Review: Second Extinction (Game Preview)
Avalanche Studio's/Systemic Reaction's new FPS dinosaur shooter, Second Extinction, is heading to Xbox, and I've had some time already to play it on the Xbox Series X (as well as Xbox Series S and Xbox One). Is the concept good? Does the game run well, and most importantly, is the game fun? Well, do read on, as this quick review is definitely one not to miss, especially if you miss some good old Turok gameplay.
Platform: Xbox Series X.
Visuals & performance
Second Extinction feels like a mix between Generation Zero and Rage 2, after playing it for a while, much due to the similar visual look found in both games.
When paired with superb visuals on Xbox Series X that include high-resolution textures, great shadow & lighting work, insanely good looking explosions as well as other effects, a crisp 4K resolution, highly detailed character/enemy models, a mighty fine draw distance, and last but for sure not least; extremely fast load times, Second Extinction accelerates immedietly and places itself very high up in the list of games to play on next generation Xbox consoles. The better part of the game, however, despite so much going on in the game, is the performance - one that's of course at 60fps, and one that's locked to that target at all times, pretty much, a feat that isn't to be underestimated.
Keep in mind, this is the game preview version, also known as the incomplete version of it, but after all these hours of playing it, I can easily say that it doesn't...feel like it it belongs to the program? I mean, it feels complete in many ways, even though there are some bugs present at times. The most obvious one, as I'm guessing that it's a bug of some sort, is when selecting characters and weapons, where I'm met by rough and low-resolution looking models, but it's not that big of a deal.
On the Xbox Series S, it's pretty much the same thing except for when it comes to the resolution: 1080p, with the same great visuals and rock-solid framerate found on the Xbox Series X. Though, last generation hardware is by far a much different tale. It's sluggish, unstable, and looks horrible compared to next-gen. It's nowhere near as good, and runs at 20-30fps (obviously).
Second Extinction isn't like Generation Zero and Rage 2 just in the form of visuals, it's also fairly similar when it comes to the gameplay. Through engaging and fast-paced action-filled dinosaur killing gameplay comes some of the most fun I've had in a mindless first-person shooter in a long time. That's Second Extinction for you in a nutshell - accompanied by rewarding and replay value stuffed content.
A quick description of the game's gameplay would be something like: drop down on a planet filled with extremely deadly dinosaurs that range from velociraptors & triceratops, to the ankylosaurus and even the huge T-rex, where your objective is, simply enough, to [preferably completely] decrease the presence of them by taking part in various events such as removing nests, stealing eggs from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, blowing up mines filled with dinos, and capturing camps to be able to begin an insertion in as many places as possible.
It's first and foremost a first-person shooter, but contains RPG elements where you're able to upgrade your weapons with the help of dinosaur resources found in battle, and leveling up in general after each mission. To keep things interesting and even more rewarding, there's something called contracts; a way of receiving loot/resources by completing different challenges during missions. They spice things up a bit and serves as that last perfect way of earning stuff. The best thing in my opinion is that it's all so much fun, just simply FUN all the way through.
There was never a moment of anything ever being boring in any sort of way. Gameplay? Fun, hectic and engaging. Firefights? Awesome. Graphics? Stunning. Content? Well, despite it being in just game preview as of right now, I kind of feel like there's more than enough to justify spending $25 on it. I'm fairly surprised to see it being this complex and almost, well, complete already. I hope for there to be more different types of dinos in the future, though!
All in all
Second Extinction is one heck of a game, offering some of the most fun and interesting gameplay I've seen for a while. Not only does it look and run very good on next-gen consoles, it does so while having bragging-rights to a lot of other aspects such as; a lot of content for being in game preview, stellar gameplay, terrifyingly engaging brutal fights with ancient dinosaurs, and lastly, a big open world to explore. It reminds of Turok, which is something I've missed in gaming, so I'm just glad to actually get to play something even remotely similar in 2021. I've fully enjoyed my time with the game so far and I truly can not wait to see it evolve into an even bigger experience in the future. I recommend it in every way!
Second Extinction is very soon available on the Microsoft Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, for the fair price of $25. It is part of the game preview program and will also be part of Game Pass at launch.
This review is written by Jesper and is based on his honest opinion of the game.
A review code was provided by the publisher for review purposes.