Outriders: A First Look

By Liam Ho

Outriders is the new kid on the block of looter shooter games. With the demo being released to the public I checked out if it could find a foothold in its genre and go toe to toe with its competitors.

Looter-shooters have existed for a while now, with each new entry into the genre being a slightly different take to keep things fresh. Outriders is one of those games. Outriders is able to set a tone apart from it’s cohort. 




Gameplay

Combat and movement are easily the most differentiable factors here. Where popular looter shooters like Destiny or Borderlands have a “floaty” movement style, Outriders prefers a “Boots-On-The-Ground” approach. Your character is based on the ground, shifting from different pieces of cover, more akin to the gameplay of Gears of War.

A big part of looter-shooter combat is its reliance on ability-based characters or classes to intermix with gunplay. In Outrider’s there are currently 4 classes: Technomancer, Pyromancer, Trickster and Devastator. Technomancer and Pyromancer are more of your backline, think mages or engineers. Trickster is your assassin class, weaving in and out of combat with devastating combos to mass wipe enemies. Devastators are your tanks, or disruptor based classes that focus on getting right up in the enemies face.




Combat

Gunplay feels really smooth, essential in a looter shooter game. Most of the guns have great sound design, and there’s a decent variation to play around with resulting in gameplay alternatives. I will say however, at higher difficulties some enemies can become bullet sponges as enemy health scales with difficulty. In saying this, this is a common issue in the genre of looter shooters in general. Outriders offers a very extensive class-tree for your character to progress through, allowing for a tailored playstyle, as well as this, your character unlocks new abilities which can be interchanged at any point in the game. 

According to the developers, Outriders’ endgame looks to be pretty extensive, with plans for 14 different expeditions players can venture through, with promises of loot with each completion. Outriders seems to be offering players a much better plan for the future which is definitely promising for a game of it’s type. With that being said it’s important to note, that “People Can Fly” has nerfed and changed some of the drop rate of gear in the demo. This may not be representative of the final product, but it may be an option that the developers take to reduce the drop rate of rare loot in order to prevent farming. 




Story

The story of Outriders is a pretty generic sci-fi plot, and overall isn’t that interesting. It’s some pretty typical alien race sci-fi where a magical storm has given the player magical powers. Nothing super compelling, but it serves the game well enough. This definitely seems to be a weak point of Outriders, as other games of the genre have had extensive worldbuilding or well written dialogue to back the main game up. Including this, your character is easily described as the most generic, douche you have ever met. Their dialogue is often snarky, sarcastic, rude, and none of which is done in an endearing way. While this may be appealing to some, I found it absolutely unbearable and made cutscenes a terror. 




Outriders, from it’s demo seems like a competent game that could possibly go toe to toe with its competitors. While not offering the most incredible story and plot like Destiny or Borderlands, it’s got a nice gameplay loop with satisfying abilities and fun combat. It’s story is left to be desired but could always change with the full release of the game. Currently releasing on the 1st of April for 90 AUD on Steam it’s a very steep price point. However, from playing the demo I’d be looking to pick it up if the full game reviews well

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