Exoprimal is the upcoming sci-fi PvPvE third person shooter from Capcom in which you team up with other players and use high-tech suits to fight off waves of enemies. The action takes place in the year 2040 when random appearances of mysterious portals spewing thousands of dinosaurs are threatening humankind. Aibius is a corporation that fights back by employing an advanced AI able to predict the next outbreaks along with Exosuits piloted by humans known as Exofighters. You, as one of those pilots, will team up with other players and fight off waves of dinosaurs while also competing with each other in an effort to further develop the Exosuits with the collected data.
The main game mode (and the only one available during the network test) is Dino Survival which sees two teams of five deployed in a location of an upcoming outbreak. The two teams work separately to complete the same series of objectives as fast as possible. The tasks are randomly generated and seemingly adjusted depending on the players’ performance. So even two matches on the same map can be different and may take you to different areas. For example, one of my matches ended up with my team under a skyscraper with hundreds of raptors pouring down from a portal in the sky while another ended up with both teams fighting each other head on, and yet another had both teams work together to take down a giant boss.
Exoprimal starts with a standard character creator consisting of several presets, face options, and colours for your mech superhero tights. Following that, there is a quick tutorial introducing basic controls and mechanics. Generally, Exoprimal controls like a standard third-person shooter with an over-the-shoulder camera, basic platforming, and classes in the form of Exosuits, which grant you different weapons and abilities reminiscent of hero shooters, like Overwatch or Paladins.
The Exosuits are separated into three categories — Assault, Tank, or Support — and the network test featured five distinct suits with unique abilities, ways of moving and, physiques. Deadeye is a versatile soldier with bodybuilder proportions; Roadblock is a hulk with a shield; Witchdoctor is a scrawny, agile hunchback with a "magic" staff and a healing "spell"; Zephyr is an acrobatic melee specialist; and Barrage is a demolition expert with a flaming head. Separate from picking a suit, you can customise your loadout with Rigs that provide an additional skill, like a shoulder cannon or a super jump. At any time during a match, you are able to eject from your Exosuit and summon another one, so when your team lacks healers or tanks (like they usually do) you are can always fix that. Under certain conditions during a match, you will also be able to place down defensive walls or even control a subjugated dinosaur like a T-Rex.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Exoprimal, the experience felt obviously disjointed given the small amount of content and sparse narrative elements, but the gameplay, the sound, and the visuals all felt intent and appropriate with no obvious technical issues. Dino Survival felt novel with how it used the same map, but utilised it differently each time, taking you to other areas and giving you different objectives. Class-based games always run a risk of the classes/characters feeling samey in some way, and in here, the Exosuits not only have different abilities, but also move and sound completely different. That (in combination with the third-person camera) sells the differences between them more effectively.
My only complaint about Exoprimal is about feedback and how responsive it was in some instances. Switching Exosuits in particular was taking a bit long for my tastes, leaving me to do nothing for a moment and just watch. Dealing damage also had poor feedback with even some weaker enemies feeling like they just absorbed hits or were already dead, and the game didn’t indicate it. When it came to big enemies, it was hard to tell when I would receive damage from them with their hitboxes, or my hurtbox being too big for the visible character models. This doesn’t feel like anything major, however, and if it doesn’t get smoothed out later, it may be possible to get used to.
The Exoprimal Open Beta will be available from 17-19 March on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, with the full game coming out on 13th July 2023.