Extinction is a medieval action hack and slash game developed by Iron Galaxy and published by Modus Games. A game with a lot of promise and potential,but does it live up to either of those? Yes and...no
After generation and generation of humanity fighting among themselves over petty differences for land and money, citizens have forgotten about a threat that once put mankind on the brink of Extinction,The Ravenii. Now after many years,the threat has returned to the world once more,hell bent on wiping out what remains of humanity.
You must take the role as one of the last remaining warriors known as The Sentinels and take the fight to these massive 150 foot tall enemies to ensure humanity still has a future.
The main form of game play in Extinction relies around a few different things,such as hack and slash fighting,defending towns and cities from total destruction and rescuing civilians from immediate danger and whisking them off to safety. This is the core of what the game has to offer.
In the game you play as a Sentinel named Avil, one of the few members of the legendary Sentinel that are left to defend mankind from their destruction. Avil has the capability of performing various techniques that no mere mortal can even fathom to do. He is able to use his swords to hit his opponents with multiple combos that will send them flying and even use a grappling hook to zoom around trees and buildings with ease.
Throughout the game you will be trying to earn the favor of the king of the land by defending his cities and defending his towns from hordes of orcs,trolls,flying gargoyles and huge 150ft beasts known as Ravenii. The Ravenii can only be beaten by knocking off chunks of their armor that is located on their feet,arms and neck. Only then will you be able to deal the final blow to them via a swift slice to the neck that completely decapitates them.
I would dwell into the story a bit more,but there's really not that much there to it at all. The story that you play through with the main campaign consists of you as Avil talking to your side kick who's a genius at using the enemies technology against them and then being buddy with the King. You hop from level to level with cutscenes and interactions via avil and the king and the king just let's you know ''this city is in danger,please do something Avil''. So... of course, you go and do what you do! kill!
You have a small selection of enemies that you will encounter. The green and blue like trolls will be the one's you will encounter the most when trying to save scared civilians. In each city that you try to save,you will find blue glowing crystals that civilians are using as their ''beacon''. Its your job to go to each one of these blue beacons that you can see and kill the blue and green orcs/trolls that surround the citizens and stop them before they can do any damage. Once you have slain all trolls near the villagers,you may then ''capture'' that specific beacon by absorbing it into you. Once you do this, it opens up a teleportation portal that the villagers use to escape to safety. Woo hoo!
How do you kill these pesky little orcs/trolls you ask? well that's simple. You hack and slash their little faces off to your hearts content. You may hit your regular attack button multiple times to go into a 3-4 hit combo or hold down your main attack button to send your opponent into the air and continue your combo for even more damage,its very satisfying. Another attack you have at your disposal is called your Rune Strike. This strike can only be activated if you have your rune meter either filled or at least have some sort of power currently built up.
The Rune Strike or Rune Aim can be used once you have power built up in your Rune meter. This meter is filled by saving civilians and sending them off in a portal,slaying regular blue and green orcs or slicing body parts off of monstrous Ravenii. Once you have some power to your meter you make use your Rune Aim to send your character Avil into slow motion. Once you're in a slow motion mode, you can use Rune Strike to slash your opponent for a quick,powerful and deadly attack that will sometimes destroy them in one hit. This is EXTREMELY useful in tough situations with a lot of orcs,use it a lot and you won't be sorry.
But wait,that can't be the only need for it right? Absolutely not. In all actuality the real purpose for its use is against the giant Ravenii,who'm are actually the main villains of this game you will constantly come across. The only way to take down the huge Ravenii is to build up your Rune meter completely so you can perform a ''kill shot'' on their neck that will completely decapitate them. But before that, you must find a way to get on top of their head to do it and its easier said than done against some of them.
The first set of Ravenii you will come across are wearing your bare basic wooden leg braces,arm braces. These are fairly easy to conquer and take down. Muster up the courage and run towards the Ravenii,but be careful about when he swings either a club or his fist because any hit you take directly is a one hit kill and you will die immediately. If you make it to their leg, use your Rune Aim to strike at their leg to destroy their wooden leg guard and then strike with a rune strike for a second time to completely slice off their whole foot and leg. Absolutely brutal!
Once you've gotten a leg up on the monster, this will immobilize him for ONLY a few minutes,that's it. His limbs WILL regenerate so it is your duty to get up to the top of his head as fast as you can and there are multiple ways to do this. You can either use a nearby building to run up and then jump and glide onto him or you may use your grappling hook to grab onto the Ravenii's arm armor and flip onto his head. Those are the simple ways to get things done. Once you're on top of Ravenii, you may use your Rune Strike to remove his head armor and then deliver the final Rune Strike blow that will slice off his head and end the mission. Success! you've killed him, off with his head!
