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Outriders (DEMO) – Preview

Outriders is the newest game by Square Enix and People Can Fly. It is a three-player RPG that supports crossplay, and it takes place in a future where the Earth is no longer a viable planet to live on thanks to constant war and climate change. The human race makes a last-ditch effort for survival by traveling to the planet Enoch.

After detecting a signal on Enoch, you come across a weird storm dubbed the Anomaly, which wreaks havoc upon you and your allies. The player is then put to cryosleep for 30 years, and when you awaken, the world has been rebuilt with new allies, new threats, and you have a lot of catching up to do after all that has happened over the years.

Players can create their character, and thankfully your creation will have a voice during cutscenes. This is very nice to have in games like this, as most player characters remain silent. As an RPG looter-shooter, you’ll find yourself grinding for gear, and while this isn’t always a bad thing, it is to be expected from past games similar to Outriders.

There are four classes to pick from, and all offer a unique playstyle that will cater to any player, and players will have to work together to help make fights easier and faster to earn that sweet loot.

The Devastator is the tank class of the game. They use the power of gravity and ground to make them a hard-hitting threat up close, while also being able to protect themself by encasing themselves in rock. Bullet Deflect was my go-to skill, as the Devastator is my main class and will be the first I max out in the full release.

The Pyromancers are the medium-range specialists, being able to use fire as their abilities, casting firewalls across the battlefield, and placing thermal bombs. They drain the enemy health bars quickly, as well as deal damage over time as the enemy burns after the initial hit.

The Trickster is a close-range, fast-hitting class, similar to rogues from other RPG games. They can slow time, creating a bubble to slip past bullets and close the gap to start killing. Or you can just straight up teleport behind a target and get those cheeky hits in. Whatever suits you best.

The Technomancer is the wildcard of the game, and from my personal experience, it can be played in two major ways, the first being a support class with great crowd control skills. Alternatively, they can deliver high-power artillery with a long-range for most attacks. They can deal significant damage while being safely covered away from the fight. The best skill the Technomancer has to offer is being able to heal allies.

On the topic of healing, each class has a way to recover health on their own, so if you are playing and don’t have a Technomancer in the squad, you are still able to heal. Devastators and Tricksters will regain health on each kill within close range, with the Trickster also regaining some shielding. The Pyromancer will heal when a target they have marked is killed. Finally, the Technomancer will regain health each time they hit an enemy, which makes sense given you want the healer to survive.

The controls for Outriders is easy to pick up, as it uses the common layout for most other looter-shooters. Visually it is a pretty game, but I did happen to notice a few mistakes during cutscenes, with the most notable being that the characters were meant to have blood on them, but instead it was just red shaded on the texture and looked very off.

Audio and I cannot warn you enough, particularly if you are going to play it wearing headphones, but when the game launches the volume is booming. This is something I heard a few complaints about, as people had to lower the sound levels right away. Other than that, the audio is good. Gunfire sounds fine, the audio in cutscenes didn’t have any stuttering, but the subtitles did not line up with the spoken dialogue.

Progress made in the demo will cap out at player level seven, but missions can be replayed, so you’ll be able to re-run missions as there are legendary drops you can get in the demo, and your progress will carry over from the demo to the main game. I did find the missions to be a bit on the short side of things, though I hope that was just for the sake of the demo. There are a few bugs present, but they are not game-breaking. I am looking forward to full release, and I am particularly keen on seeing how the story unfolds, and what may be in the endgame for Outriders.

Written by: Shane Walsh



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