Extinction

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Extinction Game Poster Image
Giant-sized hack-and-slash action is fun but very bloody.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Simply trying to survive is the bulk of the story, but there's a focus on rescuing innocents, defending villages, giving hope to the hopeless. Also underlying themes of honor and duty as players fight for others, despite how they've been treated in past.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Avil and Xandra have a strong sense of honor and duty. Avil is the last of the Sentinels, only person left with the ability to defeat monsters. Despite overwhelming odds, Avil and Xandra still put the safety of others and the defense of humanity above all else.

Ease of Play

While essentially a hack-and-slash game with lots of button mashing, there's also lots of strategy, maneuvering involved. Taking on giants while still protecting people can get a bit overwhelming; navigating walls and treetops and using other midair moves add an extra level of gameplay beyond button mashing.

Violence

Tons of brutal violence, with players taking down giant ogre-like creatures by cutting off limbs and then decapitating them. Groups of smaller creatures attack civilians; the player must defeat them, resulting in more hack-and-slash bloodshed. Some animated cutscenes also feature scenes of bloody violence.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Supports purchase of additional downloadable content (DLC).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Extinction is a fantasy-based action adventure game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. Featuring hack-and-slash-style fighting, the game has players rushing around a village to find and rescue people from various monster attacks. Players use swords to slice through enemies; there's tons of blood and gore, including while dismembering and decapitating huge ogre-like creatures that are destroying the city. While button mashing can do some good against the enemies early on, players will need to learn more nuanced strategies and maneuvers in order to progress through the game. Parents should also know that the game supports additional downloadable content, which can be purchased in-game to expand on the experience and longevity of the ogre destruction.

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What's it about?

EXTINCTION introduces players to a world in which humanity has been at war with itself for as long as anyone can remember. Kingdoms fight kingdoms, with their people caught in the middle. Little did anyone know that the real threat was looming over the horizon. Ancient myths tell of the Ravenii: massive giants whose singular goal is the wholesale slaughter of humankind. Those dark stories are now a nightmarish reality: The Ravenii have returned, along with their army of minions, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. The only thing standing between the Ravenii and the annihilation of all humankind is Avil, the last of the Sentinels, a legendary group of specially trained warriors gifted with the ability to take out these behemoths. It's up to you, as Avil, to use your sword and your skills to drive back the Ravenii and their armies and to save humanity from total extinction.

Is it any good?

Even though this game's violence is over the top, taking on overwhelming odds and having a chance to save the day turns out to be incredibly fun. When most games refer to a "looming threat," they aren't usually talking about a threat that's literally towering over the player, but Extinction sure is: It pits players against massive creatures that are rampaging through the countryside like a force of nature. For players, it can be a hectic struggle to fend off the Ravenii giants while also fighting to save the villagers from attacks by frenzied, bloodthirsty troll-like minions. Switching between ground level and aerial attacks while scrambling up buildings, bouncing off treetops, and otherwise whizzing through the air keeps the combat from devolving into your basic button masher. It takes a surprising amount of skill and strategy to effectively charge and use the special attacks required to bring the Ravenii down to size. Still, that doesn't mean the game can't feel a bit repetitive from time to time, especially early on, before the game introduces different enemy types into the mix.

While Extinction's campaign does a good enough job of fitting a story around the action, at its heart, it still feels more like an arcade-style experience. That feeling is fully embraced in the game's other modes, such as Skirmish and Extinction. Here, players are dropped into procedurally generated stages, hacking and slashing their way through waves of Ravenii forces, duking it out for high scores and survival times. These are a fun and challenging change of pace from the main campaign, but they also run the risk of adding to the overall repetitive feel. Even so, it never fully gets old chopping one of the lumbering giants down at the knees or climbing the creature and taking off its head. It's a David vs. Goliath showdown in which, with practice and skill, you can almost feel like Goliath is outmatched.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How can the violence in games like Extinction affect kids? Does the setting (fantasy, modern, sci-fi) change that impact?

  • Talk about heroism. What are some of the qualities that define "heroism"? What makes some people put others' welfare above their own?

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