Extinction feels like a game that came out 10 years too late. It has all of the elements that we might expect from the last gen consoles – a hero who is the last of his kind, combo fighting, and massive monsters. Yet it feels out of place in our current generation of gaming. The concept is interesting, but the execution misses the mark.
Our hero is the last of the Sentinels, who were given the task of defending the land from the Ravenii. The Ravenii is a massive orc army who are hell-bent on destroying mankind. And they have the power to do so because of giant, 6 story tall orcs with the power to level entire cities. There are also smaller foot soldiers who stop at nothing to wipe out citizens. It’s a tall order, but our hero Avil is up to the challenge with the help of Xandra and the people of Dolorum.
The story starts rather abruptly. You start the game from Xandra’s point of view before taking over the role of Avil. Xandra and Avil meet in a labor camp, and as that cutscene ends, Avil is armored up and ready to take on the Ravenii. The story unfolds at a slow pace through text boxes under the profile of the person who is speaking. It looks like little time was spent developing properly animated cutscenes, which is a shame. The story is interesting, as long as you can sit through the text boxes.
So how do you defeat this army hell-bent on destroying humanity? Extinction uses a simple combo system along with upgradeable abilities to help you get the job done. At first, you will be hitting and holding the attack button in different variations. There aren’t a lot of variations until you unlock the dodge ability, but that doesn’t give you many more options. These combos are used to build your rune energy meter, which needs to be filled if you want to deliver the killing blow to the Ravenii.
Filling the meter is simple and repetitive. You fill the meter when you save citizens from the foot soldiers of the Ravenii. There are a few different types of the foot soldiers (called Jackels) and there are enough of them to make things very annoying. If you can’t save all of the citizens (which happens frequently), then you can fill your meter by knocking off armor and limbs of the Ravenii. Once your meter is full, then you can behead them. Once that happens, you have to fill your meter all over again.
The Ravenii come with different types of armor, and different strategies are needed to overcome them. Wood armor can be cleared out with a rune strike, but the metal armor is a bit more complicated. You need to target the locks to remove the armor and expose the limbs and neck. It takes more time, but it is of best interest to remove limbs first. Not only are there bonuses for doing so, but it keeps the Ravenii from destroying the town while you work to take them down.
Avil’s movements and parkour-style wall jumping is a highlight of the game. His fast movements and wall jumping show that he is not your typical citizen, but a hero with abilities to take on the Ravenii. The movements are fluid and the use of the whip helps you get to places a lot quicker. Again, the maps are pretty big, so use that whip when you can.
The maps are all randomly generated, yet they still look the same. The same color palate, building types, and scenery are basically the same. The maps can be rather large, and when you get to a point where multiple Ravenii are attacking from different areas, you have to be as quick as you can to kill them. You see, the state of the city and the number of killed citizens factor into your ability to complete the level. If too many citizens are killed, or if too much of the town is destroyed, then you fail the mission. This is difficult early on when you are underpowered.
Luckily, you will keep any game currency that you earned before you died. This currency is used to gain additional abilities and become even stronger. If you can handle the repetition, then it would be in your best interest to repeat chapters so you can continue to earn currency. I spent the majority of mine on health, but it is a better idea to focus on abilities that make your attacks stronger and rescue citizens quicker.
The biggest issue with Extinction is the repetitiveness. The campaign felt too long and cumbersome when you have to do the same types of things over and over again. There are times when randomly generated bonuses change how you complete a level. But even then, it is much of the same. Save the citizens, fill the meter, remove the head, lather, rinse, repeat. You could try the Extinction horde mode, but it’s the same action as the campaign, only longer. The Skirmish mode is a little more fun and allows you to create some scenarios for others to try.
There is an opportunity for future updates, events, and game modes that might liven up the action. But as of right now, it’s very difficult to recommend Extinction at this price point. Killing the Ravenii and unlocking abilities are a highlight. But the tedious work and repetitiveness make Extinction unfulfilling. Even with randomly generated levels, the buildings and other aesthetic pieces look the same, which adds to the repetitiveness. There is potential here but needs some updates and content to keep players interesting in killing giant orcs for hours on end.
Extinction is available today on PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One for $59.99.
Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a code for the specific purpose of reviewing and streaming this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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Attack on Ravenii
Fluid movement and parkour
Randomly generated bland environments
Needs repetition to unlock abilities
Lather, rinse, repeat gameplay