Outriders
Developer People Can Fly
Publisher Square Enix
Official site outriders.com
release date April 1, 2021
Genre Third Person Shooter, Action, RPG

On April 1, Outriders was released — a third-person action shooter with elements of RPG, co-op and looter projects. The game was created by the Polish studio People Can Fly, authors of Painkiller and Bulletstorm and co-authors of several parts of Gears of War, together with Epic Games. Let’s state right away that the Poles could not make a perfect game. Moreover, it is rather mediocre in all directions, except for one.

Despite all the speculation of gamers before the release, Outriders does not try to be something else and immediately exposes itself as a good old-fashioned shooter with a sci-fi story that can be played in the company of several people. If you expected another, then in vain. Details in the review below.

Outriders

The history of the planet Earth is over. Mankind has polluted the «Blue Ball», and in order to save itself, it has built two huge spaceships. Both must head to the distant planet Enoch to start over. But at the start, the first ship explodes, so only 500,000 settlers fly to the new world.

After years of traveling in cryosleep, humans arrive on Enoch and drop off a reconnaissance party to prepare to populate the planet. But they find dangerous anomalous storms here. Part of the team with the main character believes that it is too early to let people down and that everything needs to be studied, others do not think so. A fight ensues, the main character is caught by an anomaly, he is severely wounded and placed in a cryocapsule so as not to die.

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He wakes up after 30 years and finds Enoch in a terrible state. It turns out that people were nevertheless let down, but the anomaly cut off the electricity, so the equipment and provisions could not be lowered. People were locked in a small area without food and normal living conditions. Panic began, then war, and then hell. The protagonist must bring the remnants of humanity out of the crisis and deal with the anomalies.

Let’s immediately designate everything that was outlined in the introduction. Outriders is not an Anthem or Destiny clone. If the trailers have misled you, then listen to the creators. People Can Fly have been saying all along that they didn’t do something like that, they just modernized third-person shooters a bit.

Outriders

Outriders is a stand-alone shooter with a touch of RPG that comes through in class selection, deeper character customization, equipment stats, hero skills, and multiple choice dialogues. True, the latter do not affect anything and are only needed for greater immersion in history.

There are also elements of a looter shooter, but weapons and armor are not enough here to farm for the rest of your life, as in Destiny or Warframe. There are just a ton of them, no more. There is customization, but it is also quite a bit, although here you can turn around.

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The cooperative was brought in, so you can play with four people, but this is not at all necessary. The plot for 18-22 hours is great to go through alone, but if you are a fan of companies, then you can go through it with friends. There are no other elements of multiplayer projects: no loot boxes, no world activities, no common hub, or anything like that. After completing the story, they are allowed to go on general expeditions and this is the only thing that is allowed to go with partners outside the plot.

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The story of the Outriders is heavily clichéd and a little trite in 2021. And yet you want to watch her, and as you progress, more and more clues to the anomalies are expected.

The characters are written normally, moderately deep, but not so much that you can delve into their childhood and build relationships. The protagonist is a stern warrior with a kind heart who takes on the problems of the entire planet.

He is also Alium, the local superman. These are obtained from those who survived the attack of anomalies. Aliums are very difficult to kill, each has its own skills and appearance, with which His Majesty worked randomly.

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The combat system of Outriders is vaguely reminiscent of Gears of War, apparently the long work on the series affects, but sitting in shelters will not work here. The construction of levels is similar, the character also deftly “sticks” to generously placed shelters and rolls to the sides. But the skills of each of the four classes (Technomancer, Pyromancer, Trickster, Destroyer) are tied to replenishing health by destroying enemies, so it’s in your best interest to go and extinguish them yourself.

This is the only way not to die and replenish health, because first-aid kits are not provided. From sitting in ambush for a long time, the enemy will cooperate and simply crush them with force and quantity, because the attackers here are piling up decently.

You can crush enemies at different distances. Often skills are combined, so the hero unleashes his anger from afar, but also surprises with a powerful blow from his hand if the enemy has broken through the defense.

Shooting in Outriders is juicy and feels close to the same Gears of War. The controls are clear and smooth, but it’s still difficult to aim with a sniper on a gamepad. Enemies are effectively sprayed on the walls from explosions, they fly off «spare parts» from hits in different places, and in general they perfectly «catch» bullets with their bodies.

