Let’s discover the planet Enoch thanks to the Outriders review, the new looter shooter signed by the guys from People Can Fly
In a somewhat sleepy 2021 in terms of full-bodied new videogame releases, it is not surprising how the attention towards Outriders was decidedly high. The work of People Can Fly , developed in collaboration with Square Enix , in fact, can undoubtedly be considered as the most important release of this beginning of the year, also thanks to the surprise inclusion (since day one), to the Xbox Game Pass internal .
The one in question is certainly the most ambitious project of the Polish team, which after having amused us too many years ago with the chaotic Bulletstorm , is ready to put all its knowledge in the action field on the plate in a substantial looter shooter : but the promises will have been kept in their entirety? Let’s find out together in our Outriders review.
In an unspecified future, the Earth is, as usual, on the verge of destruction, weakened by endless wars, climate change and devastating earthquakes that are becoming more and more frequent. Here, then, the only hope for mankind translates into the remote planet Enoch , a celestial body that promises to be the ideal destination for a mass migration. After a journey lasting years, the spaceship Flores manages to reach the orbit of Enoch, and to send a team of explorers to the surface, led by the Outriders , a group within which the brightest minds of mankind are enlisted, and to which we obviously belong to.
In video games as in life, however, not everything can always go the right way, and what was a simple reconnaissance sortie soon ends up turning into a death trap , when a mysterious storm begins to unleash inside the area intended for host the first settlement. A few minutes are enough to precipitate the situation, with the mission that is irremediably compromised and our avatar who finds himself immersed in a cryogenic sleep , from which he will wake up after 30, very long years.
Upon awakening he will discover how the heavenly (albeit not too much) Enoch has fallen into chaos, upset by a war that sees the exiles of the Earth opposed. Aroused abruptly, only to be kidnapped by one of the two warring factions, we will find ourselves abandoned in the middle of the battlefield, to end up enveloped by the aforementioned anomaly, which instead of killing us will give us incredible powers, transforming us into what the new Enoch people define it as Mutation .
Thus began the substantial campaign of Outriders , which we had already had the opportunity to meet thanks to the demo distributed only a few weeks ago: an adventure that, unlike the other looter shooters, turned out to be really substantial (we are talking about 20 hours to reach the credits ), as well as full of some interesting ideas, but which pays the price of a narrative that is not always effective and convincing. The writing of the People Can Fly title , in fact, lives constantly in the balance between ups and downs, alternating a decidedly well-structured lore enriched by numerous collectibles scattered around the game maps, which, however, are contrasted by too sketchy cutscenes.and from the script not always appropriate.
Which is really a shame, given that despite some clichés and a couple of slips at the end, the plot set up by the Polish team manages to intrigue properly, as well as push the player to go ahead to see what will happen. . This dualism between successful and mediocre turns out, unfortunately, to be a constant of the title, which for every aspect of the production ends up contrasting good things with other decidedly revisable ones. But let’s go in order …
Password: Variety – Outriders Review
Going to analyze the playful structure of Outriders , what we are faced with is a looter shooter that, at least on a stylistic level, strongly recalls the aesthetics and mechanics of Destiny , albeit declining everything in the third person. Make way, therefore, to a substantial amount of weapons and equipment available in-game, each with peculiar characteristics and shapes, able to guarantee infinite possibilities of customization : in this respect the work of People Can Fly is certainly commendable, albeit not too much. original, and manages to guarantee freedom of choice and optimal approach to clashes.
Obviously, there is a subdivision of the quality of the objects that varies according to the rarity, a discriminating factor that, in addition to guaranteeing better statistics, sees the presence of some secondary perks , able to guarantee interesting additional effects. Furthermore, for those who are not satisfied, it will be possible to access a basic crafting system , which will allow us to independently increase the effectiveness and level of the various equipment, as well as vary the nature of the changes present.
It is in the characterization of our character , however, that the team seems to have invested all their best ideas, thanks to the presence of the four classes among which it is possible to choose the nature of our personal Mutation . We had already anticipated something at our preview , but it is only once in possession of the complete code that it was possible to realize the excellent work done in this regard. Each of the available specializations, in fact, varies significantly the approach to the game , given the distinct abilities of offense and care that each of them has, and which follow the classic types present in role-playing games.
the Destroyer plays the role of a tank, given its ability to unleash devastating melee attacks; the Pyromancer embodies the essence of canonical magicians, thanks to the ability to hit enemies through the power of fire; the Mysterizer, on the other hand, will be able to bend spacetime to his liking, to appear behind his opponents as a lethal killer; closes the Tecnomante, that is the healer of the group, able to exploit the technology to assist his teammates and strike from a distance.
Four classes for as many distinct play styles, which open the scene to further customizations, thanks to full – bodied dedicated skill trees , which will serve to give life to further sub builds. To close the circle we find 8 unique skills for each class , unlockable as we level up, and which we can equip (up to 3) and modify at will. This marked possibility of customization represents, without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest value of Outriders , given the way in which it makes the approach to the numerous fights that distinguish the game always different. However, it is on the latter that the dualism I mentioned at the beginning begins to manifest itself in a decidedly marked way.
