The Outriders Demo is finally here and having completed all the missions, sidequests, and maxed out the Character Level at 7 and World Tier at 5, I figured I’d give my impressions on the demo.
If you are a fan of the site or follow me on twitter (@VaultHunterMatt , shameless plug), then you know I’ve been excited and heavily promoting People Can Fly’s Outriders. The Looter Shooter genre is my favorite type of gaming. The Borderlands series is my absolute favorite and I liked Destiny and The Division (I never played Destiny or The Division‘s sequels tho).
With the exception of the Borderlands series, most Looter Shooters are Online Only, which for most people isn’t a big deal but it is for me. Why? I am one of the lucky whose only internet provider is Satellite internet. I live in the boonies. I have no cell phone signal and can only get Satellite internet.
Satellite internet does not allow online gaming. Sure, I can access the servers but that’s about it. Satellite internet is about the equivalent of dial-up internet. It’s awful. It’s the absolute worst. My local electric provider has finally announced they will be offering fiber internet to all its customers but I’m not expecting to get it until three to five years from now.
So concerning the Outriders demo, the first thing I’m going to mention is that it too is also an Online Only game. Sigh. You have to access their servers to play the game. If you’re playing the game or in the middle of a cut scene and you lose connection to their server then you’re booted all the way back to the Login In screen and have to restart from the last save point.
But my question is why? Why does this have to be an Online Only game? Why can’t it be like Borderlands where you connect to their server and get Hotfixes but can play the game without being online? Outriders isn’t a massive multiplayer game like Destiny or The Division. I never recall seeing them mention the game is Online Only and since they talked about how you can play it single player I just assumed the game could be played Offline. But no. So I’ve had constant problems accessing the servers and being booted from the servers in the middle of playing. It’s not fun. This game should be playable Offline but whatever. That’s just my soapbox.
Having got that out of the way I can say that I absolutely love this game. I won’t say it has exceeded my expectations but it has matched them (and I had high expectations of this game). The game has it’s faults but the team making the game has heard them and been actively responding. I don’t know if they’ll solve all the issues before the games release but it’s clear they will solve them eventually.
I’ve only played as the Technomancer so far so I can’t yet speak to how the game plays with the other classes but I’ve watched tons of gameplay videos and each character class is clearly separate. You really won’t have the same gameplay style for each class.
The Technomancer is meant to be played as long range so sniping and taking cover is the style, while the other styles are mostly run and gun. Using and placing gadgets is the key. And the Technomancer regenerates health on any damage, so this style of gameplay is best suited for me.
The duck and cover system isn’t the best but it works well enough. It could use a little work. But the rest of the gameplay is good enough! I like using the different types of guns, gadgets, and abilities. All that feels nice.
I love the loot! I’ve yet to find a Legendary item but I’ve been able to find some Blue Rarity items that synergize well with my abilities and gadgets! And when you get good synergy you feel powerful.
I do not like it that when I’m in the inventory screen or any other screen the game doesn’t pause. So when you get a new item, you have to wait until you cleared all the enemies in the area before you dare check you inventory screen.
Also, the levels seems small and bland. Sure, we are only getting the opening areas but they seem cramped and dark. To get to a new area is usually going to a specific spot and pressing an action button which usually does a quit cutscene or loading screen before taking you to the next area (mind you I’m playing on PS5 so the loading times aren’t bad at all).
But the shortness of the levels and constantly having to “load” up the next area seems excessive. And then there’s stuff like seen in the tweet below. What should be a simple button tap to perform an action and jump over the bridge, you have to hold a button to perform the short cut scene and then load time. That kind of stuff happens a lot in this demo and I imagine it’s like that throughout the whole game.
Surprisingly, this game has a lot of cutscenes. Way more cutscenes than it needs it seems. Some are very short and almost pointless. I think the game is more story driven than a lot of us expected. There are also some audio and visual syncing issues and sometimes in cutscenes my characters eyes are creeping me out. Again, this is a demo so it can be improved.
And speaking of cutscenes, I hope you like shaky cam. OH MY GOD! The camera shakes constantly. And it’s not a small shake. It’s major. It’s as if all the cutscenes were filmed during the world’s longest and strongest earthquake. It doesn’t bother me that much but it’s bothering just about everyone else. Like going with Online Only, I don’t know why they went with having this much shaky cam. Unfortunately, I don’t think it can be fixed without redoing ALL the cutscenes which they won’t do.
Running causes a motion blur that doesn’t really bother me but according to Twitter it is upsetting a lot of people. They have promised to create an option to turn if off or on in the final game.
Also, you can’t jump. I’ve never understood why some games don’t have a jump mechanic. And there are lots of places you think you can climb or hurdle over and you can’t and that’s off-putting as well.
I do like that you can replay quests that you’ve already beaten. Instead of just reloading a zone with baddies the next time you travel through it, you can reactivate the quest and replay it fighting the same baddies but also having the abilities to reopen chests in that quest.
Unfortunately you only get 2 skill points in the demo which isn’t enough to get a good grasp of your skills. But, you do see the entire skill trees so you can plan ahead when the game finally releases.
There’s not much customization options to your character. Hopefully they’ll release more options through the game’s lifespan.
This game isn’t for everyone. It is for me though. There’s still a lot of potential in this game. People Can Fly have made it clear they are listening and willing to communicate often with the fans. Hopefully this means like Gearbox with the Borderlands games, they will continue to work on the game and improve it constantly.
I love this game… I just wish I could play it offline.