Primal Survivors – Review
Follow Genre: Action
Developer: Old School Vibes, Gray Boss
Publisher: Old School Vibes, Gray Boss
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Primal Survivors – Review

Site Score
4.3
Good: Fun theme
Bad: Graphics, Lack of content, Bugs
User Score
2.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Even though we’re still dealing with the bad aftertaste Viking Survivors left us with, we already have the next Vampire Survivors clone lined up for you. This time, however, we go back to a caveman-like setting with Primal Survivors, a game that tries to do certain things differently. Even though there was the promise of unlocking multiple characters and weapons, we found ourselves being very underwhelmed due to a lack of content and a game that simply felt unfinished.

Story

There is no story present in Primal Survivors, which is not uncommon for the genre. You pick a character, weapon, and difficulty level, and you’re good to go. It would have perhaps been nice to have a few more elaborate character bios or at least a small story blurb at the beginning of the game, but we didn’t really mind the absence of a story. Sadly, as we’ll discuss below, the game suffers from a general lack of content.

Graphics

Graphically, Primal Survivors isn’t much to look at. Some of the old-school pixelated character models look okay. Still, there are only a handful of different enemy types, and the playable characters often only have a different headpiece on. The attack animations, however, look extremely cheap, and you can select only one level, albeit with different difficulty options. There is a severe lack of polish, and some assets don’t even mesh well together. Due to this, everything looks extremely cheap, and there are many other titles out there that replicate the retro aesthetic so much better. As you progress through the game, you’ll even unlock a wand-like weapon that feels like it was tacked on the screen, rather than it being an actual functional weapon. If you look closely, your projectiles will also originate from your character, and not the wand. This is also the case for other effects and animations.

Sound

The sound design isn’t anything to write home about either. The soundtrack isn’t exactly bad, it’s just bland and forgettable. The same can be said about the sound effects that sound generic and as if they were taken straight out of a free sound library. The game could have been a lot better with a more adrenaline-infused soundtrack and more interesting sound effects.

Gameplay

If the name didn’t give it away already, it’s clear that Primal Survivors is the umpteenth Vampire Survivors clone. This means you’ll play through short runs with a character and starting weapon of your choice with the desired difficulty settings. After this, you try to survive as long as possible while killing as many enemies as possible.┬áThe game spawns a new boss every five minutes that you’ll need to beat if you want to progress through the level you’re in. We can use the term level quite loosely, as there is only one stage you can play with varying difficulty levels. The extreme lack of content became painfully clear when we received our Platinum trophy after roughly two hours of playing the game.

The game does approach a few things a bit differently than other Vampire Survivors clones. For starters, you’ll have to either hold down the fire button to actually attack, or you’ll have to go to the settings to have the auto-attack function on or off via a button press. In Primal Survivors, your movement speed slows down when attacking, so you’ll sometimes have to stop firing at enemies in order to make a break for it. As you level up, you’ll be able to acquire power-ups that attack targets automatically. When firing your main weapon (excluding one specific weapon), you’ll also have to manually aim for enemies. This makes it a bit more of a twin-stick shooter than a traditional Vampire Survivors clone. Sadly, the new summons, weapons, and power-ups you acquire throughout a run are always nearly the same, and after a handful of runs, you’ll have seen all the game has to offer.

As you kill enemies, you’ll also collect bones. These bones allow you to unlock passive upgrades. Not all passive upgrades are active, however, as you’ll need to choose which ones you want to equip and the slots are quite limited. Even so, it is still interesting to try out new builds. Once again, sadly, the passive upgrades are a bit underwhelming, and so are the additional difficulty features and the unlockable weapons and characters. There are a few interesting core ideas present in Primal Survivors, but it all feels unpolished and cheap, and there’s no real content to keep you occupied for more than a single evening.

Conclusion

Primal Survivors is a bland take on the genre that does try to add a few original mechanics but fails to entertain across the board. After only a few runs, you’ll have seen all Primal Survivors has to offer, and it’s a title we won’t see ourselves coming back to. This is one of those clones that feels like a cash grab now that the genre is still popular, while it’s nothing more than a demo of something that could have been interesting. In a saturated market of Vampire Survivors clones, we suggest checking out other options.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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Primal Survivors - Review, 2.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

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