In the future landscape of Exoprimal, climate change turned out slightly differently than everyone expected. Instead of rising oceans and heat waves, humanity is facing torrential downpours from hungry, tear-jerking dinosaurs. Fortunately, the AIBIUS corporation is here with state-of-the-art exosuit technology to take down the hordes displaced by history; they just need some hot bodies to get into the suits.
Last weekend, players joined the Exoprimal open beta test to prepare for some cooperative (and competitive) cold-blooded creature slaughter. But don’t worry if you missed it: we’re here to give you the details of Exoprimal’s exceptionally chaotic team-based PvE experience.
The Exoprimal beta focused on Dino Survival, a five-on-five online multiplayer war game and the main mode of the game’s full release in July. After character creation and a short control tutorial, you’re paired up with other new recruits, divided into two teams, and taken into a simulation created by Leviathan, an advanced AI that runs combat games to come. The winning condition is simple: be the first team to complete Leviathan’s directives. But that’s easier said than done, especially when those goals always involve an onslaught of crazed giant reptiles from another dimension.
Finding the right exosuit
Since you play in a team, cooperation and coordination are key, and you have a variety of exosuits with different combat abilities to fill the roles you’ll need to succeed. The beta version allowed access to the full range of exosuits, which come in the following categories:
● Assault (Deadeye, Zephyr, Barrage, Vigilant): Attack-focused suits designed to tear apart reptiles through a variety of melee and long-range attacks.
● Tank (Barricade, Krieger, Murasame): Heavily armored units that can absorb a large amount of damage, but can also deal heavy blows when necessary.
● Support (Witch Doctor, Skywave, Nimbus): Quick and fast suits that heal and provide tactical buffs to allies or status ailments to enemies.
Even within the same category, the suits work in very different ways. In the support category is the Witchdoctor, a repair and buff focused unit that can move quite well, but not quite as well as the hybrid heal/attack Nimbus on wheels. And neither can soar like the graceful Skywave, who can take to the air to grant healing waves to allies, as well as curse a horde of status-affected enemies, all from a safe distance. (Until the winged dinosaurs appear.)
Roadblock is the quintessential tanky unit – a bit slow, lots of health, gigantic shields – but another tanky option that was very popular with beta players was the Murasame, a faster suit with a melee-focused skill set. . Not only can you jump over a herd of dinos and slash dozens before your health drops, but you can also carefully charge and counter to kill with such skill.
Each of these exosuits is literally bursting with personality, as the suits themselves speak in unique voices and provide their own commentary during battle. Each suit has unique controls and abilities that fulfill their archetypal roles in interesting and creative ways. And the best part is that if you feel your team is lacking a bit in a particular department, you can switch suits in the middle of battle, ensuring you always have access to crucial roles. While the promised customization of suits with skins and modules was limited in the beta, you can still add some unique touches to exosuits by equipping them with “Rigs,” special-use gear with assorted effects.
The beta battles followed a standard format: five PvE-focused tasks that culminated in a more direct PvP final confrontation. The PvE tasks were easy to understand: slaughter a bunch of dinosaurs, protect a target or NPC for a set amount of time, and take out a really big and nasty dinosaur. At the end of each task, Leviathan lets you know if you are ahead or behind the other team.
All these tasks have one thing in common: eliminate a bunch of dinosaurs. Strategies vary greatly depending on the objective and type of dinosaur you’re up against: are you trying to hold off a massive wave of pteranodons, or are you closing in on a stegosaurus? The wrong approach can leave you wiped out by a swarm of dinosaurs or a triceratops ingloriously leaving you off limits.
However, Leviathan is not happy with this degree of madness. He’s a mischievous guy and sometimes throws things onto the field at his whim, like mutated Neosaurus creatures warped into new and more vicious forms from interdimensional travel. Maybe he’ll add some useful items as well, like auto-firing turrets, floating platforms, or barriers that he can place at will. Or, if he’s really feeling generous and you’re falling behind, he can get a Dominator item that allows him to temporarily control his own massive, angry dino and cause serious trouble for the opposing team with direct dino damage.
the ultimate challenge
The final PvP challenges varied with each session, but this is where the tide of combat can be turned most dramatically.
● Data key security: Your squad must escort a large and heavy data key to its destination as dinosaurs and the other team tries to destroy it.
● Power taker: Both teams collect energy tokens that spawn on the field to fill a gauge and steal energy from the opposing team by blowing up their members.
● Omega Charge: One player is responsible for picking up and safeguarding a massive hammer, while also charging up with the energy of slain dinosaurs to destroy a target. Your teammates must protect the wearer from attacks by dinosaurs and the opposing player.
As a taster plate of things to come on July 14, the Exoprimal beta offers a taste of the mass extinction events that await us. Stay tuned for future Exoprimal dinosaur storm forecasts ahead of its release.