It’s tough enough being one soldier against an entire army – but when some of your enemies are as big as mountains, you know you’re in for a tough fight. In Extinction, a third-person hack-‘n’-slash brawler on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, humanity is facing total extermination at the hands (and colossal feet) of the brutish Ravenii species. As Avil, the lone sword-wielding Sentinel, you’re tasked with protecting the last remnants of civilization from a never-ending stream of blood-thirsty aggressors, from lunging orcs to gigantic ogres. If you’re going to survive, you’ll need to regularly – and efficiently – slay enemies the size of a skyscraper. 

Your brilliant engineer ally Xandra will run you through the basics, but if you’re going to conquer the later levels in Extinction’s extensive single-player campaign or top the leaderboards in the score-attack Skirmish mode, you’ll need to sharpen your skills even further. With these tips, you’ll have a fighting chance in the war against the Ravenii – even if they still stomp you flat from time to time. 

You can’t save everyone 

As the hero, your instinct is to spare everyone from the wrath of the Ravenii, ideally saving anyone in distress with enough skill and practice – but in Extinction, that simply isn’t possible. Rescuing refugees is an excellent way to build up your Rune Energy (more on that in a bit), but with the sheer size of the maps and the prevalence of enemies, even Avil can’t run fast enough to save all the people in a given level. You’ll often see notifications that a citizen is under attack, or has been killed; soon enough, you’ll learn to ignore them, as you need to prioritize the nearest objective and focus on rescuing the largest groups of people ASAP.  

A great way to ensure that you can whisk people away to safety is the Hasty Portals upgrade, which lets you channel the crystals which transport your targets far away from the fight that much quicker. This upgrade is huge in the first few moments of a level, when you have a very brief grace period to run around saving folks before copious Jackal enemies start to spawn in. Save as many people as you can, but don’t feel bad when a few are slain in the distance – that’s just the harsh reality of this Ravenii war.

Rune Energy is your everything 

Avil’s sword is humanity’s best hope in the fight against the Ravenii, but its power isn’t unlimited. In order to take down the massive ogres wreaking havoc on the land, you need to build up your Rune Energy bar; only when it’s full can you pull off a decapitation execution on a Ravenii and fell it for good. Thing is, your Rune Energy will empty after a kill, so you need to prioritize restoring it in a hurry. Fighting Jackals on the ground and Vultures in the air will provide some Rune Energy, but it’s the least efficient method – the most efficient being the swift rescue of a large group of civilians. 

But there are other methods to making sure your Rune Energy is topped off so you can take down giants as needed. The Meditation upgrade is extremely useful in this regard, as it guarantees that your Rune Energy never drops below a certain amount, effectively shortening the bar for the rest of the game. If you’ve shimmied up an ogre’s back and suddenly realize you don’t have enough Energy for the killing blow, an easy way to fill up the last bit of your bar is to destroy both pieces of the giant’s shoulder armor before beheading the big brute.

Master the art of aerial movement 

If you couldn’t tell by the fact that Avil sprints as fast as most sports cars, speedy mobility is a huge part of Extinction. Whether you’re racing to save a group of refugees from aggressive Jackals or running towards a Ravenii to distract them before they can destroy a tower you’re defending, reaching your destination quickly is the name of the game. And while darting around at ground level may work for the first few stages, you’ll eventually need to take to the skies if you want to get where you’re going before it’s too late.

Aerial movement in Extinction is a breeze thanks to Avil’s Glide ability, which lets you air dash mid-leap and gracefully float through the air during your descent. To get around quickly in the massive environments, you’ll need to chain these moves together with grapple whip-pulls and wall-climbing to scale up and over tall buildings in no time flat. You should also take advantage of Avil’s ability to bounce off awnings and treetops (those leaves must be incredibly rubbery) to continue your heroic parkour across the map. Once you’ve nailed the technique of traversing through the air, you should be able to cross entire levels without ever touching the ground, which feels pretty amazing when you pull it off.

Advanced Combat attacks are invaluable against smaller enemies 

In the early stages, facing off against the human-sized, green-skinned Jackals doesn’t seem so tough, as you can hack your way through them fairly easily. But as the game progresses and more enemy types show up, you’ll soon find that button-mashing will only get you so far. Enter the Advanced Combat upgrade, which you should aim to unlock pronto. This will greatly expand your arsenal of sword strikes, and enable one of the best attack strings in the game.

What makes this particular combo so strong is that it’ll make quick work of Jackals, of both the melee and ranged varieties, before they can kill off defenseless citizens. The attack-delay-attack-delay-attack combo is a devastating combo that swings wide with the potential to hit multiple enemies, and it’s a guaranteed three-hit kill if you’re focused on a single Jackal. This is crucial, as knowing when an enemy has died and you can move on to slaying the next one is essential. You don’t want to extend your attack animation for no reason and waste time, which is of the utmost importance in Extinction. 

Know when to dodge 

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how important dodging is no matter which kind of Ravenii you’re up against. Just as you can interrupt Jackals with your attack, they can also interrupt your sword strikes by hitting you during your animation – and when you’re going up against a large group, you run the risk of getting stun-locked to death. Dodging is the best way to circumvent this sad fate, and it becomes a requirement when you start squaring off against the muscular orange-skinned Jackals that can easily smack you out of your attack. Instead of taking them head on, you’ll need to dodge their swipes and counterattack until they fall.

Dodging is also paramount when you’re running circles around a Ravenii, because their humongous hands and feet can squish you in an instant. It’s fairly easy to avoid a giant’s lumbering legs when they’re on the ground by simply running out of the way, but you need to be aware of when they go to swat you like a bug after you’ve scaled up their backs and onto their shoulders. Besides the Ravenii’s actual attack animation, you’ll know when Avil’s in a deadly situation when he gets some red, Spidey Sense-style squiggles above his head. That’s your signal to dodge quick or risk getting flattened.

Got all that? Good – now you’re ready to face the many challenges that await in Extinction, which releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 10.

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