To think that Exoprimal released six months ago is about as shocking as the fact that I thoroughly adored its brand of non-Dino Crisis arcade-like dino slaughter. The vanilla release of the game had plenty of fun, even if there were some rather large, T-Rex sized teething problems. Since then, title updates one and two have expanded the sandbox to a degree, adding some extra variety and spice.
Which brings us to January 2024, with Capcom dropping Title Update 3, complimented with a Monster Hunter cosmetic crossover. This latest update pack brings four new Beta variants for the exosuits, a new end-game boss type, one unique map and a host of bug fixes, as well as rig and module additions. There’s also, as expected, a new season pass to sink your bullets and explosives into.
This Suit Is Beta Than Yours
So, how are those new Beta variants I hear you ask, over the sound of Triceratops charges and swarms of raptors barreling towards you? There’s four of them, with Deadeye, Roadblock, Barrage and Skywave the beneficiaries. In terms of their quality – they’re decent, if not spectacular. Deadeye receives an LMG that can be charged for explosive secondary, while Roadblock receives the Murasame treatment as they can now build up a counter meter by blocking.
Barrage and Skywave’s Beta versions feel less compelling. Skywave can build up energy to launch a protective barrier, but it feels superfluous to the other healing classes available. Barrage has a flamethrower now and it’s potent indeed, but the range is very limited and I can’t see this variant displacing regular Barrage fans.
Do they fundamentally change the gameplay experience of Exoprimal? Of course not, but they’re not supposed to either. I like to think of them as subtle changes to how you go about your dinosaur genocide, as opposed to sweeping new playstyles. They’re welcome additions, and I appreciate that Capcom continue to make them available via in-game currency Bikcoin. Though, the grind to unlock the ability to gain access to them is off-putting, as you have to level up the Alpha variants first.
The ability to unlock them in-game also negates some of the disappointment that there’s only four Beta variants, when Title Update 1 dropped ten Alpha versions.
The Prehistoric Map
Exoprimal isn’t content to be a one-trick Carnotaurus however, as alongside the Beta Variants come further additions. The most exciting are the introduction of the Neo-Triceratops, providing a new endgame co-op challenge to conquer, and a Monster Hunter Rathalos hunt. Despite playing quite a few matches, I wasn’t able to face down the Neo-Triceratops myself yet.
Which raises one of the base game’s problems to the surface again – you’re at the mercy of matchmaking still. While it keeps the player base condensed in the dino survival mode, it’s somewhat frustrating not being able to skip straight to new content or select the more epic mission types. The new Jungle map is lush and full of vegetation to gaze upon, right up until you decimate it in rocket fire.
Again however, your chance of loading the map is at the mercy of the matchmaking. You may get it first time, you may go ten matches without ever seeing it. The Exoprimal roulette! Having said all that, the content offering is being continually expanded – for free – and Capcom continue to demonstrate their support to even their less stellar IPs, which is fantastic to see.
As you might expect, none of these additions are going to sell you on Exoprimal if you weren’t already submerged into its wild brand of action, like myself. It’s not all perfect, but these ongoing updates continue to flesh out the experience and they’ve brought me back to shred some claws more than I’d anticipated.
Hunting Monsters or Monster Hunting
The big question at this point is whether Exoprimal is worth jumping back into, and my answer would be yes. These content updates alone aren’t going to convince those yet to submit to its simple brand of crazy action, but the additional layers of content they’re providing are good fun. Having more options of how to blow up dinosaurs, more maps to battle on and further module alternatives all helps widen the gameplay pool, even if it doesn’t deepen it.
Plus, who doesn’t want to fight a glowing purple Triceratops that can wipe out the population of the UK in one attack? I mean come on.
The Monster Hunter crossover event, much like the Street Fighter one, brings a host of cosmetic options too that are… out there, to say the least. They’re fun diversions and will naturally draw in fans of Capcom’s other successful IPs, Resident Evil next? Would love to see Chris Redfield boulder-punch a T-Rex into a time-warping wormhole. What a time we live in for video games.
If there’s one concern, it’s that in my matches to try out the new content, the player count appears to be dwindling. I wasn’t wholly surprised by this, but in a majority of my matches there was at least one bot player, which suggests this carnivorous beast may be slowing down. However, I think that’s just all the more reason to put your brain aside for a moment and be consumed in the ever-lasting joy of firing a grenade into a raptor’s mouth.
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