Before I even get into my thoughts on this game I want to clarify that this particular game is an Xbox Game Preview title. If you're unfamiliar with that, think of Steam's early access games and that is essentially what it is. The game is unfinished but you can still buy it now or play it for free on Xbox Gamepass. Normally purchasing the game will run you $24.99 but as of the time of this article you can actually buy it on sale on Steam for $15.99 until July 8th. All I can say after sinking roughly 5 hours into this game is that you would be insane to pay even a dollar for this one. While I know those are some harsh words, and I understand it's essentially an alpha, this game was just not ready to be released in any shape or form period, but we'll get to that later. If this is your first time hearing about Second Extinction the game is a 3-player co-op FPS where you and your friends campaign against the dinosaur hordes while playing as different heroes with different abilities. I played as the character Ortega, a weapons specialist unit whose passive ability allowed me to carry two primary weapons into battle. In addition to their passive ability, each hero also has a different tactical and special move and I thought this was actually one of the better systems in the game because it makes each hero have their own unique play-style and feel while in combat. The heroes themselves? Well...let's just say you would find more personality at the bottom of a dirty gym bag. The dialogue lines here feel so contrived and forced, all I could think of was Apex Legends but done worse somehow. I don't understand why every game that comes out now needs to have the quirky, funny voice lines but I guess maybe I'm in the wrong for wanting something more serious when you are in a world full of dinosaurs.
Speaking of dinosaurs I want to give Second Extinction all the credit in the world for actually coming up with some original ideas for once and not just copying every other game out there. I don't think I've played a dinosaur game since Turok on the PS2 and I'm actually glad that these developers weren't afraid to try something new and it gives their game a distinctive feel as a result. Unfortunately that is about where any praise I have for this title comes to a screeching halt. This game has potential, it really does, but the performance holds it back in every single way possible. In the short 5 hours me and my teammates played this game, we experienced both a disconnection and a crash. One thing I do need to give the game credit for is that at least there is a re-join session option, making the transition back into the action less rocky when problems like this do occur.
I played Second Extinction on an Xbox One X and the game struggled to stay at 30 FPS during most of the combat encounters in the game. When fighting smaller groups of dino's it ran fine and honestly felt good, but these moments were few and far between. Now before you come at me with the torches and pitchforks saying well FadedKrampus you said yourself this title is essentially early access so what did you expect? While that's fair, when I say the game struggled to hold 30 FPS I'm not talking 25 or even 20 FPS I mean the game would drop to what legitimately felt like 10 frames per second and it never recovered until the fight was completely over, even if a large majority of the enemies on-screen had been killed. During these moments the game becomes genuinely unplayable and for that reason alone I could never in good faith recommend this to anyone if you are also on a One X or especially the original Xbox. My good friend Mr. Catelli played this game on the new Series X and did not experience these frame rate issues so if you also have the newest console it could be worth checking out if you're interested or have Gamepass where it's completely free to try.
Performance issues aside it pains me to say it but at the end of the day Second Extinction was also just kind of boring. Right now there is only one map for players to explore and even after the short 5 hours me and my friends sunk in, I felt like I had done and seen it all. Again, I know, it's a game preview and I want to be clear that I absolutely did not go in with any crazy expectations thinking it's a fully finished title but regardless there just isn't enough content here to justify me wanting to play again before the full game is released. In addition to this, the game was also ridden with bugs. The first one I experienced was not being able to capture an objective, which forced me and my team to have to quit the game entirely for a new lobby. The second bug was honestly just funny. For my teammates my character got stuck in place and would not move, but I was still playing the game completely fine. This was a bit of a disorienting experience for them though as they would see the dinosaurs I was shooting just drop dead for apparently no reason. Again, to fix this I had to leave the game completely and come back but unlike with the performance issues I'm not going to rip on an early access game for bugs like that because it's absolutely expected.
Overall I cannot recommend Second Extinction in its current state even if it is a game preview title. It's not the bugs or the lack of content or even the cringey characters that do this game in, but the sub 15 FPS you'll experience when playing this game make it an instant no-go for me. If you have the new Series X or play on PC, where I hope it would run much smoother, then maybe if you really like dinosaurs this game would be worth a shot. Even then on PC you'd still be paying $24.99 which please don't do yourself dirty like that because it is absolutely not worth the price of admission. Your best bet would be trying this one out for free on Gamepass and seeing if it's something you might like, but be warned again because playing this on older consoles is just not an option. Second Extinction has potential, it truly does, but right now my advice would honestly be to steer clear and wait for this one to hit its full release date.