Exoprimal Review – Primal Rage

Exoprimal Review

Capcom and dinosaurs share quite the history, but not always for the best reasons. With frequent cries for a return to the Dino Crisis series, the renowned developer has mostly skipped the subject and focused on other titles. But if there’s one thing in excess in Exoprimal, then that’s the oversized and very extinct reptiles; again starring in the traditional role of predators. A no-holds barred futuristic multiplayer third-person shooter, this is a game about sheer firepower and class-based coordination. Make sure to leave your brains at the door and that you enjoy your player versus player (PvP) gameplay more than usual.

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Exoprimal proudly displays the kind of dystopian future where freedom and power come at a great price. The theme is remarkably close to the one in Starship Troopers, where everything in society seems to be pushing people towards the military, turning them into expendable assets in a battle against a ravenous foe – dinosaurs in this case – always outnumbered and outgunned. Even the advertisements and recruitment processes from the Aibius Corporation are deceivingly empowering and surrealistic, blatant bait that a keen eye could spot from a mile away.

However, this time we have an artificial intelligence behind the grand scheme of things, Leviathan, organizing the wargames where soldiers jump into Exosuits to fight the dino menace. The main mode of the game is called Dino Survival and pits two squads of five soldiers against the ferocious creatures, in a rush to clear the objectives faster than your opponent, until you reach the final confrontation on a random mode.

Exoprimal Review

This is the bulk of most Exoprimal’s matches, but before that you should become familiar with the available Exosuits and find the one that best fits your playstyle. These armored suits come in three classes, all perfectly recognizable to anyone familiar with the shooter genre: Assault, Tank, and Support. Featuring a mix of melee and long-ranged classes, the combinations aren’t too extensive due to a total of ten classes, but there’s enough variety in them to encourage experimentation during the first hours, along with some customization options.

One of the odd but welcome aspects within a match is the ability to switch Exosuits at any point. So, if your team is lacking in tank characters, something that the game even warns you about, you can bring up the suit selection menu and pick another one. This triggers a cool and highly technological animation where your soldier exits the suit to move into the next one; however, this action comes with an extra step requiring you to press another button to enter the new suit, something that is cumbersome and unnecessary, unless you want to see your frail soldier walking around and shooting their rifle, acting as a savory meal on legs for the voracious dinosaurs.

Completing runs rewards you with experience points, coins, and regularly unlocks modules to upgrade your suit. You also earn lost data chips, which are the reason to keep the story moving forward through an analysis map. While the lore is introduced mostly via still screens with voice overs, it’s interesting to follow as your cast of misfits delves into the inner workings of the wargames, the ulterior intentions of the mysterious Leviathan, and your character’s origin.

Exoprimal has its moments for sure, mostly due to the overwhelming amount of dinos coming right at your team. These clashes can look good, bullets and grenades flying everywhere, smaller creatures being destroyed left and right, paving the way for the larger ones such as the Carnotaurus or the Triceratops. Don’t expect a massive diversity in this area, as the dinos rule more by numbers than by variety of species, meaning that you won’t have to drastically change your team tactics while facing this threat. Be prepared for a few instances of dinosaur stun lock, as you are rammed without a chance to move out of the way before you get into the same situation again, until your health is depleted, and you are either revived by a teammate or respawned.

The Relentless Threat

The main issue with Exoprimal is that it feels light and quickly runs out of ideas, and throwing a battle pass and several skins for cosmetic customization isn’t a terrific way to keep players returning. After the initial awe of having so many dinosaurs to shoot and these fancy Exosuits that wouldn’t be out of place in a game like Warframe, the effect wears thin as you follow the Watcher for the umpteenth time, combat starts to feel bland, you clear the area, and do it ad aeternum. Since you’re always doing this in competition with a second squad, it’s all a matter of speed, as you are constantly reminded that you are doing it slower or faster than the opposing team. When you finally reach the final mission, it’s time for some sort of confrontation…

Exoprimal Review

… And this is where Exoprimal isn’t quite sure about what it wants to be. Touted as a team-based action game with PvP and PvE modes, it relentlessly leans towards the former and harshly ignores the latter, despite the idea that you can pick a final mission from one or the other. As it turns out, the PvE mission also involves some type of direct confrontation with the other squad, even if to the point of controlling a huge Dominator dinosaur and wreaking havoc in the enemy team. Having such a game-changing player versus player element creeping into what is supposed to be a player versus environment mode, adding to the previous speed rush against the other team, feels like a disappointing choice.

Furthermore, and despite the random selection, the final mission tends to repeat a lot as well. You’re bound to protect this data key to the objective for more times than you can stomach, gearing up for a final showdown against the rival squad – again – and when you finally get to something different such as area capture, sighs of relief may be heard, but the processes don’t change that much. If you still get some decent variety to your closing game mode, it’s a matter of fact that the linearity of the locations and the straightforward action, while initially pleasant, may get tiring even before you advance enough to explore other maps. Some sections can be truly impressive though, with the skies opening up to hundreds of dinosaurs breaking into your dimension, as if living and breathing skyscrapers made up of sharp teeth.

Those who stick to it will unlock some interesting game modes where true cooperation finally comes first. Both teams may now join forces in events such as 10-player boss raids against Triceratops or the impressive Neo T-Rex, a mutated beast of devastating rage, finally hinting at some of the PvE potential that Exoprimal didn’t quite achieve to its fullest.

Is Exoprimal worth the asking price or is it a standard shooter that just happens to use dinos as a mere gimmick? The answer depends on your appreciation for team-based squad experiences with a heavy focus on PvP. Don’t even consider it solely based on any PvE aspect, as that area plays a minimal role in the game.

Exoprimal Review

As a straight-up shooter, Exoprimal comes with competent mechanics and polish, even if a feeling of sameness ends up as the predominant factor after a few hours of play. There’s something here to spark interest among the most competitive players, but it doesn’t feel like Exoprimal is a multiplayer game made for the ages, same as the creatures that were brought from the past to serve as the enemies in here.

Score: 7.5/10


  • Initial contacts with the massive number of dinos is exciting
  • Exosuits are interesting to experiment with


  • Speed rush gameplay feels bland after a few hours
  • PvE mode is barely explored

Exoprimal review code was provided by the publisher. You can read MP1st’s review and scoring policy right here.

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