Outriders with a Splash of Purple

Picture of Outriders
Overview

Outriders……where to start? Well, this is a holistic review of both the Outriders main story line and the more recent Worldslayer expansion. So with that said let’s talk about Outriders as I see it….

Outriders is a cover-shooter/looter shooter game that uses many RPG elements. What this means is that Outriders’s shooting elements are more tactical in nature (you can’t go into the middle of the gun fights and expect to live) and you can customize your character to the way you like to fight. I’ll describe both elements in a little more detail in the Gameplay section of the review. 

I would love to say Outriders gripped me at first glance. The truth is that it took several attempts for me to find my LOVE for this game. This isn’t to say the story and gameplay themselves aren’t solid, but playing with others is really where the game shines. What was otherwise a very difficult grind by itself was transformed into this co-op driven experience, which made the entire game both a pleasure and a challenge. When playing by myself, I took the game at a more reserved pace. However, with co-op I wanted to push the limits of my character and take on even harder tiers than I was prepared for. 

Opinion

As I said before, I really like this game. But to give a more nuanced view I’m going to break down my exact opinions into four categories- Visuals, Audio, Story, Gameplay- and a ranking of those on a five point scale . 

Visuals (3.5)

Visually the game is pleasant, however there were times I knew I was playing a game. This isn’t to say the visuals are terrible, but I think a little more polish in this area will go a long way. However, what Outriders lacked in polish and theatrics, it made up in  gameplay visuals. Seeing an enemy rise into the air, burn up, and then explode was not only amazing but also surprisingly therapeutic, and that’s just my class of character. Each class has its own cinematic marvels and for this I give Outriders its props.

Audio (3)

I’m not saying that Audio is horrible in Outriders, but for someone who takes audio in games seriously…okay, not that serious but I will buy a vinyl of a game soundtrack that I like, looking at you Spiritfarer…but yeah, I’m not buying the Outriders’ soundtrack. I’ve ran through the game several times now and I can’t  remember the soundtrack of the game.

But this is a shooter, and to be frank, I can’t remember a lot of the soundtracks of shooters. What I remember is the audio of when I’m in the middle of a lot of action, and I remember that with Outriders. The Sound of enemies exploding, shots ringing out, and just chaos actually really makes you feel like you’re in the middle of chaos. And perhaps that’s the way People Can Fly (PCF) wanted it to be. Enoch (the world the game takes place on) is one heck of a chaotic place when you dig into it. 

Story (4)

I have a soft spot for narratives in games. After my recent interview with Rhianna Pratchett, I can’t help but appreciate the story that PCF have put together. There’s quite a bit of lore in Outriders and playing through the main story gave me a glimpse of that. Initially, I couldn’t help feeling that I was missing something when I first played Outriders, and that’s because I was.

The massive lore and story of Outriders unfolds a little in the main story line.  However, the story unfolds A LOT in the side missions and artifacts scattered across the game.  My teammate and I did ourselves a disservice by not exploring more of the game during our first play through. PCF’s writers and creative team did a ton with a little. If you’re a narrative type, I BEG you to take some time away from the main story line and learn a little about Enoch. 

Gameplay (5) 

I get it, Outriders had TONS of glitches when it first launched. However, I think with each new update/release, Outrider’s is getting closer to it’s full potential. That being said, it’s still not like anything you’ve experienced. You have your shooter elements, but you also have this cool mystical RPG element, which gives the game some variability. So how does Outriders do this? Well to start you have 4 classes of characters that you can choose from. Each class has its own unique strengths and weaknesses (The devastators has traditional tank characteristics, the pyromancer is more like a traditional mage, the technomancer is similar to a distance attacker, and the trickster….well let’s just say the trickster can slow down time, teleport across the battlefield, and has one of the prettiest half axle, triple jump loops that will make even the best ice skaters jealous. 

On top of these classes, there are sub classes that add even more variability. For the base game each class can act more like the gun fighter, the healer, or even the mage depending on the player’s playing style. The expansion then adds onto these subclasses to give even more variability and awesomeness. Lastly, the weapons and gear all have power ups and abilities that can further add to or diversify how a player plays. Given that a player can level up their character to level 75…yeah, there’s a lot of playability to what’s in Outriders. 

Ultimately, the gameplay can be downright brutal when you first start off or are jumping into difficult tiers you might not be ready for. Your character can take a lot of damage, but the enemies in the game can give A LOT of damage. Outriders isn’t a game where you can just blast your way to victory. Beating stages and bosses will take strategy and planning. Some enemies fly, some have amazing armor, some shoot back, some run up, and others have amazing agility and speed. Not one strategy or weapon set will be able to defeat them all. Even when playing with a team, each team member will have to change up their playing style to beat the game.  

Final Thoughts (Play it on Pro first)

Outriders is a great game, but overall I think you should play it on Pro first. Then, if you like it go for the expansion. Outriders won’t be for everyone.  However, it does mix several genres together and that gives it an experience unlike any other. Additionally, the game is best enjoyed when playing on a team. If you have someone you like teaming up with, definitely get them into this game. If you don’t – no worries as Outriders has cross play and it works.