Game Details
Developer Capcom
Publisher Capcom
Available on PS5 · Xbox Series X · PS4 · Xbox One · PC
Reviewed on PS5
Release Date July 14, 2023

Exoprimal from Capcom is a very weird multiplayer game that keeps getting better the more you play. I enjoyed what I played during the open beta, but wasn’t sure the full game would have enough meat to keep me interested. After now playing over 50 hours across platforms, I’ve come away very pleased with Exoprimal, but there are a lot of caveats over there, especially for the opening hours. In my Exoprimal review, I’m going to focus on the PS5 version, but I will also cover a bit about how it plays on Steam Deck right now.

If you’ve not followed it at all, Exoprimal is a third-person PvEvP hero shooter. You can even play it almost exclusively in PvE, but there is a catch which I will get to in a bit. The core game flow involves you getting matched with other players in Dino Survival, completing the match, unlocking things for your exosuit, and also some lore and story content. The story content is very weirdly handled, because you experience it through bits and pieces of worldbuilding, but these are unlocked on an analysis map that behaves like a flowchart. The story starts out doing nothing special, but it goes into some interesting places, and has very good voice acting and cut-scenes.

The story in Exoprimal involves an AI called Leviathan, dinosaurs appearing through outbreaks across the world, exosuits (classes) designed to take on dinosaurs, massive raids, a superb final boss, and some interesting character development. I find it funny that Capcom has an NPC called Majesty that everyone thought was Regina from Dino Crisis because of her appearance and this game involving dinosaurs, but this has nothing to do with that franchise. The storytelling being broken up into logs, lore, and cut-scenes that slowly have things falling into place for the greater narrative is something that works at different points of the game, but there are instances where I was just skipping these to move forward. You can revisit them in the database at any time as well. In a lot of ways, this is how I wish Overwatch did its storytelling and PvE mode.

Exoprimal can be played almost completely as a PvE game, but the one PvP element is the dominator. During the course of a battle, Leviathan can summon a dominator for the enemy team and your own team letting you become a big dinosaur and invade the opponents. This lets you delay their progress in the battle by distracting or killing them. Respawning takes a bit so this allows your own team to progress faster while a player-controlled dinosaur is invading opponents. Barring this, there is no PvP mode forced in my experience. I spoke to a few friends across the world and only one of them has told me he was forced into PvP despite choosing PvE from the matchmaking as the final mission.

By default, this is set to random giving you an experience boost as well, but you can also select either just PvP or just PvE. I set it to PvE and only had to deal with player-controlled enemies during the dominator invasions. This final mission is the second phase of a battle. The first phase is completely PvE. These battles play out with objectives like culling dinosaur hordes, defeating a specific powerful or larger dinosaur, escorting something, defending a specific location, and more.

Each battle has you and your team going from point to point in one of the maps following the watcher that tells you your objective for that part. The early hours involve basic raptors with a rare interesting dinosaur that feels like a boss enemy. After maybe five or six hours, you start getting neosaurs which are mutated dinosaurs, more difficult boss dinosaurs, and start getting into the real game in Exoprimal. This progression is what will make most people drop the game because I already know many folks who downloaded it on Xbox Game Pass and just deleted it after two or three hours. Once you do get into this part of Exoprimal, things start falling in place and you will have an actual good time. As you progress now, the story missions start popping up with 10 person raids that are bonkers in a good way. I was actually shocked at how much my opinion of Exoprimal improved after I got beyond those repetitive early hours of easy missions.

So far I haven’t even gotten into the different classes or exosuits available. I spent most of my time before the endgame playing Krieger or Murasame. Both are considered tank exosuits, but the latter really didn’t feel like one. Towards the end, I swapped to Barrage, which is an assault exosuit. I didn’t really try healing on console, but did start out as a healer on my Steam Deck save. The different exosuits are varied enough where I didn’t get bored even replaying the similar missions. Barring the actual exosuit differences, you can also equip a rig which is extra equipment like a long-range laser or small healing zone. These help tweak the playstyle of melee or ranged focus suits to compensate for a weakness. Just like Dead or Alive does, I feel like Exoprimal might eventually get a free version that has most content locked barring one exosuit of each kind just to let players sample the core offering, but having one of those raids available earlier in a tweaked form will help.

