Review: Outriders – SENSES

The game mechanics are recognizable, but the action-packed and bloody story really raises the rating!

NASA has orders from the President to carry out a manned trip to March no later than 2033. To set foot on another planet has been a dream for centuries. IN Outriders we follow one of two giant ships sent from the dying planet Earth and 83 years later it reaches its destination; a paradise like no other. Our avatar is among the first to set foot on the new planet. It quickly turns out (of course) that not everything is right. The planet is many times more dangerous than the reports have shown and worse than that fact is that it quickly breaks out mutiny and the small population is divided into two camps. 31 years later the war is still raging and now it’s up to you to survive and maybe find the answers to the riddles surrounding the new planet.

Outriders - Press image: Square Enix - copyright 2021 - Man zaps enemy with blue lightning.
Press image: Square Enix

Outriders is a nice combination of many games, both open-world and looter shooters. For the most part, it is very reminiscent of how The Division is built. You move freely and can take different assignments that you get from different people in your vicinity. Then there are the main missions that take the story forward. Precis som i Division you have places that are safe that you can travel to quickly and in safe zones there is your box with equipment. The missions provide various perks and upgrades and other players populate the world; you can choose to team up with up to three of them them to co-op-fight together. The shoot-and-run part is recognizable from Gears of War and just like in that game, the world is cluttered with knee-high protection that you can hide behind (!). Then, on top of this, there is a deep story where you can talk to different characters with quite long dialogue sequences such as in for example Fallout.

Outriders - Press image: Square Enix - copyright 2021 - Action pose.
Press image: Square Enix

First out, it’s time to create your avatar and even if it may not be as advanced and detailed as in for example Monster Hunter Rise so you can still create a completely unique character. After going through a simpler tutorial part, you will enter the game and after a traumatic event for your avatar, you will then have to choose a class (hello, Destiny). There are four different classes; Technomancer, Pyromancer, Trickster and Devastator. Each class has its unique abilities that give you an advantage over your enemies. I chose Devastator and thus my avatar became more or less a tank in miniature. Your skin can turn to stone, you can jump and crush your enemies or stomp on the ground so they are thrown over and damaged. If you choose Trickster, for example, it is more of a stealth class where you sneak up on the enemy instead of attacking them straight on.

Outriders - Press image: Square Enix - copyright 2021 - Monster roar.
Press image: Square Enix – It is a rather life-threatening fauna on the new planet…

Outriders is insanely bloody and brutal, but in some strange way without indulging in it. The game has really taken hold that war is hell. Outriders need a very powerful console to work optimally and I drove both on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro and it was with difficulty that it held together (the game is also released on the next-gen consoles and I will return with impressions from them). The charging times are quite long and in many places the story is interrupted for the next section to load and then you lose a little momentum. It really is not a seamless experience to play Outriders unfortunately, which becomes clear when there is an intermediate sequence which then changes to a game sequence. Sad, because the story is engaging and cool and it would have been fun to experience it in the same way as for example Uncharted, where the transitions have been solved perfectly.

Outriders - Press image: Square Enix - copyright 2021 - Man shoots monster.
Press image: Square Enix

In summary, that is Outriders an insanely big and cool game, with an interesting story – but there are a couple of flaws that push down the rating from a must to one warm recommendation. Partly that the game is quite laggy and suffers from long charging times, but also that you often get completely flooded by enemies so you hardly know what is up or down. It thus becomes a rather otight experience, in comparison with, for example Division 2.