Picture the scene, a quiet picturesque town inhabited by good local people suddenly ramsacked by an invading army of orcs and giant armour-wearing brutes known as Ravenii destroying buildings brick by brick. That’s pretty much the bacstory to this Shadow of Collossos mould title that is Extinction.
Standing at 150 feet tall armed with nothing but their giant bare hands, the Ravenii are made for pure strength and destruction. Our main hero at heart here is a soldier named Avil, who is agile enough to climb onboard these monsters and dismember their limbs one by one, whilst rescuing survivors citizens on the way.
The game’s campaign or story is very basic and straight forward, so won’t be winning any awards for best game script and is mainly a bunch of levels thrown together, in which you must kill the Ravenii on each map for the most part. There are a few breaks in objectives such as killing so many enemies, but your skilled blade will be cutting up giant orcs all too often.
The game also features skill unlocks which can be purchased using gathered skill points at the end of each level. Generally these tend to enhance your character such as deal more damage or bounce off trees and canopies higher. However, they still keep the gameplay challenging, as it’s the precision aiming onto limbs and armour piecws to Raveniis where the real art lies.
Taking down one of these bloodthirsty beasts first requires the removal of the legs and then you need enough gathered kill points to initiate a finishing beheading to the Ravenii. To spice things up, the gigantic orcs are often wearing wooden armour or the more difficult padlocked gold armour which needs more specific targeting on the locks before hitting the armour off. The challenge of hitting the right part of armour can be quite enthralling and when linked together taking down a Ravenii can be done pretty quickly. It is also helped by a slow down in gameplay during these more focussed attacks.
Generally the level spread and objectives become all too predictable, as does the game’s combat and sadly levels seem too repetitive as you complete the first act. There’s very little story to be told other than protecting the human race from an army of orcs and that for a lot of people will be an instant turn off from Extinction.
On its build up to launch I had an expectation of this being open world and to a poor extent it’s too linear. My reimagining of Extinction would be a map of settlements, side quests and interesting survivors to speak to, generally this was what I gathered from prelaunch material such as trailers and screenshots. It seems like I was wrong, as it delivers the game in level format and levels feel locked into just killing Raveniis to progress.
Another downside to all this comes from its mechanics of being athletic and wall running. You can run up Ravenii’s backs and their arms to reach the top of them, but more often than not the game has real difficulties with clipping you through their bodies and as for dodging incoming swings from them, it’s more infuriating than ever.
There are too many game mechanic flaws to Extinction to even begin to enjoy the glimpse of the game. Not only that, but the devs choice on the game’s direction was a missed opportunity. This would have been a fantastic open world adventure game, here’s still hoping they follow this up in the future.