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REVIEW: OUTRIDERS — Unpolished Fun

 

 
Overview
 

Published by: Square Enix
 
Developed by: People Can Fly
 
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows PlayStation 4 PlayStation 5 Xbox One Xbox Series X/S Stadia
 
Genre(s): Third-person shooter, action role-playing (Looter-shooter)
 
Mode(s): Single-player, multiplayer (3 Player Co-op)
 
Game Type: , , , , , , ,
 
FG RATING
75%
75/ 100


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Raves


Fun Gunplay. Simple Fun Mechanics. Packed with Content.

Rants


Uninteresting Story. Bland Characters. Unpolished and Buggy. Amateur Screenplay.


0
Posted April 29, 2021 by

If all past looter shooters are any indication, the genre isn’t easy to break into. Often, these games require a long list of tweaks before it kicks off if it even. It doesn’t matter how polished your game looks. If it’s not fun, it won’t work (I’m looking at you, Anthem). Interestingly in Outriders case, it’s really more the opposite. It’s got the fun locked down, but it could’ve looked… better.

PlayStation Store
Steam
Microsoft Store

STORY

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If you look up the meaning of Outrider, you’ll find that it means someone who clears the way for a vehicle, person, or even a movement. Your character is pretty much the forerunner for all three. The story takes place in Enoch, a seemingly suitable planet to harbor human life after having destroyed Earth from centuries of malice and hubris. As an Outrider, you were tasked to help clear zones for the rest of the colony to land, but things don’t go well, and you find yourself afflicted by something called the Anomaly, a freak of nature storm that decimates and changes everything in its path. After waking from cryo, you find that everything is awry and a war for resources has erupted between the last remaining survivors on this forsaken planet. Oh, and you gain superpowers at this point and you proceed to involve yourself in this war against people and the planet’s many horrors.

On the surface, the setting has the markings of a rich and engaging premise for a looter shooter. Unfortunately, poor voice acting, unpolished mocap, uninspired screenplay, and dull character designs fail to capitalize on otherwise excellent worldbuilding. Thankfully, Outriders shines brighter where it matters most.

GAMEPLAY

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Outriders, in a nutshell, is a third-person 3-player co-op cover shooter with RPG elements and a Loot System. It’s straightforward with what it is and does so rather well. The feedback and handling of each gun feel robust, and the loot system and all its class and skill-building elements are uncomplicated. All this together make for some rather fun encounters which are supplemented better when played with friends. The one issue I had in terms of gameplay is with its cover system. It works a lot like the cover system in The Division only it doesn’t work as well. Particularly when needing to transition from a corner cover. This can easily be fixed with a patch but I don’t understand how that could’ve been missed considering it’s pretty much a straight rip from Ubisoft’s own looter shooter.

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The game is also all about gear and builds. You play/replay levels for a chance to good loot, weapons come with mods that add effects to certain actions or skills that complement various playstyles. You can re-mod a gear and respec your character’s skills at any time, encouraging experimentation as it doesn’t lock you into one archetype or playstyle. The game does this simply and really well. Reminiscent of how loot and skills work in Diablo 3. You can only use up to 3 active skills but all skills have a specific property that works best in certain situations. ‘Interupt’ skills for instance are good for crowd control or canceling enemy actions. Movement skills focus on mobility and control of the terrain. Mixing and matching skills with varying properties can make or break a combat situation. This adds a satisfying level of tactics despite being an active shooter. This dynamic works wonders in Multiplayer, too. With the right team comp, you can appoint yourself the team’s controller focusing only on interrupt skills to keep enemies in check. Or focus on movement, and assassinate annoying snipers and stragglers without drawing too much attention. The sky’s the limit.

Challenge scaling is also pretty good and you can even customize it by adjusting the World Tier, a difficulty setting that affects the level of challenge as well as the rewards. Just from these gameplay elements, you can tell that Outriders already has a pretty solid foundation to start from. That said, it didn’t exactly manage to dodge the issue of bugs.

VISUAL & PERFORMANCE

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Outriders is riddled with bugs. From minor jank, to the progress-erasing kind. Coupled that with some very low-tier product polish, Outriders look way the most amateur compared against Destiny, Warframe, The Division 2, and even Anthem. The game runs well on PlayStation 5, running at 4k 60fps. However, the overall visual tone and presentation feel inconsistent but mostly dull, even with HDR on. The inconsistency isn’t limited to just presentation. It’s weird in that there are times the game looks gorgeous and times where it just deoesn’t. The game kinda mixes top-notch graphical gimmicks with cheap and generic ones. For instance, Certain abilities will ‘de-skin’ enemies, leaving their bones exposed briefly and in real-time. And yet, the mocap for both your player and the enemies is generic at best. Facial features between characters are absolute rubbish and your character customization options are less than stellar. It’s hard to tell if Outriders visual shortcomings are a laughing matter or a grave offense, considering the standards for those in this game generation are considerably higher.

VERDICT

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Outriders look nothing like a premium Looter-shooter but play better than you’d expect. However, it’s held back by a major lack of polish and a plethora of bugs. Still, it manages to stay fun and offers a great deal of content, especially if you choose to play with friends. If your new to Looter shooters or wanted a simpler but more fantastical version of The Division 2, you may find Outriders a good bit of fun, otherwise, it serves as a good distraction at best, when your done with your weekly runs on Destiny 2 or Warframe. 


Dian Raval

 
Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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