Exoprimal's dino shooting feels at home on Xbox Game Pass, but does it have staying power? Play4ever

Exoprimal is out today! While we’ve not had a chance to play enough of it yet to warrant a full review, considering that it’s a live service shooter that requires a decent time investment before an educated critique of it can be written up, we have given it enough time for a cheeky preview. Our early verdict? This is a wonderful game for Game Pass.

First up: what is Exoprimal? The game places you into the shoes of an exosuit pilot as they’re sent back in time into combat wargames by a Rogue AI named Leviathan. You see, Leviathan’s job is to create better and better exosuits, and they’ve decided that throwing you and other players into endless fights against dinosaurs (and each other) is the best way to do so.

If that sounds a touch wacky, it is! But the game actually does do a decent job at setting up the premise with just enough sincerity and a vibrant cast of likeable characters to keep you on board. This is not a super serious, heart-wrenching story of love and loss – but it is an enjoyable way to get you onto a tropical island filled with dinosaurs without rolling your eyes. A feat that I had feared was impossible.

I actually do like the crewmates! They aren’t as annoying or vanilla as I’d feared. | Image credit: VG247 / Capcom

But lets dive into the gameplay. Exoprimal is packed full of exosuits – ten as of writing – each with its own distinct abilities and roles on a team. They fit into assault, tank, or support classes, and it’s up to you to pick the right suit for your squad as you’re sent into the fray.

As you can likely imagine, the overall fun factor of Exoprimal depends largely on how fun these suits are to play. I’m happy to report that having messed around with the majority of suits available, they’re all exciting enough to keep me invested in the missions. The Krieger is a personal favourite, able to devastate hordes of raptors quickly with its giant machine gun, but I was happy to see that even support suits (a role always at risk of feeling passive if approached poorly) thrusted me into the action.

But if there’s on thing that’s sticking with me it is how much of a spectacle Exoprimal is. It’s a bright, colourful, frenzy of tense battles and hectic clashes. There’s a real visceral joy from seeing a swarm of raptors rush down a street towards you, climbing over cars and each other in a mad dash. Seeing a T-Rex bust through a car and ravage one of your teammates is genuinely toe clenching. Exoprimal generates “Oh shit” moments often – a valuable trait for any action-oriented multiplayer game.

As far as first impressions go, this all sounds good right? So, why is it a treat for Xbox Game Pass subscribers specifically? Well, Exoprimal as a full game will run you $59.99 or your regional equivalent. It’s a full price game, as it should be! It’s a game with some real quality and heart to it. However, it’s a live service shooter, and as we’ve seen lately, these games either swim far or sink fast.

Exoprimal War Chests screenshot
Yes, there are lootboxes in Exoprimal in the form of War Chests! | Image credit: VG247 / Capcom

I’m still not sure how long Exoprimal will stick around. It’s fun, and weird, and distinct from the hundred other co-op shooters out there, so I do hope it grabs an audience of players. However, there’s a real possibility it doesn’t. That’s why Game Pass is crucial here – if you’re at all interested in the game, you can try it out right now for $12.99. Don’t want to buy the full thing? It’s a fun weekend with some friends. A big fan? You can splash down the full price and dive headfirst into dinosaur land.

Right now, this launch window may very well be the peak of Exoprimal. We don’t know yet. While my full thoughts on the game haven’t quite calcified in my head yet, I do think there’s some damn honest fun to be had with the game. If you’re even remotely tempted to give it a go, for the price of a month of Game Pass, it is well worth your time.

We’ll have a full review for Exo Primal out next week, but if this preview has convinced you to give it a try you can grab it on Game Pass right now. Or hey, buy the full game if you’re keen enough for it! It’s available on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation with full crossplay between all platforms. Nice.

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