While we’re only just over half way through the year, I feel confident in saying I’ve found the most bonkers game of the year. Exoprimal, a Jurassic Park meets DOOM shooter that is…quite hard to describe.
It’s quintessentially Capcom. A game that posits an absolutely wild premise and offers little explanation as to how we got here. If anything, the plot might simply be there to facilitate a drunken ‘what if’ idea dreamed up by the developers. Throw in a hefty arsenal of guns, some shapeshifting robots and a dystopian world to blow up, and you have Exoprimal. Oh, we’re forgetting something. You’re fighting armies of dinosaurs that have tore through time and space to eat you up. That’s so far from a bad thing.
The game drops you in Bikitoa Island, a mountainous range abandoned by humanity (we think). It’s 2040, and dinosaurs have mysteriously began to appear across the globe. Honestly, we have no idea why they’re appearing, but they are. You play as part of a ragtag team of Exofighters that if they’re not running by their own gun, they’re certainly not playing by the book. Through a series of rapidly escalating events, the team end up on Bikitoa Island, armed only a unique team bond formed through some potentially dubious military practices and robotic suits that can fire rockets and morph into tanks.
To describe Exoprimal as chaotic is an understatement. It’s like experiencing a firework display taking place in a portaloo. I make it two or three minutes into the game before I lose total track of what’s actually happening. I’m pretty certain I’ve lost my mind, too. I’m beamed to an island, where I’m met only for a portal to open up that unleashes wave after wave of blue Velociraptors. Michael Bay would think this action scene was a little overkill. I’m harangued by a teammate for “looking like I’ve never shot a dinosaur before.” To their credit, I haven’t, but that changes quickly. It’s beautiful mayhem.
Online play ramps up the action even further. I matchmake with four other players in a 5v5 battle. First team to destroy all their dinosaurs, wins. Alongside my four newfound friend and hunters, I fire indiscriminately, aimlessly popping off bullets like I’m at laser quest. I’m sure there’s an element of skill to it, but I don’t find it and nor do I really want to. I enjoy the chaos, but feel unreasonably guilty in killing a triceratops that was beamed from its home only to be blown to pieces. It must have been so confused. The game ends, and I have absolutely zero idea if I won or not. We did, I find out later.
Exoprimal wouldn’t usually be one of ‘my’ games. It would have likely flown over my head like a pterodactyl if I hadn’t have accidentally stumbled across it. It’s too early to say whether Exoprimal will have the same returnability that games like Call of Duty or Fortnite enjoy, but that’ll become clearer over time and as servers become more populated. For now though, simply enjoy the absurd.