Exoprimal

Posted:  Jul 22, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Cloud Saves

Review

Exoprimal was provided by Capcom for review. Thank you!

Exoprimal is an online, multiplayer horde shooter that pits you against the most ferocious predators to exist, Dinosaurs. Using cutting-edge exosuits, you will team up with 4 others and fend off against scores of Raptors, Pteranodons, Triceratops, T-Rex, and more in a race to complete your objectives before the enemy team. You will be able to take control of different suits, each with unique abilities, and modify them to fit your playstyle best. Work together with your team, overcome the horde, and find out why this is happening and how to escape this dangerous loop.

It isn't often I find myself craving to come back to a horde-shooting multiplayer-only game, generally I tend to find them obnoxious repetitive, but Exoprimal is the exception to this rule. Grabbing and customizing an exosuit and diving into fast-paced battles where legions of dinosaurs were coming after me has been an addicting experience I keep finding myself coming back to and enjoying all the same.

I think there a couple factors that do this for me: A fast and addicting gameplay loop, an interesting story, and the way it effects the gameplay loop the more you play. On the surface, Exoprimal can seem like it is very much the same thing over and over, and for the first few hours, it can be, but this changes as the story unravels. As you keep on playing, the story that happens in the background will start to affect the matches you play, giving you different objectives, final missions, new dinosaurs to fight, and even a fully co-op boss battle.

ExoprimalQuality6

Each exosuit feels quite unique as well and I love the hero-shooter spin we have on it where each has its own level and unlock tree. You can also change out rigs, modules, and get new skins through war chests (loot boxes you get from leveling up). Deadeye has been my go-to for the most part, but it has been fun trying out and exploring other exosuits like the tank-styled Roadblock and the speedy melee-centric Zephyr.

I fell in love with Exoprimal the more I played and the more the story unlocked. I was loving the mysteries to the point I was speculating what could have caused Leviathan, the crazy AI, to whisk us away to fight dinos for combat data. There are cosmetic-only microtransactions, but of all the games that have them, I found this one to not be nearly as predatory as most of the others. Overall, I enjoyed the game way more than I expected, even with the compromises to get this running well on the Steam Deck.

You can also check out our review of Exoprimal on the ROG Ally if you want to see how it performs on the device.

Exoprimal - Steam Deck Performance

With Exoprimal being a new AAA release, I had no expectation that it would be a flawless experience, and while I was right, I definitely didn't need to make as many compromises as I had first thought. Thanks to the RE Engine that is powering it, the game is optimized well, giving us tons of options to configure and get it running really well on the Steam Deck.

Across all builds, there was some framerate fluctuation, but setting a GPU Clock Speed frequency of 1200 smoothened those out and kept things stable.

Recommended Build

Starting with the recommended build, I elected to use a quality-focused build to recommend. Yes, this draws a lot of power, but with the game needed an online connection to play and having nice fast matches, I didn't find myself running out of battery before I planned to take a break after a few matches.

Quality wise, I wanted to push at least medium settings without using any upscaling for a nice, sharp image. And with Shadows on Low, I was able to achieve this and set a couple settings to high! It does drain battery a good chunk, only giving 2 hours battery life max, but it looks fantastic and keeps a stable 30 FPS the entire time.

Framerate Build

After this, I wanted to see what I could push framerate wise. From my ROG Ally testing, hitting anything above 40 was really hard and near impossible, with some drops to 36-38. With this in mind, I didn't have much confidence I would be able to pull of 40 FPS, but I wanted to see if I could make the game smoother, and I decided to try exactly that with a nifty tool called Steam Deck Refresh Rate Unlocker.

Made by ryanrudolfoba, this tool allows you to unlock your screen, giving you the ability to have a 70hz refresh rate screen. It can also go backwards, giving you a 20hz option as well, but I tend to only use the 30-70 mark. Installing is relatively easy, just download the .sh file (right click and click "save link"), open it, put in your sudo password, and choose the corresponding option. I personally chose 30,70 as I don't go below 30, but want the ability to test 70hz when possible.

Using the Steam Deck Refresh Rate Unlocker, I was able to push the refresh rate of the screen to 70hz, allowing me to cut it in half and have a solid 35 FPS. This does need lower quality settings, a TDP limit of 13 at least, and using FSR 2 on Quality, but the end result is a smoother experience I was really happy with. The only reason this isn't my recommended is the use of a third party tool and a large battery drain, but if you have unlocked to 70hz already or really want the smoothness, I felt it was a noticeable difference worth mentioning.

Battery Build

Finally, we have the battery build. Generally, the battery build is my go-to as I am someone who prefers taking my device on-the-go, but with the game needing an online connection anyways, I didn't feel a battery being a priority to me. But it is possible with the 30 FPS cap, a TDP limit of 9, and lower settings with FSR 2 set to quality. It will keep temps down and battery drain below 18W, but with quality down, and some minor drops here and there. I felt it wasn't necessary, but I wanted to provide anyways for those who might be interested!

Exoprimal comes with full controller support, cloud saves, and it doesn't support 16:10 aspect ratios, so you will have black bars above and below on the screen. Some text is a little on the small side, especially at the analysis menu, but you can keep the story going easily by clicking on the "Next Story" box on the left side.

ExoprimalAnalysis

Conclusion

Exoprimal is a game that, whenever I need a break, I play. The quick, addicting gameplay loop that evolves with the story is so enjoyable to experience. There were a couple moments I genuinely got excited when a new dino randomly popped up or some event happened in the match that was abnormal, but carried the story along. On the Steam Deck, there are some compromises that need to be made to play, but as long as you are okay with 30 FPS, this will be an amazing experience and one I highly recommend!


Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Exoprimal is a fantastic, addicting multiplayer game that can be enjoyed nicely on the Steam Deck with some tweaking.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

Let us know what level of playability you consider Exoprimal to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$19.79
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Other Builds
Framerate Build
SteamOS

Limit

35

Refresh Rate

70

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

13

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

1200

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Requires the Steam Deck Refresh Rate Unlocker

 

Display:

Display Mode: Full Screen

Resolution: 1280x720

 

Quality:

Graphics Quality: Low

Upscaling: AMD FSR 2

AMD FSR 2: Quality

Variable Rate Shading: On

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

18W - 21W

73c - 82c

1.5 - 2 hours

Battery Build
SteamOS

Limit

30

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

12

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

1200

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Display:

Display Mode: Full Screen

Resolution: 1280x720

 

Quality:

Texture Quality: Medium

Texture Filtering Quality: High (ANISO 2x)

Shadow Quality: Low

Model Rendering: Low

Effect Rendering: Medium

Motion Blur Rendering: Off

Reflection Quality: Low

Global Illumination Quality: Low

Ambient Occlusion: Low

Upscaling: AMD FSR 2

AMD FSR 2: Quality

Variable Rate Shading: Off

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

14W - 18W

69c - 75c

2 - 2.5 hours

related Settings

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