Presented at Inside Xbox on May 7th, 2020, Second extinction is the very first game from the young Systemic Reaction Studio. This belongs to the Avalanche Studios Group, including the one to whom we owe the saga, among other things Just cause. If you know / appreciate this license, you are familiar with them Second extinction ! The Xbox exclusive game has been available in Game Preview since April 28th and is included in Xbox Game Pass. The opportunity for me to test this prehistoric Hack’n’slash FPS and give you a preliminary opinion on its potential.
Take back the earth!
First, I’ll remind you of the scenario from Second extinction. Hordes of bloodthirsty mutant dinosaurs that have risen from the depths of the earth have invaded them and wiped out much of the world’s population. Faced with this invasion, the survivors left and sought refuge in an orbit station. You play as one of its members within an elite group called ENA. Your task? Take on these prehistoric monsters and take back control of the planet.
Of course, you will not go alone as you will try to carry out your various missions in a party of three. To wreak havoc on the reptilian forces, you have five fighters at your disposal, each with their own style. Enough to vary the joys and allow players to find the one that suits them. Tanks, melee riflemen or rather snipers, front line fighters or support, it’s up to you. In addition, each of them is given access to various specific weapons and skills. In terms of weapons, it is possible to upgrade them by using research points and other collectibles. However, you can only choose a limited number of bonuses so you have to make decisions. Likewise, depending on your performance, your character will gain more or less experience after each mission and each level. Each of them will have new weapons and skills at their disposal. Simple but effective as they say. A wide range of skills are available, including different types of grenades or requests to release ammunition or equipment. You can also find them in the various camps on the map or in the area of specific missions.
So the principle is simple: achieve your goals by exterminating all the dinosaurs that stand in your way! Granted, the scenario is far from original, but to my liking it justifies the type of gameplay you’re dealing with.
Chaos among the dinosaurs!
Second extinction is a hack’n’slash shooter in first-person view as a reminder. In other words, expect hordes of dinosaurs who have no other desires than to tear you to pieces. Overall, the title “Systemic Reaction” oscillates between intensive intake phases and quieter periods, which are conducive to refueling and care. To my liking, he found a balance between those tense moments and the quieter interludes. Regarding these phases of action, we recognize the paw Avalanche Studios from the saga of Just cause. It shoots at all costs, it explodes in all directions, … Second extinction is a pure butcher’s shop, a real point of sale where you literally blow your enemies to pieces.
As mentioned, you go on a mission with a party of three. However, problems can arise in solo mode as the enemies are sometimes numerous. And then let’s be clear that sowing destruction and chaos together is just fun! In terms of game modes, only three are currently available. Besides the tutorial, we have the expeditions and the campaign. To put it simply, in the first case, you are free to browse the map by doing the various side missions as you see fit. In the country the same story with the main mission also on the map. One of the only big differences is that during an expedition, you can return to the ship at any time from any of the camps scattered around the map. In addition, half a camembert is there to educate you about the dangers of adversity in the industry. Limited to a single zone for the moment, the playground offers a beautiful variety of landscapes. Even if the bestiary is a little limited, it still offers a challenge with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the enemies.
A good experience, but not perfect!
Visually, the title offers a high quality rendering with a good variety of landscapes, even if we only have access to a snow-covered area at the moment. However, to my liking, it suffers from lighting issues that require you to increase the brightness to see something, especially at night. And when it’s not dark, it’s the fog that obstructs your view. The textures are fine and need some tweaking. I’m going to qualify a bit though because you honestly don’t have much time to admire the scenery in the heat of the moment. Beyond that on this point Second extinction
In terms of gameplay too, we’re entitled to our share of problems of all kinds. First of all, one of the most annoying is the fact that some missions are buggy and cannot be completed. It can be especially frustrating if you struggle long minutes to reach your goal while struggling to stay alive. Then premature interruptions can occur more or less regularly without us really knowing why, and it is impossible to participate in the game afterwards. Finally, on the dinosaur side, there are two things that annoyed me. Their hit boxes are weird because although we can dodge, we get hit, especially by the largest of them. Next, let’s say these animals seem to have their own definition of the laws of gravity. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see them fly into other skies or to see them slide on the ground!
What should one think of this first look? Second extinction ? Well, I’m pretty sure! As I said, of course the scenario is not original, the gameplay is simple, but the Avalanche Studios version Jurassic Park seems casual. If the game is still largely optically perfect, at least in terms of frame rate, it will run steadily without breaking an eyelid. Of course, the title is affected by several mistakes, but overall these have not hindered my enjoyment of the game. Second extinction is a game preview, so not quite finished yet. However, even at this point, it is still more successful than many games to be completed. In short, a good escape, especially for several!