Second Extinction, developed by the folks at Systemic Reaction, is a high-octane romp through the brutal and unforgiven dinosaur infested wastelands. I’ve spent the last few nights working through the Early Access content with a friend, and let me tell you, there’s something here.
There was a bygone era of dinosaur shooters like Turok, Dino Crisis, and even the old Jurassic Park games. Second Extinction manages to take the frenetic energy of dinosaur hunting and crank it to eleven.
For those who don’t know, Second Extinction is a three-player cooperative first-person shooter in which players complete objectives as they face an onslaught of dinosaurs, both big and small.
Each match, you’ll drop into the map with a list of objectives to complete, but the real fun comes from venturing off the beaten path. Stumbling your way into a T-Rex den, or accidentally getting launched off of a cliff by a charging Triceratops.
Coordinating with your team to effectively clear waves of dinosaurs is fun, but it’s when things go off the rails that Second Extinction shines. It’s swift, chaotic, and, most importantly, fun to take down giant dinosaurs with a minigun or airstrike.
There’s plenty of content to sink your dinosaur fangs into, and the game even has a pretty robust leveling system that rewards you for leveling up with new gear and abilities.
The combat in Second Extinction is what will keep you engaged throughout each mission. The guns pack a real punch to them, and both feel and look satisfying. The hit markers for the weapons are reactive and pop red when you’ve killed an enemy. It’s an innovative way to visually tell the player that they’ve killed their target.
Mixing and matching different equipment adds a layer of tactical strategy, which is nice, but goes out the window once the inevitable chaos ensues.
My team decided not to bring any extra ammo or equipment and instead opted for the airstrike on one mission. We just continually dropped airstrikes from above and watched the cavalcade of missiles blow our enemies to bits. It helped change the missions’ flow, and it was great that the game allowed us this simple freedom.
The mission objectives are varied enough with missions ranging from “open these hangars and clear out the dinosaurs’ to “go in this T-Rex nest and steal its eggs.”
Depending on how many optional objectives and exploration you do, the map itself will change a bit. Each area has a meter depicting the threat level of the different sections. Those areas may become a new hot zone after each mission or may shift into a less intense zone. It’s a fun little wrinkle to keep things feeling fresh.
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Second Extinction was released in Early Access a few days ago, and for $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t know how much more I will play for the time being, but it’s certainly worth keeping on eye on as it progresses through its Early Access period.