Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Maximum Games
Developer: Iron Galaxy
Release Date: April 10, 2018


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PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Extinction'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on June 30, 2017 @ 1:00 a.m. PDT

Extinction is a fast-paced action game where you'll fight massive ogres and their minions across a sprawling countryside, defending cities and rescuing native villagers torn from their homes.

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Extinction is set in medieval times, when humanity is on the brink of, well, extinction. Armies of orcs have appeared and want to obliterate what little remains of the human race, who live in heavily defended villages that rely on large walls to keep out the hordes. Unfortunately, humanity's defenders are few. The protagonist, Avil, is the very last member of a secret society dedicated to protecting the people of the world. He is the only thing standing between humanity and the very end.

On the surface, Avil is just a man with a sword. His big advantage is that he's extremely mobile; he can run up and along walls, double-jump, dash in the air, and dodge. Most importantly, he has a whip that allows him to grapple specific points on the map. This piece of gear allows him to be highly mobile, swooping from tree to wall and back to an enemy at a moment's notice. You can even slow down time to get more time to figure out your next action. This mobility is necessary because aside from some support members who provide him with supplies, Avil is defending the world on his own.

By default, your goal is to rescue civilians who are trapped within the walls of their cities while swarms of flying goblins and orcs invade, and they need an escape route. You can do this by making your way to them and summoning a portal that draws them out. The problem is that the portals draw enemy attention, so you'll have to protect the civilians until they're extracted. The smaller minions are easily dispatched. Avil has a series of combo attacks that can tear through enemy forces, including air juggles and area-of-effect attacks. The challenge with smaller foes is killing them before they reach the civilians that you're protecting.

The biggest and baddest foe in the game is the Ravenii, which is what you get if you cross-breed an orc with a titan from Attack on Titan. The result is a massive green monster that's bigger than a building and is about as durable. Beyond that, the orc is incredibly tough to kill. Any given Ravenii has a regeneration ability that puts Wolverine to shame. Remove an arm or a leg, and they'll grow back in a matter of moments. The only thing that stops a regenerating orc is a complete removal of its head, which is usually done by attacking the neck from behind, so it can't see you.

You fight the Ravenii by attacking their limbs and then finishing off the head with a brutal slash to the back of the neck. This isn't as easy as it sounds, though. By default, Avil doesn't have the power to kill an orc with a single blow. Instead, he needs to power up his sword by removing the limbs of foes. This has the convenient advantage of crippling the beast, but it also causes their limbs to dissolve into energy that Avil's sword absorbs. Cut off a leg, and the creature can't advance on its targets, but if you cut off an army, it has a more difficult time swatting him away. However, orcs will defend these weak points with special armor. Simple wooden armor can collapse under multiple blows, but reinforced gold armor can require precision strikes against buckles that hold it together. Some orcs will even have armor that can only be pierced by a powered-up sword.

As far as we were shown, the goal of missions is to protect civilians from orcs. You'll be given a goal at the start of the mission (e.g., "Kill 2 Orcs'), and you must fulfill it to complete the mission. There are plenty of optional objectives, too. Kill extra enemies, avoid damage or death, or save additional civilians to contribute stars that you can earn for your ranking on the mission. There will be both a story mode and optional bonus objectives, including a daily challenge for players. In addition, there will be an Extinction mode, which is an endless horde survival mode. The main story will have an upgrade tree that lets you customize how Avil plays, but the challenges will make sure everyone is on equal footing.

Extinction is a straightforward game that looks like a lot of fun. Giant monsters want to destroy humanity, so you need to cut off the monster heads. The gameplay is fast and highly mobile, and it seems to run very smoothly for a pre-alpha build. It's hard to get a feel for how the final action will pan out, but what we saw looked great. We hope to see a lot more of Extinction before its 2018 release date for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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