Remember this one? Most likely not, i don’t blame you if you didn’t even out this was out when it released in 2018, at least until it entered – deservedly so – that year’s “Top 10 Worst Games” list, only to immediatly fade into the miasma of obscurity, where it should really remain.
But since i like raising the dead for a laugh and try to make people remember the lessons of old, in the hope there will be something to learn and so avoid wasting money on stuff that was launched on the market to no fanfare. And if it nothing else, it’s fun to reignite some old dumpster fires.
In the case of Extinction, the main takeaway is that you shouldn’t be afraid of anything you wanna put out on the market, not because you should dump whatever garbage you want, but because it’s hard to say you shouldn’t do what you want, as games like these somehow managed not only to get released, but to get the full boxed retail and “multiple tiers editions” treatment.
Be bold, ye children of the Yellow Turbans, i guess this is the takeway. Don’t be garbage.
For context, it’s worth remembering back in the mid-to-late 2010s Tecmo Koei got the license to make Attack On Titan games (and didn’t exactly called them that because copyright is fuckin weird), handled by Omega Force (of Dynasty Warriors, Operation Winback and Destrega fame), starting back in 2016 with A.O.T: Wings Of Freedom, followed in 2018 by the sequel AOT 2, which had a big expansion pack DLC (included in a later re-release) Final Battle, the latter covering the third season of the anime series, and obviously the corresponding chapters of the manga.
Since the first game did perform well enough in terms of sales and a sequel was almost obvious to expect (since the animated series was becoming even more popular), Iron Galaxy basically “did an Asylum” and quickly cobbled together Extinction so it could be released just a month after AOT 2.
Now, some might have raised their brow when you heard the name “Iron Galaxy”, as it’s a company specialized in console ports of games, one that handled stuff like the Deadpool The Videogame re-releases and the infamously broken to hell Batman Arkham Knight PC port, though i will not blame them since the fault lies with WB Games, for the obvious reasons (including the dipshit decision to enlist a company specialized in console ports to handle a PC port of a big ass open world game).
Even so, it’s not inusual to have a company specialized in ports and supporting other teams (previous to extinction they helped in co-developing content for Season 2 and 3 of the Killer Instinct reboot game) work on its own game. Heck this isn’t the first original work by the company, as they were behind Wreckateer and Divekick. So this being a dumpster fire wasn’t a given.
The premise it’s about a generic fantasy kingdom getting invaded by giants called Ravenii, and the main characters, Avil and Xandra, members of the Sentinels, a group of warriors often tought just to be legends, takes the fight against the Ravenii and their invasion, powered by teleportation magic.
That’s about it, just an incredibly low effort rip-off that can’t even be fucked to invent some shit on its own, so it just rips off AOT and changes the set dressings and names, and makes it worse so they can’t say it’s exactly the same thing, even it’s so obvious, i mean, even in one the first “animated” cutscenes there’s a shot of a giant paralleling the intro scene of AOT, with two laber camp prisoners Xandra and Avil standing in for Mikasa and Eren. Jesus.
It’s clearly a low budget production, and that shows, but the presentation could be worse, at least it has a passable english voice acting to spice up the character sprites text scroll and the “barely animated” cutscenes. Ok, some important cutscenes are properly animated, kinda cheap but actually ok, passable. When they are passable, that is, so presentation overall it’s quite cheap and skinflint.
That said, it’s no surprise the gameplay as well it’s just Attack On Titan by Omega Force, but made more simplicistic, less deep, more laborious and devoid of satisfaction, only to avoid being downright sued by Tecmo Koei.
Not just worse, but also incredibly boring AND worse.
Instead of the hunting game set-up, Extinction it’s played more as a standard action game, with incredibly shallow, weightless one button hack n slash melee combat against fodder orcs, which you’ll be forced into as killing the peons helps charge the magic gauge needed to execute “rune strike” attack against the limbs of the Ravenii, aka the knock-off Titans.
Don’t like it? Fuck you, we’ll force you into it even more, because more annoying than mindlessly fighting these spongey annoyances is having to hold and press a button to rescue civilian huddled around various “crystal portal”, with enemies teleporting into those to kill said civilians and a general “Extinction percentage” that decrease with the enemies killing civilians and destroying buildings, meaning you always have an indirect time limit to accomplish the mission objectives.
