Outriders is a looter shooter that starts out slow. The Prologue is long, boring, and devoid of gameplay; lots of walking with exposition. The game even crashed on me and I had to sit through the entire section, training included, again.
Maybe it was from having to replay the opening sequence of the game or the cheesy voice acting, but I quickly realized I do not care about this story, I just want to experience the game-play. Outriders is essentially Diablo with guns, hence the “Looter Shooter”. And what do you do in Diablo? Kill things for loot of course!
Outriders isn’t a perfect looter shooter.
The first few hours of Outriders is a slog. Up until about halfway through the campaign: you very slowly gain new abilities, run into a lot of enemies who shoot guns (the most boring in the game), don’t really find loot that is exciting, all while experiencing some unfortunate, bugs. I can see many Game Pass players jumping off the game after a few hours, which would be a shame. I stuck with the game and I can attest, it gets much better.
At a quick glance, Outriders can be categorized as a Cover Shooter. The developer People Can Fly, worked on Gears of War: Judgment. Yes, you can take cover, but there really isn’t any point. Enemies bombard you with grenades and seem to be able to shoot through the cover your behind, anyway. Your character won’t recover health by hiding, either; depending on your class (one of four), to regain health, you really need to get up close and personal with abilities to survive. You quickly learn that the cover is there for your enemies, not for you. I found this out the hard way when I could not defeat a boss no matter how hard I tried because I actually forgot the cover system existed in the game.
I’ve really enjoyed my time with Outriders despite its shortcomings.
Despite all the issues I’ve mentioned so far, Outriders is a fun, looter shooter experience. I’ve played the entire game solo and it’s completely doable. As you progress through the game, you unlock additional World Tiers; difficultly levels that increase your chances for better loot. If your run into a section of the game you cannot get past, simply drop the world tier down. The mindset of most will be to “power through” difficult sections for the gamble of better loot drop. This can very quickly ruin your fun as you can literally spend hours attempting to get through one section of the game (or a boss) but, I’m here to tell you that there will be plenty of opportunities during the game for loot. So, just get through that section and keep having fun.
The looter shooter gameplay loop in Outriders is what keeps me coming back.
I didn’t expect to keep playing Outriders past completing the campaign, but here I am. Expeditions open up after completing the campaign; loot-driven timed challenge missions. I learned quickly that these missions are geared towards multiplayer, as crowd control gets nearly impossible on the higher difficulties for the solo gamer. Not wanting to give up on the game at this point, I decided to test out a new character. 22 Pyromancer levels later, here we are.
What keeps me coming back is the loot. Outriders does the whole looter shooter pretty well. The mods system allows you to keep aspects of your favorite gun or armor forever. Depending on the rarity of the equipment, gear can have 1 or 2 mod slots with mods of level 1, 2, and 3 (Legendary only).
As you find newer and higher level gear you can break down your gear and apply currently owned mods to any weapon. Gear with 2 mod slots can only swap out one of their mods, but find a new Legendary gun with better stats allows you to add the level 3 mod into your new weapon. Maybe you have been using a shotgun, but prefer Light Machine guns; when you find one you like, you can dismantle the shotgun for its unique mod and slot it right into your shiny new LMG.
The loot grind in Outriders is not simply for gear, but for mods., There is staying power to the grind.
I’m going to give Outriders a 4 out of 5 despite its bugs and early-game shortcomings.
I think this is a no-brainer if you have Game Pass and Series S or X. Stick through the first few hours because it really becomes more than a generic shooter once you start unlocking unique guns and more abilities.
Am I enjoying it because there really isn’t much else out to play? Could be. There’s just something to it. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have started and continued playing a second character. It’s surprised me, but it’s been one of those games you think about when you’re not playing it. Maybe I should dabble a bit more into Expeditions, that seems to be the way to unlock Legendary armor sets.
Have you been playing Outriders? Let me know what you think of it if you have been.
Check out my video review HERE!