Exoprimal Closed Network Test Hands-On – Cloudy, With a Chance Of Raptors

Exoprimal

In the past few years, CAPCOM has been on a roll. The Japanese publisher went through some tough times during the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 console generation, but it recovered brilliantly, releasing a slew of excellent games. With titles like Monster Hunter World, Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, Devil May Cry 5, the Resident Evil 2 remake, Monster Hunter Rise, and Resident Evil Village, there was no doubt that the Japanese publisher and its development teams were back and better than ever.

With so many great games released in the past few years, some fans were disappointed by the announcement of Exoprimal, a multiplayer game and the first one in a while by CAPCOM to feature dinosaurs. With a bland presentation, no connection to the beloved Dino Crisis series, and the frankly misleading reveal featuring a red-haired woman who resembled the series' main character Regina, many are ready to skip the game before even trying it out. That would be a huge mistake, in my opinion, as Exoprimal is a pretty fun game with tons of potential.

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While the closed beta was limited in content, it provided a decent look at character creation and one of its game modes, Dino Survival mode. The character creator does offer a decent amount of options, but most players aren't going to spend much time in it since their character will almost always be seen wearing an Exosuit which determines the character's abilities and role. In this regard, Exoprimal feels quite varied, even with the limited selection of suits available for the closed beta. Assault suits include the ranged specialist Deadeye and the melee specialist Zephyr; the Tank suit is Roadblock, who can put up a shield to defend teammates, shove enemies away and punch them repeatedly for decent damage; and the Support suit is the Witchdoctor, who can heal allies and buff allies with improved movement speed and more. Each Exosuit, even if it belongs to the same type, feel different from one another, thanks to a host of different abilities, and controlling them feels incredibly smooth. Undeniably, the developer has done a great job in making the Exosuits deep and complex without making them complicated to handle.

As mentioned above, Dino Survival was the only mode available in the Closed Beta test. In this mode, two teams compete to clear waves of dinosaurs in the shortest time possible. Enemy variety seems solid, as players will have to fight against all sorts of species, from ground to aerial dinosaurs. Velociraptors, for example, come in swarms while T-Rexes come in smaller numbers, so players need to adapt to the situation to clear waves as quickly as possible. This is made easier by the ability to switch Exosuit on the fly, which adds a whole new dimension to the game. Teamwork is central in Exoprimal, so being able to patch holes in the team's composition on the fly is an extremely important element.

While mainly a PvE mode, Dino Survival is more than that. At the end of a match, the two teams will go directly against each other for the final mission. During one match, my team had to collect a set number of energy cartridges, while during another, we had to protect a slow-moving box until it reached its goal. The changing winning conditions add an unpredictable element that definitely makes the game more exciting. Unpredictability seems to be what the Exoprimal development team seems to be going for, as in one of the matches, both teams were transported to a new area where they had to collaborate to defeat a Neo T-Rex. The change of pace was highly welcome, and it made the game almost feel like a new, futuristic rendition of the Monster Hunter series formula.

Exoprimal may have no connection with Dino Crisis, but this shouldn't stop players looking for a new fun multiplayer romp from trying the game. How it will hold up depends entirely on the support CAPCOM will provide after launch, but a very solid base is there. I, for one, am very curious how the company will handle its game and cannot wait to be able to experience more dinosaur slaying action when Exoprimal releases sometime in 2023 for PC and consoles.

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