Outriders is a game that has you tearing off your headphones and swearing at the screen, saltier than a bag of pretzels, just to sit back stoically, dry your tears and get back into battle after about 10 seconds.
Stinging the anxious part of your lizard’s brain that secretes furious dopamine feels so perfect that you’re constantly dancing on the blade of temple outbursts of rage and unblinking excitement.
Sometimes it’s incredibly aggravating, and sometimes you can’t believe where the time has gone because you’re so preoccupied.
This is Outriders’ biggest strength and weakness, and it’s in full force in this new campaign DLC Worldslayer.
The base game’s World Tiers act like a progress bar, increasing the difficulty when you get too comfortable and making sure the action is always on the cutting edge you can handle.
Worldslayer’s Apocalypse tier functions basically the same, just with a few different modifiers and a chance to get new loot through additional mod slots, so aside from a couple of extra skill trees and a whole new story, it’s more More and more of the same things become better or worse.
Luckily the story is really interesting, even if it still feels like it should be starring Bruce Willis around 2002. After setting up the scene a bit clunky from a grim beginning, you’ll eventually come across some interesting character concepts and begin to unravel some of the deeper secrets of Anno Planet as well as the unusually mysterious nature.
There’s a lot of strong world building and science fiction, but it does fall into some of the same pitfalls as the base story. It still has the same tonal whiplash that has your character climbing up a pile of rotting battered corpses one minute and the action hero joking the next and saying “what do we have here” as they pick up a collection with the same sound Pin Homer Simpson might use when he twists his fingers on a doughnut.
The environment looks as majestic and unfamiliar as ever, but since they’re basically just containers filled with waist-high walls to hide behind, they feel like one of those glass tube walkways in an aquarium – there’s a lot of beauty to be had Stare, but with a detached feeling of being surrounded by invisible walls.
On top of that, some weird gameplay decisions from the base game persist as well. The vampire weapon is still absolutely necessary, any weapon without it is completely useless and will turn your loot into junk.
Also, this isn’t a live service game, so why are you adding a whole bunch of really cool legendary weapons and gear that’s pretty much locked into the postgame event? If the storyline is the main attraction, what’s the point of even having them when you can play the whole game and maybe see one or two if you’re lucky?
And I still think it would be more fun for Outriders to have four skills – even if the fourth is locked to your movement skills – but I’m under the impression that it prevents the game from crashing with too many effects on the screen in multiplayer (thus , it’s already limited to 3-player co-op).
Despite its paradox, The Outsider still has some of the most intense and exciting PvE shooters around – it’s just that sometimes you’re in a puddle on the floor instead of a nameless mob wave.
It’s goofy, nerdy, and dark, with no captives, as it urges your attention from start to finish.
Outriders Worldslayer launches June 30 on PC, Xbox One and Series X/S, PS4 and PS5. Code provided by the publisher.