Dinosaur butts not yet implemented
I feel bad for absolutely every multi-player focused game entering the current market. They survive entirely on maintaining a player base, and a lot of folks will just play whatever their friends are playing. So, in order to succeed, they not only need to bring in people, but also the people those people associate with. It doesn’t matter if a game is good or not. Many people still playing Destiny 2 hate it, but it’s what their friends are playing.
Capcom seems to think they’ve found the secret ingredient: butts. And dinosaurs. Right there, those are two of my favorite things. Exoprimal is a game about robots who never miss leg day fighting dinosaurs. And it is… a game. And now I’ve played the beta.
Based on the beta, I have absolutely no idea what Exoprimal is supposed to be about. It opens up with a video that implies humanity is under threat of dinosaurs. Then you have a job interview. After that, an AI claims to have control over time and space and is using that to make you fight. You don’t so much exist in a world as much as you’re dropped into one, and then dinosaurs are dropped in right after you.
You’re given a slew of exosuits to choose from, and you can pick them on the fly, even mid-match. If your team is too squishy, a quick change into a tank exosuit will help alleviate that. There’s a wide selection of playstyles available, and a good portion of them have excellent posteriors.
Considering your pilot has the flattest pair of hams in the multi-verse, my theory is that Exoprimal exists in a future where butts have gone extinct. Humans have created exosuits to compensate for their lack of cake – a sort of prosthetic butt – but everyone is too ashamed to admit there’s no junk left in humanity’s genetic trunk. So we equipped our butt-suits for combat and then didn’t have anything to fight. We then created an AI to dump dinosaurs on us so that we can keep pretending that our robots don’t just have fly booties because we can no longer attain that level of shapeliness.
What’s your favorite dinosaur?
Gameplay has you following a sassy corporate drone. It shouts reassurances at you and keeps you informed of the incomprehensible stuff going on around you. Every so often, it stops at a node in its path, and then it’s time to fight dinosaurs. There are a few variations of this objective, but it all boils down to mass extinction.
What’s your favorite dinosaur? Mine’s a parasaurolophus, but those duck boys aren’t much for battle. Instead, the AI usually pours raptors on you. In return, you mash buttons in their direction. Sometimes, if you have a shooty robot, you need to aim, and other times you just wave your robot hands toward the swarm of scales and teeth. Then numbers come out of them, and they fall down. After a sufficient number of dinosaurs fall down, you move on to the next node, and things progress like that.
Another team of five players is stacked on the other side of the dimensional barrier, trying to complete the same objectives as your team, only faster. You race to see who can get to the final round first.
The final round has a few variations, but I only saw two. The first involved charging a hammer with the corpses of dinosaurs, and the other has you pick up batteries and kill members of the other team to steal their batteries. In the former, I always let a more capable member of the team carry the hammer while I focused on harvesting dinosaur souls. In the latter, I wrecked house. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but I was incredible at killing the other team. Unfortunately, I’m not certain you get points for doing so, especially when they aren’t actually killing batteries. The only thing I know for sure is that after committing mass robo-cide still meant I was the second-worst member of the team in terms of score.
I was often never clear on what was happening. It’s kind of like dropping a new person into World of Warcraft and immediately forcing them to run a raid. There are just particle effects everywhere, and the screen is shouting at you, but nothing comprehensible is happening. I’m sure that after running a few dozen rounds your brain will be able to read what was happening; but in the hours I spent with Exoprimal, I just aimed at dinosaurs and mashed the various action buttons.
I liked playing as the sniper because they have one of the more shapely butts. I actually did better when I stepped into the butt of anyone but the sniper, but I kept going back. I also liked the samurai because they speak Japanese and have, like, balls on their butt. I very briefly tried the support robots because I only feel valid when I’m murdering hordes of dinosaurs.
If there’s a good way to take down the bigger dinosaurs, I’m not sure what it is. Like, the Ankylosaurus is all armored on its back, right? So I just aimed for the belly area, and I have no idea whether that did more or less damage. Even the sniper’s attacks seem geared toward taking down swarms of dinosaurs as quickly as possible, so when you’re against a big, single target, there isn’t adequate feedback on whether or not you’re doing well.
I made it through this without mentioning Dino Crisis. Damn.
I’m not sure if I like Exoprimal. For one thing, I don’t often play multi-player games because humans are awful. On the other hand, I kept thinking about Salmon Run in Splatoon 3. Salmon Run is a fun, easy-to-read, cooperative horde mode where you can tell if you’re doing well or not. Salmon Run does lack one thing that Exoprimal has: butts.
If you really want to get into Exoprimal, it’s likely going to take some time until you understand how it flows, how everything works, and how to sight-read it. Your friends will also have to do that. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it. I’m just pointing out that it has a hell of a fight ahead of it. It really doesn’t have anything for me personally. Except dinosaurs. And robot butts.
You can find out if Exoprimal has enough robot butts for you when it releases July 14 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.