Outriders Review

Introduction

Outriders is a third person shooter that was developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix. It was released in April 2021.

Video Review

Review

You are part of a group called Outriders. It is your job to be the first ones on a planet to make sure it’s hospitable for your fellow humans and to clear any danger that may arise. As you touch down on a mysterious planet called Enoch (Ee-knock), and as you enter a forest, a strange anomaly storm occurs. People die, and you get sick and end up in cryogenic sleep again. Fast forward 30 years and suddenly mankind is split into factions, you’re taken by bandits and put into no man’s land, and there’s an all-out war. What happened? Is the world safe? Well…who knows.

The story was a lot more prominent than I expected. Considering the game is a multiplayer looter shooter, I expected the story to be put in the back seat, and be built upon with a lot of lore, so if you wanted to know it, it would require lots of reading. But no, it’s put full front and center for everyone to see. The main driving force of the story is basically just following a signal to see if you can use it to bring down supply pods from your ship that has been in orbit for a few decades. But it morphs and changes a bit on the way. You learn more about each faction that now roams Enoch, you learn how it got this way, and how everyone has fared since landing there. Hell you even learn more about the Outriders, but that is also more tied to side missions and more, and there is A LOT of lore.

I was excited to read the lore anytime I picked some up. You learn about how some Outriders left behind their job after everyone started hating each other. How everyone started hating each other. Heck the weirdest lore is about how people survive in a jungle that has spores that turn your insides to liquid. The back half of the game had me incredibly intrigued though, and does a fantastic job about wrapping up most of my questions that I had. It was such an awesome journey by the end that I won’t say no to more of. Thank goodness there’s an expansion!

The game starts off by trying to show you that it’s a third person cover based shooter. Which at first, it kind of worked, but once you actually start progressing, that whole mechanic gets tossed out the window. So you’re constantly running from enemies and trying to kill them before they get you into a corner. When I wasn’t used to playing the game this way, I’ll admit, it was a hell of a struggle. I raged a lot. But when I finally learned how to work the mechanics, and I got awesome weapon mods, killing enemies as they ran at me was super easy, while I hit them with everything I had.

When you clear the tutorial, whether that’s by playing it or skipping it, you get a class selection. These kind of boil down mostly to “what’s your favourite element and how do you want to heal?”. Now obviously they all somehow fit into a typical class role of tank, DPS, and support, but when I was running content with friends, none of those categories seemed to matter. We all just threw our powers out whenever we had them and just tried staying alive. It was definitely weird relying on skills for healing though, considering most games it’s just “don’t take damage and you’ll heal.”. But I had to do damage and get kills to get health back, so managing your skills is a must!

I thought the game would be open world sort of like The Division series, but I was shocked when I saw that it is nothing like that. Each area of the game is its own self contained area, with a few splitting paths here and there that you can get into by activating side quests. If you don’t do that, it’s usually just a linear “point A to point B, kill the bad guys, go to the next area, get to the end, rinse repeat”. Which I mean regardless it is like that, and after you’ve been through an area and done it’s side quests, there’s literally no reason to go back to it. As you do side quests and kill enemies, you level up along with your “World Tier” level. When you increase this level, you get tougher enemies, but they also drop better gear for you to equip. Luckily you can go to an easier world tier at any point, like I did when I got sick of dying to enemies, or bosses in terrible arenas. It made it so much less infuriating that it was a seamless switch. I just had to open a menu and hit a few buttons.

When it comes to end game content, there isn’t much here. You have about a dozen and a half little “dungeons” you can play through with friends, solo, or matchmake with people online, and these are a great way to continue to grow your character, but outside of this, there’s nothing to really grow too except for one big raid. But other than that? You get a handful of these dungeons, known as “expeditions”, and that’s it. Unless of course you buy the DLC. It just sucks, it kind of falls off after the credits roll.

Rating

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Engaging Story
  • Tons Of Lore
  • Tons Of Weapon Mods To Make You Feel Awesome

Cons:

  • Basic Cover Mechanics Are Useless
  • Not Much End Game Content

Summary

I went into Outriders expecting a frenetic good time, especially because the devs made Bulletstorm. But I found such an engaging and enjoyable story, with some fun characters and a rich world. With some friends this is a fantastic time and I cannot recommend it enough!

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: People Can Fly
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Square Enix
Publisher Socials: Twitter

Outriders Launch Trailer [PEGI]

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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