It’s just boring busy work, dead weights plastered on to make the gameplay different enough from the Attack On Titan games, even though the main bulk of Extinction is still fighting giant enemies and having to cut off the nape… sorry, this time you need to outright decapitate them, but they still regenerate other limbs, it’s totally not the obvious AOT rip-off it looks like and actually is.
An incredibly worse rip-off, as the whole process has been made more laborious, with the giant ogres having various types of armor on their limbs, which you pretty much have to destroy, as -like with saving people and killing mooks – this also net you more magic gauge and you need the bar fully charged in order to decapitate a Ravenii.
Doesn’t matter if their neck part is unprotected, which is fuckin stupid as you don’t need that to cut off a giant leg or am, and mook enemies take a lot of hits from the very same weapon. Combine this with a really bad camera, monsters that – aside often being “hidden” by the aforementioned crap camera – most of the times aren’t actively looking for you and won’t stop moving until you cut off of their legs, and a player character that has FPS health regen but it’s either one-shotted or on the brink of death after being hit by a Ravenii once… and you got some fuckin stupid, boring shit.
It would be bad enough if this was just an unsatisfying rip-off of something else, but there’s also the fact it’s such a barely functional mess of systems that don’t mesh well or often just not work.
Like, the targeting system is unreliable, so even having the game signaling you have locked a hit with the rune strike… doesn’t necessarily mean the attack will hit, and this is when fighting the giants, combat with the small ones it’s worse since there’s no lock-on feature, the auto-targeting it’s crap, so even if you have combos (the advanced ones using delayed inputs) it barely matters, just mash attack and hope the enemies die first, your character, Avil, it’s incredibly fragile even against the peons and the dodge it’s so excessive it ends up completely taking you out of combat.
You can acquire the ability to attack mid-dodge, but it doesn’t fix much, or anything at all, not that you have time to occupy yourself with hack n slashing the small orcs, due to the fuckin “Extinction gauge” that decrease during the stage, so unless when you’re forced to by the mission objectives, you’ll want to avoid it all together.
It’s fuckin ridiculous as it sounds.
Even moving around the enviroment it’s notably worse and mess in itself, as physics are fucked, so you’ll find yourself stuck in the negative space between some trees, stuck to some enemies for some seconds (i often found myself accidentally climbing up Ravenii’ armpits), and you’re gonna prefer just walking most of the time, because it’s faster and way more reliable that the acrobatics and mid-air traversal, especially the whip to fling yourself airborne, since you have no control mid-air, you get slinged in a predetermined direction regardless, and there’s not many places you can do this anyway.
Climbing it’s more useful, but it’s still absurd how your character can just jump-climb repeatedly on towers and the like, but not rocks, let me just say you’re not gonna enjoy the stages that force you to platform a lot in a precise manner.
There’s also a pretty simple and straighforward progression system, but it’s just so telling that one of the most actually useful skills it’s the decreased time required to hold a button to save citizens, because otherwise it means more shit ass combat. And it’s kinda necessary to have for some of the later missions, since enemies attacking do not reset the teleport spell, so if you upgraded it to have it done way faster you can teleport the civilians before the enemies get a chance to kill them.
And there’s really no point to go and search for battle against the peons, saving civilians recharges way MORE the runic slash gauge (which is essential since some advanced Tit-Ravenii have an unbreakable armor everywhere but the neck/head, so you need to build up the gauge to the max before approaching them) than just wasting fodder enemies… until the shitty level design forces you , as there aren’t any more “crystal civilian points” spawning in that level. Madness.
Or once, when this is directly fought back by the designers, most likely aware people would rather exploit the upgrades and do anything to avoid ground combat… so at a certain point they use another reskin of the tough enemy with a lot more health and offensive output, and literally force you to fight these things before saving the citizens. Fuck you too.
But wait, there’s worse, as in you never have a proper understanding of what the fuck it’s happening during battles, you just get told when a civilian died, a Ravenii appears, a crucial mission objective got destroyed and some vague indicators, but there’s no map of any kind to get an idea of where things are, just a shitty radar, so often you understand some “citizens clusters” exist somewhere in the map, but unless you happen to wander into them by seeing the icon on the radar or the light ray in the sky, there’s no telling where they are in the often not small locales.
This doesn’t mean that if you don’t see them they can’t be attacked, don’t be silly.
