There seems to be something irresistible about dinosaurs, a fascination that affects more or less everyone and that also works perfectly in the field of video games, as evidenced by the interest aroused regularly by titles that have lizards as their main theme and Second Extinction, we have tried in its version Game Preview its Xbox Series X, certainly is no exception. It is a first person shooter developed by Systemic Reaction, the team also responsible for Generation Zero: in that case, an excellent premise and an interesting setting were not then properly exploited by the game, which showed significant gaps, while in this case the more caciarone basic concept and a rather well-established structure in some elements of the cooperative gameplay could play more on the safe side. In fact, as far as it’s possible to prove so far, Second Extinction comes across as one first person shooter rather solid, which relies on elements of sure grip on the public such as cooperative gameplay, the progression of the characters and of course the dinosaurs.
The question is very simple: in a world of the future there are genetically modified dinosaurs that have invaded the Earth and the aim of the game is to try to regain control of the surface by shooting down the creatures in question, through missions aimed at certain objectives within very large maps. The structure is the classic one of the first person shooter, designed to be faced in cooperative multiplayer with a team of three players, similar to Left 4 Dead, to take a particularly famous example, but obviously with dinosaurs instead of zombies. Second Extinction is currently available in Game Preview, or in early access: the game is not yet complete as regards the contents but its mechanics are substantially ready, which allows us to give a first evaluation here while waiting to see further developments. . Good support in the medium or long term will be essential, in particular with the addition of new areas to explore and perhaps additional modes and special events, all elements that can substantially change the experience and the overall value of the game.
A large, almost sandboxed map
For the moment there is only one map, the Tundra, but this is already of considerable size and has several areas to explore. The setting is unique and entirely walkable, but is divided into different regions, each of which contains different objectives to complete and its own “threat level” based on the concentration and type of dinosaurs present. These conditions are partially influenced by the overall performance of multiplayer games: the game world has characters persistent, in the sense that each completed game determines a progression in the global fight against the dinosaurs, so it is possible to change the threat level based on the overall action of the whole community. A particularly critical area increases its threat level for everyone, but once cleaned several times it can result in a general lowering of the danger and perhaps the movement of creatures to other areas. This system, called “War effort”, is still quite basic but gives a sense of overall progression beyond the leveling of individual players and can help solidify the community.
The Tundra has a rather homogeneous appearance and does not offer great variations between one area and another, which can lead to a certain repetition even if the dynamic day / night cycle and the different weather conditions help a lot to vary the gaming experience even in a mountainous and snowy land that is apparently monotonous. The issue could improve significantly with theadding more maps, which will probably arrive later in time, so for now we take it as a first start which, however, already has a considerable extension. Missions can be tackled through the free roam mode, which allows you to freely explore the map and complete the objectives of the individual areas, deciding where on the Tundra to jump, or take part in the Countryside real, which presents more structured composite missions and which can range between different areas.
Clashes and goals
The aims to complete do not have huge variations on the standard themes of the genre: recovering documents and resources, bombing dinosaur nests, reactivating radar or facing particularly dangerous creatures are the basic elements of the gameplay, which take different forms but follow more or less the same plot. In fact, it is a question of reaching the points of interest and acting in some way, often requiring the aerial launch of specific equipment to perform certain actions (place explosives, launch containers into orbit, collect samples) facing the inevitable assaults of dinosaurs that are made. more intense as the mission progresses and become particularly difficult at the bottom, usually in thefinal assault before extraction (which at the highest difficulty levels becomes a real madness).
The soul of the gameplay is all in the direct confrontation with the dinosaurs, which are present in considerable quantity and variety, even if a constant increase of species and variations genetic also in the future. They range from the smallest to the gigantic creatures T-Rex, each typology characterized by specific behaviors in battle and different biological weapons, therefore in addition to physical attacks we can expect distant acid launches, sound shock waves, underground movements, invisibility and other particular pitfalls. The types of dinosaurs broadly follow the best known ones that really existed (raptor, T-Rex, ankylosaurs, triceratops and various others), but they are all modified in order to be even more terrifying and obviously attack in a particularly tactical way as real. weapons of war. Their different behaviors they require different approaches, as well as the need to hit the weak points in order not to waste ammunition against the mighty ones armor, all elements that add something peculiar to the gunplay, given the particularity of the enemies we face.
Classes, progression and evolution
In the mixture of characteristics of which Second Extinction is composed, the presence of different “heroes”, representing different classes of fighters, could not be missing. At the moment they are present five characters which are distinguished by equipment and special abilities, but among which there are practically three classi generals: two “tanks” armed with heavy machine guns, a sniper with a sniper rifle and two “medium” characters, who prefer the assault rifle and medium and short range weapons. The two special abilities provided to each then further characterize the fighting style, all elements that push towards the creation of a team as balanced as possible on the different types of hunter. In addition, completing missions between free roam and Campaign it is possible to upgrade weapons and equipment, as well as improve the skills of the fighters, it adds an element of constant progression to the game.
Second Extinction is built onengine Apex owner of Avalanche, the Systemic Reaction team being a de facto sub-group within the same company. The use of this engine allows optimal management of the large map, being the same base also used by the Just Cause series, although the setting at the moment is rather barren and dominated above all by a glacial nature with some scattered technological installations. There isn’t a great deal of graphical complexity, but it all runs smoothly at 60 frames per second even in the most agitated situations (which can become a real chaos of dinosaurs and explosions), which is the most important element for this game. A more complete evaluation on the technical front must be postponed to how much Second Extinction will reach its final version, but in the meantime it turns out to be a game without too many pretensions of realism or technical complexity, but simply able to work well, waiting for more detailed analysis.
Xbox Game Pass seems to be the ideal place for Second Extinction, at least in its Game Preview form, allowing everyone to try the game in a not-yet-definitive version, so you can immediately start having a good user base and start building the game. community that will then have to carry on the war against the dinosaurs also through the interesting shared “War Effort” system. The title of Systemic Reaction is a cooperative shooter without too many frills, in some respects rather simple from a technical and gameplay point of view but extremely functional. Dinosaurs are obviously the greatest strength of Second Extinction, staging fights that have few precedents in terms of frenzy and even team tactics, but the need for ongoing support that leads to more content between available maps, dinosaurs is evident. to fight and characters to use.
- Dinosaurs and weapons of destruction, a combination that always works well
- The large open and shared setting offers many possibilities
- Fast-paced and fun action
- There is a need for more variety between scenarios and game situations, waiting to see support
- Still a little rough, technically