GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Exoborne Has A Not-So-Secret Weapon In Its Crowded Genre

I'd call Exoborne's best feature a hidden gem, but it's kind of hard to miss it.


Extraction shooters have taken over battle royale as the PvP genre du jour. Load out, drop in, loot up, and hopefully escape with your life; it's a fun gameplay loop and has already been done in a number of different frameworks, from hardcore settings like Escape From Tarkov to the haunted bayou of Hunt Showdown. Heck, even Call of Duty tried it with its short-lived mode, DMZ. For a new game to stand out and survive in this competitive genre, it has to do something different, and Sharkmob's Exoborne may have just the thing to put some distance between itself and its countless counterparts.

I hesitate to call Exoborne's best feature a hidden gem or a secret weapon since there's really nothing subtle about it. The game drops players into a futuristic open world where corporate intervention has inadvertently accelerated climate change rather than solving it as intended, and the setting, as a result, looks much like a typical video game.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Exoborne | Official Announcement Trailer | The Game Awards 2023

Lush wilderness clashes with massive human-made structures that are remnants of the failed climate project. Dilapidated buildings ask to be picked apart for survival scraps. The post-apocalyptic setting is as typical of video games as the playable armored-up warriors you control and the diverse gear you'll seek out to build your perfect future soldier. As a third-person extraction shooter, it would be a pretty, but perhaps pretty standard, experience.

But where Exoborne stands out is in its impressive weather systems that are capable of completely altering a round. Reminiscent of Just Cause 4--only dialed up to be much more visually dazzling and now affecting a huge PvPvE world--tornados, lightning, and heavy rain can alter the odds instantly. This was never more obvious than when I watched a team of three book it through the ravaged world with their loot in tow aboard an SUV, only to be swept up by a tornado and sent flying across the map as though their vehicle was nothing more than a patio umbrella in a maelstrom.

It was the sort of video-game chaos that would've been impossible 10 years ago--to have such detailed and involved physics disrupting the flow of a multiplayer game with emergent, unscripted moments that would seem to challenge the fanciest PC rigs. Somehow, the game is coming to consoles too. Since I didn't get to play it myself, I do wonder just how well the game will hold up on consoles and lesser PCs, because what I saw looked gorgeous, but very demanding.

This Exoborne concept art accurately portrays the chaos I witnessed.
This Exoborne concept art accurately portrays the chaos I witnessed.

To counter the chaotic weather systems, players can equip armor rigs--which essentially serve as Exoborne's character classes--that each grant them different benefits, including one that lets players stand tall in a tornado, unaffected by the sweeping winds. Another strategy is to embrace the chaos by equipping their always-ready glider to purposely get sent flying in the storm in a moment that redefines "fast travel," ending--if players are skilled enough to pull it off--in a team dropping in on an objective with style, or even landing an air attack on an unwitting rival squad in the open world.

Alongside their glider and guns, players will also have a grappling hook that can reel them into a target, which should further enhance combat and traversal alike. It seems my earlier name-drop of Just Cause 4 is apt in more ways than one.

There are other important parts of the game Sharkmob will need to deliver on, and some of them--like the overall progression loop--I didn't get to see much of in my time with the game, and I never felt gunplay for myself, of course, so my mind is far from made up with regard to the full picture. Still, in a genre in which games can rise and fall in a hurry--sometimes literally overnight--Exoborne is at least forecasting to offer a game-changing feature that could disrupt the competitive genre.

Mark Delaney on Google+

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are no comments about this story