Exoprimal (PlayStation 5) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 19.10.2023

Review for Exoprimal on PlayStation 5

It is fair to say that Capcom has been trying for a while to launch a successful online multiplayer experience. From Resident Evil series spin-offs to Monster Hunter, almost every series has had an online element, met with varying levels of success. Enter 2023: Capcom has just launched Exoprimal, their new online multiplayer game, set in a world of dinosaurs and time travel. The premise is promising, and the game follows a tried and tested design for team-based play. Has Capcom finally nailed down their place in online gaming?

Exoprimal is set in the future; a world ravaged by storms and dinosaur swarms. The main characters and player characters find themselves on Bigitoa Island, the ground zero of the dinosaur outbreak. The island is protected by some sort of shield but the main characters have a malfunction and their plane crashes through this barrier, leaving them in the domain of the rogue AI Leviathan. Players are then thrust into the past to take part in wargames against the dinosaurs, run by Leviathan, with the goal of improving the design of the Mech suits used by the player and other characters. It's a pretty decent premise and for the most part the story is actually quite engaging. It is split up into blocks of data the player needs to find by completing matches in the wargames. The data chips the player brings back gradually unlock the main narrative and open up interwoven story moments that actually have a surprising amount of depth for the style of game.

The story can take upwards of 20 hours to complete and is interwoven with cutscenes and character dialogue that wouldn't be out of place in a Devil May Cry or Resident Evil style game. Most of the characters are also fairly likeable but can have hit or miss personality and voiceovers. The team is supported by a robot called Sandy which means this reviewer has 0 further issues with characters. Design wise, Capcom did troll players a little with a character who could almost pass a Regina from the Dino Crisis series, but she is no Regina in her actions or personality. Thematically and visually however the game is pretty great on its own terms.

Gameplay takes the usual approach to matchmaking but has a cool balancer between PvE (Players versus Enemies) and PvP (Players versus Players). Matches typically end with a PvP round where each team must destroy each other, however this makes some of the other points in the match less worthwhile so players who want to play only by fighting dinosaurs and completing objectives can change mode to PvE before joining a lobby. It's just flexible enough to make the choice important. Pre-match lobbies are usually full of players firing their guns and using special powers before getting zapped into a wargame.

Screenshot for Exoprimal on PlayStation 5

The wargame itself is a set of objectives, such as fighting dinosaurs, and typically these objectives have to be completed faster than the opposing team. This race to the finish line is very competitive and encourages balanced teams and some actual teamwork. It all results in a fun and friendly experience. The actual minute to minute gameplay feels good, it's snappy and explosive, though it sometimes lacks impact. Firing a machine gun at a horde of raptors is fun and looks great but the raptors go down too quickly and only become a challenge when mixed into larger encounters. However, fighting large enemies like triceratops feels great, their attack patterns are readable, allowing for skilled dodging and their health is not insurmountable, meaning the bullet sponge aspect of some PvE games isn't a huge factor here. Basically, this is a fast-paced mech combat game with dinosaurs which has a great gameplay loop but lacks the impact it needs to truly stick the landing.

Obviously being an online / live service game, it will live and die by its gameplay and how fun it stays over time. So far, for this reviewer, it's remained a blast. A great fun gameplay loop and an interesting if stilted story but what else does it offer players? Well, over the 4 classes of Exosuits there are a seemingly endless set of vanity objects allowing for some mech customisation alongside skills and abilities that can be unlocked to change up gameplay. There is just enough depth here for players to get engrossed in. This will no doubt be expanded with seasons going forwards.

In terms of atmosphere and visual design, Exoprimal makes great use of Capcom's RE Engine which does a lot of the heavy lifting for the game with fantastic visuals, though less detailed than single player titles. All the characters are rendered well and have a sort of cartoonish quality, classic Capcom styling about them. The Exosuit designs are excellent with each reflecting how it will control, with sharper sleeker fast units and bigger chunkier heavy units. Exosuits also add a splash of colour to the fairly monotone menus.

Screenshot for Exoprimal on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

A flashy, fast and cool experience Exoprimal has players blasting away at the dinosaur hordes in their thousands. At its core the game is a lot of fun, but it suffers from the usual live service game downsides. How long will it be supported? How will the balancing change? These and other questions can really temper the otherwise fun shooty dinosaur filled experience.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Action

Players

8

Online enabled

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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