Warning: There’s been a crisis detected. You might call it a dino crisis, but Capcom won’t. Exoprimal may look like the long-awaited revival of the Resident Evil spinoff series that replaced zombies with dinosaurs for a new twist on survival horror, but it’s not. It’s a new IP entirely.
Revealed at the March 2022 State of Play showcase, Exoprimal was a very unexpected announcement from Capcom. We didn’t know what to expect going into the showcase, let alone that Capcom would be there with a brand new game. Unlike their other popular ongoing series and recent output of new IP, Exoprimal looks to take itself a bit less seriously judging by the trailer and premise — and looks like a ton of fun. While it might not be the next Dino Crisis as some had hoped, here’s everything we know about the chaotic, mech-suit, and dinosaur-filled shooter game Exoprimal.
For the time being, Exoprimal is only given a 2023 release window. Not even a quarter or season was hinted at, so odds are Capcom is still waiting to see how development goes throughout this year before committing to a more specific date. If we had to guess, they would probably aim for the latter half of 2023 to give the game enough time, but it could also slip into early 2024 since delays have become far more common as of late.
If you’re looking forward to some dinosaur blasting action, odds are you already have the hardware to play it. Exoprimal is releasing on just about every major platform, including PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The Switch is the only platform left out, but by 2023, even the PS4 and Xbox One will be very old hardware, so expecting it on the Switch would be too much to ask of the little handheld hybrid.
Our only footage of Exoprimal thus far comes in the form of the reveal trailer from the State of Play event. Even so, the game is far enough along to get a good look at what to expect from the game.
We open on a city set in the year 2043 with an android named Ivy addressing the viewer. She is standing near an Aibius logo and shows us the dinosaur forecast as though it were a weather report. We see a full week of a “vortex forecast” with different percentages for each day and night. As she goes on with her report, we see a soldier called an “exofighter” entering an exosuit. This special unit is responsible for going into affected zones to combat the dino threat.
We see a few different kinds of suits and then the vortex itself, a pink orb, appearing in the sky above a city. It pops open and, in a rather comedic fashion, begins spilling out dinosaurs from hundreds of feet in the sky. They all pour out, flopping in the air, crashing into the streets below. Somehow they survive this fall and begin rampaging.
Here we get a look at what appears to be our main cast of characters. There’s a large bald man with dog tags, another android woman, a man with glasses on a computer, a sleeping pilot, and the redhead that got everyone so convinced this was going to be set in the Dino Crisis universe.
The trailer starts cutting to various conversations where we learn that these vortexes have been appearing for over two years by the time the game begins, that the redhead had aspirations to be Aibius’s best exosuit pilot, and that this same company is responsible for not only forecasting these dinosaur portals but also developing the exosuits to fight them. They are continuing to be developed by an AI named Leviathan. Leviathan is also the way humanity has been able to predict these vortexes. More people are being recruited to the exofighters, which is perhaps where we as the player come in, with the trailer ending with a mysterious figure entering Aibius as a new recruit.
Leviathan, however, in later trailers appears to be the main antagonist, controlling the vortexes to some extent.
Considering the online nature of this game, which we’ll detail below, we don’t suspect the plot to be a major component in this game.
Now onto the good stuff. We got a lot of gameplay in this reveal, though mostly quick cuts. What we do know is that Exoprimal is a team-based, third-person action title where you pilot a unique exosuit to fight hundreds upon hundreds of dinosaurs. Think something like Earth Defense Force or Dynasty Warriors, only with the suits from something like Anthem perhaps. Each suit has its own look and toolset. We see one with a forcefield that looks like something right out of Overwatch, while others can pull out around half a dozen rifles out of their arms and shoulders, and some even look more melee-focused with dual blades and kicks.
There are three roles shown so far: Assault, Tank, and Support.
Assault roles are described as, you guessed it, the main damage dealers. They can engage in close-, medium-, and long-range depending on your chosen loadout.
Tanks are all about protecting the squad and pulling aggro. They have the highest health pools and are meant to be your front-line units.
Support units can heal, as well as use various buff and debuff skills, such as increased movement speed.
Between these three roles, we’ve seen four exosuits: Deadeye, Zephyr, Roadblock, and Witchdoctor. The first two are both assaults, with the last two being tank and support respectively. One interesting thing we only catch a glimpse of is either the ability or state of being forced to eject from your exosuit. We see a pilot coming out of one, and in another shot entering a suit as well. Whether this means your suit can be destroyed yet you have a second chance to escape or you have the option to swap suits during a match is yet to be determined.
What makes this co-op game a bit more unique, aside from the premise, is that the main gameplay will also have a competitive twist to it. Not between you and your other squad members, but your squad competing against another team to complete the mission first. The main mode of Exoprimal, called Dino Survival, is described as being a test for squads to take down more dinos than the opposing team while completing other objectives such as holding out in specific zones or escorting cargo from point to point. Each mission is dynamically created based on your skill and “other factors” to make each match unique.
Because these two teams are on the same map simultaneously, there’s the opportunity for your two squads to clash but also cooperate if there’s a threat so large you can put your differences aside. Among the dino threats, we see raptors, pterodactyl-looking flyers, and the big bad T-rex.
We can also easily see a long progression system implemented here to try and keep players running missions for XP, upgrades, loot, and probably cosmetics as well.
Capcom gave us a detailed gameplay trailer during its 2022 showcase. Here we are introduced to Bikitoa Island where “live combat tests” are held. These tests, which appear to be multiplayer modes, are Dinosaur Cull, VTOL Defense, Data Key Security, Omega Charge, and Energy Taker. The focus, however, is on Carnage mode trails that looks to be a survival mode where you face off against an endless swarm of raptors for as long as possible. We get some more looks at new weapons and skills each exosuit has sprinkled through the entire trailer.
Exoprimal is only playable in multiplayer. This is an online-only game, so while we don’t know if AI companions and opponents are an option, you will need to have an online connection to play this game. We suspect that there will be some form of bot options since the official site lists the number of players as one to 10, but we can’t say for certain just yet. In either case, having two teams of five exofighters is clearly the intended way to play Exoprimal.
The big question that needs to be answered is whether or not the game will feature cross-play. We can reasonably assume that people on the same family of consoles, such as PS4 and PS5, will be able to play together, but we don’t know if Xbox, PlayStation, and PC players will all be able to shoot waves of dinosaurs together. For a game dependent on being an online experience, it would be a massive blow to the player base if it were split, but until Capcom announces anything, we have to wait.
2023 isn’t too far away, assuming Exoprimal hits that mark, but it’s far enough that there are no pre-orders just yet. As usual, we have to wait until a firm date is set to get any details on that, including whether or not there will be any special editions for the game. Once more info is shared, we’ll keep you updated right here.