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Outriders Campaign Review

Outriders Campaign Review

The Outriders campaign is a bit of a rollercoaster, even after experiencing the Prologue in the Outriders beta, the ups, downs, and sudden deaths can give the player a bit of whiplash after a while. While I approached it in a slightly different way than others, I would wager to guess that lots of players enjoy playing through a story quickly to see what happens, leaving the loot chase, modding, and end game for later. At a ground level the campaign does its job and tells a unique story, even if some of the moments are bit canned, cliché, or even somewhat awkward and forced. Overall I thought there was room for improvement with respect to World Tiers, modding, crafting, and loot chase.

The Good

One of the best things about the campaign in Outriders is that is gets better with time. The Prologue continues to be, in my opinion, a waste of capital. I get why it was sort of throw away and canned, but it’s weak and hurts some of the late character development.

And that’s another surprising aspect to the Outriders campaign: the characters. While some of the dialogue is awkward or forced, I genuinely enjoyed what happened with a handful of the characters, most notably Jakub and August. They were definitely high points in the story telling for me.

Lastly, the surprises and turns of the story were actually done quiet well. Finding out about the storms, powers, and how people from earth managed to get there before “humanity’s last hope” were all moments that set the stage for more story developments down the road.

The Bad

Honestly this part of my review hurts to write and say because it hurts and undercuts the good parts of the campaign. The writing and dialogue is honestly some of the most inconsistent campaign delivery I have ever seen. It felt like they had 4 different writers who took turns writing scenes and audio comms.

The swearing is possibly some of the worst use of foul language in a game I’ve played. At times, it makes sense, because of the severity of what is going on, but it is typically delivered in such flat non-emotive way that it feels insincere at forced. Immersion, for me, was consistently broken by what felt like tough guy speech.

Lastly, the cut scene performance was either adequate or downright horrid. Strange camera performance, facial animations that would break and twitch, and character clothing, stances, and textures that simply didn’t perform properly. It often felt like I was watching raw cut scenes with no post production polish or finesse and it hurt the story telling.

The Absent

Many have disagreed with me on this point, but when something is so central to the enjoyment, progression, and sense of power in a game, it should be something the player is guided through, at least in an introductory way. Very generic text on the screen doesn’t help, especially considering how many tips, pop ups, and loading screens there are. Healing and Modding should be more tutorial driven.

By the time I got to the point where the crafting and modding NPC was available, it felt odd to be investing in and modifying loot that I was so regularly discarding and replacing. And yet, this is insanely effective and practically required if you leave auto World Tier leveling turned on. And it’s very cheap and accessible.

Just like combos in Anthem, if you are going to break from the norm, and make a system intrinsic to the experience and campaign leveling process, you need to do more than splash a text box on the screen. A quick point and click guide on how cheap and effective modding on armor for abilities would have done wonders for me and many others who just dropped World Tier to enjoy the late campaign around World Tiers 8-9.

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