Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Extinction

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 13 - 2018

Taking down the big guys.

 
Iron Galaxy Studios’ Extinction managed to generate quite the hype when the Attack on Titan inspired gameplay involving a heroic character taking down gigantic enemies with epic sword swipes was revealed. It is every gamers’ power fantasy, facing off against opponents that they should have no right being able to defeat. Seriously, what’s not to like?

 
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Well, the game is out in the wild now, and the reality is not quite the against all odds thrill ride that players were expecting.

 
Players take on the role of Avil, a Sentinel whose purpose in life is to fight the giant-sized invading ogres known as Ravenii. The story, at its most basic suggests that the Ravenii have pretty much trounced most of the world and Avil will be responsible for stopping them before Humanity is pushed to the point of Extinction. Avil will have help from the magical Xandra, but Avil is the only character we will get to see in action on the screen. The narrative of the game will mostly be passed on to the player through heads and text, which does make it very difficult to care. In fact, the story as a whole is not especially engaging and can quite easily be ignored for the most part. It’s no big deal though, as we are all here to inflict our epic skills on those larger than life Ogre things anyway.

 
It turns out, for Avil anyway, that defeating these massive opponents is not too much of a problem. As with taking on any large task, it all comes down to breaking the task into smaller objectives. Where the Ravenii are concerned, this means destroying their armour or taking off limbs until Avil can go in for the finishing blow, removing the Ravenii head from its body.

 
It’s not quite that straight forward though. Different types of Ravenii will appear wearing different types of armour, some of which is pretty much impossible to destroy. Then you have the fact that players will need to fill a meter before they can make that killing blow. This meter gets filled by lopping off limbs, rescuing citizens in the city, and taking on the normal sized Orcs, known as Jackals, that are plaguing the civilians. Rescuing citizens generally involves getting them into portals that will zap them to safety, but as they are generally under attack by Jackals, it is by no means the easy option.

 
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Avil is a sprightly chap, able to leap around the fantasy cities with impressive agility. Wall running, double jumping and even a grapple move ensure that Avil can reach the tops of towers for saving citizens, as well as climbing the back of a Ravenii to reach their neck. Avil moves in a very satisfying way, making the player feel like the sort of hero that could take down a massive, over-sized foe.

 
The problem comes from the fact that things get a little bit dull quite quickly. The games’ campaign mode features a good number of missions, but their variety is incredibly lacking. Players will find themselves either having to protect the city, or watch towers, from destruction by the Ravenii, killing Ravenii or rescuing citizens. As defeating the Ravenii is a fairly simple gameplay loop to start with, and fighting the Jackals is a standard hack and slash affair, there is not a lot by way of variety for the player. It is good fun to start with, and easily fulfills that power fantasy, but just doesn’t take long to become repetitive.

 
There is also a general feeling that the game is unfinished. The cartoonish visuals are nice and colourful, but feel somewhat out of place considering the gravity of the situation, and the backdrops are quite uninspired. The grapple move is difficult to pull off with any precision, making it a move that it is better not to use. The settings and what type of Ravenii appear are all random, which means that there is scope for the player to come up against difficulty spikes due to the Ravenii either appearing way to tough, or in places that give them the advantage. The game also comes across as simply unfair at times, when attacks from Ravenii that clearly shouldn’t be anywhere near the player manage to kill them and force a respawn.

 
Outside of the campaign, there are a couple of other things for players to do. Extinction mode, for example, gives the player an endless horde of Ravenii to defeat, while a daily challenge will have players competing on a leader board. But whatever the mode, the core gameplay doesn’t change and just feels like the same thing over and over again, along with the same problems that will give rise to frustration.

 
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Extinction had the potential to be a whole lot of fun. There is fun to be had in the early game, before the player becomes bored of doing the same thing over and over again. With more polish, more variety and perhaps some more time, Extinction could have been really enjoyable. As it stands though, it is difficult to imagine Extinction as a triple-A release. Look elsewhere for your power fantasy.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 



 

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