Outriders key art

Outriders Review – Altering the Looter-Shooter genre

It took me a while and I still haven’t finished the game but here is the Outriders review nonetheless. After 5 years of development and a successful beta. People Can Fly finally releases the full version of Outriders and with it our Outrides Review. The beta gave us a good impression of the basics Outriders has. Also People Can Fly and Square Enix have shown that they are putting a lot of effort in fixing whatever problems pop up. The Outriders beta had several patches to fix key issues. How does the full game stand up to other looter shooters? It’s a glorious blast.

TL;DR

Buy ifNot for you if
– You like fast paced combat where body parts of your enemies litter the battlefield.
While you move ever forward as an unstoppable god of destruction.
– Enjoy a looter shooter that has fun loot.
– Easy access to making builds without too much hassle.
– Full open world exploration is what you are looking for.
– An rpg where you can influence the narrative of the story by choices.
– Want engaging PvP because Outriders is PvE only.

Outriders: the Review

As of writing this review, I’m thirty hours into the game. About six hours with the Trickster class and twenty four hours with the Devastator class. Still haven’t finished the story and I’m pretty sure I still need to unlock another region. So I’ll be covering the gameplay, loot aspects, how the story is brought (without spoilers), and the issues Outriders is currently having. People Can Fly and Square Enix are working to resolve some of the issues mentioned in this review.

Gameplay

Outriders is all about combat and having fun while doing it. People Can Fly implemented some quality of life changes into the game that will, hopefully, change looter shooters as a whole. The focus of Outriders is on fun. Not so much on the hassle of managing your inventory or using a calculator to make a build. Heck some of the features were added during the beta because of the feedback players gave

How’s the Combat?

You are altered, a god amongst men. And that is exactly how the combat is going to play out. Basically, this means that you will be fighting hordes of enemies. Weak cannon fodder that you can flick away with a shotgun or ability like flies. Supported by Captains that have some altered powers. But they are still no match for you.

The combat is pure chaos and carnage, a flow of destruction that you will learn to master. The only way to heal is to deal damage and kill. Strategically using your abilities to gain the advantage over the numerous enemies; or some captains bearing down on you. That is the key to victory. Forever barging forward in order to stay alive. An unstoppable tide of death. You feel strong and unstoppable, an unmoving object bearing down on lesser beings.

And if things get too hard you can always lower the World Tier. World Tiers are the overall difficulty. It automatically goes up while you level but can get ahead a bit for some encounters. World Tiers add more levels to the enemies; increase the level op dropped gear; chances of getting a legendary drop and overall quality. So if a fight is a bit too tough, feel free to lower the World Tier until you get some better gear. And crank it up to max when you feel comfortable.

The tools of destruction

Several weapon classes are at your disposal, not too much but enough for every playstyle. For example my Devastator had a submachine and shotgun, getting up close is all I do with my build and both weapons fit that perfectly. Romy used assault rifles and snipers for her mid-range Technomancer build. Focussing on turrets and status effects. And we barely scratched the surface when it came to making builds.

Bullet sponges

The boss fights you will encounter in Outriders will either be an epic experience or just downright dodging Area-Of-Effect attacks. Some boss fights had us impressed with the environment and art of the boss. While others just felt like a drag. The bosses are downright bullet sponges and once you get the hang of the patterns it turns into a mindless dodge -> dump mag fight. Some of the mini-bosses have their health ramped up so much I had to fight near a stockpile because I ran out of ammo on my main guns.

Other special units had abilities to interrupt and different behavior than the bullet sponge ones. These fights are a lot more interesting because you get rewarded for timing your interrupt and their health pools are lower. So when you get shooting you actually see the health bar go down. This felt a lot more rewarding, it played on your wits and attention, not on the amount of bullets or ability to dodge.

Loot and crafting

Never ever will any looter shooter feel the same. After seeing how Outriders handle loot it will be hard to go back to The Division, Destiny or Borderlands. It ticks all the right boxes.

Crafting further enhances this due to its simplicity and abundance of available crafting materials. Every mod you deconstruct becomes available for crafting. You can switch out mods you don’t like on gear for ones that you collected. So you can keep on using the perks you like, or try out something new. Combining and trying out mods together can drastically change the way a skill or gun works.

Only one mod can be replaced, just like in The Division 2. And you can’t change the attributes on items, as far as I noticed. So once an item has one good mod and three attributes for your playstyle. Essentially you have a god roll when you switch out that one mod you don’t need.

You find crafting materials in abundance. In the open world or when deconstructing items you won’t be using. Even better, in your inventory you have buttons corresponding to rarity. When you click that button each item of that rarity will be marked for deconstruction. Making inventory management so much easier.

Quality of life looter-shooter improvements

The biggest quality of life addition is the auto-loot feature. This makes everything so much easier. One press of a button and everything that dropped automatically goes to your inventory. In the settings you can tweak the option to only pick up items from a certain rarity or higher as well.

Easy inventory sorting with quick select

These changes to inventory management, ease of crafting and auto loot; well they make sure you get back to the fight. No more staring at an inventory window to decide what is good or trash. Calculating your resources to optimize upgrading your loot. Those are things of the past in Outriders.

The story – Spoiler free!

