Some of the Gaming Nexus gang hopped into the first open beta for Capcom's new team-based shooter Exoprimal last night, and ended up coming away with a very positive impression. The shooting is tight and frantic, the graphics are amazing, and the action is heart-poundingly intense. It all seems familiar, but in that "we understand this and find it accessible" way. It is highly reductive to call Exoprimal "Overwatch with dinosaurs", but of course that's what we all immediately started saying. Though Exoprimal has a bunch of cool mechanics that make it unique, the similarities to Blizzard's shooter are strong enough that the comparison is ripe for the taking.
Players join up with four others (friends or randos), and are placed into an arena/simulation, where an AI overlord constructs combat scenarios to run them through. Each mission has a number of checkpoints, with some basic "clear this many dinosaur" goals. The AI randomly makes dire announcements though, like "Now spawning a T-Rex", and then plops a vicious dinosaur right into the middle of your otherwise manageable run. This can completely wreck your team, turning a well-oiled group into a tattered gaggle of barely surviving individuals, and it can be tough to pull it back together when a giant dino is flinging your team all over the map.
The catch is that there is a second team running the same missions, and for the first few goals you are racing against them, but you will eventually come into direct competition towards the end of a match. You can either ignore the other team and try to play nice, winning honorably, or you can ruthlessly attack them and try to slow down their progress. After taking one too many losses, we went full antagonist and finally pulled off a win.
The mechs players can wear and change on the fly are one of the highlights of the game, with standard damage/tank/healer configurations represented, but in the coolest ways possible. The designs are superb, with each mech feeling fun and unique to play with. Our group eventually fell into a pattern to accentuate our strengths, with Elliot tanking, me healing, and Joe and Jason running damage. For our entire game time, we also had a random Capcom employee with us, running as an independent operator and guiding us forward while they wrecked enemies.
In all, we had a great time with Exoprimal, and I can't wait to hop back into the game to see what other game modes and experiences will be available. You can hear how much we are enjoying the game in the video below by the levels of goofing off and joking around; this is a game built to have fun with friends. There is an amazingly solid gameplay base here to build on, and even without all the cosmetics, stores, upgrades, and other bells and whistles, we had a great time just, you know, playing the game. And eventually, we pulled it together enough to win one, which was a great way to end our session. The game is already running great, with hundreds of dinos swarming the screen at once, and nary a framerate hiccup to be seen. Take a look at our run here, courtesy of Joseph's streaming channel GamesNMoorer:
Exoprimal has a ways to go yet before release; it is scheduled to arrive on July 14 on Xbox (including GamePass), PlayStation 5, and Steam. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one, as we are clearly all in on shooting swarms of dinosaurs for an evil AI. The hooks are strong with Exoprimal, and I'm betting that the hype is going to skyrocket as we get closer to release.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
Howdy. My name is Eric Hauter, and I am a dad with a ton of kids. During my non-existent spare time, I like to play a wide variety of games, including JRPGs, strategy and action games (with the occasional trip into the black hole of MMOs). I am intrigued by the prospect of cloud gaming, and am often found poking around the cloud various platforms looking for fun and interesting stories. I was an early adopter of PSVR (I had one delivered on release day), and I’ve enjoyed trying out the variety of games that have released since day one. I've since added an Oculus Quest 2 to my headset collection. I’m intrigued by the possibilities presented by VR multi-player, and I try almost every multi-player game that gets released.
My first system was a Commodore 64, and I’ve owned countless systems since then. I was a manager at a toy store for the release of PS1, PS2, N64 and Dreamcast, so my nostalgia that era of gaming runs pretty deep. Currently, I play on Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, PSVR, Quest 2, Switch, Luna, GeForce Now, (RIP Stadia) and a super sweet gaming PC built by John Yan. While I lean towards Sony products, I don’t have any brand loyalty, and am perfectly willing to play game on other systems.
When I’m not playing games or wrangling my gaggle of children, I enjoy watching horror movies and doing all the other geeky activities one might expect. I also co-host Spielberg Chronologically, where we review every Spielberg film in order, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts.
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