Earlier this week, Square Enix and developer People Can Fly released a new trailer for their upcoming game, Outriders which was announced during Square Enix’s press conference at E3 2019. I had the opportunity to check the game out at a preview event. Outriders is a 1-3 player co-op RPG shooter set in an original, dark and desperate sci-fi universe where you play as an Outrider, part of an elite force of pioneers and explorers tasked with securing a new home for humanity as Earth is gone and no longer able to sustain life. As you touch down and land on the planet Enoch, a mysterious signal is discovered, something that nobody expected. They also did not expect a mysterious storm called the Anomaly. After getting caught in the storm, several people are torn apart and ripped to shreds as they try to get to safety. Others such as yourself are changed, and that’s where the fun begins.
People Can Fly’s vision for the game was to create a game with traditional videogame sensibilities. While it may look like a games as a service title, the developers say that this is not the case. There will be no loot boxes or pay to win scenarios. Players will be getting a complete experience out of the box. The game combines frenetic gunplay, violent powers and deep RPG systems that create a true genre hybrid.
These violent powers come from four unique classes, each with its own skill tree. The three classes that were playable were Trickster, Devastator, and Pyromancer.
The Trickster is a hit and run damage dealer that is equipped with powers that allow for unrivaled mobility on the battlefield. Tricksters bend the law of and space and time, slowing down enemies and teleporting around the battlefield.
The Devastator class controls gravity uses the earth to help crush enemies by delivering powerful ground pounds that send everything flying. They can also cover themselves in rock-like skin that serves as temporary armor when they get up close and personal.
The Pyromancer is more of a medium to long-range type of fighter utilizing the power of fire. Whenever an enemy is tagged by a Pyromancer, they will explode when they die affecting those around them. Pyromancers can also get out of tough situations when they are surrounded or set up a co-op partner with an attack that stops everyone in their tracks for a short amount of time. They can also summon a wave of fire that can affect multiple targets as they push it at enemies.
One of the more interesting aspects that I noticed while playing is that in addition to every class playing differently, every class heals differently. Devastators heal when they are very close to an enemy while Pyromancers heal when enemies that are marked die. Similar to the Devastator, Tricksters heal when enemies are killed within close range but it also extends the duration of their shield.
Each class comes with different skills that are learned as you level up and each class has three different skill trees to cater to a particular playstyle. With most RPG type games today, there is always a big emphasis on loot and while this was only a demo, I did experience some loot with unique properties. One gun caused a bleeding effect after killing an enemy which caused them to explode and their remains caused the effect.
The game is split up into different hubs and levels that you go through similar to Destiny. As you get stronger, new World Tiers become unlocked. Each new Tier raises the enemy level but increases the chance of legendary loot and chances of loot at a higher rarity. You can choose to either pick a World Tier or have it get harder as you get stronger automatically.
Playing the game is very satisfying as the different types of guns feel great and unique from one another and the mix of gunplay and powers reminded me of a mix between Gears of War and Control within an RPG type game similar to Borderlands which in my mind sounds like a pretty good combination.
Outriders launches holiday 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X.