Do not celebrate just yet, for each Ravenii you beat, the next one is harder. Some Ravenii's now will wield giant clubs,locks on their legs arms and head and even have diamond plated armor that is impossible to destroy. In order to defeat the gold Ravenii's locks on its body, its as simple as moving in and out of his reach and taking them out with a Rune Strike,followed by slicing off that body part once its exposed,rinse and repeat. It's really no different for the diamond armored Ravenii. It usually involves you climbing up to his neck and shoulders to find his weaker armor. Now while I say this is simple to do,it's really not. Their movement starts turning into hand swiping,butt bouncing and feet stomping. Once gain, all of these killing you in one shot if they hit you. It can get challenging.
One of the most interesting parts of the game besides fighting giant Ravenii's is actually the leveling up and skill system. As you fight these Ravenii's and orcs and completing missions,you will also be gaining vast amounts of experience points that you can use to gain new skills to add to your arsenal. Skills that are usable are things such as upgrading how fast your character can dash on the ground,how fast your character can dash through the air,how strong your attacks are,health upgrade,how much your grappling hook makes you move and boost. This makes the game so much more fun to play the more you fully unlock these skills because your character not only gets super fast,but a lot stronger and makes you truly feel like you're a legendary warrior of the Sentinels.
While I do name a lot of positives above, I have to admit I have a few struggles as well with this game that had to do with the controls and camera itself. They might not be game breaking for others,but for me personally, I find them annoying enough to the point where in some missions they hindered my ability to really focus and have a good time .
The biggest issue I can across when playing the game is the actual camera. During certain moments of missions, you have to get up close and personal with the gigantic Ravenii in order to defeat them. However, at times your camera will spazz out and either get locked inside the Ravenii's leg or the camera will start to spin and face the complete opposite direction,causing you to completely lose visual of what you're doing and puts you in a bind.
Lastly in relation to the camera issues, sometimes you get hit and you need to run to get away to recover your health. But far too often when running away,your camera automatically pans out and wants you to face your enemy and moves in the direction of your enemy, even though you're heading in the completely opposite direction. This will cause you to get disoriented and lose track of where you're going and in worst case scenario's will cause you to die when you didn't have to.
Extinction boasts some pretty decent graphics. On my PC I played on Ultra settings and got a pretty solid framerate with no noticeable drops during my playthrough. I did notice a few pop ins here and there but nothing that pulled me out of the game or distracted me. Those things were pretty top notch,but I did have a few problems in regards to other things.
One of my problems in the game that relates to the environments you encounter doesn't even necessarily have to do with how the game actually looks,but more so has to do with the lack of variety that was put into each stage that you encounter. Most of the cities you play through and defend really feel the same,all boasting minor differences such as towers here and there,but mostly keeping the same texture and overall layout. This was disheartening for me as I was hoping to see more variety to each environment based off the regions you would go to.
On the plus side of the negative I just mentioned. The giant Ravenii's are greatly done and look splendid. Animations are fluid and look super smooth. Each Ravenii you encounter is really detailed and they're a pleasure to not only look at,but also a pleasure to kill!
All environments are also destructible, so sometimes you will find yourself just sitting back and watching a Ravenii just destroy stuff just because it look's so cool!
Finally another review where I can dabble into a games replayability. In Extinction, if you just stick to the main story campaign, you might find yourself getting a bit bored. The main scenario is roughly a 10-15hr's long,depending on how skilled you are and how quickly you manage to pick up the controls. But there is a few thing's that can turn those 10-15hr's of game play into even 20hrs or more if you choose to do so.
Skirmish Mode: In Skirmish mode you undertake various unique battlegrounds against other players online and the sole purpose is trying to out do your friends/others to get the very best score and be the top of the leaderboard. Show friends or strangers that they're chumps compared to you and kick their butt.
Extinction Mode: This mode basically acts as the games ''survival mode''. In it, you face hordes and waves of nonstop enemies and the goal is to try to stay alive as long as you can. It can get pretty intense. Use your environment and acquired skills to try to beat all odds and see how long you can keep going.
Replaying missions: Yes replaying missions is considered actual replayability in this game due to the fact that you will NOT be able to acquire and collect all skills and upgrades your first playthrough. You will need to replay many missions to get enough experience points to unlock them. This is perfect for a completionist who must have everything.
At the core of Extinction, I can see what Iron Galaxy was going for here. The Attack On Titan like flying through the air with a grappling hook is satisfying,the hack and slash is really fun and fighting and slaying giant trolls is pretty damn amazing. However,with the camera issues that plague the game at times,lack of variety to overall levels that don't really differ from each other and pretty straight forward and bland storyline really keep it from being a truly memorable experience to me.
Extinction in all honesty is NOT a bad game, quite the opposite. In short spurts you will find quite the enjoyment. However,that's exactly the current problem. The short spurts. For long sit downs with this game, it starts feeling a little repetitive due to the cons I listed above. This is why to me it is a game worth checking out,but only after waiting for a price drop first. Once the price drop hits for it, then I say give it a go!
Extinction is out now on PC,PS4,XB1
*Review code provided by Modus Games/Iron Galaxy