I got my money’s worth out of it, yeah. At a discount, sure, if you like the type of game it’s a good time even if the end game is still a fustercluck IMO.
Fun for the playthrough but the stuff to do after the end of the campaign was abysmal and the balance in the game was pretty damn bad. As in “here’s an ability that you clear entire screens worth of badguys with almost 100% uptime, or you can use this ability on a 1-minute cooldown that does fuck all” kind of balance. That may have gotten better since.
Just to be the voice of dissent – Outriders is my favorite recent shooter – I really liked the stuff after the campaign. Some really wild remixes of familiar elements into all new areas. Granted, progression at that point comes down mostly to the DPS of your build. And apparently the ultimate post-endgame mission, which I haven’t reached, is a pain in the ass if you’re not playing with other people. But I leveled up all the different characters and I spent plenty of time really digging the post-campaign missions. And I still have plenty more I can do in the campaign.
As for the balance issues, I think the key is working out your own builds instead of reading the internet for the best builds. In other words, do your own meta rather than letting the internet do it for you. There’s something to be said for discovering degenerate strategies on your own instead of just being told about them on reddit, or whatever. Outriders might have tuning* issues, but I was blissfully unaware of them until I read about them here. And even then, I’ve been enjoying my own builds instead of just shifting to different bullet builds (which I think have been nerfed).
So, sure, there are issues with Outriders. But to me, it’s another feather in the cap of the People Can Fly team. Outriders is Bulletstorm, but with the raw insanity of Painkiller instead of the corporate gloss of Bulletstorm.
* Tuning is how you describe single player “balance” because it’s a matter of adjusting how the engine runs, the pace of progression, the efficiency of builds. The art of “balance” is a matter of making all choices viable for multiplayer. Pedantic, perhaps, but I like the distinction.
My kid and I really enjoy it coop. We’ve played around 20 hours now and just have a good time with all the interesting abilities…we both like cover-ish games like The Division and this one was good too.
I think one’s perspective about live-service style looter games matters here.
Where some complain about endgame or post-campaign content I find it a huge plus to have a title that actually has an end-point and doesn’t pad out hundreds of hours of grinding reputation with vendors so you can unlock a certain shader color or whatever. Outriders offers a nice helping of looter shooter fun in a finite package. That seems a bit more rare these days.
That said, if one IS looking for a Destiny- or Warframe-style game that you can grind for hundreds of hours then Outriders won’t deliver that endless treadmill that some gamers love.
I also like Tom’s point about ignoring the online ‘meta’. I do that all the time now, with nearly every game. I find it exceedingly boring to approach a game by going to Reddit and just copy pasting a build that someone else put together. Most of the fun of gaming is the discovery process and trial and error even if my approach is considered inefficient or suboptimal.
It is cool that you can respec all your skill points on the fly, just try a totally new setup to see how it works with any cool new gear you may have found.
One of my main annoyances and why I probably bailed a bit earlier than I otherwise would have on this was that I hit a number of bugs regarding progression. Specifically certain accolades not unlocking when they should have. I tried customer support but they pretty much just shrugged their shoulders, so I was left with a bunch of things on my char that were impossible to complete. Given I wasn’t able to achieve a satisfactory level of ‘completeness’ I felt little desire to try any of the other characters, especially as there was apparently nothing stopping the same problems reoccurring with them too.
Yet another otherwise great game marred by an incompetent launch. It would be remiss of me not to cry about it. (╥_╥)
I think this is 80% true, primarily as a factor of you only being able to swap out one mod out of the two on each weapon/armour piece. You get some leeway, but you’ll always have a nagging feeling that you’re underperforming if the leftover mod doesn’t quite fit your new build. This does, of course, provide motivation to go and farm some more. Whether you then need to drop the difficulty a bit for your new build - and consequently get less loot - becomes the tricky bit to balance.
As I noted in my comment above, it’s a great ride for what it is, and it’s well worth the money. I didn’t mind that it had an end point, though of course different peoples’ opinions of the Expeditions will vary. I’m not a fan of the timed mechanic, but YMMV.
As to the abilities, I generally agree that it’s more fun to fiddle around with different builds rather than finding out what the FOTM cookie-cutter setup might be. The problem here is that if you have even a modicum of understanding of how the game actually works, the number of builds that are actually viable and not just kind of cool to play around with is pretty small. DPS > all means a lot of things, including DoT or survivability builds, are going to be much less effective. And while in a single-player game you can definitely say “who cares?” as long as it is fun, for me, they weren’t fun because the game expects you to be blasting through stuff faster than those builds can manage, and thus everything becomes a long slog.
I’d actually push back on this point. If it’s a slog is a matter of where you put the difficulty. Ultimately, this is an action RPG, and like many action RPGs, you control the difficulty level. If you want to make it a slog, it’s going to be a slog. If you want to spin your wheels progressing more slowly, you’re going to spin your wheels. As with any good action RPG, you find the right pace by adjusting the difficulty as you go, making it harder as you learn the systems, and ultimately stepping the difficulty down if you’re grinding too slowly. Outriders is no different from, say, Diablo III or Agents of Mayhem or whatever in that regard.
