In Outriders, the earth is about to be destroyed and humanity has left to try and find another planet to colonise. Humans travel to Enoch, a planet they believe will be able to sustain life. But when they get there all is not as it seems! An anomaly storm is wreaking havoc and people are dying from a mysterious black sludge that’s infecting everyone it seems to touch.
As an Outrider it’s your job to make sure that those still waiting on the Flores have a habitable planet to land on. However, as things kick off you’re infected by the anomaly and gravely wounded. You’re put back into Cryo till a cure or fix is sorted. You awake 30 years later with powers and a planet that is in ruins by war and the anomaly.
The first thing that I want to talk about for this review is the story, and to me in my opinion, it’s a decent enough plot, I just felt that the voice acting and maybe some of the direction for it wasn’t the best. I felt that everyone was so angry right throughout the game when there wasn’t any need for it. The first instance of this was Shira, she is the one who slaps you back into Cryo when you’re injured after everything kicks off at the start, you awake 30 years later and she’s pissed at you? Excuse me? She’s the one who put you there! Then there is Jakub, Channa, and Bailey, everyone always seems angry about something despite the fact that they all have the same goal throughout. Now, I’ve played through the story 3 times, and each time the acting doesn’t get any better if anything more and more little annoyances are pointed out and I think that a finer balance from the macho man image shown should have been used.
I’m now going to talk about how the game feels to play and the general gameplay. I’ve played through the story twice, once on my Xbox Series S and another on my Laptop. Both versions ran brilliantly and felt great to play. The gunplay in both versions was excellent and there was a nice feeling to it and good use of vibrations on the controller to help with immersion.
The world is vast and beautiful to look at, from the forest to the desert and the ruins, each area has its own personality and I think this is brought through from the different enemies that you face. From Insurgents to wildlife as well as the natives, each enemy set brings its own uniqueness to the game. I like the design of the world, and the characters that the developer’s People Can Fly have brought to the table, however, after so long it does start getting a little bit ‘samey’. Going into missions again and noticing that there isn’t a change in where chests spawn, or where the enemy spawns, playing on 2 different platforms and doing one mission on PC to then go onto Xbox and do exactly the same mission, I knew what I was in for, there wasn’t any element of surprise and I have to admit that I did find that a little disappointing.
It was the same when going back to do side missions, there was a very real feeling of being there and done that, just not wearing the T-Shirt as this legendary armour is too good to give up. This is where I kept going with the game and persevered, I am not one to test myself, but as my gear got better and better I wanted to try out to see how that was affected by the World Tiers, so I started turning them up a bit, I played through the story on WT3 all the way through, it was what I was comfortable with, but when I started getting Legendary weapons and armour and my gear was levelling up I started putting the WT’s up to test myself, and I knew if things got too hairy and I couldn’t do something when playing solo I could easily just lower the WT and go again. This is one thing that I liked about it, you can it to your level, you don’t have to be superman and super awesome to be able to solo it, stick it on WT1 if you want, no judgement here, you play how you want to play and although the game gives you the option to increase the difficulty automatically you can turn that off and set it to whatever is best for you.
The crafting is very easy to get a handle on in the game, you can upgrade the entire weapons level which will increase its basic stats like damage, etc, you can also upgrade additional stats that are included on it such as life leech skill percentage, max health, whatever is there you can increase as long as you have the resources for it. I have to admit there are plenty around and throughout the game to collect, the only one which might take time to build up unless you farm it is Titanium. I decided to farm the Molton Acari in the Volcano, mainly because the story save point is right at that moment, so its load up and load into the fight, doesn’t take long to get the fight started. I found repeating this could net me around 40/50 titanium and it only took me 5 minutes to complete it, so all I would have to do then is reload the point and start again.
One frustration I had when playing the game was that I found the map and having to navigate the world quite frustrating. There are fast travel points dotted around which you unlock as you go through the story, however, if you didn’t get around to doing many of the side quests and concentrated on the story, there are points that wouldn’t have been unlocked so require you to find them again after revisiting the area. Trying to load up the map and figure out where you were, which way you were pointing, and which way you needed to go was a nightmare, I found myself walking through 3 sections before realising that I went completely the wrong way. I know when you press up on the D-Pad there is a waypoint that shows you how to get to the marker, but if you haven’t accepted the quest you’re looking for, you’re on your own. Although, there were moments which I am pretty sure I’m not on my own with, where the waypoint marker on the minimap would have a fit and take me to completely the wrong area and it was only by aimless walking around that I would finally find the flashing blue area. Much time wasted when I could have been shooting things!
I found where the game shone through was when I was playing with friends or found randoms joining me for missions. Playing with others is by far the best way to enjoy Outriders, that’s not to say that playing solo isn’t enjoyable, but when I was able to team up with my mates, the experience was a lot better, party’d up and communicating, knowing who was going for what and when playing the end game mode of expeditions where you’re trying to complete it as fast as you can to get more loot, communication is key.
Outriders is a fun game to play, it isn’t perfect and like all games has its downsides, but its excellent and solid gunplay along with the amount of fun there is to be had with a couple of mates makes it a good recipe for good solid fun.