When you think of looting shooter games there are many out there on the market. think Borderlands and Destiny, while some have been overly successful some haven’t and while the remaining popular ones carry on to execute the formula so well many more continue to plague the market. The latest offering from People Can Fly is not much different to the many that we see today but how does it compare?
To start with the Story of Outriders is forgettable. Outriders does not have a good narrative, the voice acting is laughable sometimes and the story just falls flat at so many intervals. You wake up after a long hibernation on planet Enoch, Earth is no more as the fighting over there has caused its destruction. Everyone is now on Enoch again fighting again causing the events of Earth to repeat once again. As an Outrider you are an Elite soldier who has superhuman powers after having survived the Anolomy which takes place as a disastrous event on Enoch itself, after surviving and coming out of a cryostasis 31 years later you become known as the altered, a being with powers hard to contend with.
The story while it sounds interesting isn’t delivered well and at the best of times is void of any character. The issue is the main character that you play as. You can customize your protagonist with various options but male or female they have pre acted cutscene roles, and while I found the male significantly worse in terms of voice acting the female didn’t fare much better, the female role just came across like she was completely pissed off all the time and you never knew if some poor unfortunate soul was going to cross a very narrow line.
Where Outriders delivers really well is its gameplay and design, especially in combat. When creating your character you can pick from 1 of four classes, each of which has different abilities. Trickster, Technomancer, Pyromancer, and Devastator. The Trickster can manipulate time, The Pyromancer deals in destructive fire while the Technomancer specialises in Turrets. The Devastator deals in destruction up close while taking the brunt of the damage in the middle of the fight. While all these Classes can all equip the same kit from weapons to gear there actual skills are what makes each unique to each other and stand out. After having tried out Technomancer for the first time I did enjoy it during team play and solo and made the most progress in my playthrough, although I had far more survivability playing the other Classes, each class feels very balanced and while Technomancer is more suited for co-op play as a support class being able to heal others through the use of leeching, although it feels the weakest in Solo play I still never had much trouble holding my own. Word Tier is a system where the difficulty of enemies increases and you can equip items above your current level, in doing so offers better rewards also.
Outriders has that feel of always wanting to move forward while also thinking shall I take the risk when you are in a bad situation but the way the game is set up is perfect in allowing you to do that. While you are a superhuman being, enemies aren’t so much and can go down pretty fast but there are usually hordes waiting, meaning you are constantly in a battle, you are constantly switching from cover to shooting to using what skills you have at your disposal to get through whatever situation you are in and it feels very rewarding, especially when loot flies from enemies bodies or from treasure chests. You aren’t limited to humanoid enemies either who for the most part spend time hiding and shooting behind cover, there are those that will come rushing towards you with melee type weapons and beast type enemies have no concept of hiding at all. There have been many times when I’ve felt overwhelmed in combat and while I have died but also in some cases I’ve also come out of a fight almost dead to completely full health.
Crafting is something that opens up a few hours into the game and allows you to upgrade your weapons and armour providing you have the resources to do so. Getting these resources is done through many ways from disassembling weapons and armour, killing enemies and using your drill tool to gather iron found from nodes found in the game, it’s all very simple and plays a vital role in the upgrades and best of all it never feels convoluted either. You can easily upgrade your gear and you will find yourself with a plentiful amount that you will find yourself not using which can then be disassembled so keeping gear in top shape isn’t a grindy process. The Inventory System itself is just perfectly wonderful to navigate and compared to Bungies hit Destiny I have no gripes with it, everything is laid out showing you which weapons you have currently equipped and showing you what you can replace whilst showing you what stats will change should you equip a new item.
There are aspects of Outriders which I do feel need fixing still. The game’s map while simple and easy to navigate does have some issues with how waypoints are implemented. I’ve found myself backtracking through the same areas to do a quest and while I didn’t need to shoot anything again because of having just finished it, the run just felt like a chore because it took so long. Also, technical issues still exist, I have spent more time on the logging in screen more than I care to, sometimes I log in real fast and at other times it takes around 3 minutes, I have had various crashes also. Crossplay is also an ongoing issue since launch which is being worked on which is not allowing Console players to Crossplay with PC users.
Everything aside Outriders is a real strong game and not just another looter shooter that gets stale fast. It really holds well on its own as a game and even if you aren’t into playing with others Online that is fine also, you can play completely alone but just note that this is an Online game so you are required to be connected to the servers regardless. While there are crashes present and the end game is currently lacking there is plenty to get around Outriders and I will say it is definitely worth giving a go. It is certain that People Can Fly will certainly add more to the world in the form of expansions but the question is how much and when? If not soon many will feel burned out very quickly.
A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by Square Enix