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20th Jul 2023

REVIEW: Exoprimal is gaming at its most gloriously basic

Rory Cashin


The concept is simple: Future robots versus dinosaurs!

In much the same way that anything described by a hyperactive 6-year-old on too much sugar can be, Exoprimal can be confusing, difficult to follow, completely all over the place… but it sure sounds like whatever is happening could be a lot of fun.

Set in the not-too-distant future, Earth has been semi-destroyed by… something. So they turn to artificial intelligence to help them figure out what happened. The AI does this by sending a group of soldiers, each in hugely equipped mech suits, into a simulation of the day when everything went to shit. It turns out it involves hordes of dinosaurs arriving via weird purple rifts in the space-time continuum. And the only way to fix the problem is by wiping out these hordes, feeding the AI valuable battle information… and… yeah, we lost track around here somewhere.

It feels almost pointless trying to describe the overall plot of Exoprimal, when it can – and should – only be described as follows: robots versus dinosaurs.

The bastard lovechild of Earth Defence Force and Destiny 2’s Gambit mode, you’re dropped into a five-player team and given a limited number of missions to complete. They range from kill all of the dinosaurs to protecting a machine from all of the dinosaurs to … well, that’s kind of it, to be honest.

The repetition arrives early but doesn’t hit hard, because there is something so insanely addictive about Exoprimal. It targets the purest pleasure centre of our brains to deliver just enough fun to keep us coming back for me. The usual gameplay loops exist, including loot boxes and in-game currency, to “assist” you in the grind for better weapons, improved mech suits and cosmetic features.

Visually, the gameplay can get very busy, with literally hundreds of targets filling the screen at times, but despite being entirely online, there was zero lag or glitches, and the whole thing looks very pretty if never entirely cutting edge. Same goes for the music and sound design, while the voice acting is initially spot on – delivering some darkly comic one-liners that feel like they’ve dropped right out of Starship Troopers – they soon lose their lustre after their tenth, twentieth, fiftieth time hearing them.

But again, that hardly seems to matter. Exoprimal is all about the immediate hit, and for now, we’re still returning to it for a few rounds of fifteen minute PvP or PvE matches, then turning it off… forgetting about it… until that itch returns…

Exoprimal is available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One and PC right now.

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