As you progress through the missions, your character, exosuit, and survival pass level up. Your player level helps you unlock in-game currency on a regular basis, war chests which are loot boxes, new rigs, and additional exosuits. If you have the deluxe edition or buy the head start kit, you can unlock those exosuits from the start instead of leveling up. The exosuit levels have their own rewards of cosmetics, modules, and in-game currency. The survival pass has a free and paid tier for various cosmetics like skins, emotes, backgrounds, icons, and more. It has the whole nine yards of cosmetic stuff you’d see in a game like this, but Exoprimal is a full-priced game, which makes this annoying. As of this writing, you can’t buy in-game currency, war chests, or tier skips, but you can buy additional cosmetics for the game. This monetization in a multiplayer game makes me wonder why Capcom didn’t opt for a lower price point. I think as a $40 game, this would’ve been an easier pill to swallow.

I don’t want to spoil the final mission or the raids, but they feel completely different from the regular missions and are true tests of all the mechanics you’ve experienced until trying them. Capcom did a great job with making them feel absolutely amazing to play, unless of course you have teammates who aren’t paying attention to the objectives. In that situation, you might end up having 20 minutes of your time wasted. Barring those instances which happened twice in the final boss fight for me, I hope Capcom adds a playlist just for those battles because I’d enjoy doing them once or twice a day while trying out new classes and to grind for the trophy as I work my way to get the platinum.

Exoprimal PS5 and Xbox Series X features

Exoprimal has no haptic feedback or adaptive trigger support unless Capcom implemented it just for specific exosuits I didn’t try. It does have PS5 Activity Cards support for tracking progress through the main story and jumping into different modes. Beyond that, there isn’t anything PS5-specific. On the Xbox Series X side, it does have Quick Resume support, but that is a worthless feature in an online-only game. Performance on both consoles was great in my experience. There were dips, but I’m pleased with how well optimized the game was even late game on console. I just wish I could sync my save across platforms since I use the same Capcom ID on them.

Exoprimal on Steam Deck works very well out of the box

While it isn’t Steam Deck Verified, Exoprimal is marked as Playable because it sometimes shows non Steam Deck controller icons and has some text that is difficult to read on the small screen. 60fps isn’t possible because of how things go later on in battles, but you can get the Steam Deck to run it at 40hz with some tweaking thanks to FSR. Hopefully Capcom can sort these so Exoprimal can be Steam Deck Verified like Street Fighter 6 and Resident Evil 4 soon.

This review is based on the game’s current state. There’s more coming as soon as later this week when Capcom releases the Savage Gauntlet event and then brings in the first title update with Alpha variant exosuits. There are also collaborations planned, but how those play out remains to be seen. I’m going to check out each season and collaboration to see how Capcom can improve Exoprimal and hopefully make it a game more people enjoy playing.

The big question is whether Exoprimal is worth full price or not. In its current state, I think it is if you enjoy games like Earth Defense Force or like playing Warriors games. It will be something I can recommend for more people once the multiplayer issues like cross platform lobbies, cross progression, and some quality of life features like being able to skip cut-scenes can be added. If you don’t care about the first two things I mentioned and only play on a single platform, Exoprimal is an easier recommendation.

It might sound like I’m down on Exoprimal because of the issues I have with the early hours and some features I expect in a multiplayer game, but I wanted to make sure I cover the aspects of the game that needs fixing, because I love a lot about Exoprimal, and will be coming back to it daily for a game or two while learning to play the other exosuits leading up to the new content and collaborations coming.

Exoprimal is a game I enjoyed playing a lot by the end of the campaign. While the barrier of entry to the good parts is high with how the early hours of repetitive content, those who are willing to power through that will find a fun multiplayer experience that isn’t afraid of turning things to eleven multiple times in a row. The raids and final boss fight are some of the most memorable battles you will have in a multiplayer game this year by far. The online and matchmaking held up perfectly since launch with it taking only seconds for getting me into a game. It is a shame that Capcom hasn’t added in cross platform lobbies and cross progression yet. Those are my biggest hopes for the game in addition to the developers fixing the progression in the early hours of the game for new players.

Exoprimal is out now for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC platforms. It is also included in Xbox Game Pass. Check it out on Steam here.

A copy of this game was provided to us by the publisher for this review.

Previous articleInfinity Strash: Dragon Quest the Adventure of Dai Reveals Playable Characters and New Gameplay Screenshots
Next articleOne Piece Pirate Warriors 4 Character Pass 2 Revealed, Now Available for Purchase
exoprimal-review-ps5-steam-deck-pc-xbox-capcom-multiplayerExoprimal is a very weird game that I enjoyed playing a lot by the end of it. Some multiplayer and early progression issues hold back an otherwise super fun experience that has me coming back for more daily even after 50 hours across platforms. It has the potential to be even better with some tweaking.