Exoprimal is a new co-op shooter reminiscent of games like Left4Dead, but instead of zombies there are dinos (PC, Xbox Series, Xbox One, PS4, PS5). MeinMMO editor Maik Schneider was surprised how good the game is. But as a full-price title… more likely in Xbox Game Pass.
I laughed heartily at the first trailer for Exoprimal. That was in March 2022, during a State of Play, PlayStation show.
You could see a huge, black sphere between narrow high-rise buildings over a swept-empty street. Hundreds of raptors fall from the ball to the ground from a distance of at least 50 meters. My interest was piqued. That’s my sense of humour.
Exoprimal then presented itself as a kind of Left4Dead with dinos and suit power like in Anthem. The suits determine the class, in different missions we rampage through different areas and ensure that the dino population is contained.
Capcom has already let me onto the servers to beat up one or two hundred dinosaurs. I’ll give you a little insight into how it plays and what I think of it.
You can also find an Exoprimal video by the GameStar colleagues on YouTube (via youtube.com) and you can watch a trailer with gameplay here:
Fluid feel with the right amount of exaggeration
What is Exoprimal about? The story is well staged, here is the first surprise. There are many cutscenes with cool pictures and a wacky sci-fi story.
The characters and the background story make you shake your head, you won’t find any complexity. But if you find it funny that hundreds of dinosaurs fall out of a black ball and then attack you, you will also be served here.
As a novice exo pilot, I end up in a shattered team and have to get into my suit right away on the first mission. Some insane AI goes berserk and then… time travel, parallel worlds or something? story!
How is the game structured? Here’s the next surprise: Exoprimal is designed as a PvEvP game. In the beginning there are almost only PvE fights, later pure co-op modes are added.
It’s basically a co-op shooter with an unusual PvP component reminiscent of Destiny 2’s Gambit mode.
Two teams start the same mission and compete against each other in a time race. However, only the “ghosts” of the others can be seen at first, I cannot actively attack the opponents.
Then different missions start, which you have to do as quickly as possible. Stopping an onslaught, filleting a particularly large dinosaur into bite-sized pieces, protecting a payload.
In the final showdown, PvP actually kicks in and you fight against each other “for the last few meters”. The team that is behind must play aggressively to stop their opponents from advancing and still have a chance of winning.
As I progress through the game, there are more and more of these little mini-missions within the missions. It was a little dragging at first because there were very few activities in the first few missions that I unlocked.
As time goes by, the missions become more complex, more difficult, and I unlock more gear, become more powerful, and become more specialized in my role. There are modes with sometimes more, sometimes less PvP and the missions change because the AI in the story always adjusts the challenge.
How does Exoprimal play? The dinosaur baller convinced me. The gameplay structure is solid, the shooter mechanics are decent and the many different abilities of the exosuits add variety.
Anyway, the Exos are the highlight of Exoprimal. There were 10 Exos available in the test version, but I have to unlock 3 of them first. The parts are divided into:
There’s the typical assault rifle attacker, a healer, a support, and Reinhardt from Overwatch is there too. So … not directly Reinhardt. But one tank is a pure melee fighter and has a large energy shield that it can spread out in front of it.
The Reinhardt comparison came to mind as we were playing. Now that I’m writing and checking the material, I realize that there are quite a few similarities to Overwatch. And there’s nothing wrong with that – when it comes to hero shooters, Overwatch 2 is still the benchmark.
The more difficult Exoprimal becomes in the course of the missions, the more fun the title brings. When you suddenly notice that the 457 raptors are getting closer and closer, even though you’re shooting your entire arsenal at the almost water-flowing group of dinosaurs, your pulse, excitement and fun increase.
Cooperation and coordination are important. The right class selection and common strategies lead to success. Even the exosuits can be changed during a match.
In order to keep things going in the long term, Exoprimal relies on extensive progress systems and unfortunately this is where the problems start.
Conclusion: Be sure to test it in Xbox Game Pass before you buy it
After the installation I wanted to get into a mission as soon as possible and hardly looked around in the menu. Just start again. After the first missions I thought – “oh cool, that was really good.”
Exoprimal surprised me very positively. So far it’s actually the surprise of the year for me, a really solid shooter from a new brand and far bigger than I thought it would be.
I browsed the menu and found many progression systems and searched online for the monetization model. But a surprise here too, I almost fell off my chair.
Exoprimal costs 60 euros on the PlayStation and is a full price title.
Despite the scope, the whole structure of the game reminded me more of Free2Play titles. You can tell at every corner that there is still room for more content and that the focus is on the live service:
I really thought Exoprimal was coming as a free2play shooter and I had given the dino slicer a good chance of building a loyal player base. But as a full-price title, Exoprimal is going to have a really tough time.
Sure, there’s a lot of story cinematics, decent graphics, a lot of content. But Destiny 2 also offers that, even in the Free2Play part of the shooter and again one level above.
After all: The new co-op shooter will be included in the Xbox Game Pass for the release on July 14th – so you don’t have to dig too deep into your pockets for an extended gameplay session.
If you’re a fan of co-op bangers, be sure to check it out. You get a dedicated shooter with decent potential that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But it’s better to test Exoprimal beforehand or wait for a sale.
If you have any questions or opinions about the game, put them in the comments.
If you want to read another report from me, have a look here: I never gave the action shooter Warframe a chance – the new, crazy expansion changes that