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Gamereactor UK

Extinction Hands-On

We've taken an extended look at the giant-slaying, parkour-themed actioner, Extinction.


Annihilation is a hot topic in today's political climate, as well as the biological debate. Insect- and mammalian species fall like dominos. Conspiracy theories abound concerning the extermination of humanity through senseless overpopulation or the sudden uprising of artificial intelligence. Indeed, annihilation is a hot potato thrown back and forth. This is prevalent in the aptly named Extinction as well, a 3D action-platformer with role-playing elements which moves in the same high-paced parkour vein as Prince of Persia or Assassin's Creed. When it works, that is.

In Extinction, you're thrown into a world literally on the brink of destruction, as massive towering Ravenii have invaded the world of Dolorum and vie for world domination through utter destruction of everything and everyone. As the player, you control Avil, the last in a line of mighty warriors and the only one in the entire world who possess the necessary skills to fight against the gigantic Ravenii. It's somewhat vague why you are the only one of these sentinels - the game even asks the question why you can't pass down your abilities to a new generation of soldiers - but nonetheless, the fate of the world is in your hands and your hands alone.

As well as abolishing these giants, you must save the population and slaughter the lesser demons who follow in the Ravenii's footsteps. Listen, even if Iron Galaxy and Modus Games stubbornly claim that Extinction is completely removed from the clear inspirational source that is Attack On Titan, the similarities are strikingly obvious. To put down a Ravenii, you have to cut the head from the body at the neck, for example. Likewise, in the elite order from which you herald, it takes many years of training and practice to perfect your skill set and, furthermore, nobody knows from whence or where the invading giants come from. Yes, the tale of David against Goliath is far older, but the gameplay, the content, and the story are rubbing shoulders with Attack On Titan to such a degree that the developers cannot deny inspiration. Like Dauntless is an attempt to create a Monster Hunter game outside of the Monster Hunter series, Extinction is clearly an attempt to create an Attack On Titan game outside of Attack On Titan, and that's totally fine, if only the developers would admit it.


But we digress. How does the game control, in its current state, asks the interested reader? Wobbly, is the answer. The concept is very clear - to fight against an unknown force should be daunting and overwhelming when you're a one-man army with the weight of the world on your shoulders. Like climbing buildings, the Ravenii must be scaled like a mountain and some have special armor that must be cracked open first. Furthermore, you must keep an eye out for gigantic hands and feet that try to crush or pulverise you at every given opportunity. The implementation of this leaves a bitter aftertaste, though. More than once did we, for reasons unknown, end up stuck in an armpit or hopelessly clinging on to a piece of armour. The hitbox is all over the place as well - to such a degree that the giants can stomp down miles behind you and you still get crushed.

Extinction makes use of a variance of bullet-time (like we know from The Matrix) when the time comes to hack off gigantic limbs, which would work well if there was any sense of how close you need to be for your attack to be effective. Parts glow heavily when you are close enough, but judging distance is so weird in this game that it seems to shift from Ravenii to Ravenii. The automatic camera cannot follow suit with how fast Avil moves either, and that presents another challenge when you suddenly must aim correctly while the angle is still lagging half a second behind your movement. We're missing a lock-on feature found in Dark Souls and the like. That would at least help in fighting the smaller monsters.