On the topic of DLC and what differentiates good from great, a contender appears to show what the bare minimum accomplishes. Outriders: Worldslayer is great if you’re a huge fan of the base game and the gameplay loop present. As mentioned in a previous review, Outriders has a fun power fantasy gameplay loop that allows the player to feel invincible in the right circumstances. As a standalone DLC, Worldslayer does what it sets out to do; give people more of the already enjoyed Outriders experience. What the DLC lacks is much of the creative innovation present in other DLC campaigns, and only looks to provide the same experience with a few asterisks that don’t necessarily expand on gameplay in any impactful ways.
Worldslayer offers a new bit of postgame story and resolution to some character arcs as well as more worldbuilding. The base game fell victim to a very overdone “military man in space is super soldier” trope, and didn’t do much to deviate from that. Worldslayer leans more into that in a satisfying way, but only towards the tail end of the campaign. Most of the campaign is spent doing the exact same things as the base game, which is primarily interesting only if players are experimenting with new classes. Going for a Devastator build this time made the experience surprisingly easy even with the progressive Apocalypse levels, but that will be touched on in a bit. The story was more of the same “follow orders, go kill big bad and find an item”.
The environmental deviation is the main plus point this expansion gets. While a lot of Enoch is the same gray tinted post apocalyptic wasteland we’re all too used to seeing, there are very interesting new areas in this expansion. Of the most interesting are the haunted fishing village and the final trial area, both of which take area archetypes not present in the base game and created entire explorable environments that function very well for the setting of the game. While lore-wise most of the areas have very little significance, a lot of the ancient Pax involvement was refreshing to see, and the attempt at better establishing an ancient civilization for lore and character purposes was way more interesting than the runaround the protagonist has been doing for most of the game. The story, while nothing to write home about, potentially set the stage for more worldbuilding and a better understanding of Enochian civilization. An interesting point for sure, but the execution through another DLC will be highly dependent on what the DLC decides to focus on. Worldslayer looked to establish new characters and lore, and while there was an attempt to make changes to the classes, there was minimal really done.
A lot of my time with Worldslayer was spent with absolutely no fear of dying and with minimal difficulty even before I really learned how to mod gear to my advantage. As the Devastator class in particular, both mobbing and bossing felt trivial. In the absolute worst case of being surrounded by large enemies and being mobbed by smaller ones, a quick cast of Tremor made everyone go away and gave me a full health bar. While my experimentation with the other classes was minimal; even my previous favorite, the Trickster, couldn’t hold a candle to the sheer survivability and area damage the Devastator provided.
While there was very minimal challenge presented in the DLC, the power fantasy aspect Outriders looks to provide was alive and well in Worldslayer. The new addition of the Pax tree was interesting to see, but most of those changes are either minimal to the point of not using if you’re not going to spend hundreds of hours grinding out the points, or at best kind of useful if you’re going through to progress the story and not much else. The Pax tree is for the math junkies looking to totally min-max their characters at the endgame, and is more of a tertiary stat tree that can augment playstyles slightly if players aren’t going to fully invest in the grind.
Overall, Worldslayer is a decent DLC that provides just enough for fans to get another dose of the power fantasy they came to love. People not totally invested in the game or the world will only find much of the same, as Worldslayer’s gameplay innovations are very few and far between. Difficulty scaling with Apocalypse levels and the endgame trial grind are perfect for looter-shooter fans that live for the grind, but the lack of substantial class changes, a very same-y gameplay loop, and much of the same rigamarole for story keep Worldslayer from being anything past an “okay” DLC; but it provides just enough content to satisfy its core playerbase.
Score: 6 out of 10
Reviewed on PlayStation 5