‘Exoprimal’ review: an enjoyable shooter with an identity crisis

Capcom's futuristic dinosaur romp is best played with friends

“this is footage of last week’s major dinosaur outbreak,” reads a news anchor in Exoprimal, as a video shows hundreds of raptors raining from the sky. There’s no smirk, or so much as a wink, to acknowledge the absurdity of the situation. It’s all part of the ridiculous charm of Capcom‘s multiplayer third-person shooter, where portals spew dinosaurs into near-futuristic cities and exo-suited soldiers battle to contain them.

Known as exofighters, these soldiers are forced to compete against each other in life-or-death wargames, where two teams of five players face off to kill dinosaurs and complete objectives faster than their rivals. Each match takes around 20-25 minutes to complete, and largely boils down to killing prehistoric baddies with each exofighter’s unique set of abilities.

As a competitive game, victory comes down to finishing your missions faster than the other team. These tasks range from simply slaughtering dinosaurs to pushing your objective to the finish line faster than your opponents, though both teams are kept separate for the first half of each match. In the second half, players are given more hands-on opportunities for sabotaging their rivals — be it engaging them in a shootout, or wreaking havoc as a mind-controlled dinosaur.

Exoprimal. Credit: Capcom
Exoprimal. Credit: Capcom


If it all sounds a bit weird, that’s because it is. An odd blend of player versus player (PvP) games and team-based PvE shooters, the early hours of Exoprimal feel trapped between ideas. The first dinosaurs thrown at you are too repetitive to feel as engaging as a wave-based shooter like Left 4 Dead, but spending half of a match not interacting with your rival exofighters means that Exoprimal loses some punch as a competitive PvP game. It takes some time to warm up to — though once you do, there’s undeniable fun to be found in racing to kill dinosaurs, or taking control of a T-Rex to snack on your opponents.

Likewise, Exoprimal‘s roster of dinosaurs begins rather conservatively. Raptors are numerous yet easy to kill, while a lone Ankylosaurus can soak up hundreds of bullets thanks to its armoured scales. As the game goes on, more of these unique dinosaurs come out to play: a T-Rex can slaughter an unprepared team in a manner of seconds, while the less-chompy Stegosaurus is capable of disabling nearby exofighters’ unique abilities. Sadly, Exoprimal doesn’t quite go far enough in giving these dinosaurs enough identity, and most of them just feel like scaly bullet sponges.

Exoprimal. Credit: Capcom
Exoprimal. Credit: Capcom

Even then, it’s hard to stop from being a fun premise. When you get to grips with the format of Exoprimal, it’s a blast — especially if you’re playing with a full team of five players, as we did for this review. There are three sub-classes of exosuits (Assault, Tank, Support) and each comes with their unique set of abilities. Our own favourite was Murasame, a katana-wielding tank that dices up dinosaurs on the frontline, but there’s enough variation between exosuits to feel like there’s an option for everyone.

As for why these exofighters are being pitted against each other, the world has Leviathan to thank. A rogue AI with the power to meddle in alternate dimensions, Leviathan has taken to plucking exofighters from alternate dimensions and sending them back in time to the onset of the dinosaur invasion, where they’re forced to partake in endless “wargames” so Leviathan can gather data from their performance. After crash-landing into Leviathan’s clutches, protagonist Ace and their misfit support crew begin looking for a way to escape, all while surviving the AI’s constant combat trials.

Exoprimal. Credit: Capcom
Exoprimal. Credit: Capcom

This story plays out through post-match cutscenes and the occasional “glitched” mission, while a database screen of Exoprimal‘s overarching mysteries is slowly fleshed out as more matches are completed. Though the narrative is drip-fed, there are enough hooks to keep it compelling — like trying to find out why dinosaurs have become a weather phenomenon, what made Leviathan go off the deep end, and who’s murdering exofighters outside of their data trials.

However, doing anything outside of these action-packed battles can feel like a chore. Leviathan is a largely dull, repetitive villain: in matches, he repeats the same few lines verbatim, dutifully telling you whether you’re beating your opponent or lagging behind, while he offers a tedious introduction to every single game that makes getting into a match feel painfully slow. Elsewhere, Exoprimal‘s menus are mired in microtransactions and clunky user interface choices that makes finding crucial information, like each exofighter’s abilities, a nightmare. If this was a free-to-play game, the heavy-handed monetisation could be overlooked — but instead, it feels a tad overbearing given that players have already forked out £50.


Ultimately, Exoprimal can sometimes feel too expensive for what Capcom’s offering. Blasting away at dinosaurs is undeniably good fun, but there are only so many times you can complete the same limited slew of objectives, or hear Leviathan’s unchanging voice lines, before the whole thing begins to feel tedious.

That being said, the next few seasons of Exoprimal are looking busy. There are crossovers with Street Fighter and Monster Hunter to look forward to, while new maps, missions and exosuits are also on the way. With a few months of updates, Exoprimal could be an entirely different beast — but for now, it’s a rousing yet slightly prehistoric shooter that’s best played with pals.

Exoprimal is available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. We reviewed it on PC.


Exoprimal is good, silly fun — but it’s not quite as entertaining as its wild premise would have you believe. Despite action-packed matches and a gripping storyline, Exoprimal struggles with its identity as a competitive game, and at times, clunky menus and pre-match cutscenes make dinosaur-killing time travel feel like a chore.


  • To nobody’s surprise, killing hundreds of dinosaurs at once is wildly exciting
  • Engrossing story and setting
  • Exosuits feel powerful and unique


  • Shake-ups to Exoprimal‘s formula are too infrequent, creating stretches of repetitiveness
  • Most dinosaurs fail to stand out as interesting enemies

More Stories:

Sponsored Stories: