Outriders is an explosively disorderly looter shooter that pulls from the very best of the very best of People Can Fly’s previous video games while using a brand-new tale that takes some seriously wild turns. Despite launch day connection concerns, I could not put Outriders down and after running 2 total character develops through the primary story and endgame material, I’m delighted to state that this video game has actually measured up to each of my hopes and expectations. 

I like rpgs and shooters, and Outriders joins together these categories completely. The whole experience is macabre with a dark story that fixates survival, the capability to adjust, and the journey to show you’re the greatest badass on the play area. That story is more immersive than I anticipated, and while it takes about an hour to truly get momentum, it ultimately ends up being a cacophony of in-your-face action. That action accompanies a tale that rests within sci-fi dream however holds a degree of fact concerning human impulses and how we respond when there is absolutely nothing delegated lose and whatever to lose at the exact same time. It likewise has the subtle, dry humor that People Can Fly is understood for, particularly to Bulletstorm fans.

Outriders starts its experience with a cutscene declaring the arrival of people on a brand-new world called Enoch, a world that was indicated to be their redemption overflowing with guarantee as a new beginning for mankind. While the start series goes all-in with the action, the real start of the story starts not long after and goes hard on the fight-or-flight impulse in a brand-new world that challenges what it indicates to be a survivor. The busy, action-packed minutes communicate the requirement to keep moving, and those minutes are even starker thanks to calm-before-the-storm story series that present the characters along the method. The characters feel hugely various from each other, with some using a return of innocence to this world and others displaying the ruthless truth of what it’s like to remain on leading when the remainder of the world desires you dead. The periodic scenes of normalcy include a layer of depth that improves the video game. 

Like other People Can Fly video games, Outriders is more about the feel instead of the appearance. This difference is clear in all elements of the video game, from the class variation to the subtle laughs and exasperated appearances in between speaking characters. From combo-ing an impressive attack versus the last manager to handling the petty shenanigans of your friends, Outriders’ experience has lots of measurement. That subtlety is felt in the battle, the leveling, and the story, with characters that end up being a growing number of engaging as the narrative advances.

Leveling up in Outriders is pleasing and simple to handle. The ability tree draws apparent motivation from the Diablo franchise, however there are other impacts such as Path of Exile. The 4 classes each have 3 branches to best their battle design. I like charging into fight like Leeroy Jenkins, so the Pyromancer and Devastator classes are my favorites, and I specialized each by selecting the more offending branching abilities. There are more tactical branches too, handling complete defense, or a hybrid method, all of which are structured in such a way that isn’t frustrating and didn’t leave me second-guessing if I made an incorrect option.

Regarding the 4 classes themselves, Outriders offers a playstyle for everybody, which left me delighted to replay it to experiment with the various kinds of battle. The Trickster permits you to teleport behind an opponent when they are disabled for a K.O. It feels inherently rewarding, and absolutely nothing compares to being able to slow time itself to manage the battleground. Devastators are the tank of all tanks and the foundation of any group. Devastators are strong, meaty, and can manage gravity, which provides a protective edge, letting them draw fire from your team and sending out opponents into the void. Pyromancers are a medium-ranged class that concentrates on AOE damage by wielding the harmful power of fire. The firewall program ability rakes through opponents in an particularly rewarding method.  While not as long lasting as other classes, a Pyromancer’s explosive toolbox makes them the best addition to any group handling the world of Enoch.

Lastly, the Technomancer is a fantastic class for those who like engineering specifications since it utilizes innovation meaningfully to rain damage from the sky. This class is extremely flexible, handling the function of assistance with the capability to recover colleagues while outputting extreme damage.  

The equipment in Outriders matters, which is something that some loot-based video games have actually stopped working to master. People Can Fly did a fantastic task offering a variety of weapons of all types that provide a significant effect on the moment-to-moment action. This includes a layer of immersion and consideration that a great deal of looter-shooters haven’t provided. It’s likewise among the lots of reasons that franchises like Borderlands continue to be a requirement in this category; that, and its off-the-wall humor, which is something that Outriders likewise has, though it doesn’t truly shine until later on in the story. 

There are varying degrees of gear as well, including the coveted Legendaries. Some of these designs are insanely detailed and impressive. Outriders has some of the best weapon designs of any game out there, including one gun that looks like it popped straight out of Bloodborne. Another looks like it popped straight out of Egypt. One shotgun looks like an Apex Legends character threw pure radiation at a wall and decided to turn it into a weapon. The creative team clearly had a lot of fun designing this aspect of the game, and kept me motivated to hunt down Legendaries; even if I didn’t necessarily care about the stats, I wanted everything I could possibly find to see what other elaborate designs the team came up with.

But as I said, Outriders is much more about how the game feels versus how it looks and the gunplay feels just as impressive as the aesthetics insinuate. The baseline guns themselves all feel very different from one another. The kickback of a shotgun, the recoil of a sniper rifle, the quickfire action of dual pistols; each weapon-type feels unique, as they should, but they also feel weighted in a way that reminds me of how gunplay felt in Gears of War Judgement, another title by People Can Fly. 

Weapons continue to scale up in power as you progress, but players have the option to tailor that combat style even further with the use of gear mods. Mods help to further that customizable experience with different options to equip in order to achieve a certain build. Mod types include buffs, ways to enhance current skills, and how to boost your offense and/or your defense. They aren’t the end-all-be-all of character craftsmanship, but like Destiny – they are a vital part of taking your character to the next level. Some even help you heal faster when fighting, which is especially helpful for those exploring Enoch solo. Fire damage, decay, leeching, there are a ton of different mods out there that are broken up into three tiers. 

 

Another positive aspect of Outriders is that this game does not have any microtransactions. While it is always online (something I wish wasn’t the case due to not wanting to be tethered to the status of servers), it is not a live service game. There are no paywalls, no locked content, but there is still more adventure to uncover even after the main campaign is completed. When the story is finished, there are additional quests called Expeditions and these are so much more fun than I anticipated. Endgame quests are often a bit of a grind or can feel meaningless, especially after concluding a storyline that progressed in a dramatic way. I was really happy to see that Expeditions weren’t treated like an afterthought, it’s obvious that People Can Fly wanted players to feel like the journey didn’t have to be over when the credits rolled and it did a really good job at doing just that. If you’re a equipment hunter like I am and have a never-ending FOMO regarding the very best of the best, the 14 missions within the endgame content help achieve better drops. These high-end missions feel rewarding because they are time-sensitive challenges that are designed to make players sweat. They are hand-crafted new levels that aren’t just recycled content from the campaign, they are something unique entirely with their own challenges and their own gameplay mechanics. 

As an obsessive Destiny 2 player, I can say that the endgame isn’t anywhere to that level, but Outriders content feels meaningful in a way that will draw dedicated players while not leaving casual gamers feeling like they are missing out. The campaign and the endgame are balanced thoughtfully and in a way that does the looter shooter genre a profound service.

Outriders isn’t revolutionary, and it’s not trying to be. Outriders is a well-thought-out shooter with expertly tailored RPG twists. It’s an enjoyable ride that is made infinitely better by playing with friends, but not inherently hurt by running solo either. This video game takes the best parts from other looter-shooters and the best aspects of sci-fi RPGs and blends these elements into an experience that is worth diving into because of its high replayability, customizable play style, and enjoyable story. I’m currently strapping in for another run.