Outriders Release Date and Review
What makes Outriders particularly interesting to me is its reliance on juxtaposing completely different designs and somehow still making it work. It’s a third-person cover shooter but is constantly pushing you to rush the enemy with your powers and stay agile. It’s a looter shooter but one that focuses on being a single campaign experience rather than a live service.
It may not land the best jokes at times with its edgy humour but its lore is fascinating and if you have the game pass, you have no reason not to give it a shot.
You can buy this easily from different sites at the price of $65. If you go through my link you will be getting this game at $59.99.
Now let’s get into the review starting with the story. Despite what I said about its hit or miss writing, for the most part, Outriders does a great job creating a world that’s interesting and fascinating to learn about. Just like real life, Earth has been slowly falling apart with climate change frequently destroying the planet, humanity’s ability to rectify its mistakes has also dwindled over time.
In a last-ditch effort to find a new home, the world combined the resources of all nations to create the Enoch Colonization Authority. This program would send two massive ships each holding half a million colonists on a journey to find a new planet to live on.
After 83 years of travelling, the first settlers finally arrive on the planet, Enoch. Those that first settlers on the planet are called Outriders and they quickly discover the alien-like anomaly. It’s a massive surge of energy that spreads faster than the circles in PUBG.
In complete shock and fear, the Outriderswarn the ECA leaderships who in an attempt to keep this off the record, completely massacre the Outriders. Luckily one of the Outriders can survive the purge, that’s us, and we’re put into cryo statics by a fellow ECA scientist on the right side of the law. We wake up 31 years later to a now completely different world where the anomaly destroyed humanity’s resources and trapped the rest of the survivors in this single valley.
The thing is, there’s not enough space for everyone. With Earth seemingly completely reset, different factions seek to overthrow the ECA while a select few outriders that survived the Anomalyinitial purge, were instead gifted with superpowers, including us. With our new gifted abilities, we aid a now-aged Shira, the woman that saved us, in restoring order. In terms of a foundation or story bible for a series, this was awesome.
The setup does a great job at making me hate the ECA and building this fantastic sci-fi world that feels like a truly entertaining adventure. However, where the story starts to fall apart a bit, is in its attempt to interlude humour. Now don’t get me wrong, it works on occasion but more often than not, the humour dives into very edge lord comedy that just doesn’t land for a lot of people.
If you do gel with it, great, the story going to be fantastic. Personally, I vibed with some jokes and others felt poorly thought out. Ultimately, what I did enjoy was being in this world, exploring the aftermath on Enoch and most all, that sweet sweet gameplay loop. At its core, Outriders feels like a mix of so many conflicting gameplay designs. Its Gears of Wars’ cover system is only less tanky and more agile.
It’s Mass Effect 3 multiplayer but with a bigger focus on RPG elements and abilities. It’s a looter shooter but one with a campaign focus yet it requires you to be online all the time. It’s definitely odd on paper but in practice, it’s one of my favourite gameplay loops this year that’s coming from someone that isn’t super into looter shooters. So what’s the hook? Well for me it’s the gameplay loop.
Despite looking like a service game on the surface, it’s not. It’s a pretty linear story with elements of a looter shooter throughout the campaign. You jump in with a very simple character creator and after the prologue, you’re pretty much in the action.
You can choose between four different classes each with its own powers that further develop over time. Personally, I went with the trickster class that has power using space and time. That means I can create bubbles that slow down time and teleport behind enemies.
They’re fantastic abilities that have their own unique offensive techniques, but for things like teleportation, they have great repositioning strategies that you’ll be using a lot in Outriders. It’s an interesting contrast because despite being a cover shooter, you’re rewarded for being aggressive during combat.
Sure, I can hind behind cover and take out some enemies close by but for the faraway turret and rifle enemies, I’ll quickly teleport behind them, burst out a slow down bubble, and get the kill. Suddenly a whole new wave of enemies show up and I got to quickly dip and get behind cover looking for more ammo and waiting for forabilities to refill.
All at the same time, enemies are dropping new loot in the same vein as Destiny, meaning multi-coloured weapons with different rarities and attributes. A lot is going on at once and it’s that adrenaline boost that it gives me that has me so attached. Most of the game is playable with up to three players online and while there is cross-play between the different platforms, it’s a beta feature so your experience may vary. I primarily played alone for my playthrough seeing as early launch days for Outriders were filled with server issues. Sadly for a game that can be played alone, it still requires online so if the servers are down, you’re out of luck. Which has been a big issue since launch day for me. To the Outriders team’s credit though, they’ve been quite transparent about everything so just keep an eye on their socials for any updates.
