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Outriders Expeditions Review

Outriders Expeditions Review

Outriders launched without any planned live service features and People Can Fly made it very clear they wanted this game to be a complete package. When they outlined the post-campaign content with the Expeditions, Challenge Tiers, and the Eye of the Storm many were very hopeful about a robust and complete endgame. In the weeks since launch, however, many design flaws, problems, bugs, and performance issues have made the endgame content fall flat for some. Recently nerfs to class bullet abilities are attempting to rectify some ground level imbalances within the Outriders classes. Just yesterday we discussed the Devastator and now I’d like to review the Expeditions as a content piece.

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Just Let Me Play

The first and most primary frustration barrier to playing this game is the halting number of steps between me and a group seamlessly jumping into an Expedition and cranking through the combat. Matchmaking is slow, players drop, and the number of steps between fast travel, getting there, and numerous loading screens is a massive buzz kill.

So much of this game feels bottle necked by foundational design that was based on old consoles. All the cut scenes feel like loading screens in disguise, and for what? A boss spawning? Entering a new room no bigger than the last? I constantly feel like this game makes me do things that aren’t gameplay just to get to the gameplay.

Add into this the fun, yet slow and tedious method of min maxing while you are moving up in Challenge Tiers. Every time you unlock a new tier you need to consider pushing gear and power higher, or you will quickly find yourself falling behind. This would be far more enjoyable if not for everything listed above.

Convoluted Systems

The methods of making your gear better and more powerful are some of the best aspects of Outriders. But so much of it feels incredibly foreign and strange. I’m often finding myself burning through currency to make blues stronger because the cost for purples is too high. I liked this, but it was somewhat backwards and counterintuitive to figure out.

What this means if that you are needing to sell blues and break down purples in order to have currency to quickly dump back into gear that suits your current build, and it feels satisfying even if it is very transient. This was, again, satisfying, once it was explained to me and “clicked”, but it feels odd and a bit strange to burn through so much currency.

My advice to anyone at this stage is do not fall victim to what I call “currency paralysis”. I fall victim to this in so many games, clutching all currencies and never ultimately using them for fear of “needing them later”. Crank through, level up pieces and attributes that are helping you, it’s worth it, and the currency is quickly replaced.

Why It's Frustrating

The main reasons all these systems and hurdles are frustrating is that the content loop is everything you want in a looter shooter. It’s rewarding, generous, and the combat is very satisfying the stronger you get, which is directly linked to all the currency and loot you’re earning.

More and more my concern for Outriders it not good ideas or solid scafolding, it’s player fatigue. It feels like so much has to be overlooked, tolerated, and learned the hard way in order just to play a few Expeditions over the course of a two hour play session.

As I’ve said before, the player base numbers continue to impress me, but the long term worry would be that once fatigue hits, the memory of the game will be overshadowed by technical hang ups or cumbersome design decisions, rather than a satisfying content loop.

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