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Extinction review for PS4, Xbox One, PC


Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Modus Games
Developer: Iron Galaxy
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards
ESRB: M

Extinction is the latest original release from the Chicago-based studio Iron Galaxy. Primarily a technical consulting and a porting studio, it is rare for Iron Galaxy to release an original IP and with good reason. Their Kinect title Wreckateer has been sardonically referenced by company founder Dave Lang as “Wreckateer…more like Wreck-my-career!” and their other original titles such as Divekick and Videoball were solid titles that failed to find a larger audience. So will Extinction be their ticket out of contractor work?

In Extinction you play as Avil, one of the last members of the Sentinels, a group of heroes whose praises has been sung throughout history. The Sentinels are the only obstacles standing in way of the mysterious Ravenii who seek to send mankind into extinction. The story takes Avil and his fellow Sentinel Xandra, to the last human stronghold of Dolorum and it is there where they make their last stand against their giant orcish foes.

If you see videos and screenshots and think…hmmm, this looks like an Attack on Titans ripoff, I certainly would not fault you, You can easily replace terms from Extinction with terms from Attack on Titan and no one would know the different The sentinels (Survey Corps) can use their whips (Vertical Maneuvering Equipment) to climb up a Ravenii (Titan), to kill via decapitation. See how well that worked? To be fair Extinction manages to answer the story behind the Ravenii and their gripe against humanity, so let’s set that aside and look at the title as a whole.

The game’s core conceit is to prevent the Ravenii from wiping out the kingdom of Dolorum. To accomplish this Avil must rescue civilians, defeat Jackals, the lesser troops of the Ravenii army, so he can charge up his rune strike enough so he can decapitate the giant Ravenii. The Ravenii certainly will not make it easy for Avil, they will hinder his progress by protecting their limbs with armors of various strengths. In story mode the only way to fail a mission is if the extinction meter in the upper right hand corner drops to zero, this mechanic is similar to the one used in EA’s Superman Returns title from the PS3/Xbox 360 era. So death is only temporary a hindrance, but it also means that you get set back at the start point of the mission, which in a lot of situations, pretty far from where the action is. The meter depletes as the Ravenii and their ilk destroy structures and kill citizens of the kingdom. So it is imperative that Avil work fast and hard to prevent their advances. As a Sentinel, Avil has a slew of traversal options to aid him. Air dashing, the ability to bound off of trees and canopies, wall climbing on certain surfaces. Unfortunately game’s environments do much of the heavy lifting in hindering your ability to move quickly. Your character will get caught in objects when you are not really touching it. Natural rock structures are not scalable and can only be climb via pre-defined pathways. Grapple points are usually placed in odd spaces.

 

This odd placement can be attributed to the fact that the game uses procedural generation to create missions. While main objectives tend to be static, placement of structures, enemy troop types and even challenge objectives. It also means that stages can be obscenely difficult or incredibly easy. It does keep the game interesting as you will never play the same level twice for any of the ones which are procedurally generated.

Combat can be as complicated or as simple as the user make it. Attacks are mapped to one button and combos consists of quickly tapping attack, delaying button presses to modify the combo, or hold the attack button to do a launcher. Unfortunately killing the jackals nets you the least amount of rune energy, so you’re actually better off running in rescuing civilians quickly, destroying Ravenii armor, and dismembering limbs to charge up your rune energy. The only good reason to kill lesser troops is if you care to complete bonus objectives.

Outside of Story Mode, the game offers Trials to test your mettle, a mode which you fight until you die called Extinction and Skirmish which allows you to customize your own scenarios that can be shared amongst your friends. Daily Challenges also allow you to see who’s the best Sentinel of the day.

So to answer the question in the byline, no Extinction Day isn’t worth celebrating, while the game attempts to be ambitious, fails to deliver for Iron Galaxy. It’s just a little too repetitive to hold one’s attention. The 60 dollar price point is extremely hard to swallow given it is a new unproven IP, although I’m not even sure if a lower price point would make the game a more attractive offering. So with that I would like to close this review with my stack ranking of Iron Galaxy Original IPs…

  1. DiveKick
  2. Video Ball
  3. Extinction
  4. Wreckateer (it’s only 4th because I never played Wreckateer, even then the distance between 3 and 4 is miniscule)

And if you don’t like that well you can, Go Fry Bacon.

Note: Modus Games provided us with a Extinction PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: C+

Extinction – PlayStation 4


Manufacturer: Maximum Games
ESRB Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation 4
Genre: action-game-genre

New From: $30.00 USD In Stock
Release date April 10, 2018.