Back to its gameplay, like most RPGs, your character has a level that increasing as you take on more enemies. Levelling up unlocks class points that can buff up your play style. As you can see I went all-in on doing more damage so, in conjunction with my trickster skills, I can sneak up on enemies and land a heavy hit but how you develop your character is completely up to you.
What Outriders does interestingly though is giving the entire world a level. So as you play and get better, you unlock new world levels.
These are essentially difficult settings that change up the enemies you’ll face. If you want to focus on the story or you’re just having trouble with a boss, you can turn down the world level, get past the obstacle and turn it back up. Cleverly, certain weapon rarity and unlockables are tied to these world levels so the balance there is pretty well done.
If you’re not eager to lower the difficulty, you can dip out of missions and go on side quests to not only learn more about Enoch’sinhabitants but also level up and maybe earn some new tools along the way. Outriders are one post-processing effect-heavy game.
Pretty much anywhere I looked, something was exploding with debris, energy flares, and who knows what else just dispersing in the air. Combat moments get heated and with it, all the cover in the area gets blown up, filling the skies like tiny fireworks. It’s quite the sight to see in action and the more sombre moments, the realistic though occasionally goofy looking character models take centre stage.
Now with this game being on so many variations of different platforms, you’re going to get a wide variety of performances.
If you’re playing on last-generation consoles such as PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One and Xbox One X, then your target frame rate is 30 fps. For the most part, gameplay hits that target but suffers from frame pacing especially on the weaker versions of those consoles. PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, do a bit better in that regard. As for the resolution.
Xbox One runs at dynamic 900p going as low as 680p, technically not even HD anymore.
PS4 has a dynamic resolution of 1080p down to 720p. For pro consoles, the PS4 Pro ranges from around 1500p down to 1140p but uses checkerboard rendering to reconstruct to native 4K.
On the Xbox One X, that’s a 1944p resolution down to 1500p resolution, also using checkerboard rendering to sample up to native 4K.
Current generation consoles are of course a much better experience both in resolution and frame rates. PS5 runs at dynamic 1800p down to 1260p while the Xbox Series X runs at 2088p down to 1440p. Lastly, there’s the Xbox Series S that ranges between 900p and 1440p and despite the lowest resolution, it also targets 60fps like thePS5 and Series X.
While the higher-end consoles tend to hit that 60 fps target the Series S struggles more with a range of 45 frames up to 60 fps. For my playthrough, I played on both the series and the Series X. Playing on my Series S, I happy to see a nice middle ground between a higher frame rate and above 1080p gameplay but I would have loved to see some sort of sync here or a locked frame rate. The inconsistency is just very jarring. As for Series X, playing at an upscaled 4k60fps, man it’s hard to go back to last-gen consoles.
It’s a beautiful-looking game that again in conjunction with those heavy post-processing effects, looks awesome. It’s not without its flaws though. Playing on Series X for an extended 12 hours straight, I started to see graphical glitches especially with the blood during combat. Restarting the game seemed to have to fix it but it could have been a result of the game’s cache not working well with the console being put to sleep on occasion or just the game not being restarted for long periods of time.
Either way, it’s something I wanted to experience and wanted to note. Loading screen between cutscenes feels like jump cuts like they weren’t planned out very well so key story elements occasionally lose their impact because of it. In terms of actor performance, Outriders delivers some great voice work that ranges a spectrum of different emotions. You’ll be in the middle of a dark realization only to have your character crack a witty remark about it after. It’s a jarring contrast at times but the line delivery works, for the most part.
While some of the writing and delivery can feel a bit out of place, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me laugh at times. When it comes to sound design though, I wish the guns were a bit more impactful. Gunplay is fine by all means but I perhaps may have been spoiled by the sound design in recent Call of Duty games where the gun sound impact at times can even scare me.
Outriders are adequate but it can be better. Ability sounds on the other hand are marvellous not only feeling great but sounding powerful. Outriders on paper are probably not the game you’d expect me to like so much. Looter shooters are cool but I’m usually in and out as soon as I’ve played enough for review.
Outriders are different though. Its juxtaposition between different gameplay designs, occasional funny writing, and just good feeling combat hooked me on its campaign. The different branching classes that play differently from another further incentivize me to replay after I was done to truly experience everything Outriders has to offer. Sure there are a few bugs here and there, the story can dip a few times and if you’re on last-gen consoles outside of the One X, probably don’t want to play this.
However, if you’re on the fence about this, I say give it a shot, play the demo or get it through game pass because this feels like the next discord squad game I’ll be playing for a while.
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