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Outriders Demo Review

Outriders Demo Review

The Outriders Demo has been out for almost a week and the response has been mostly positive but also somewhat mixed depending on player preference. I took the time to play as all 4 classes, trying different weapons, strategies and approaches to the combat. This was all done solo, so I have not tried the matchmaking, cooperative play during missions, or the legendary farm. I found the differences between the classes, combat, and content loop to be promising but there are some issues I would like to see addressed.

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The Classes

The biggest praise I can give the game is with regard to the classes. They are truly unique in ways that make them both fun and distinct from each other. The opening combat experience, however, does a poor job explaining the best approach for leveraging self-heal which may turn off some players (remember Anthem not explaining combos?)

Ultimately I would rank them in order of run factor with Trickster being my favorite, followed by Pyromancer, Devastator, and Technomancer. This is mainly due to my own player preferences, and even with my least favorite class, I was finding satisfying ways to leverage the abilities and skills.

Fundamentally the classes need significantly more polish with respect to their fluidity and animations. For a third-person game, I want my abilities and actions to look and feel cool. It’s what makes the Trickster so fun, but ultimately it’s a lot of sprint melee ground slamming. Channel that feeling into all of the abilities.

Combat and Loot

My general consensus is that the combat is good, but not great. The cover-based elements are clunky, inconsistent, and feel somewhat dissonant within the game flow. There is a constant sense to move forward, get kills, and be close to the enemies. But their aimbot like AI, distance, and positioning can seem somewhat face tanky.

The loop of using your abilities to get lots of kills, self-heal, and keep moving, is incredibly satisfying when you pull it off. A concern would be in matchmade environments, valuable and needed kills will incidentally ad accidentally be constantly stolen by your teammates. There were numerous times I stayed alive simply because I was alone and could kill everyone around me.

Loot is plentiful, meaningful, and seems to offer a lot of depth for builds and customization. Within just an hour of play, I feel the pain of choosing between two pieces of armor for a reward because they buff one of my abilities in different ways. This shows lots of promise as an introductory experience.

The Story

This is where the game honestly feels the most inconsistent. While I will readily concede a game like Outriders does not need a stellar award-winning story, it certainly helps set the tone and trajectory of what we are doing and why we are doing it.

I actually enjoyed the combination of The 100 TV series and 28 Days Later with arriving at a planet that is “humanity’s last hope” but we end up in cryofreeze. It creates an immediate sense of post-apocalyptic chaos while also establishing long character arcs that we will have to piece together.

Oddly enough, the voice acting and characters become far more interesting once you are in the town and accepting missions and allowing dialogue to play out. Perhaps they created too many throw-away characters for the intro, which makes it land somewhat flat. Ultimately the story does its job and I’m actually interested to discover more about the various characters and plot lines.

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