Also, the healing model comes into play here, because it’s different for each of the classes and it’s a primary factor in survivability. Some of the classes have more risk/reward here. The pyromancer, for example, relies on tagging a lot of bad guys and then healing when they die. Whereas the tank dude is all about just getting up in monster’s faces and killing them as quickly as possible to keep his health up. It’s much more straightforward way to play.
I don’t doubt there are tuning issues with various builds. Given the breadth of options here, some of them are entirely useless. I’m still scratching my head at some of the gear mods. “When would I ever use that?” is a recurring question I’ve had as I fill out my mod collection. But this breadth gives me a lot of freedom to experiment and try different things, and the flexible difficulty level lets me adjust how quickly I progress as I’m playing with different builds. If Outriders feels like a slog, I’d say that’s on you.
I absolutely agree, Tom. Looking up builds and stuff online robs all the fun for me. Unfortunately in my case, I made the “mistake” of slotting Toxic Rounds (pardon if I didn’t get the name of the skill right, it’s been a few months) and basically broke the game. I think it was that combined with an armor mod or talent that refilled the magazine when killing with Toxic damage just blew everything else out of the water, even though stat-wise I was completely specced wrong for that ability. And unfortunately at that point I was at expeditions which were DPS races, so my choices were either to stick with that or to ignore it and hobble my build. Hobbling my builds also robs the fun out of this sort of game for me, since tweaking and optimizing them is usually what keeps me playing these games.
That said, I had a real blast up until that point. It wasn’t the smoothest or most polished experience, but it was definitely a lot of fun. If they do an expansion or DLC, I plan to circle back. Especially if some of the bigger balance issues have been addressed by then!
Fair enough; I also set the world tier low to blow through stuff that was unnecessarily grindy. So yeah, I’ll have to agree that if you’re ok with lowering difficulty a lot of builds become more viable. I’m just loathe to do that very often, for whatever reasons.
I think we can all agree that Outriders’ appeal to min/maxxers is both a strength and a weakness. :)
Yeah, in general that’s true. I mean, I really liked the hours I put into the game. I will gladly return when they add more content, etc.
I am seeing $ 31.33 over on GMG.
I myself am just gonna wait for it to be in a monthly humble bundle. :P
Ohhh nice catch.
So most people don’t like this but some really like it? I got a new machine that should be able to show off on something like this but I tried the demo and the writing so far is like an autistic robot wrote it. I know that’s not what people play for but it was kinda off-putting. Plus there has been almost zero gameplay so far except for that dumb shooting range. Actually that had the best writing because I don’t think I was doing a good job at shooting but Jakub kept saying l
“I see you’ve been keeping your skills up” or “I sure am glad you’re on our side” except that in a game like this no one should be glad I’m on their side. So it was like he was throwing shade the whole time. Throwing shade is a pretty recent term some people might not be hip to but you can figure it out from context.
The writing is… interesting in this game, though I can understand the objections about it. The best way I can describe why I find it interesting is that it consistently sets up certain expectations then undermines them. Sometimes it does this elegantly and hilariously, but is nearly always nihilistic and misanthropic to boot. So those without a dark sense of humour need not apply.
Unfortunately when you’re looking to do that, to undermine and twist the expectations of lame tropes, you’ve got to… well, write some lame tropes. Can’t break some eggs without the eggs. So to people who skipped everything because it’s all lame tropes - or appears to be - I totally get it, but I also think perhaps they missed out. I don’t want to go to bat for everything here - they didn’t always stick the landing, and perhaps most of the more (darkly, always darkly) humorous bits were in the conclusions of certain side quests rather than the, frankly fucking bleak, main campaign.
I really enjoyed the opening sequence you talk about, though not because, as you say, there’s much gameplay. You land on an idyllic* alien world, run around a bit flipping switches for tropey NPCs and doing some shitty VR shooting range. Yawn. Oh, of course you can guess what’s going to happen as soon as you’re stuffed in the cryopod, but what’s glorious and necessary about all that tropeyness, even the predictability, is that near crash-cut transition for what happens next.
You’ve been kept on a leash for perhaps too long already and your trigger finger’s getting mighty itchy. Good news though, you’re now superman, stuffed into the horrors of cramped WWI style trench warfare. Pick which flavour of superman you want to be and here’s some scratching posts for you relieve yourself with.
You’re not given much, if any time, to really reflect on your new reality. Perhaps if you were to step back a little at this point and consider what your expectations going into the crypod were perhaps you’d conclude that you’d be fighting aliens. I mean, it’s gotta be aliens, right? Weird sci-fi storms and shit on an alien world. Be kinda weird to just be fighting… people… in some awful, muddy, bleak, cannibal apocalypse. Maybe if you kill enough people you’ll get to kill the aliens that were really responsible for this mess. Yeah.* It obviously isn't, we know what we paid for.
I’m one of the ones that likes it, but even we think the opening hour or so is a terrible introduction to the game. I really recommend powering through until you unlock some of the powers and don’t let the tutorial trick you into thinking this is a cover shooter. Unless you’re playing the sniper archetype, you should be getting up in people’s grills as much as possible.
As for the writing, it’s not great, and in many spots is terrible, but by ARPG standards it’s pretty decent. I quite enjoyed the world building, at least early on.
It is very bleak, and hardly Proust, but the combat is great and once you get going it flows along well enough. I hate the endgame but the journey there is well worth the ticket.
Thanks for the replies! Very interesting. I think I’ll jump in.