Extinction review code provided by publisher
Extinction started off as a fun, enjoyable title, but after about four missions I quickly started to see the major flaws that were present. The story, the combat, and the mission structure left more than enough to be desired.
Extinction tells the story of Avil, one of two warriors remaining in the world capable of defeating the Ravenii (giant orcs). Avil must prevent the extinction of the human race by saving as many civilians from the last remaining kingdom of human kind from being wiped out by the Ravenii.
Extinction Review: It’s not easy being human
It’s not the best story and most of it simply involves you going through over thirty missions doing essentially the same thing in all of them. Each mission has you saving civilians or taking down a Ravenii. The dialogue, though acted out well, is presented only with bubbles that explain what’s going on in the mission and how the overall goal of saving civilians is going.
It wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the conversations had deviated more than four times in the entire story. The best part about the story and probably the entire game are the great animated cutscenes that you get after completing every chapter in the game. The animations look like an old 90’s cartoon. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the game the final cutscene in the game – the one that’s supposed to wrap up the story – wasn’t animated. Instead, it was created like a motion comic with still images shaking and moving. It’s as if the developers gave up or ran out of time or money.
Extinction Review: No need for combos
Extinction is a third-person action game. As you move around the multiple locations in Extinction, you will have to save civilians by teleporting them to safety using magic rune stones while facing off against Jackals and Vultures. Jackals look like small goblins and Vultures look more like gargoyles. Battling these enemies should have been fun, but it’s more of chore. Unless it’s a mission you have to complete, like defeating twenty Jackals, battling them just isn’t fun.
Extinction offers you plenty of combos to pull off that you just don’t have the time to do or care about. Most of the time you will simply ignore them and just go and teleport civilians out. Most combos are also pointless to pull off, because either the enemies will die before you finish the combo or you’ll get attacked in the middle of a combo as the enemy won’t always react to your attacks.
There is an entire upgrade system, but again most of these are simply additions to things you could already do like jumping higher and traversing environments faster and some that should have been available at the start, like being able to recover in mid-air.
Extinction Review: Attack on Shrek
The bulk of Extinction and what the entire game’s advertisement is built on is taking on giant Ravenii, Attack on Titan-style. What should have been a fun and entertaining mechanic is the most frustrating part of the entire game. In order to defeat a Ravenii, you must first build up the Rune meter in order to cut off their heads.
Building up the Rune meter can be done by saving civilians, killing Jackals, or destroying armor that the Ravenii wear. At first the armor was easy to destroy by simply pulling off a Rune strike, but as the game progressed it became such a hassle that I started questioning why I had to do it in the first place.
After destroying the armor, you can sever either the legs to knock the Ravenii down or the arms to disable most of their attacks.I should note that even though you cut off a body part, it wont help you for too long as the Ravenii will regenerate any lost limbs when cut off.
It’s all good fun up until you start to face off against Ravenii which have gold plated armor or thorns and spikes. For whatever reason, the developers chose to put obstacles in the way to destroy this armor probably to make the game a little more challenging, like destroying giant padlocks before you can break the armor. The spike armor in particulate is so ridiculous that you have to wait for the Ravenii to damage their own armor before you can actually break it.
I failed countless missions because the Spike Armor Ravenii just wouldn’t attack me and just went on and destroyed the city, and there was nothing I could do about it. The worst part came in actually trying to kill the Ravenii. In order to cut of their heads you must climb up their bodies and execute them.
Extinction Review: We need Drake’s grip
Climbing is easily the most frustrating aspect of Extinction. Climbing should be simple and easy just like it is in, say, Shadow of the Colossus. In Extinction climbing is automatic. All you have to do is jump on the side of a Ravenii or a building and Avil will start scaling it; that is until he reaches anything but a flat surface.
While scaling the Ravenii, if you run into a fat roll on their body, a belt, or any armor, Avil will simply stop climbing and you have to jump over it and hope that Avil will grab onto something over the obstacle. Avil also has the worst tendency to start shifting himself into a Ravenii’s armpit and getting stuck. Avil for some reason can’t move side to side so up is your only choice.The camera doesn’t help in anyway either and constantly gets stuck behind a Ravenii or just spontaneously move around, denying you any view of what you need to see.
It’s not the end of it though. If the Ravenii starts moving around when Avil is climbing it, he gets stunned and becomes unable to move. The ones that don’t get their legs cut off will continue on their warpath. Killing these Ravenii drove me to almost rage quit the game. If the Ravenii started to walk, Avil didn’t go with them. He simply got stuck where he was climb and falls down. If the Ravenii jumped backwards, which they do to avoid attacks, Avil will once again stay where he was and go through the Ravenii and fall back down to the ground.
These problems could have been avoided with a simple grab button to hold onto the Ravenii but that’s not the case here. It’s not just the Ravenii that are a problem to climb. Though traversal throughout the environment isn’t as bad, it has plenty of problems of its own. Avil got stuck and had a hard time moving around trees and civilians.
Extinction: Moving backwards
You can also use a whip that Avil uses to fling himself up into the air to transverse faster, but for some reason he loves to latch onto buildings and trees either behind him or on the side of him sending you in the wrong direction. Later on in the game, you will also have to transverse obstacles in the form of Thorns that kill you instantly if you land on them, and some will appear on buildings forcing you to climb a specific way.
I can forgive a lot of the game’s shortcomings if the entire game essentially wasn’t timed. Every mission in Extinction is timed. Either you have to save enough civilians before they are killed, kill enough Ravenii before they destroy the city, protect a few watchtowers for a certain amount of time or kill a certain amount of Jackals or Vultures.
Extinction Review: Rinse and repeat
These are essentially four mission types you play out of Extinction’s grand total of 34 missions. The repetitiveness of the missions drove me insane as everything simply involved doing the same thing over and over again. Even if it wasn’t your main objective, the side objectives made me rescue civilians or kill a certain amount of Jackals time and time again.
There were missions that had a random selection where it would choose your main objective, the location of the mission and its side missions. It would have been interesting if there was more mission variety.
There are other game modes like Extinction mode where you face off against wave after wave of enemies. I don’t know why anyone would want to put themselves through that, but again they aren’t worth doing because they simply have you doing the same missions that you did in the main story.
The only other good thing about Extinction are its cool menus and colorful graphics. The menus have some cool concept art, and the graphics look like the Darksiders franchise: a slick cartoony look with a lot of violence and blood behind it.
Extinction is a poor game with great ideas. A lot of the problems it suffers from just shouldn’t be problems in this day and age. Combat looks cool but functions terribly, and the game’s biggest selling point of taking down giant Orcs is ruined by the horrible climbing mechanics and terrible camera. It’s a shame, as I really looked forward to enjoying Extinction until I actually played it. Now I wish I could forget it.