dino’s?) den along with a randomized team of dino-killers. Surprisingly, despite the initial intimidation of figuring out how exactly matches will play out, the game is surprisingly simple to pick up, making it perfect for beginners and shooter veterans alike.
The game, despite its futuristic title, is simple enough – you join a team of four other individuals of different classes ranging from a combination of assault, tank, or support suits. There are variants of each role, where suits use either ranged or melee weapons with varied combat types that make each feel unique, and it helps that the controls are snappy, precise, and responsive while working your way through hordes of dinosaurs.
Each player will be fitted with a main weapon, a secondary ability, a supplementary tool, a dodge ability, your Rig loadout, construct, and a super meter. How you use them in combination with what the team needs edges you closer to victory or defeat, and the best part is, you can change your suit at any time to maintain party balance and also try out other strategies on the fly.
The gameplay loop in Exoprimal is straightforward: each team has to complete various combat “mini” missions as quickly as they can to reach the final mission, which is either a PvP or PvE affair. If you choose a PvP final mission, it usually will be an escort mission to protect a data key from the opposing team until you reach the finish line or to upload data links while protecting your base. The PvE final mission usually involves you working together with both teams to take on a super boss at the end of each story mission or to complete a series of basic missions faster than the other team.
Often, in games like this, there are winners and losers, but Exoprimal rewards in such a way that everyone is given props for their participation. Winners get a victory experience bonus, but everyone else will receive archive files to unlock pieces of the narrative puzzle to progress the story. If you participate in enough missions, you’re rewarded with a cut scene to ultimately progress the story forward.
Exoprimal also provides bots if the team lacks players, resulting in matchmaking that’s almost always moving along. It’s not fair to judge how long the interest stays up there, but finding a match is speedy as of writing.
Dino Drip Feed
Exoprimal really comes to life around the 10-15 hour mark of the game. By this time, you’ve unlocked most of the possible PvE and PvP game options to have a variety of gameplay styles, which is important because the current offerings are a bit thin. While choosing a random final mission incentivizes you for the experience bonus, you can always take breaks to choose what suits your fancy at the cost of extra experience.
After a while, the grind in Exoprimal becomes real. There are some moments when you’ve repeated the same mission, go on a losing streak, or the story just feels like it’s going around in circles, and that’s where I find that Exoprimal could use a little more variety in game modes. Players might find themselves playing the Dino Survival game mode long after they finish the game, which could lead to boredom at a certain point.
It takes about 20-25 hours to complete Exoprimal’s story, which translates anywhere from 50-60 missions that span 10-15 minutes each. After a while, you’ll be repeating some long-drawn story missions, and at the end of it all, you’re rewarded with a pretty cool final boss fight and a decent ending… and nothing else.
Much of what sustains a live service multiplayer is the postgame content, which was promised during the Capcom Showcase. However, the Alpha variants of your Exosuits and the Savage Gauntlet game mode are still unavailable at this point. It’s important how fast the cadence of updates will be for the game, as it probably is the sole determining factor of how successful and long-lasting Exoprimal will be.
While you can spend your time grinding out your Exosuits, what kept me involved is the game’s story. I wanted to find out what happens next. However, when the story’s finished and after the credits, besides trying out other suits, there really is nothing else as of writing.
For a multiplayer-focused shooter title, Exoprimal has a weirdly engaging and intriguing story that kept me involved, with an off-beat style and really likeable characters that keep you entertained during the entire journey. The cut scenes and story breaks were fun, but without any other incentive to grind through the already exhausted Dino Survival mode, the extra game modes can’t come quickly enough.
It really helps that Exoprimal is a tremendously polished game with a stable online infrastructure that kept me stuck in the game even with my shoddy Wi-Fi connection. Throughout my 25-hour playthrough, I’ve never experienced connection issues, lagging, or any latency errors that cost me the game. Props to Capcom for that, especially in adding in crossplay from day one.
Finally, let’s talk about Exoprimal‘s price point and monetization. As a full-priced game, it is a little dubious to jump into, especially with its shortcomings that would be forgivable on a F2P model. I’m glad that the war chests (loot boxes) are winnable by continuing to level up your player level without the need to shell out extra cash.
Speaking of, Exoprimal also has its in-game currency, the Bixcoin, which is used for purchasing mods, tools, new Exosuits, and fast-tracking specific cosmetics acquired via war chests. Earning them is a bit of a grind and I usually save them up for mod upgrades as they aid you with your build, which assists in more victories.
The Battle Pass system is straightforward, giving you a free version (not really free) that rewards you with a premium cosmetic every 5 levels, while the paid premium track provides exclusive paid-only cosmetics at every level. While I can understand the monetization process, it feels like a kick to the teeth especially for a full-priced title that doesn’t have enough modes to keep interest going for a long time.
What We Liked
- Polished gameplay that promotes co-op play with straightforward objectives.
- Entertaining cut scenes and story breaks.
- Leveling up Exosuits is a fun and addictive process.
What We Didn’t Like
- Lack of postgame options make the long-term investment dubious.
- Requires better game mode variety as prolonged gameplay becomes a repetitive grind.
- Further monetization feels off, especially with its current lack of game modes.
Verdict: Wait For It…
Exoprimal is a must-try game at any point when it goes on sale or via Xbox Game Pass if you have access to it. It’s a fun multiplayer-only game that is addictive and boasts potential cult status as it builds its community and improves upon its post-game content. Sadly, that is more in the future, and now it just feels like a game preview with the only thing going for it being the promise of future Exoprimal content.
That said, it’s hard to recommend the game at its full price point despite its polished and fun gameplay. There’s still a possibility that its postgame content will not reach the highs of the main story, and with its current lack of gameplay variety, the grind that comes with the repetitive missions makes it all the more unbearable. I’m not confident that Exoprimal will continue to enjoy its current player base until they introduce its promised modes sooner rather than later.
It is quite a shame because I really do quite enjoy Exoprimal. For now, I keep on with cautious optimism that Capcom continues to support this game and provide a constant feed of fun modes, extras, and hopefully more stories with enjoyable characters in the foreseeable future.
*Exoprimal was reviewed on a PS5 and Xbox Series X with a review code provided by the publisher.