Extinction is a game with a launch trailer which makes it look rather like Shadow of the Colossus. There are are similar elements to that one, in that you’re, ultimately, trying to kill giants, but is Extinction a giant-killer… er… killer?
First off, there are ginormous orc-like creatures called the Ravenii who are stomping about and remodelling the local towns with their feet. Before you deal with them, you have to save the townfolk from smaller orcs, known as Jackals, who are a piece of cake to bump off, but the way you do it is the simple hack/hack/slash you get too often in the Dark Souls games (and many others), and those sorts of games drove me insane as the format was so samey. Still, there’s a huge Dark Souls market out there, so this could well be the game for you.
When you rescue people, for the process in which you accomplish this, it feels like the game is trying to create some sort of religious experience, given the way everyone reaches their hands to the sky. and then zooms off, as if it’s The Rapture with everyone ascending to heaven. That’s easy enough, but alas, I can’t use the Gamepad for every control. For some reason, I still have to press ‘E’ to rescue these civilians after I’ve defeated a Jackal.
Also, my joypad (Logitech F710) has jump as B, whereas the menu says it’s A; and pressing up and holding down L3 accidentally simultaneously brings up the Steam keyboard menu. Why? No idea. Similarly, the grapple whip doesn’t function from the gamepad. This is something that needs patching, but like any game that needs patching upon release – why weren’t these problems discovered in the beta testing?
However… I eventually sussed out how to correct some of this, as since the game was requiring some keys to be pressed, it just didn’t get on completely well with my joypad and I had to remap some of the keys in Steam’s Desktop Configuration – not that this game gave me any suggestion that this would be required, so my above point still stands.
Extinction – Walkthrough Gameplay – Full Game (PS4 PRO) 1080p 60fps – No Commentary – Shirrako
The graphics look amazing, but the problems come when you’re right up to a Ravenii and trying to jump on and up him.
It took me a bit of time to realise that when I’m holding down the left trigger to get ready to strike, I should then manouevre with my right stick to look around – while I’m in slo-mo in the air – since then, I can hopefully see what needs lopping off him, such as the lock from a helmet, and then release the left trigger to strike.
Alas, when I’m trying to chop off a leg, the Ravenii move about so randomly that when you’re too close, he ‘disappears’ briefly. I guess at that point, he’s moved behind me, but it briefly looks like you’re passing through the leg.
The Ravenii also move about quickly, so even when you’re on them while they’re down on the ground, you don’t get more than one realistic chance to try and cap them off before you’re thrown to terra firma as well, and have to start the whole limb amputation business again, and this leads to frustration. Hence, if I was uploading my own footage for this, you would either see me die a LOT or I’d have to severely edit it down. Thankfully, someone else has done a much better job so I’ve embedded their video.
Sometimes, the best way to ‘avoid’ him is to run straight towards him, as he’s too big to turn round quickly.
Sound is fine. It’s in DTS 5.1 surround sound, but mostly, it’s just crash/bash/smash and while it doesn’t feel too revolutionary, it provides the right atmosphere and has no issues whatsoever.
Extinction – PS4 Gameplay Walkthrough Trailer – E3 2017 – PlayStation
Now, some random annoyances:
- Xandra, whose static visage appears while she instructs you, keeps telling me my rune energy is at the point where I can strike the Ravenii with my big sword. YES I KNOW!!! Now if only he’ll stop moving about.
- And another time, he stood on me and killed me, but she’d just started wittering on about how well I was doing. It’s like the football commentary in a videogame where it’s all gone a bit skee-wiff and out of sync.
- In addition, she keeps moaning that citizens elsewhere are being killed… while I’m too busy bumping off the Jackals where I am and, physically, I cannot be in two places at once!
- A minor niggle – when the people praise you like they should for rescuing them, it doesn’t matter whether they’re white, black, Asian, or of any other ethnic background, it’s always a posh, white bloke who pops up and thanks you for saving him. That rather stood out – not because of a lack of diversity but because of repetition. This game knows a lot about repetition(!)
- For something that took a few attempts to grasp – when I actually got onto the Ravenii’s neck, it’s all glowing like I’m in the right place to strike, but then doesn’t let me actually strike in the right place and after a couple of tries, he’s grown another limb and kicked me off his back. You need to hold down your left trigger, move with the right thumbstick to ‘look’ at the right point of the neck where it’s glowing, and then release your left trigger. It really is overly complicated.
- On the plus side, there’s no timer to kill a Ravenii – other than getting a bonus if you do so within a few minutes into the level, but he’ll trash the town to the point where when it hits 0%, the level is over. By chance, I ended up with one in a position where they’d destroyed all but 1% of the town and he was seemingly miles away from the rest, so I had plenty of opportunities to take care of him.
- Some levels also offer a bonus for sorting him out without him losing a limb… well, good luck to that. You’ll have an easier time trying to bathe your cat without it scratching your face.
Overall, if the game remains as it is forever, then maybe it’s worth a look in the Steam sales, and if you like a game that’s not so much challenging as *frustrating*, but not at full price. If the game’s problems ARE fixed – specifically being able to let me use the gamepad as I’m meant to do, without a lot of trial-and-error in the Steam setup – then I would have a fighting chance, but even if/when it does, this giant-killer game still won’t be a Shadow of the Colossus-giant killer!
Either way, until then, the Ravenii can stomp all over any town in this game as I haven’t got a realistic hope in hell in stopping them.
- Publisher: Maximum Games
- Players: single player, multiplayer
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Languages: English
- Subtitles: None
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.