- Developer: People Can Fly
- Publisher: Square Enix
Introducing: Outriders Demo Impressions.
Guns blazing and slinging Anomaly energy all over the place. That is just the start of what the demo offers you. Outriders is an upcoming co-op RPG shooter from People Can Fly. As opposed to our standard review structure. I will be commenting more on what I experienced in this demo. As well as speculating as to what the main game might include. As well as any concerns that I personally have after playing the demo.
The Story So Far
The demo provided us a brief glimpse of the story of Outriders. We play through the first couple main story missions. Including a handful of side quests. After landing on Enoch, we encounter what is known as the Anomaly. The Anomaly appears to be a powerful electrical storm that either incinerates those it touches, or it turns them into Altered, beings with the ability to harness the energy of the Anomaly to heal and fight.
After this event we are cryogenically frozen. We skip ahead 31 years and are woken up as the last living Outrider. We wake up to a war torn civilization of at least three different factions. The part we got to play through has us helping our original crew. It was interesting to start here from a storytelling standpoint. As it allowed us to see how the war has affected these characters. I am excited to see where the story goes from here as we search for a mysterious signal.
So the demo lets you create your own characters. Honestly the customization options were not that impressive, but were pretty standard for the genre. You can pick from some default faces, pick your skin tone, eye color, and select your scars. It has hairstyles with a handful of color options and piercings to pick from. I honestly hopped for a little more to this as they made a point of marketing it as a feature. At least the game allows you to hide your helmet so you can show that face off.
Run, Gun, Cover, Sling Your Powers
The gameplay is focused on running for cover and mowing down hordes of enemies. There is nothing too flashy or out of the normal for this part of the gameplay. There are several different types of guns to use and each will make you approach everything differently. Though I didn’t find much use for anything besides an auto rifle, a shotgun, and my pistol.The gun play was pretty solid though. It felt more solid than a few other games in the genre.
Though this game is not being marketed for its gun play mechanics. The biggest highlight of this game is the four classes you can choose from. Technomancer, Devastator, Pyromancer, and Trickster. Each class has unique healing abilities and will basically decide how you play the game. For my time I played as the Technomancer. Basically this had me chucking Cryo Turrets and Cryo grenades as enemies while ducking behind cover. This did feel a little more passive than I would have liked. I hope that some later unlocked abilities allow me to be more aggressive in combat.
UI and Other Tech Issues
The UI seemed really reminiscent of Destiny. It even included the radial cursor that never makes sense on consoles. Just let us operate the menus by using the directional buttons. They did however map the touchpad to the cursor. So you can just swipe to move the cursor where you want.
There was a lot of audio desyncing in the side mission stuff. Like cut-scenes would be playing and the lines would be behind a whole line at times. I am sure they will fix this though as it was a bigger issue prior to them patching the demo to fix most of it. There also seems to be complete lines of subtitles missing. We hope that this is fixed because otherwise it hurts the accessibility of the final game.
I also had a music glitch with the encounter music. Got into a fight in one of the side mission areas and it just followed me everywhere. Even when loading back into other areas. The track for fighting is nice enough, but I don’t want to hear it while talking to a museum lady in the town.
Loading times were a bit long in some places. Also, you have to link a Square Enix account to it. Not really sure why they feel the need to have that extra layer here. I have heard complaints from friends of their accounts failing to link, or it is trying to verify the link and freezing up.
Final Thoughts and Concerns
There is an Accolades system that allows you to earn new emotes and cosmetic items. I worry that a game like this is prime set up for a post launch micro transaction update. There are also several resources/currency in the game. I worry they might monetize resource packs as well. Plus there was a Stash that could be monetized to increase the space. And with the fact that rare items buff your abilities, it is likely you will fill it. Basically I am worried that Outriders will go the way of Destiny 2 when it comes to monetizing the game.
The demo seemed scaled to a full group of three players. This made it difficult in some parts as eight enemies blasted me anytime I looked up sometimes. The full version of the game will allow cross-platform matchmaking, and the demo including matchmaking. But I don’t feel this game should be scaled with that as the only way to play. That could push solo players away from what could be an enjoyable experience.
The Outriders Demo was a fun look at a highly anticipated game. I like that the demo carries over your progress to the full game if you choose to buy it. I would encourage anyone interested to check out the demo. Because despite the minor issues, it is a solid experience. Make sure to check back in at Big Daddy Gaming for our full review after the game launches on 01/4/21.