Haven’t we already quartered ourselves? – Outriders review
Being a shooter, it is inevitable that the core of the gaming experience is found in a substantial number of firefights, and in this respect Outriders is certainly in line with expectations. Given the pedigree of the team, it is not surprising (fortunately) the excellent gunplay called to manage everything, which proved to be extremely fun and reactive, highlighting clear steps forward compared to the demo. Everything moves between frontal assaults and intelligent management of the covers , also given the not indifferent amount of enemies that the game will throw up on the screen.
Unfortunately, however, whether we are talking about main or secondary missions, what emerges after a few hours of play is an excessive linearity of the structure of the clashes , which will end up assuming all the same connotations: we will always find ourselves fighting in more or less large arenas. , with enemies that will charge us head down without any variation of the case, and considering the certainly not revolutionary AI that commands them, the only alternative we will have will be given by the nature of our character. The various battles with bosses and minibosses are of little use, certainly not memorable, which only bring on the plate an artificial increase in difficulty, due to opponents who have turned out to be simple bullet sponges: the clashes, in this case, are long and tedious, but more for the quantity of bullets necessary to throw down the threat of the moment, which for particular mechanics and moveset.
Fortunately, to limit this artificiality we think the World Level , a gimmick that recalls the division into Tier of The Division 2 : as we play, in addition to our character, the difficulty of the clashes and the rarity of the rewards will also increase, which will be divided in 15 steps (by finishing the first run we unlocked level 8), but nothing will prevent us from lowering this value at any time, so as to make things easier, and then maybe push everything up again. A really smart idea, which allows you to calibrate the Outriders experience on every type of player.
The alternative to this could, otherwise, lie in the cooperative nature of the production , which although not a game as a service allows you to create teams of up to 4 players , even through cross play between platforms. Too bad that in these days, as confirmed by the developers themselves, the game servers have been plagued by a myriad of problems , a situation that has led this functionality to be practically unplayable: we have encountered continuous disconnections, freezes of the game and sudden closures, with only a couple of sessions completed in over a week of testing (among other things with a not very fluid netcode). In short, certainly not a good debut on the online front .
Lights and Shadows – Outriders Review
Also on the technical side, Outriders lends its side to some criticism, also given the cross -generational nature of the production. Net of a visual impact, however pleasant , there are many flaws that afflict the title on an aesthetic level, at least in the Xbox Series X version we tested: let’s go through animations that are not always convincing (some laughable faces, with mouths that move in a grotesque way !), textures not always up to par, glitches and various interpenetrations, albeit sporadic. The cutscenes, which present episodes of tearing and clothes that flutter mysteriously without any logic, should be reviewed in full. Fortunately, we find asolid frame rate, nailed to 60 frames per second even when the screen is filled with opponents.
Also very successful characterization of the planet Enoch , can provide a variety of settings respectable, able to range between battlefields devastated, ruined city, snow-capped mountains, deserts and much more. Too bad, however, how so much magnificence translates into very basic level design , in practice consisting of macro areas that alternate corridors with open spaces in which to fight, and in which environmental interactivity is almost zero and limited to sporadic gears, a few explosive barrels and the crates with which to refuel bullets.
The audio sector also disappoints , with a really poor effect (some machine guns seem to be loaded with lightning bolts!) And a discreet dubbing that does not scream a miracle. And that is often abruptly interrupted during the transition between play and cutscene phases. On the other hand, the performance of the console’s SSD is excellent, capable of making the numerous loads that intersperse the action practically instantaneous. Before closing, however, a dutiful applause must be addressed to the guys from People Can Fly , who have managed to keep their promises, in terms of content, which have accompanied Outriders since the announcement : the game does not present any form. of microtransaction, and all the aesthetic customizations of the character and the armored vehicle that we will use to move from area to area can be obtained simply by playing.
Even in terms of playful content, the team certainly did not spare itself, given that many secondary missions are added to a long-lived and satisfying campaign, as well as an endgame that is certainly able to guarantee additional hours of fun . Once the adventure is over, in fact, we will be able to embark on the Expeditions , new missions with increasing difficulty, which once completed will open the way to a sort of Destiny-style raid . Ultimately, there is enough meat on the fire, but it remains to be understood how the team intends to support everything in the long term.
The Outriders demo had left us tepid about the goodness of the latest effort of People Can Fly , and in a sense the final version failed to completely sweep our various doubts. If it is true that the game is based on a playful structure that is certainly not revolutionary, as well as weakened by a decidedly monochord general design, it is undeniable how, pad in hand, the high playability manages to mitigate the marked repetitiveness that marks the general progression. . Furthermore, it would be unfair not to reward the extreme variety of approaches that the customization of our character allows us, capable of shaping the gaming experience on the nature of each player.
Long-lived and full-bodied, the proposed experience is certainly not to be thrown away, but it is undeniable how greater care in the general packaging would have guaranteed the status of a small masterpiece to the new work of the Polish team. We hope that the long-term support ends and manages to correct the shot a little.