For this Outriders review, I decided to keep it spoiler-free. When I write Outriders review for endgame content I’ll be going over some story points to see if they match the current endgame. But do not fear, you will discover it all by yourself when you play.

Outriders brings a linear story. You follow along the path that your altered takes, brought to you by (still kinda shaky) cutscenes and side-missions. There are no choices, you follow along on the story set by the developers. And it’s a long story. Like I mentioned earlier, thirty hours in and still haven’t finished the main story.

The story takes a while to build up, but it’s definitely worth it. The plot thickens along the way and still has me wondering where this is going to end up.

The characters you meet and travel with you really grow on you as they have their own personality. The voice actors did a splendid job on making them alive and emotional. The writing of the dialog is so on point sometimes, especially when it comes to your altered.
I really can’t say more without spoiling. It’s a story about morale and humanity that has an underlying message that just hits home.

The issues

We had the good and I’m combining the bad and the ugly in this Outriders review. Mostly because they go side by side.

Overall

The biggest issue was the server issues they had. People bought the game and the servers went down for hours. That is all in the past because they fixed it over the weekend. Even reaching peak players online without any server issues. This still makes me wonder why you have to be online to play solo.

Outriders review blocked by server instability

The second biggest issue is that there was no crossplay. Some issues occured on release preventing players from pc <-> console to disconnect. On this day it still isn’t possible to play crossplay. And Outriders is so much more fun when playing with friends. Sadly we both had to play solo.

Another big one is characters being wiped clean from loot after being kicked from a private match or disconnecting from a random matchmaking group. So all those hours grinding lost due to a bug. No official statement on the Outriders status page. But it is among the list of known issues. See the list here.

All off the above issues are being worked on by People Can Fly and Square Enix and are top priorities. Even though the inventory wipe is not mentioned on the status page. To keep track of any ongoing issues you can keep track on the official Outriders status page here.

PC specific issues

Furthermore, there are technical issues especially with older GPUs, anything below the 20xx series. There is a GPU memory issue that they will be patching soon, as said to us by a Square Enix representative. Outside of the older GPU’s I had issues on my RTX 3080 as well.

Stutters, areas where suddenly my FPS was capped to 60, getting stuck on terrain, animations getting stuck, sound distortion when loading in or transitioning between areas, crashes to desktop, and the quest marker getting stuck.

Xbox One X specific issues

Romy, and I want to thank her for playing side by side on console with me for the purpose of this review. Played on the (old) Xbox One X and had only a few more crashes. FPS is capped at a lower rate there so FPS drops aren’t that noticeable. No sound distortion or stutters on the Xbox side. But some issues with abilities not activating or having a slight delay.

People Can Fly and Square Enix are both working to resolve as much of the issues as possible as fast as possible. But some of these bugs don’t get patched out that easily. Outriders is most definitely playable and I enjoy it very much. But if these issues are a huge turn down for you. Wait a couple of weeks to buy the game and just play it when the issues are fixed.

The world and visuals (minor spoilers in screenshots)

While there is beauty in the destruction Outriders brings, there is a lot of that beauty present in the world and items. Especially the legendary items and vistas this game offers.

You will always feel like you have seen the places you visit on enoch before. But yet they are strange and alien. The world mixes what we know and see each day with foreign and alien elements. These blend in just well enough or stand out just well enough to create an amazing world.

  • Ruins of the First city.
  • Outriders trenches battlefield
  • Enoch alien creature in the distance
  • Outriders amazing ice formations.
  • More ice formations
  • Mountain view
  • Anomaly damage on trucks.
  • Troops hanging around in the canteen
  • Anomaly touched ruin
  • A tribe worshipping their false god.
  • The open dessert, amazing and scary.
  • Gigantic strange buildings.
  • Magical yet omnious inside of a building.

The legendaries are amazing. The design behind some of them is just so damn on point. Perfect for an altered like yourself to wield a gun made of skeletons and energized crystals. Pictures say more than a hundred words so take a look at the gallery below.

Outriders review: Final Thoughts

Outriders is a damn good looter shooter. Value for money even if you don’t plan to grind out the endgame. There is a lot of content to participate in the campaign. You will have fun making builds even before the end game and without too much hassle. While the technical issues are present right now they never stopped me from enjoying the combat and swatting soldiers away like flies with my shotgun.

Outriders has changed looter shooters for me with their ease of looting and modding gear. Logging in daily to do some Destiny bounties only made me realise even harder. Scrapping inventory after inventory just because the rolls are bad. Getting loot in Outriders is fun. Making a build in Outriders is easy. Playing with my friends on console right now, not so much. But they are dedicated to fixing the wrongs.

Support a game that says no to micro-transactions and games as a service. Show the market you are done with all that season pass crap. You pay for what you get with Outriders and it’s damn good fun.

I will be posting and Outriders end game review once I have some solid time spent in it. I will not change the content of this review depending on what the end game brings. Keep an eye out on our social media to stay updated.
Once again, my thanks to Romy for playing alongside me to get a view on the Xbox performance and to CD media for the early key.

Dwergberg

Posts published: 47

Gaming for me is about experiencing their stories, overcoming challenges, living in fantasy worlds and exploring alien planets. You can also find me in the local game store or on an airsoft field.