Microsoft recently debuted the first look at Systemic Reaction’s upcoming Second Extinction. The game is being developed as a fast-paced, engaging three-person co-operative experience. Players will band together to face hordes of mutated dinosaurs in a bid to reclaim Earth.
From the trailer, Second Extinction gives off heavy Turok vibes. Although absent for the better part of a decade, the Turok series got a new life thanks to the Nintendo Switch ports. However, fans have been eager for a new entry. Bearing similarities to cult-favourite series from the late 90s to mid-2000s, Second Extinction appears to fill the void many Turok fans (including myself) have in their lives.
Unfortunately, not much is known about Second Extinction other than it is a cooperative FPS. Microsoft’s Inside Xbox offered a look at some of the weapons and dino enemies we’ll face as well. Systemic Reaction has said their game will be a live game that evolves over time. Working with the community, the studio is going to update the game as time goes on.
With that said, there are a few aspects I hope Second Extinction takes from the Turok franchise.
Let us use a bow and arrow
In the short one-minute trailer, we caught a glimpse of a few weapons that will be included in Second Extinction. Of course, you have a shotgun, an SMG, and assault rifles. Those are fairly standard for any FPS game. One glaring omission that I saw was the lack of a bow and arrow.
Turok players will likely remember how much fun it was wielding the Tek Bow throughout the games. Turok, being the dino hunter he was, was a skilled marksman with the bow, and in his pixelated hands it became one of the game’s most iconic weapons. Seeing as Second Extinction takes place in the far-flung future, it’s likely a primitive bow isn’t commonly used. Although, with a futuristic spin to it, a bow and arrow may find itself a nice home within the game. If Horizon Zero Dawn taught us anything, it’s that a bow is a great weapon against giant dinosaurs––albeit mechanized dinosaurs.
Systemic Reaction has also noted that Second Extinction will let players choose from a “roster of specialized resistance fighters who each have a unique set of skills, a preferred range of weapons”. One could imagine a scenario where a bow-wielding class could prove useful as a support.
Maintain a B-movie aesthetic
Turok’s story was flimsy at best. In the franchise’s heyday, all players wanted was an excuse to take their arsenal, complete puzzles, and lay some heat against dinosaur foes. While many games are capable of deep, fleshed-out narratives, Second Extinction may want to focus on over-the-top action first and foremost.
From what we know of Second Extinction, the game will primarily revolve around the three players choosing their classes and venturing out into a dystopian world where mutant dinosaurs have taken over. We’ve seen games-as-a-service titles try to tackle heavy narratives within the confines of an online cooperative game. More often than not, the story ends up taking a back seat.
Offering a story about time-travelling dino hunters is probably dated at this point. However, Systemic Reaction may want to craft a deliberately thin story to pull players through, and let the gameplay and player interactions stand on their own. Like a good 80’s b-movie, we’re in this for the action and thrills.
Bang the drums
We already got a small taste of the Second Extinction’s soundtrack in the trailer. The pace quickens as the beat of steel drums begins to pollute our speakers. This instantly took me back to my Saturday afternoons, playing Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.
Darren Mitchell, the composer of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter created a soundtrack largely made of drum beats. This established the atmosphere and was quite fitting to the environments Turok found himself in. I’m pleased to see Systemic Reaction is taking cues from Turok from an audio perspective.
My hope is that the score heard in the trailer is a small taste of the direction the studio is moving towards. Blending futuristic tones to fit the game’s setting and melding it with thunderous drums could propel the game’s resonance.
Seeing as though the Turok franchise is unlikely to return anytime soon, I welcome Second Extinction with open arms. Systemic Reaction appears to have a new take on cooperative FPS action with inspiration tied to a franchise I hold near and dear. I’m confident the studio has its own creative ideas that will pay off well for them. Though, I hope to see some key features from Turok included.
Currently, there is no release date tied to Second Extinction. However, Systemic Reaction has said their game is in development for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC. A closed beta will release this summer on Steam.