Outriders | Review | PS4

  • Developer: People Can Fly
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: 01/4/2021
  • Price: £59.99 / $59.99

Introducing: Outriders Review

Take the place of an Outrider and explore the various biomes of Enoch in Outriders. Outriders is a fast-paced shooter RPG game with multiple classes from the studio People Can Fly, makers of Gears of War and BulletStorm. Everything about this game excited me when I heard about it. The dystopian story, the gun play coming from a solid studio for it, and the settings are quite elaborate. With that, let’s jump on down to our new home Enoch, if the servers allow it.

Dystopia Enoch

The story of Outriders is actually a fairly standard dystopian tale. I wrote an impressions piece on the demo where I discussed the start of the story. Check that out here if interested. I would like to focus more of how the story unfolds after the demo section.

As you progress through Outriders, the story will have you helping different factions combat the harshness of the planet with your newfound superpowers. This usually amounts to go here and kill this rebel leader or mutated monster. The main goal is to discover where this secret frequency is coming from with the hope it is from someone that can help. I don’t care to spoil too much, but the main story really isn’t anything special, and it certainly isn’t what drew me to this game in the long run.

Side Quest Galore

One of the biggest things that kept me playing during the Outriders Review were the side stories. These often included the games best designed or motivated characters. I do have to say though that there seems to be a hard case of murdering every special NPC going on here. Most of the side quests still boil down to murder this monster or bad guy, however. But, there is the Historian quest line which I rather enjoyed. It is all about finding old items from Earth so the museum curator can put them on display.

Run and Gun and Cover is a Lie

As I mentioned in the demo impressions piece, the combat is rather fast paced. There is a lot of movement and bullets flying everywhere. I tried my hand as my Technomancer from the demo, and I played with the Trickster a bit. I enjoyed both of those classes equally. The grenades and cryo turret of the Technomancer are pretty powerful with the right mods and the time altering abilities of the Trickster just put less pressure on having to relocate every couple seconds to new cover.

I say the cover is a lie because it is not there for you. Most encounters have you charged down by a swarm of enemies and even when you kill those you have to deal with snipers and projectile throwers. Not to mention if the game throws empowered enemies at you with all of this. I personally felt that the cover was more there for the enemies than me. 

Game Difficulty, World Tiers and Matchmaking

This was one of the more interesting aspects to me. In Outriders there are world tier levels alongside your character level. Your world tier dictates how often rare loot drops, the strength of the gear you find, and the strength of the enemies. If you are familiar with it, this is relatively similar to the Diablo series Ascension ranks. 

That being said this game is not solo player friendly. If you want to progress by yourself then you need to find or create top level gear for your current world tier. If you don’t then you are likely to just get rolled by the first encounter you find. This climb is not so hard with people to play with, but despite the marketing this game is no solo player friendly.As I said, this game is not too bad with friends, but the multi-player is still having some connection issues on this front. And while Outriders was marketed as a cross-platform game it certainly isn’t right now. I believe with time most of these server issues with abate, but these server issues are the very reason this review is coming at you now instead of closer to launch.

Customizing Gear at its Finest

The crafting system was certainly something I enjoyed in this game. Not only does it let you level up gear you like, you can boost individual bonus stats on the gear, upgrade its rarity, change out the mods for ones you have unlocked, and even switch to a different variant of that weapon. Mod unlocking encourages you to disassemble gear, as you get access to any new mods you find on gear. This system was pretty nice to see and allows you to focus your build for specific abilities.

I do have a few problems with it still. You can’t craft equipment from scratch, only enhance and alter gear you find. There is no cosmetic customization with gear so you can’t really make a solid look that you like. And the rarer resources like Titanium, which you need to upgrade rarity and level up purple and up gear, are so scarce until the end game that it makes it hard to keep weapons you like for your build.

Here’s a Bug, There’s a Bug, Everywhere’s a Bug

I cannot write this review without talking about the multiple bugs I have encountered during my time. I had a door texture close right in my face forcing me to restart a whole side mission. Falling through the map at one point. My friends have found themselves shot into textures like flaming barrels. Even an instance where a character got trapped in a boss fight area because the boss didn’t spawn. Plus, there are still places where audio and cut-scenes desynch. 

Conclusion of Outriders Review

Outriders had so much promise. I was really excited for it after trying the demo. But ultimately, the game fell under the pressure of the launch it hyped up. It’s story is cliche riddled, the game play is entertaining but repetitive, and the bugs are just too numerous at this point.

Pros:

  • Fast-paced game play
  • Detailed gear customization
  • Feeds your inner power trip fantasy

Cons:

  • Lackluster story
  • Heavy Server Issues, especially with multiplayer 
  • Numerous bugs that directly impact game play
  • Cursor issues with reacting properly.

Verdict

Outriders will have you traipsing through various biomes living out your power trip fantasies. Though you are going to have to stay connected to the ‘always online’ servers first.

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