Outriders: What we know of Square Enix’s sci-fi looter shooter

Outriders

Outriders is an upcoming third-person looter shooter set in a hostile planet from publisher Square Enix and developer People Can Fly. In addition to its upcoming scheduled release for current-generation systems, it will also be available for next-generation consoles. Players will be able to play online with up to two other friends, with the story focusing on your character, humanity’s last hope of survival. Nerd Reactor got the chance to attend a hands-on preview event in February, and here are the things we have learned.

Outriders Is Coming Holiday 2020 to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X

There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, including the actual release dates and the full list of launch titles. One of the things that’s for certain is that Outriders will be coming to the next-generation consoles. In addition, it will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Expect the game to be released during Holiday 2020.

Outriders Is Developed by People Can Fly

People Can Fly is a Polish studio founded in 2002, and it has developed high-profile titles using the Unreal engine. The developer is known for Bulletstorm, Gears of War: Judgement, and Painkiller. Next up is the studios’ most ambitious RPG shooter, Outriders.

Outriders: The Co-Op RPG Shooter

In Outriders, you’ll be able to play by yourself or up to 2 other friends. With different classes and powers, you and your teammates will be able to perform deadly combos against a horde of enemies looking to take you down.

Some online looter games try to balance the game so that you can play with a high-level friend. If you’re joining a friend who’s higher than you, you can still hold your own instead of dying instantly like in Borderlands 3 and The Division 2. With Outriders, it looks like someone with a low level will struggle when they join a host who is at a higher level. As for the difficulty when playing with more players, the enemies will be tougher.

The game will have a matchmaking system, and the main goal is to make sure it won’t break the story. There are no plans for PvP, so expect a game focused on PvE.

Outriders’ Character Creation and Customization

Outriders will feature custom character creation where you can choose your gender, race, hairstyle, beard, scars, makeup, and more. Since this is a looter shooter, you can get different types of weapons and armor by killing enemies. For some looter shooters, you’ll need to get better gear to advance the higher levels, but what if you want to keep the gear you already have to progress? Outriders will allow you to upgrade your existing gear.

When choosing your gender, there will be two voices, one for the female version and one for the male version. This will disappoint some players if they are creating a character and are envisioning a certain type of voice for that character.

Earth Is No More

Outriders is set in a future where Earth has been destroyed thanks to war and climate change. Two huge colony ships were sent to a hostile planet of Enoch. An Outrider’s mission is to find a safe area for landing the rest of the colony, but a storm has ruined their mission. It caused some Outriders to be torn apart, but others have changed. You play as one of the altered Outriders, who is sent back to cryosleep in order to get help. 30 years later, you are reawakened, only to find that the colony has settled, and are in a civil war. There is a signal on the planet, and it could be the very thing to help the future of humanity.

Outriders Will Have 4 Different Classes

The game’s prologue is an introduction to how your character gets his or her powers. Set in the future, a dangerous substance from the hostile planet of Enoch has given you powers, and you’ll be able to unlock your true potential as you progress in the game. You can choose between 4 different classes, each with their own unique skills. The classes revealed so far are Devastator, Pyromancer and Trickster. The fourth class hasn’t been revealed yet.

Unleash Deadly Powers with Your Skills

Credit: Square Enix/People Can Fly

Tricksters are able to teleport and manipulate time to slow down enemies. They also have a powerful melee attack that can turn enemies into skeletons.

Credit: Square Enix/People Can Fly

Pyromancer specializes in controlling fire, and one of our favorite moves has enemies exploding into a bloody mess.

Credit: Square Enix/People Can Fly

The Devastator acts as the tank and can turn into a golem for protection, damage enemies from a jump, and release a shockwave to damage and knock back enemies, and more.

The more you level up, the more skills you will unlock. Once they are unlocked, you can assign them to any of the available slots. These skills will have a cooldown, so you’ll need to strategize when using them.

In addition to using skills, you can improve your character via upgrades like increasing health points bonus or increasing armor bonus, which you can purchase using class points. To gain points, you’ll need to reach a certain level for your character.

Online Campaign Will Focus on Your Character

When playing by yourself or with friends, you are the main character of the story. Other online games will have you and your group at the forefront, but with Outriders, your character will be at the forefront. Your friends will show up after the cutscenes are over. Because of this, there is more emphasis on your character as an important figure in saving humanity.

Outriders Won’t Have Branching Stories

The main character will be morally gray, and you won’t necessarily have choices during situations on how to proceed. The character will be more brutal by default, for example, you’ll kill an enemy in a cutscene who’s in your way. In other words, you won’t have an option on how your character will react, and there will be plenty of moments where your character will kill without question. There will be no branching stories, and the character will have his or her own personality free from the player’s influence.

We’ve had the chance to play three hours of Outriders, and the combat so far has been brutal and intense. Using the skills from the different classes was exhilarating as you see enemies turn to bones or explode in the air. So far it’s shaping up to be another fun and solid looter shooter.

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John Nguyen
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