Each class has its own leveling branch and a certain set of skills that are unlocked as the levels increase. True, you can only select three at a time. Combat tactics are built on this and on the type of weapons, where some are at the maximum distance from the enemy, placing traps, rocket launchers, and so on in his path. Others let enemies get closer, and then activate a deadly arsenal.

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Weapons and clothes have their own characteristics and additional bonuses. Equipment is divided by rarity and improved. To get the best things, you need to complete missions at the maximum level of the world. This is a local version of the usual level of difficulty.

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There are two levels in Outriders — character and world. The further we go through the plot, the levels of the world grow and are automatically set to the maximum. In this scenario, the best things fall out of opponents and bosses. And if some part of the story is difficult and you often die, then the level of the world can be lowered by a few points, and then returned back. Naturally, the closer to the final, the more difficult it is to play at the maximum level.

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Outriders looks tolerable, and at ultra-settings on PC, as well as on next-gen consoles, even pleasant in places. I played the game on PS4 and in appearance this is the project of the year so 2017 — locations, interior, characters and faces, weapons and armor elements seem to be drawn well, but the picture does not have clarity, and sometimes it does not load immediately.

Infuriated and the abundance of boot screens. On PS5 and Xbox Series, they were probably less noticeable, but on PC, even a fast M.2 SSD often did not help people. Once I grabbed a super combo: loading, then the character crawls through a bottleneck, then a cutscene and loading again.

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The creators also have problems with imagination, although there are enough various locations. But for the whole game as a whole there is no common style, everything is constantly changing, but it looks the same.

There are a lot of cutscenes in the plot and this is a plus for the presentation of the story. True, not all of them are adequately staged, but it is clear that they tried their best, but they did not know how much. In any case, such inserts on the game engine are much better than hand-drawn pictures, which other average studios sin, and they immerse into the plot more efficiently.

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The cooperative side of Outriders almost did not work at the start — the servers could not withstand the influx of gamers. Apparently, the creators did not expect such interest in their game, so they were not ready for 100k+ online on Steam, without taking into account other platforms. On the Web, they say that it’s not only the unexpected popularity, but also the crookedly written network code.

For all the time of passing, I managed to play with my partners only once. In other cases, the search for party members searched for them and did not find them, and then simply turned off.

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Outriders has a full Russian translation. I did not notice any problems with texts and menus. The dubbing voices are normal, they are almost always chosen harmoniously, but the voice acting cannot be called ideal.

There is music, it gives heat to the flames of battle, but it is not remembered and does not ask for a player.

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Outriders has rapidly become popular, which is why hundreds of thousands of people play the shooter. But this is not the full merit of the creators, but a combination of circumstances. On the one hand, the coronavirus “removed” some games from the calendar or moved them to a later time. On the other hand, gamers are tired of the unsuccessful experiments of large studios like Anthem and Marvels Avengers, and they are also slowly cooling off towards full-fledged looter shooters like Destiny, Warframe and others.

And that’s where Outriders comes in — a classic, fast-paced third-person shooter with a touch of modernity and RPG, powerful shooting and an abundance of opponents. The game has not the best, but the plot, which has an ending, and is not stretched by additions. She has a cooperative, albeit crookedly working, and a lot of loot, but not too much to get carried away, but not to go into collecting sets and opening loot boxes for money.

Outriders has pumping, it is understandable and not complicated. You don’t need guides, you do everything yourself and even let you get your hands on a unique build. Finally, an endgame has been added here, albeit a small one for now, but you can run with friends.

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Here is the recipe for a successful game in 2021 — do not try to be something else, do not cash in on the excitement of the players, do not get carried away with leveling and multiplayer, and also pay attention to the story. At the same time, it is necessary to brighten up the gameplay with some modern features, but make the base classic and simple.

The guys from People Can Fly managed to realize all this, although the game is clearly far from a masterpiece. Outriders was at the right time in the right place and collects well-deserved buns. But if it came out in a year like 2019, it would be lost among many other top projects and would not become popular. And so, perhaps, the Poles will collect money and start a new Painkiller or Bulletstorm, or better both together.

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