Exoprimal Review


by Alex Avard |
Updated on

Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox, PC

The year is 2040, and dinosaurs are falling out of the sky. It's certainly not the strangestpitch we've ever heard for a video game, but it's up there. That premise, however, is more than enough context needed for a game like Exoprimal, which pits teams of five players – each equipped with their own powerful exo-suit – against endless hordes of raptors, pterodactyls, and other familiar faces from the Mesozoic era.

But while Exoprimal's story (yes, there is a story, and it's suitably silly) may ask you to leave parts of your brain at the door, the gameplay at the heart of Capcom's latest bears a great deal more smarts and substance. This unexpected action blockbuster has a surprising amount going on beneath the B-movie exterior of its “robots vs reptiles” conflict, in fact, even if its multiplayer, online-only structure too often gets in its own way.


For one thing, Exoprimal is designed as a ‘PvPvE’ (player vs player vs environment) experience, meaning that you're also competing against other teams of players in addition to the steady stream of dinosaurs perennially swarming you and your squadmates. Each match has both teams racing to complete objectives, before a final mission will either pit them directly against each other, or perhaps in an uneasy alliance against an even greater threat. Each of these initial objectives are essentially variations on the same theme (that theme being riotous battles against hordes of dinos), and thus struggle to radically change things up from match to match, but the PvP components brought in by the climax do, at least, bring an air of unpredictability to each game.

Better still, Exoprimal's combat is at once both gleefully cathartic, yet also robust enough for those who want to dig a little deeper into advanced battle strategy. While the basic action usually involves some form of pointing and shooting, hacking and slashing, or healing and building, the diverse range of exo-suits available (each slotting into one of three class types) not only folds in a healthy deal of combat variety, but an extra layer of team composition tactics, too.

Exoprimal very much delivers on the scale and bombast of its delightfully absurd premise.

Pairing the shield-deploying Tank Exosuit Roadblock with, for example, Witchdoctor – a Support Exosuit that can heal allies within a specific radius – is a great way to seriously beef up your team's defences, but there are plenty of other equally viable and interesting squad permutations that can be explored and practised together. The option to augment each Exosuit with different Modules (passive traits) and Rigs (secondary weapons) only widens that variety of play styles further, and you can even switch between suits on the fly – a smart feature that allows you to respond to the changing circumstances of each battle as they unfold.

It also helps that Exoprimal very much delivers on the scale and bombast of its delightfully absurd premise. Much like in Capcom's Dead Rising series, the sheer number of enemies that can spill onto the screen at once is a genuinely riveting spectacle. Pachycephalosaurs pour from the city skylines in unholy waterfalls of scales and claws, pteranodons cascade into deadly hurricanes fierce enough to put Sharknado to shame, and mutated neosaurs contort and combust in fits of multi-dimensional madness.


When all of its elements come together in the height of battle, Exoprimal is absolutely bonkers. And while the visuals aren't exactly industry-leading, there's impressive production value to the carnage, with the game holding up at a steady framerate even as legions of dinosaurs conquer the screen. It's worth noting that you won't be able to experience any of this, however, without a dedicated online connection and a registered Capcom account linked to your platform of choice; a rather annoying wrinkle that only draws more attention to the fact that Exoprimal has no single player campaign to speak of.

That's a shame, given the potential of what could have been, but also something of an eye-raiser, since the game is retailing for a full £50/$60. And with only one multiplayer mode to speak of at the time of writing, the sense of Exoprimal being a little content-light at launch is one that's hard to shake. Still, what's here is solid entertainment for the time being, and a decent start for what Capcom is envisioning as a long-term live service.

Exoprimal was always going to be compared in the shadow of Capcom's other dino-hunting series, Dino Crisis, especially given that fans have been clamouring for a new title in that beloved franchise for some time. Nevertheless, the publisher's decision to try something different may just about satiate those fans for now, offering not quite a spiritual successor, or even a spin-off, but certainly a decent dino-adjacent companion piece – one that riffs on the same conflict between humans and history's deadliest predators, albeit at a very different scale. It's got its quirks, and is entirely stupid, but there are certainly worse ways to kill time during the Summer release drought.

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