Outriders takes place in a dark sci-fi world that is interesting enough to hold players’ attention despite the game’s repetitive combat.
Developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix, the new game Outriders has seen a massive release that has been plagued with server issues and crossplay bugs. Outriders It presents a fascinating story with a great construction of the world that makes it feel quite unique. However, this focus on storytelling may have had a negative effect on the rest of the game, as the game itself quickly begins to feel repetitive despite the underlying notes of complex combat mechanics.
Outriders It begins with the player creating a character, called the Outrider, who they will play with throughout the game. The character customization options are quite limited, although it is not an incredibly important aspect of the game. Players are then presented with a text that explains the premise of the game: Earth has been destroyed and the last survivors of humanity are searching for a new planet to call home after they caused the destruction of the last one.
The game’s opening mission serves as a tutorial for the game and an introduction to Outriders‘ world. There’s a lot here for players to take in, creating a somewhat overwhelming opening. Fortunately, many of the key plot elements introduced, such as the importance of the Outriders and information about the planet humanity has fled to, are reiterated later as well.
Despite lasting around two hours, the game’s opening mission feels rushed at certain points. Players do not have much time to interact with the characters before disaster strikes in the form of a freak storm that begins to form on the planet. There is an intense and clever sequence in which the player has to flee from the lightning bolts that this storm sends which also serves as an introduction to area of effect attacks, where players see red rays appearing in front. of them being quickly followed by lightning.
That makes OutridersThe feeling of such rushed opening is part of the result of an important plot point that occurs near the end of the tutorial: the main character is seriously injured and they are placed in a cryogenic capsule. Thirty years later, they wake up to find that the original lush green planet they landed on has been ripped apart by a new generation of humans struggling to survive against the planet’s anomalous storms.
Despite the level of detail, the fast pace of the game in those opening hours makes it difficult to really internalize much of what is going on. The introductory mission can seem like a daunting task, especially since there are quite a few cut scenes and loading screens (on the PlayStation 4 version) that interrupt the game. However, once players get past the two-hour opening, they are introduced to the main combat mechanic that does Outriders unique from other shooter RPGs like Destination or Warframe.
Each one of Outriders‘Classes have their own unique set of abilities that fulfill a different role in combat. They also have passive healing abilities that dictate how they can restore health during combat, as the game has no health buffs. For example, the Technomancer has a simple heal ability where he recovers health as he damages enemies. Each skill encourages the class’s style of play, while at the same time giving players room to experiment with what they find works best for them.
Of course, while it can be played in single player Outriders is a cooperative game, with many of its combat systems designed to synergize with a group made up of different classes. The Technomancer is described as a support class that can aid allies with increased firepower, which in turn can aid the tank-like Ravager with crowd control or provide long-range support for the focused Trickster. in the melee.
Enemy difficulty is adjusted based on the number of players in a game, and players can make further adjustments using the world tier system to increase or decrease the difficulty, although this is at the expense of loot quality. Higher world levels must be unlocked, although this happens fairly consistently as it is tied to the game’s main story missions. The main missions also include side missions within them, which generally provide a higher difficulty arena with powerful weapons as a reward.
Outriders‘weapon system it feels simple, in a good way. There are a limited number of weapon types that sometimes have mods that grant them a unique ability. For example, an assault rifle can come with an ability that heals the player, with the amount of health restored corresponding to the number of enemies killed by the weapon. Many of these weapon mods are paired with different aspects of the classes, such as the healing mod in synergy with the Technomancer’s passive healing ability.
There is a lot of complexity to Outriders‘combat, but, unfortunately, it is often underutilized. Many encounters require players to simply throw out as much firepower as they can in a situation, rather than encouraging teams to strategize. The linear nature of the game’s levels also limits the number of options players have for tackling different situations, generally forcing them to charge head-on against waves of enemies.
Yet, Outriders manages to remain attractive through its unique settings and environments. Despite how dark the game gets at times, these are still impressive to look at. The world of Outriders is not happy; it is a place where humanity desperately clings to any chance of escaping to a better planet. While, as a shooter, Outriders It’s not particularly special (and its gameplay can quickly get repetitive), the fascinating world and lore of the game help make up for the shortcomings.
Developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix, Outriders is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, and Stadia. The publisher provided a review copy.
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