From time immemorial, the world has been at war. For generations, humans have fought one another for land and riches while our true enemies have lurked in the distance: throngs of ravenous monsters standing 150 feet tall that aim to destroy our kind. Only those trained in the ways of the ancient order stand a chance at defeating these monstrosities, known colloquially as "ogres." You are one of the world’s last defenders, a warrior named Avil equipped with the skill, speed and strength to oppose the endless wave of Ravenii and prevent a fate worse than death: Extinction.
DEEP STORY CAMPAIGN
Protect the human population across an abundant story campaign, rescuing as many civilians as possible and taking down brutal opponents.
DYNAMIC SIDE MISSIONS
Complete numerous side missions with various objectives, earning upgrades to aid you in your campaign.
Travel horizontally and vertically, perform wall runs, and use your whip as a vault to perform devastating air assaults. Master dynamic combat maneuvers to effectively traverse the giant beasts and expose their weak points, progressing along different skill trees to develop a path best suited to your playstyle.
Move freely around a fully destructible environment, and use objects throughout the world to your strategic advantage.
INNUMERABLE BATTLE SCENARIOS
Every battlefield is different from the last, ensuring a unique combat situation each time you play.
Create unique battlegrounds with varied objectives, and challenge players online to compete for the top score.
Fight off a continuous horde of assailants as wave after wave of ogres and their minions attack without respite.
April 10, 2018
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Developer: Iron Galaxy
Publisher: Modus Games
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Price: $60 (Standard), $70 (Deluxe), $15 (Season Pass)
The box art and trailers for Iron Galaxy’s newest title scream, “Play me!” How could you see a four-story tall armored orc and not be drawn to toppling the titan? While the game delivers on the promise of taking out the city-slaughtering monstrosities, Extinction has too many issues to recommend (particularly at its launch pricing).
There are some references to near-magic including the use of portals. Some civilians cry out to either God or “gods” (it’s hard to tell which word they’re saying) when you save them.
You’re systematically dismembering creatures with the ultimate goal of cutting off their head. When limbs are removed, blood sprays. There is no further gore or viscera beyond that.
As best I can recall, there were one or two usages of minor curse words (H***, D***) but that is all.
Other Negative Themes
There are hordes of monstrous creatures invading the world our heroes live in. All are bent on murdering as many people as possible, destroying their cities and bringing the human world to ruin.
Extinction features themes of sacrifice, bravery, and persistence in the face of adversity.
On its face, Extinction looks like an action game geek’s dream. Set in a fantasy world, you’ll be taking on 40 foot tall orcs and chopping their heads off like Eren Yeager in Attack on Titan. Extinction has ultimately left me conflicted, however. The gameplay and premise are fun, but a weak narrative, weaker storytelling, underwhelming mission design, and host of other issues force me to urge readers to wait on this game.
The gameplay mechanics are arguably Extinction‘s strongest aspect. In most missions, Ravenii (the gargantuan orcs) will warp in, each limb (as well as neck, head, and shoulders), often clad in different types of armor. Players’ ultimate goal is to build up a kill meter, allowing you to cut off the Ravenii’s head using an attack known as a “rune strike.” You can do this by destroying armor, severing limbs, killing smaller enemies, and rescuing civilians. Ravenii armor variety is what ultimately keeps the game interesting. Some will require you destroy locks on the armor while others may force you to bait an attack from the giants that will weaken their shielding. It’s worth noting the camera work can often fight with you and far too frequently, the slow-motion for your rune strike will fail to engage, leaving you frustrated and disoriented.
Extinction features several modes for players to enjoy. There are daily challenges with leaderboards, trials, skirmishes (where you’ll defend a city for a set time), and of course, the campaign. Speaking of the campaign, this feels like a major dropped ball for Extinction. There are seven chapters, each with a handful of missions. The problem is that nearly every mission boils down to repeating the same 2-3 tasks over and over again. You’ll have to defend towers for a set period of time, kill a certain number of Ravenii, or rescue a set number of civilians. Along the way, each mission will have bonus objectives but, again, this feels like the Iron Galaxy Studios showing that they lack the understanding to develop missions with cohesive, impactful objectives. More than half the missions populate their bonus objectives with a roulette. While this could help keep replay value high in other modes, it isn’t a good luck for your story campaign.
Speaking of Extinction‘s story, it feels like a decent storyboard beginning that never really delivers on its pitch. The narrative is told through talking head voiceover sequences before and after missions with poorly animated backstory cutscenes once per chapter. The backstory scenes are told from the perspective of Xandra, the childhood friend and confidant of our hero while Avil, our main protagonist, is the only non-civilian human ever shown in-engine. The quick synopsis is that you need to fight off the invading forces while other people try to ultimately figure out how to defeat them. The game’s ending is a weak payoff for several hours work, too.
Extinction‘s art style is undeniably attractive. With a whimsical, cartoony flair similar to Fortnite, it’ll catch your eyes. The still-motion cartoon avatars look like something out of a comic book, meanwhile the Ravenii offer an ominous, larger-than-life feeling. Seeing the action slow when you activate a rune strike is a cool effect, and watching each piece of armor turn red as you hone in on its weak points helps the visuals inform the gameplay. The voiceover work for Avil and Xandra feel like they fit but the soundtrack is completely forgettable. Unfortunately, the visual flair doesnt’t save Extinction from some of its other issues.
At the end of the day, Extinction feels like a bit of a tragedy. The game looks cool, and the basic gameplay elements are fun enough that I went back for more when the credits rolled. Unfortunately, the campaign feels poorly cobbled together and, at times, aimless with its randomized bonus objectives and missions that feel like you’re replaying the same thing 40 times. If they had released the game at $30-$40 instead of charging full price (with a $15 season pass!) this would be a much easier recommendation. As it stands, I would only recommend the most hardcore Attack on Titan action fans give this a try, and then only once the price has dropped precipitously.
+ Vibrant art style
+ Acrobatic action gameplay
+ Fighting 40 foot all monsters!
- Repetitive campaign
- Repetitive campaign (see what I did there?)
- Too little here to warrant its full price