Outriders is the kind of game that, if you aren’t careful, could engulf your entire life. It’s addictive, fast paced, full of content, big guns, and B-movie shenanigans… but is it right for you?
Developers People Can Fly have a strong track record when it comes to shooters, with past successes that include Bulletstorm and Gears of War. Outriders, however, is a different beast altogether.
In Outriders you take on the role of a mercenary that has been selected as part of humanity’s final, desperate attempt to find a new planet. Unfortunately, the earmarked planet isn’t as habitable as hoped. A mysterious storm-like force appears to destroy or transform all it touches, including you.
However, at this point humanity’s remnants have no other option than to try their best. And unfortunately, considering that humanity is actually best at destroying everything it touches, what initially appears to be an idealistic sci-fi story of exploration soon morphs into a dystopian nightmare.
The story of Outriders is schlocky to the extreme. It’s full of clichés, corny dialogue, one-dimensional characters, and over-the-top violence. Which I know, probably doesn’t sound that appealing. But the more time I spent in the game’s world, the more I found myself getting on its level.
It’s like that charming, low-budget sci-fi film that is undeniably bad, but you just can’t help but love it all the same.
In terms of gameplay, Outriders’ most obvious points of reference are the Mass Effect trilogy and Destiny. The combat is fast, frantic, and satisfying; with the combination of gun play and class-specific abilities being critical to your continued success.
You choose between one of four unique playable classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. However, no matter which class you pick, you will primarily be focused on causing destruction. Despite there being solid cooperative online play, each class is designed to be fully functional for solo players.
This means that the synergy between different classes is somewhat less pronounced than in other cooperative games. Roles such as tank, healer, and DPS don’t really apply here. So if you are wanting a fine tuned tactical experience you might want to look elsewhere. If on the other hand, you and a bunch of mates want to get together and cause some havoc, then Outriders is a great deal of fun.
It should also be noted that the role playing elements in Outriders, while present, are pretty light. Outside of choosing how your character performs in combat, which is done through an effective skill tree system, you won’t be choosing much of anything.
The way your character behaves is mostly predetermined. You get to choose if you do a side quest, but not how you do it. And the way that you progress through the game’s main quest must be done in a set order.
However, to put it like that sells Outriders a bit short. I constantly found myself excited to see what happens next in the game’s story, and the world itself always left me impressed. Outriders is an adventure that is not only exhilaratingly fun, but more than generous in terms of the sheer amount of content it serves up. Combine that with the fact that there are no hidden costs or subscription fees, and it’s a game that’s easy to recommended.
Outriders is out now on PC, Stadia, plus current and next-gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles. It’s also available in full via Xbox Game Pass.
Find out more here.