Outriders – Review
Our rating: 7.5/10
Outriders begins with an inhospitable Earth that forces the last humans to flee to an unknown planet called Enoch. Unfortunately, the first contact with this new star leads to an anomaly that wipes out the first settlers.
One of the last agents of the ECA (Enoch Colonization Authority), who was forced to return to cryostasis to escape this energy storm, awakens 30 years later, but not without noticing several major changes.
The Outrider discovers his new powers, abilities that could allow him to lift the veil on the mysteries surrounding the anomaly and the exoplanet, as Enoch’s Promised Paradise proves to be nothing more than a hostile environment in perpetual warfare.
People Can Fly does not stand out for its ultimately anecdotal story and summary staging centered around simple cutscenes. The latter is content to underline the missions and, above all, to serve as a link for the entire main story, which takes about fifteen hours to complete.
Nonetheless, the quality of the Outriders universe is somewhat commendable. If the situation is not exceptional, the context in which it develops is worth mentioning.
It’s often more interesting to learn about the past of the planet Enoch and the three decades leading up to the current situation than to embark on what could be described as road-trip punk on steroids.
An unstable exoplanet
You can differentiate the planet Enoch by the variety of its environments and biomes. Each new zone reveals a new surprise with the extent of its vegetation and human structures (or lack thereof) marring the landscape.
A stroll through the deserts, forests, swamps and mountains that make this star an invitation to contemplation is a pleasant way to pass the time between two clashes.
The People Can Fly artists were influenced by a variety of works to create this exoplanet. It incorporates elements from Mad Max, The Lord of the Rings, Destiny, and other works to create an aesthetic unique to Outriders. As a result, we have an intriguing and alluring fantasy punk sci-fi universe.
New generation consoles
Outriders honor the power of PlayStation 5, Xbox Series and PC (depending on configuration) without ever claiming the title of next-gen visual slap. It does this by displaying huge playfields that are all too often empty except for enemy forces. Square Enix’s title excels in visual effects since it was developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4.
The latter, in turn, transforms the rising forces of agents and belligerents into a true “sound and light” show at 60 frames per second in dynamic 4K, with the exception of the Xbox Series S which has a staggering resolution of up to 1440p.
Nonetheless, the early versions of the game were known to be unstable, which is something to consider. The Outriders’ adventure on the planet Enoch is being hampered by several technical issues, most of which are server-related.
Error CE-34878-0 (on the PlayStation system) is the cause of several crashes. It quickly escalates from a fully connected experience to a big problem. It is also common that the game has to restart due to a connection error, which is mandatory and occurs for unknown reasons.
Agents of Chaos
We’ve gotten used to nervous tournaments from People Can Fly studios in the past. Outriders is the heir to this explosive vision of gunfights. On Enoch, even the smallest skirmish is aggressive. Force ECA agents to use their abilities to stay alive.
Outriders take the risk of combining the ancient self-regenerating healing system with the supernatural abilities of avatars. Set enemies on fire, shoot them down from afar, and so on. Your selected class determines the method of restoring health. This significantly changes the traditional TPS (third person shooter) approach.
The game deliberately ignores the concept of “cover” to fully express the power of the Outriders. The feeling of having guns in hand only adds to the sense of power and urgency that emerges from the clashes. During the battles, the outriders must remain mobile at all times, otherwise the dandelions will eat them by the roots. On this hostile planet where all conscious creatures will try to eliminate you, standing still is tantamount to death.
We were right to expect a diverse bestiary containing dozens, if not hundreds, of pests of various types and capacities, but that’s not the case. The enemies come in a variety of guises. With two or three exceptions, the forces at work are all too often reduced to a few archetypes and variants. It feels like a lack of exoticism on such a mysterious planet.
For Enoch, artificial intelligence is also a source of disappointment. The number and statistics of opponents who act without strategy compensates for this flaw in People Can Fly. As a result, people rush into situations without planning beforehand, sometimes acting irrationally.
Luckily, the boss fights, which are far too few, stand out for their ferocity. Set on a star that tends to recycle the creatures that inhabit it, these memorable gameplay sequences stand out for their difficulty and uniqueness.
A looter shooter goes hand-in-hand with an avatar’s continued increase in power as he or she gains experience, unlocks new abilities, and discovers gear of increasingly impressive stats. Outriders is no outlier in that regard.
The pleasure comes from the personalization of the embodied ECA agent. It offers all the possibilities offered by a system that flawlessly integrates the main mechanics of an RPG. This starts with the presence of four classes that define the approach to combat.
Be careful; The decision you make at the beginning of the adventure is irreversible. Changing your archetype requires a fresh start.
These gameplay disparities, present from the first few minutes, become more pronounced as the game progresses. ECA agents are given access to a variety of powers (eight per class). In addition, they also gain passive abilities that help them stay in control of events. Within the same class, you can forge your way by choosing skills, including weapons and equipment. All based on your appropriate playstyle.
The final game
People Can Fly offers more than the bare minimum in this regard. The Outriders’ fun comes from the loot. It rewards players for exploring the planet Enoch, eliminating enemy forces, and completing mission objectives.
Every new release comes with profits of whatever form the studios can conjure up. Weapons and gear can be modified to increase the Outriders’ power and effectiveness on the battlefield. All thanks to a rarity system that RPG fans are familiar with. There is a plethora of opportunities for agents to go beyond their mere human status, including manufacture, purchase, and resale.
Indeed, Enoch is fraught with challenges. These are translated into the game through a “world level” which gradually increases the difficulty of the game. As well as the rewards that come with it if you’re successful. Completing the main story and side quests is just the beginning of this planet’s adventure. The true goal of the Outriders is to reach the endgame.
The “old generation” versions of the Outriders needn’t feel bad when compared to their new generation counterparts. The weight of the years in terms of hardware is noticeable in the frame rate. As are the loading times and display resolutions, which affect gaming comfort a bit without being crippling.
The People Can Fly and Square Enix game retains all the qualities and flaws of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox series versions on PS4 and Xbox One, starting with a hard-hitting combat system, an addictive rise to power of the avatar, a mysterious planet Mysterious Enoch, but also a general instability that has resulted in multiple crashes.