Disclaimer: We were given a free copy of Extinction, but keep in mind that our review will not be swayed by that, please enjoy.
Always the last and it always seems as if people never heed your warnings of danger. As a Sentinel, it is your duty to protect those indeed of salvation against the Ravini. These Titans are on a rampage to wipe out civilization with the help of their jackals. Avil and Xander are the last Sentinels that can save humanity who once was at each other’s throats will now have to stand and survive these titans.
Extinction takes some familiarity with a hack and slash open space where you are tasked with objectives. There are seven chapters with 4 levels in each chapter wherein the first chapter you get your tutorial on how to move around in the world and your abilities. You only have one main attack button that can be combined with your dodge that you will need to master as you are surrounded by ground attack forces. These jackals are relentless and make things difficult as you have to go around and rescue civilians through teleport gems. Once you hit Y or Triangle depending on what platform you play, you will see a meter begin to fill. In that time you can fight off jackals and return to continue to fill the meter which will slowly go back down.
You will have your typical jump, attack, grapple, and target slash buttons. The Grapple and Rune Strike buttons will give you a slow down feature so you can pick your targets easily. It will only last for a few seconds to pay attention to enemies and the surroundings. I would use the strike move at times against the jackals as well since you can get overwhelmed.
There are different types of jackals to deal with that will add a new level of difficulty where some will be shooting projectiles or you have to deal with Hulk Jackals that take more to kill. To traverse through the world you can use your grappling hook that will have a target indicator on certain trees or buildings that will launch you in the air and then you can use your glide feature to close gaps. There are environmental jumps on top of some buildings that will bounce you high for a better lay of the land and then you can glide to your next area.
Of course, there is a reason to deal with the little things before you tackle the big boys. Each time you rescue a civilian you will build up Rune Strike meter where your radar is located. This meter helps you take down the huge Ravenii and it is crucial to have some Strike meter built up before taking on the Titans. Here is where things start feeling a bit like Shadow of Colossus. There are different Ravenii with different types of armor that you will have tactically remove and then you can get to the meaty parts to sever off limbs. I have taken down a Ravenii by skipping his legs and latching onto the belt and then climbing the back to sever its head with my Rune strike. Yes, severing the head is the only way to perma kill the Ravenii.
Keep in mind not to let the Ravenii linger for too long as they do regenerate their limbs after a short time. Strike fast and build up your meter as quickly as possible to take down the Titans, but be warned you will have to build that meter up again if you are facing more than one Ravenii, which you will on each level.
As you go through other chapters it will become difficult, as some Ravenii will have unbreakable armor parts or multiple locks on said parts. You will build up the meter as well as you take off an armor piece, so keep that in mind just in case you didn’t build up much meter while saving civilians. I mention this because as you battle there will be challenges in the form of a time limit, keeping the level from being completely damaged, removing limbs, saving a certain number of civilians, not dying and how many jackals you can kill. Sometimes when you start a level it will utilize a roulette wheel.
Once you are done with the task you are rewarded where the max is a 3-star accomplishment. After you are done you can upgrade Avil in a perks three where some perks require multiple levels before it is maxed out and this is where you choose wisely. You can also go back into previous levels to farm for more experience points or to get stars that you may have missed. It is a good way for you to take advantage and go to a new level with maxed abilities if you have the time.
Once done with the game you can tackle the other replay values of Extinction with Daily Challenges, Extinction Mode, and Skirmish. Daily Challenges are self-explanatory where each day is random and you pit your scores against other players. Extinction is a horde mode or survival mode where you take on as many enemies as possible without dying since there are no respawns. Skirmish is pretty much the same as the Daily Challenge, but you will be tested in random battlegrounds and share your seed number with the community. So, try to be the best Sentinel for bragging rights.
Extinction is a beautiful game to look at with simple levels for a lot of parkour action and the enemy designs are decent. The story mode is fully voiced and the sound effects are done quite well. You can switch up your framerate between 30, 60 and finally unlimited FPS which is interesting for an option. The Ravenii are the heart and soul of the game and each will have the same fight animations but will have their own unique art design.
The game makes you feel as if you are in a splash painting when striking enemies gives off this slash trail and it gives you the impression that you are doing an area of effect. Cutting off limbs of the Ravenii is satisfying at best and while doing some challenges that require me to cut more than one limb off as well as the armor sets. I get a bit of a kick seeing them fall over each time I dismember them.
Sadly Extinction has its faults in many areas that I hope will get patched or added later on. The first problem is no lock on feature when fighting the ground enemies. There will be times when I am fighting one jackal and I lose footing which my combo continues going passed it which gives off an animation that they sidestep out the way while being toppled. A lock on feature would help this problem in many ways. Also, you only have two attack buttons that can’t be used in a combo. Usually, in games of this nature, you have a light and heavy attack.
Sadly there is no other way to configure the controller and I find it weird to have two dodge buttons which one of the face buttons could have easily been a heavy attack where you can use your whip grapple for an area effect and keep the trigger for dodging.
The camera is your enemy. I can’t stress this enough about 3rd person games not having a proper camera. There are times where I am fighting a Ravenii and end up in the Armpit since the camera doesn’t know how to deal with certain angles as you are fighting the Titans. As long as you stay on their back it seems to work just fine, but anywhere else the camera goes haywire. This camera also works against you on the ground when fighting multiple enemies at once. At least in other 3rd person action games, the camera would pan out to give you a clear view of the area instead of getting closer which gives you a blind spot.
The radar can be useless at times when trying to find civilians to rescue and there seems to be too much going on in one level for you to concentrate on what to do next. As at times you are trying to build up your Rune Strike meter after dealing with one Ravenii, it appears to be difficult to build up again without a clear view of who to save, but when you do it is a tug of war and you will run out of time. There is not enough fair balance between saving civilians and keeping the city from being destroyed especially with two or more Ravenii on the field. This kind of game mode feels it would be suited for multiplayer team-ups or you will have to make a sacrifice decision.
I would not call it a challenge because it feels ridiculous than anything to worry about not only beating a certain time limit but to keep saving civilians and kill Ravenii with certain conditions. Hopefully, you can farm and come back to it with a better advantage, but the other problems I addressed makes it difficult wanting to go back.
Loading times are far too long and since I am playing on PC, I am not sure if its the same for Console players, but I almost felt as if I had to restart the whole game, but I saw the loading animation was going so I stayed patient. The thing is I did have some freeze glitches after getting achievements that were stuck for a long period of time. There are some frame issues while playing where Avil will stutter during intense battles, but that could be my system.
Extinction on the surface has a great storyline and a beautiful environment to battle in, but the engine doesn’t run too well where I am more frustrated than having fun fighting in the game. The combat needs work all around and the camera needs an update. I feel as though the challenges should be there after you defeat a level to enhance your character as a second thought. There is a lack of life in the environments being that you are in an open bowl. I felt they lost a chance at an opportunity to give us a rich area to fight in. It would have been better to have us concentrate on the battle at hand instead of always being in a challenge mode. I would enjoy the challenges more if the game felt complete, but I still feel as if I am in a testing phase of an early build.
There is a lot of replay value to be had, but the games mechanics will you rage. In all that being said Extinction gets 2.5 out of 5 paws. I am hoping there will be an update to fix some of these features and maybe even a fixed camera, but as of right now go in with caution. Extinction will be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC on April 10th for $59.99. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you next time. – Beast Out –