These aren’t the Titans you’re looking for
When I first heard of Iron Galaxy’s Extinction, it was back during E3 2017. The company has gathered a bunch of gaming journalists into a room, showed off a rough build of the game and all the while, all I could think of was Attack on Titan. And for good reason as both games shared multiple similarities; giant creatures that are killing off the population, a quick and nimble protagonist whose sole job is to end those creatures. It wouldn’t be until several months later that I saw the game again and I still thought the same thing, except for one big issue. There was already a new Attack on Titan game in the wings and Iron Galaxy was still hedging its bets that no one would take notice.
Game Name: Extinction
Platform(s): PC (reviewed), also available on PS4 and Xbox One
Publisher(s): Modus Games
Developer(s): Iron Galaxy
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Extinction first opens up with a tale of a young woman who lived in a very bad time and was basically alone. She survived on the streets, had a hard knock life and the way the game was setting this up, you would have figured you’d play as her. Except, at the last moment of the introduction, you’re shown this guy called Avil – and that’s who you play. Yeah, talk about a switcharoo. Then suddenly, Avil is suddenly one of the legendary Sententials, a group of protectors that was rumored to be a bedtime story for young children. Ok, the story is definitely all over the place, but I can deal with it. With most action games, the story doesn’t have to be the best. Which is good because the story here is very bland.
Here come the Titans, er… Ravenii
Action games mean action, and Extinction has this covered. At the start of the game, you’re given a set of abilities that are used to ease you into the combat. Using one button to attack, you’re also able to perform a number of combos. Similar to games like Bayonetta or God of War, you can spam the attack button for a sequence of fast hits, delay your hits to perform slower but more damaging blows or mix them up. You can also toss in a dodge move that I felt took you too far out of the combat but it works. You’ll utilize the majority of these attacks against the Jackal. Smaller enemies that merely serve as the “cannon fodder”. These guys merely serve as fuel for your rune strike ability, which is only usable on the larger creatures; the Ravenii. So who are the Ravenii?
These massive creatures that look like super-sized Orcs, serve as the game’s main threat. They smash and kill everything in sight and the only way to deal with them is to chop off their heads. Sounds easy enough right? Oh, but it’s not that simple. First, you need your rune strike ability, then you’ll need to either chop off armor off of them so you can get to their limbs. This is actually quite a bit of fun, as you can target the arms and legs, reducing the Ravenii to a torso. If only so briefly, as they will regenerate them. The only way to completely stop them is to chop off their head. Sound familiar? Of course, it’s not always that simple, as the game will toss out varies Ravenii with tougher armor om them. Which includes single or multiple locks that are keeping the armor attached. As well as armors that can’t be removed, which will require another way to take them down. I enjoyed that challenging aspect, but sadly that’s the only time the game caused me any real issues.
Outside of combat, you’ll be tasked to save a number of citizens before they’re killed off. Rinse, repeat, over and over. Fail to save a number of them, or let an area be reduced to rumble will result in a game over screen. You also have access to a point based skill system. As you complete objectives, you’ll earn SP points. These can then be used to purchase skills that serve as power-ups for your character. You can increase your health, your damage output, dodge or jump faster and so forth. Outside of that, there’s no other way to level up your character.
Visually, Extinction looks alright with its anime-ish graphics. I’ve never been a big fan of the art design like this, but it works well for this game. Everything was animated well, especially the attacking animations and the way the Ravenii moved. Yet, the audio was a disappointment. The background music was forgettable and the constant voice-overs only served to slow down the action. Thankfully, you can skip through them – well, most of them anyway.
Let’s talk performance. For everything that Extinction lacks, there’s no doubt about the optimization put into this game. I’ve tested this on two different setups, and I was able to run the game at both 1080p and 1440p, between 100-120 frames per second (GSync) at ultra settings. Granted the PCs were rocking a Ryzen 1700 and a GTX 1080, so I tried the game on another PC. This time with a Ryzen 1200 and a GTX 1060 and the game still ran well.
The Wrap Up
The problem with Extinction isn’t with the gameplay, as I did enjoy the game. I especially liked how you could climb onto the Ravenii, as they attempted to knock you away. The limb cutting mechanic was also satisfying and I found myself chopping them off, just because I could. My beef is that there’s just not enough substance here. The entire game revolves around you running around and fighting jackals, saving citizens, gaining enough rune power and finally taking down the massive Ravenii creatures. That’s pretty much it.
The combat system is repetitive and will become boring. This particularly hurts as I expected more from the team that has worked on various fighting games. Sure, I understand that dispatching enemies is what the game is all about. But how about some variety? Some puzzles, or even some platforming. Content-wise, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Especially the Extinction Mode. Here you’ll try to slay as many Ravenii as possible before they overrun you. Honestly, I enjoyed this a bit more than the main campaign. The only downside is that in order to get the most out of it, you have to play the story mode and unlock all the Ravenii. But once you do, it gets really hectic. Hectic, but fun.
Even still, that really isn’t so bad. What hurts the game is that its the price tag. If the game was either around the $20 – 30 dollar range, I could see things being different. For a title that is relatively short and costing $60 dollars, many will ultimately wait until the game gets a price drop.
Review Disclosure Statement: This copy of Extinction was provided to us by Modius Games for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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I enjoyed the combat and thought the concept of Extinction was really decent, it just wasn't implemented correctly. Worth a play, but only if the price was a bit lower. If you're looking for a game that lets you take down massive enemy creatures, stick with the original. Or pick this up for a fun rental night or wait for a price drop.
- Runs really well on the PC
- Combat is plentiful
- Enjoyed slashing the limbs off the Ravenii and climbing them
- The combat is repetitive
- The game is priced too high for what it is
- The camera can get in the way of the combat
- Boring story with zero compelling reason to care about anything