Speaking of mission variety, this is the only aspect where Extinction is comparable to the Attack On Titan games, and while this has technically more locations than the first AOT game… a good chunk of the locales are incredibly basic and looks nearly indistinguishable from each other, so it’s shit anyway. And contrary to this, those games are repetitive to a point, but actually quite fun.
And actually work, when in Extinction often the fxs for the crystal portal just get stuck in a loop when they’re about to vanish, or the controls can just plain stop working for seconds at a time. A bit surprised it only crashed on me once, immediatly after loading the title screen, expected a lot more.
Yeah, the game tries to have some variety by introducing more types of armors the Ravenii have on their body, which it’s good just on paper, actually translating to more annoyance and bullshit to deal with, making the already prolonged fights with the giants even longer, often making things worse by forcing you to defend some towers for a certain amount of minutes, and using all the cheap tricks it knows to falsify any sense of difficulty: having less civilian and building so the “Extinction percentage” drops very quickly, introducing more powerful, resilient and almost unflinching peons that can also use ranged attacks, making the “extinction/health city” rate decrease at a faster rate…
It’s that kind of cheap ass frustrating faux difficulty, this is the kind of game that has you defend towers and often “spawn ambushes” you with giant enemies so close to the tower you left to fight another giant enemy, sometimes they spawn it so close to the only remaining main tower it might as well just make the Ravenii drops on the tower itself from the heavens, it’s insta-game over anyway.
This is when they even feel like properly designing a stage, a lot of them have a fixed main objectives but just randomly generate secondary objectives, location and placement of elements, and i would be more angry at this… but to be honest it’s not that big of an issue as even the standard levels are so annoying, frustranting and badly designed, so most of the time it just doesn’t matter anyway. You keep respawning after you die, so ultimately it’s never real challenge here.
Just frustrating, annoying and grating, cruel like the comments of your NPC “friends” that relentlessly comment and often mock you for getting one shotted by a Ravenii.
Up yours, too.
The campaign it’s notably way too long for the slither of content this game has to offer, which it’s fittingly pathetic as the stages aren’t abundant and fairly short, so of course the story mode requiring just above 7 hours but feeling like you spent half a lifetime into this craphole of a game, stretched way too thin to satisfy the bare minimum expected, while it could have stood to last 4 or even better, 2 hours. Still too long, but easier to get through for masochistic kusoge hunters like me.
I have to mention that you get a Prince Of Persia style wall run ability when you complete the game … dunno why, since i can’t think of any situation where it could have helped to any real degree, guess they had to award you something. XD
Aside from the campaign, there are some DLC challengs and extra modes… as in, a crappy one-life survival mode, and the ability to create and share randomly generated maps with other players. No multiplayer, as if anyone else would even like other people to know they’re playing Extinction.
Extinction deserved to be remembered as a notable specimen of shit design in itself, because i would have kinda welcomed a “AOT game clone” if done ok, since the market really didn’t see any other attempts at the formula, and it’s not like its sins lie only in trying to chase some clout by ripping off a more popular franchise and doing their mockbuster version of it.
Sure, Extinction IS a desperate, obvious and failed attempt to knock-off Omega Force’s Attack On Titan licensed videogames through and through, make no mistake.
But it’s fair to judge it on its own, and it just happens this is not just an AOT rip-off with a rip-off shit story about warrior monks and painfully generic fantasy designs, but also a terrible, absurd specimen full of mechanics that often don’t work or are at odds with each other, colliding to make some of the worst gameplay ever from a barely functional unholy homonculi of NPC escort, literal tower defense, exploration of the barren locales with no good means of navigation, weightless hack n slash combat and a laborious, tedious game of Operation with giant ogres.
The cheap presentation fits with this being a game that’ just so bankrupt on the creative side, artistically lazy and shameless, and just 10 times less interesting than the material it’s ripping off, that if i was really malicious i would “strongly suggest” that its so generic by design, not to make a satire or a commentary, but to avoid that the AOT committee and Kodansha caught wind of it.
I don’t think that’s the case, but i’m tempted because even if the game wasn’t shit, it would be still a forgettable AOT games ripoff, pointless since there are 2 main AOT games and it’s not like there were/are others ripping off Omega Force work on this manga/anime series (as far as i’m aware).
But it being an absolute mess that’s barely functional throws it into 3/10 territory.