The team-based multiplayer shooter is an absurd blend of action and sci-fi, making good on the promise of 65 — allowing players to battle a bunch of dinosaurs with futuristic weaponry. Is it high art? Not a bit. Even if the convoluted story warns us of our over-reliance on artificial intelligence, the real appeal boils down to shooting big dinosaurs in their scaly faces.
The matches are uniquely structured, as players attempt to achieve goals on a squad of five. There’s a distinct Player versus Environment atmosphere, as players attempt to clear out waves of dinosaurs faster than the opposing team. Depending on your match type, you either end with a challenging PvE scenario or get a goal that allows for both teams to finally interact.
The latter player-versus-player situations are where the game shines, as players get to duke it out while defending territory or clutching a payload. These allow for surprising comebacks if a team works together well, or crushing defeats where a team loses its sizable head start. Either way, you never feel like you’re out of a match of Exoprimal until this final section, which makes it an engaging multiplayer experience from beginning to end.
There are 10 suits divided into three main class types (assault, tank, and healer), with about three-quarters of them being fun to use. Having a diverse team lineup is key, as the assault types are largely useless without a healer thanks to limited health. While I usually don’t enjoy being a pure support character, most of Exoprimal’s healers can also dish out some damage, which makes them useful and engaging characters to play as. This got me to always change my class if we were lacking in that area, where I might not in other games.
While the core gameplay in Exoprimal is quite fun, it never really reaches a level to truly rave about. The action is always adequate, yet rarely thrilling enough to get your heart racing. The story is interesting at a glance, but told through cumbersome data files and boring cutscenes. It’s a case of being good, yet falling just short of greatness. That makes it hard to feel too much about Exoprimal beyond, “I’ll keep playing it when I have nothing better to do.”
Thanks to cross-play and a selection of levels that expand over time (including some rarer story-based ones), there’s quite a bit of replayability. This includes a lengthy grind toward the game’s Platinum trophy and leveling up the individual suit types to unlock more buffs and cosmetics. I can’t say I ever found the cosmetics all that interesting, as the game doesn’t truly deliver on the carrot-on-a-stick design it aspires to have. But I have been regularly playing for a week, and can’t see it slowing down.
Exoprimal Review: The final verdict
Exoprimal’s biggest strength is that it’s easy to get friends into, and you’re basically guaranteed to have a decent time whether you win or lose. The shooter doesn’t reinvent the genre, but it has enough going for its structure that helps it feel fresh — even when you’re running the same stage for the 20th time. Future updates will be key to its longevity, but Capcom has quite a solid base to build upon, and it’s worth diving in with some buddies if you’re looking for something new to play.
Disclaimer: Our Exoprimal review is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on version 1.000.001.