Extinction Review

Richard Walker

Would you believe it? Mankind is only on the blummin' precipice yet again, and funnily enough, it falls to you as the hero to save it. Only this time, humanity is effectively already doomed and on the brink of being completely wiped out by hordes of towering ogres. Welcome to Extinction, an Attack on Titan style adventure in which you have to scale gigantic monsters and cut them down to size. Sounds good, right?

Playing as Avil, the last sentinel and mankind's designated saviour by default, you're tasked with damage control, toppling as many Ravenii (the aforementioned ogres) as you possibly can before they flatten every village, town and city in the world of Dolorum. You must rescue as many civilians as you can along the way too, and that is pretty much the sum total of what you'll do in Extinction - kill the Ravenii by severing their limbs to bring them down, before earning enough Rune Energy to pull off a kill strike and take off their head.

Rune Energy is accumulated by saving the last vestiges of the human race or by killing Ravenii underlings like Jackals or Vultures. Every single mission is a rinse and repeat affair, going through the same old loop over and over. Even attempts to lend some variety in randomly-generated 'battleground' missions fall flat. Extinction's objectives quickly become colossally boring, whether you're defending watchtowers, protecting civvies, shattering Ravenii armour pieces or staving off the roving, destructive beasts themselves.

Felling enemies, saving hapless, stupid people and completing objectives grants SP (skill points) that can be spent on purchasing and upgrading skills, but they do nothing to alleviate the repetition. Sadly, Extinction's core mechanics let it down, its traversal and combat wearing thin very fast indeed. Soaring through the air with Avil's glide and using his whip to thrust yourself skyward should be great fun, but a loose camera doesn't particularly help, while Avil's dodge manoeuvre isn't all that adept at avoiding a squishing under the foot or fist of an angry ogre. Extinction's camera also likes to get stuck in awkward positions on occasion, just to make life that little more difficult, and combat feels floaty and unsatisfying. Consequently, the game can become a frequently infuriating experience.

Each Ravenii boasts different armour types that need to be tackled in a certain way - unless it's of the indestructible silver variety – so gold and iron armour requires you shatter its padlocks with Rune Strikes first, while weak wooden armour takes a single strike to splinter. Ogres sporting bone armour need to swing at you to extinguish the protective flaming skulls that adorn each piece, before you can strike and shatter them, whereas thorn armour needs to be avoided completely.

Initially, shearing armour from the Ravenii and lopping off their arms and legs before decapitating them with a slow-motion kill strike is fairly enjoyable, but after the umpteenth time doing the exact same thing ad nauseum, it begins to grate. Cracks begin to show in the entire remit of the game, the paltry selection of objectives like defending watchtowers for a set amount of time, in the same bland environments, makes every mission like groundhog day. By the time I'd reached the end of chapter 4, I was starting to lose the will to live. Earning stars for achieving certain goals do little to spice things up.

Throw in a disposable story delivered in a manner that's drier than munching on a barrel full of crackers, and there's very little to impel you to keep playing. By the time you've passed the halfway point in Extinction's campaign, in all probability you'll be longing for Dolorum's survivors to be smushed into paste just to get the whole sorry affair over and done with. It's not often that I find myself screaming at a game because I'm hopelessly bored, but Extinction provoked me to do exactly that.

Extinction has extra game modes outside its interminable campaign, but guess what? These involve carrying out the same tasks, albeit with leaderboards to climb, if you can be arsed. There are Daily Challenges to tackle as well as Extinction and Skirmish modes, but again, these boil down to the same old brand of button-mashing tedium. Rescue Run Trials and the threat of DLC to come also enjoy a menu within the campaign, Rescue Runs involving finding a rescuing civilians, y'know, just for a change.

As for Skirmish mode, these offer potentially randomised battleground levels, but quite why you'd subject yourself to more of Extinction's Attack on Titan-inspired ogre slaughter, is beyond me. On paper, Extinction should be great fun, but in reality, it's an irritating, repetitive game hampered by woolly traversal mechanics and insipid, one-note combat. While its art is nice enough and its concepts are sound, it's the lack of variety that sounds the death knell for Extinction. There's a good little game in here, but it's an idea that's stretched far too thin.


A fine idea at its heart, Extinction ultimately falls flat on its arse thanks to a dearth of interesting objectives and gameplay sorely lacking in variety. Chucking in loads of content clearly isn't the answer when you're doing the same damn thing over and over again.

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Serviceable voice work, forgettable music. There are some nice swooshy sword swinging sounds and stuff, but beyond that, there's nothing particularly noteworthy.


Extinction's art style is nice enough, but the environments all look effectively the same, as do the paltry selection of enemies. What little that is on show does look decent and the animated cut-scenes are a neat touch.


It all basically works, but combat uses a single button for swiping, one to dodge and you can slow time to target weak spots with a Rune Strike. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with Extinction's nuts and bolts, it's just horribly dull and repetitive.


Far too few objectives and one-note gameplay make Jack a dull boy. Bringing down Ravenii gets old fast, soon becoming something of a chore, while you'll grow to hate Dolorum's stupid civilians. Just save yourselves already.


One of those boring 'do this a bunch of times' lists. Perfectly fine, nothing special.

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