‘Exoprimal’ Looks Like Deranged Dinosaur Fun, But It’s Been Done Before

Yesterday, during the Capcom Spotlight event, we received a bunch of news regarding some exciting upcoming releases.

A highly anticipated Resident Evil 4 remake demo dropped last night, and there were significant updates on imminent games like Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Street Fighter 6 and the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak expansion.

None of these titles featured rampaging dinosaurs—an utter travesty, I know—so thank the heavens for the debut of a new Exoprimal trailer alongside all the other Capcom fanfare.

It’s an online-only (groan) cooperative team shooter that has players suit up in mechanized ensembles and eliminate an ongoing infestation of prehistoric, scaly monstrosities. Yes, please.

Also, Exoprimal now has an official release date: July 14, 2023 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam. It will be available on Xbox Game Pass day one as well, which is nice.

Additionally, there’s an Open Beta Test incoming, running from Thursday, March 16 at 17:00 PDT to Sunday, March 19 at 16:59 PDT on all platforms, with some bonuses for players who partake:

“The OBT will feature cross-platform matchmaking, enabling Exofighter squads to compete against rival units on other systems. Players will also have the opportunity to try all 10 Exosuits, including the two unveiled today. As a special bonus, all OBT participants will qualify to receive an Aibius Medal charm to kit out their Exosuits in the full game.”

In the new Spotlight video, we were presented with some surprisingly solid story cinematics, set to a rocking theme song that sounded like it was plucked from an unreleased Linkin Park album. Lots of gameplay to appreciate here, too, with hoards of angry dinos swarming our heroes, who fight back while wearing impressive robotic Exosuits.

I’m on-board with Exoprimal, one thousand percent. We don’t get enough dinosaur games these days, and I was a ‘90s kid obsessed with Jurassic Park, so I’ll be there on launch, no questions asked. Still, it hasn’t stopped the nagging feeling that this game has been done before. The whole ‘space marines drop down onto a planet infested with strange dinosaurs’ bit. Where have I seen this previously?

Ah, yes. Second Extinction.

Systemic Reaction’s first-person dino shooter was doing all of this back in 2021 with its early access indie release, and it was a total blast. It had its own low budget flair, and sure, it lacked the AAA polish that we’re seeing in Exoprimal. But I think we need to give credit where credit is due.

The way it comes across to me, anyway, is that Capcom saw what Second Extinction was doing and decided to put the full might of its best developers behind a shinier, bigger, more impressive iteration. All speculation, for sure. It does make you wonder, though.

Now, I have no idea when development actually started on Exoprimal, and pseudo-coincidences happen all the time in entertainment and video games (remember Antz and A Bug’s Life?). But sometimes these events aren’t coincidences, though I suppose we’ll never truly know. The mystery will remain, like the mystery of what dinosaurs actually sounded like. I’m going with lion-chicken-goose.

I guess futuristic dinosaur action is all the rage in 2023, especially with Sam Raimi’s 65 hitting theaters.

So if you’re looking forward to Exoprimal, go ahead and give Second Extinction a spin, which is due for a full release any day now. That way, before you put on your factory-fresh Exosuit, you can appreciate who the grandfather of mutant dinosaur shooters really is.

Turok:Dinosaur Hunter, of course.

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