Exoborne First Preview: Eye of the Storm Extraction

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With its “Get Dressed, Get In, Get Out” blurb, Exoborne elegantly sets its stall as an extraction shooter. But they left out the most critical part: “Get carried away by a powerful tornado.” While Exoborne offers all the features you’d expect from games like Escape from Tarkov and Call of Duty: Warzone in the DMZ, the most electrifying part of the presentation I saw at Play Days was developer Sharkmob talking about the weather.

Exoborne is not post-apocalyptic, but rather mid-apocalyptic, with the world falling apart around you – as a result of humanity’s interference with the climate. Project Rebirth’s attempts to provide unlimited amounts of neat energy have backfired somewhat, and now Mother Nature is taking her revenge.

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Extraction shooters live or die by the gameplay that emerges, and nothing is as sudden as a twister, flood or tsunami. The weather during an Exoborne session can go from bland to blistering in a matter of minutes – all of which has a huge impact on gameplay, according to Sharkmob.

The 10-minute walkthrough video, based on a pre-alpha version of the game, began with a low cutscene in which a group of teammates known as the Reborn gather on a dropship and prepare to jump. Character models are based on the skins and equipment chosen by each player, so this is a good opportunity to show off your talents before the action begins.

Players then parachuted from the dropship onto the map below. The action began immediately when the Colton County area in the southeastern United States was overrun by deadly robotic machines and human enemies.

During a longer gaming session, you can expect a lively range of climates that will hinder your progress. The rain apparently becomes so weighty that teammates can no longer be heard and their announcements are drowned out by the flood, forcing players to rethink their strategies.

Kill, loot, equip – so far, so extraction shooter. Entering a nearby base required some teamwork and taking out some AT-ST-like enemy infantrymen, while at another point the squad climbed aboard a Warthog-style armored vehicle with an open top/sides/rear to make shooting easier. The maps are both vertical and wide, with towers connected by huge Rebirth cables that snake through the environment, placed by Rebirth architects without regard to the setting and human inhabitants; these industrial bedsores allow players to climb using grappling hooks and fight on higher ground. Burnt-out school buses and the sign of a dilapidated motel litter the abandoned streets of what might have once been an idyllic country town. Sinkholes provide a chance to explore the underground.

And then there was a tornado warning. As the weather cleared, the squad shortened their mission, calling in a landing craft and boarding the loot before things became complex. However, the creator of Sharkmob explained that during a longer gaming session, you can expect a lively range of atmospheres that will hamper your progress. The rain apparently becomes so weighty that teammates can no longer be heard and their announcements are drowned out by the flood, forcing players to rethink their strategies.

While risk can be high in any session, Sharkmob has designed Exoborne to be more forgiving in the long run. This means that mining isn’t always guaranteed and you may lose items in a given session if you don’t survive – but the game allows you to rebuild your arsenal in future games, improving your character from game to game as you loot and progress. The idea is to make the game as accessible as possible for newcomers who might find the high risk of other extraction shooters off-putting.

Add to that a lot of cold weapons, tech gear, and near-future Exo-Rigs, as well as, of course, a mix of PVP and PVE action, and Exoborne becomes a cold addition to the genre.

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