At first glance, it may seem that the developers faced quite a challenge, targeting the segment tightly packed with Destiny 2 from Bungie, The Division Ubisoft, and free Warframe. Two years ago, EA found out about it painfully on the occasion of Anthem. All these games, however, are products in the service formula – aimed at attracting users to long-developed content for many people. Ultimately, however, Outriders is to be a completely different title, focusing on a linear story campaign, avoiding open locations. The Borderlands series dominates in this field, but due to the mechanics and specific style, it is completely different, therefore Polish production has a chance to stand out and gain the attention of players – and the creators definitely want to try to do so. For quite some time now, the game has been broadcast regularly. It must also be admitted that nowadays releasing demos a few weeks before the premiere is not something common, and in this case we got a large fragment of the beginning of the game. The big question, however, is: will those few hours spent with Outriders encourage you to read the full version? The answer is not obvious.
Looking for a new home
The shared build is a fairly complex prologue, which consists of several main missions (and five side quests), and the goal is to introduce you to the story. Outriders will take the viewer into the future to a distant planet. As one of the title Outriders, he is to prepare the new world for colonization, as the Earth is no longer viable. However, the dream is shattered when the planet shows its dangerous face – full of mysterious anomalies accompanied by electrical discharges. What’s worse, the created character quickly goes to the cryogenic chamber, from which he wakes up only after thirty years, but is enriched with extraordinary skills, depending on the selected class. These, in turn, will definitely come in handy, as the world has been destroyed over the past few decades and is full of bandits and beasts waiting for our lives.
Without a doubt, the most important element of Outriders is the gameplay. At its core, we are dealing with a TPP relatively corridor shootout with a characteristic mechanics of hiding under covers. Unfortunately, these basics still need to be polished. The mechanics of movement in conjunction with sticking to the covers could be smoother (not to mention the fact that the jump mechanics are missing, so a separate cutscene is triggered at the right moment), and firing parts of the weapon lacks the appropriate “kick”. It’s not that these elements are made badly, but they lack the satisfaction of communing with similar solutions in the Gears of War series or the aforementioned The Division. Luckily, the skirmish experience is definitely a plus after completing the first mission, which serves as the basic tutorial, when the loot shooter elements come out. It is difficult to predict what it will look like in the full version of the game, but it seems that the creators know how to keep the balance of throwing subsequent pieces of equipment so that it is not changed too rarely, but also not forcing players to dress up in scrap metal too often. Fighting completely changes access to special skills. Each of the four classes is based on different abilities, adapted to different tactics, so the most effective clashes will take place in cooperation mode, when the team will be able to complement each other. I spent the most time with a pyromancer who uses both effective attacks aimed at a specific opponent and capable of summoning an area wave of fire. Importantly, skills renew very quickly. This allows for a more offensive approach, rather than patiently hiding behind covers, as it would seem at the beginning. Of course, due to the fact that only the beginning of the game has been made available, I cannot judge what the possibilities of character development will look like later. It is worth noting that there are two development indicators. The first one corresponds to the acquisition of typical experience points for our character. The second concerns the so-called world levels. As we progress, we gain access to difficulty conquest, which in turn results in the possibility of getting better loot. Switching levels is available directly from the game. Such a solution can probably also help lonely players who want to focus on the main thread, without the need for an additional grind or simply not falling for the so-called bullet sponges, from which it is difficult to escape in this genre. It should also be noted that although Outriders is not a game-service, the network content is so important that the title requires a constant connection with the servers (which made it difficult to start the game at the beginning). Moreover, even in lonely sessions, the game cannot be paused. On the plus side, it should be added that in the full version you will be able to transfer your progress from the demo.
From the first announcement, we know that Outriders is an intergenerational title, intended to be released on both the eighth and ninth generation consoles and PCs. Over the years we have got used to the fact that such games are often compromised between the old and the new, which makes the setting quite uneven. It is no different in this case. It is hard to deny the attractive climate as a whole, but on the other hand, some average models are striking. This, in turn, contrasts with the numerous eye-pleasing effects. Targeting older consoles as well, although it involves compromises, makes it possible for the owners of less efficient computers to breathe a sigh of relief, as the minimum hardware requirements are quite low. Another thing is that although Outriders is playable on older computers, at the moment the optimization leaves something to be desired.
It is worth adding that – which is rare nowadays – Polish dubbing is present in the game. Unfortunately, it sounds pretty average at best. On the other hand, the English language version (we can change the language at any time) is not much better. Perhaps for some players the native voices will be the preferred ones, as they will help to avoid paying attention to the subtitles during dynamic action in the multiplayer mode.
The Outriders demo gives you a chance to check out a pretty big chunk of the new People Can Fly game, but it’s just the beginning of the content to come. An important question is therefore whether the creators will manage to attract the attention of potential recipients in this way. Well, on the one hand, we can talk about some success, because during the premiere weekend the title was really popular. However, it should be remembered that there are no big premieres at the moment and this could have had an impact on the state of affairs. I have some doubts that the popularity of the early version will also translate into commercial success. All because the demo lacked elements that made a really good impression. The gameplay is quite enjoyable and maybe it will spread your wings in full form, but after what I saw, I am not fully convinced and contact with the demo would not encourage me to buy it. Nevertheless, it is a title with potential and it is worth following how the situation unfolds.