Published on April 11th, 2021 | by Abdul Saad
Outriders PS4 Review
Summary: Besides the incredibly fun classes and intriguing world-building, I have to admit that Outriders isn't anything special as it doesn't do much to differentiate itself from other titans of the looter shooter genre. However, if you like sick powers and loot, then Outriders was made for you.
The Chosen Outrider
Outriders is one of the few games I’ve been anticipating ever since it was announced what seems like ages ago. After it got delayed (more than once, mind you), my enthusiasm for the game admittedly began to wane. However, when it finally launched, I was excited enough to jump in and begin my thrilling adventures in Enoch. For those unfamiliar with the game, Outriders is the latest high-octane super powered looter shooter from developer People Can Fly and publisher Square Enix.
After earth was destroyed in an apocalypse, humanity sought a new home and arrived at the planet Enoch to build one. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned as a strange storm rips through the planet on their first day of landing, killing most of your teammates and gravely injuring you. You then wake up years later after a forced cryo sleep to find Enoch in the grips of war, so it’s left to you as the last outrider to help humanity avoid extinction.
The first thing I noticed during the early hours of the game is how much of a slog the campaign’s opening section was to play through, especially once you take into account how generic the plot is for a sci-fi RPG shooter. However, once you get past the first hour or so, the game starts to pick up momentum as you try and piece together what happened in Enoch while you were frozen as well getting to know the game’s many characters either by engaging them in conversation or by acquiring knowledge through the many journal entries littered around the world.
Another aspect of the game I found tedious at the start were the shooting mechanics, as I found the weapons lacking weight to them, which rendered killing hordes of enemies unsatisfying. Thankfully this changes significantly once you chose one of four available classes in the game for your outrider. The first being the Technomancer which uses gadgets and supportive attacks from afar. Trickster uses close-ranged attacks and manipulates space-time, then there’s the heavy-hitting Devastator class, which attacks at close range, and my favorite, the Pyromancer, which is a balanced class that burns enemies at medium range. These classes also have multiple unique skills like how a Trickster can freeze enemies in place or how a Pyromancer can turn enemies into living bombs. These powers are objectively the most fun part of the game as players are given the option to tear through waves of enemies however they wish.
The mechanics are also detailed enough to execute an array of combos and sick moves yet simple enough not to confuse players with overcomplicated menus. Additionally, as a looter shooter, there’s never a shortage of weapons to pick up and use to murder mobs. Couple that with armor parts and other items, and players will constantly be picking up things that’ll usually be rendered useless 30 minutes later once they find the next best thing. What’s more, Outriders allows players to customize their characters with skill trees, special abilities, crafting, and more.
While you’ll always have the tools of war available to you, you should be prepared to face multiple waves of enemies, which often gets daunting and exhausting, especially when playing alone. The AI also constantly keeps players on their toes either by trying to surround them or by flanking them, so being a sniper isn’t a sustainable strategy. This means you’ll be forced to use your resources and skills to the fullest while moving from cover to cover to avoid instant death.
Outriders is also one of the many games that has this neat thing called a World Tier. Kill enough enemies and bosses to level up, and you’ll progress into the next tier. There are up to 15 tiers in the game, each more difficult than the last, complete with bullet sponge enemies and pyromaniacs. However, the higher the tier, the higher your chances of getting that sweet, sweet loot which is almost worth the headache. To get the best out of your gameplay experience however, you’ll need a competent team of Outriders by your side. That is, when matchmaking actually works as trying to play the game at launch was near impossible, as you’ll either be left staring at a loading screen for literal hours or get constantly pushed out of the game before even setting eyes on another player. Thankfully this issue has somewhat improved since launch.
In terms of graphics and aesthetics, Outriders’ visuals are quite attractive to look at when you aren’t stuck in the map’s gaudy brown areas, as later sections of the game show off beautiful scenery untouched by the chaos and destruction of war.
Overall, besides the fun powers and intriguing world-building, I have to admit that Outriders isn’t anything special to me as it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from other titans of the looter shooter genre. However, if you like sick powers and loot, then Outriders was made for you.