PS4, Xbox One, PC
On paper it sounds thrilling – one man against an army of ogres both small and gargantuan, combining the fast-paced combat of, say, a Bayonetta with the light puzzle aspects of tackling giants from, say, Shadow Of The Colossus. sadly, Extinction falls way short of its stated goal, instead offering lukewarm (though still fast-paced) combat on the ground and is an exercise in frustration when it comes to battling the big boys.
the world under siege in Extinction sets the stage with some back story and (too much) in-game exposition, but really it’s just window dressing for a few dozen missions both short in length and with little to keep your interest. it basically boils down to: kill x ogres, protect x civilians/ buildings, or survive for x amount of time. during any of these missions you’ll be scuttling around at a quick pace, tapping a single attack button as if channelling your inner Dynasty Warrior, and eventually tackling a giant ogre in a sequence far easier than it should be. it’s straightforward to the point of banality – and while rarely outright bad, Extinction does nothing of real note. it’s the same, on repeat, with the same challenges and the same frustrations.
strategy comes into play at points, with the giant ogres kitted out in different forms of armour. some are broken with one ‘rune strike’ – your special, timeslowing super-hit – while others require careful aiming at weak points before they can be shattered. some can’t be broken at all. this is where the extremely light puzzle aspect of things comes into play – how can you get to an ogre’s weak point, its neck, if you can’t ground it? the solution usually involves jumping or using your grappling whip to drag yourself up its body. And, really, that’s about it for strategy.
it very quickly becomes apparent that there isn’t much below the surface of Extinction; a few different timings to learn, which button presses activate different combos, and a few new powers can be unlocked and quickly learned a few missions into the seven-chapter campaign. but there’s nothing to keep your attention once the initial fun of running up a giant’s back and lopping its head off has faded – and really, it fades all too quickly.
Extinction tries to keep players involved by offering daily challenges, ‘extinction’ (survival against waves of giants), and randomly generated skirmishes. it’s a fair effort, but when the more you’re being offered is more of the thing that’s already worn incredibly thin, it makes little to no difference. it’s a shame, as Extinction is a good idea – it’s just pulled off with next-to-zero panache, and before the first couple of hours are up you’ll either be willing it to finish, or just turning it off. 4/10 VERDICT misguided, unfair AND boring: A Poor mix
Above: Skills are unlocked using XP earned in missions, and can follow whatever path you choose. Ultimately, you can unlock everything – but it’s a genuine question whether or not you’ll even still be playing the game.
Above: Civilians require rescuing throughout, and offer a bonus to your XP should you get them out with the teleport crystals they huddle around. When you have to protect a certain amount of civvies, though, Extinction becomes an exercise in incredible frustration.
shadow of the colossus
Aot: wings of Freedom