Unusually, I’m going to have to start this Extinction PS4 review with a disclaimer. How about that, eh? I’ll make it quick and to-the-point: We weren’t able to get our hands on PS4 code for Extinction, but we were offered PC code. In the spirit of wanting to keep our readers up to date, we accepted the PC code to review. Yes, we’re a PlayStation site and this is highly unusual for us. However, it means we can get a review out and in good time for our dear readers. Disclaimer over. Let the Extinction PS4/PC review commence!
Extinction is Iron Galaxy’s big new game for PS4. At first glance it all seems quite familiar. I’m not a fan of Attack on Titan or Shadow of the Colossus, but I could tell from the first time I slayed one ugly arse Ravenii that Iron Galaxy’s concept wasn’t exactly new. In Extinction you’re tasked with taking down giant monsters who want nothing more than to kill the innocent townsfolk. You do this by scaling the beast and lopping off its head. Oh, and you do that by chopping off its various limbs. Told you it was all a bit familiar…
Extinction’s story centres on your in-game avatar, Anil, the last of the Sentinels – an elite soldier of sorts. You’ll see Extinction’s bright and colourful world through his eyes (in third-person, so not really) as he battles the evil Ravenii and their nasty little Jackals. Story wise, Extinction is forgettable. In fact, I’ve forgotten most of the plot already and I only finished the darn game this week. I think it’s mainly because you’re getting most of the story via in-game text boxes in a very Japanese style, with cutscenes being few and far between. It’s not bother to me, though, as after the first 10 minutes or so I wasn’t that interested in the story anyway, but the game play had me hooked.
The game is divided into a number of chapters that each have their own sub-chapters, and it’s within these levels that you’ll be having your fun. The early ones are your run-of-the-mill tutorials that get you up to speed with the game’s controls, systems, and what not, and then the real challenge kicks in. Though saying that, even a couple of the earlier chapters were quite difficult and forced me to really use my brain, limited skill, and the game’s mechanics.
The gameplay loop is very, very simple. Each level has you looking to protect the innocents by killing off any invading Ravenii. You do this by chopping off their legs, then you scramble up their backs and deliver a killing blow to the back of the head. Oh, but first you need to get some rune power going. This is the game’s catch. In order to take on the Ravenii, you need your Rune meter full, and you fill it by killing Jackals and saving innocent folks from being crushed by the Ravenii/beaten over the head by Jackals. Simple stuff, really, but it does get a little harder as you progress through the game. Jackals will become stronger and there will be more of them, which in turn makes it harder to save the humans, which in turn makes it harder for you to collect that precious Rune stuff.
It’s all about managing your time, really. If you’re taking too long to get rid of Jackals/save people, the Ravenii will be causing more and more chaos, potentially enough to put your into a fail state and force you to go again. It’s not made any easier by the game’s controls. For the most part I really like how Avil moves through the world; traversal is fast and fluid with big jumps and bigger air-dashes. Aiming a strike at the knees of a towering monster is satisfying with the game going into slow-motion as you take aim. It’s all good and I can do it with my not very good brain and overly large hands and fingers (I still played with a controller on PC). But task me with taking out those little twatting Jackals and I’ll fail over and over again. Combat is mapped to just one button, which itself isn’t very intuitive when it comes to remembering combos and the like, but then there’s also no lock-on feature either. Like, you’ve got a handful of dangerous Jackals tearing shit up and making the townsfolk piss their pants, and I’m just sat here swinging wildly into trees. It’s a pain in the arse, basically, and you need to brute force your way through it.
That being said, Extinction is still a fun game. Taking on the Ravenii gets harder and harder as you move through the levels. The initial beasts are simple enough, yet they still made me feel bad arse. Imagine, then, my reaction when I took down one of the biggest and toughest sonsabitches in the game? Jubilated, relieved, and just a little bit horny. Just a tiny bit.
It seems easy enough to begin with. You take a swipe at the legs, maybe chop an arm off, hop up top and do away with the beast’s head. But then armour gets introduced and then the shit hits the proverbial fan as you’re balancing between keeping the Ravenii from going nuts and saving the townsfolk so you’ve got enough Rune power to take on the next big bugger that comes wandering in. It’s all very hectic at times and I’m normally not a fan of being overwhelmed, but Extinction was okay in that respect. I never felt that I couldn’t do the task at hand, just that I needed to find a different way.
Despite its flaws, I had a great time with Extinction. It’s definitely inspired by certain Japanese games and typical Japanese video game tropes, but I think it’s a good entry point for people like me. My point is that this is a very Japanese-inspired game but with the familiar Western falvour. I liked it. Repetition and all.
Extinction PS4/PC Review
Extinction is, by and large, a fun little game. Yes it's repetitive and yes the skill-tree is shallow and isn't "proper RPG" as some would like, but for me Extinction felt like one of those middle-of-the-road games that would come out on the Gamecube or PS2 or OG Xbox. It's the modern day equivalent. But yeah, it's a tad pricey.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.