Outriders Breakdown – Next Gen Looter Shooter Evolved
The Outriders Broadcast dropped a whole lot of information to keep us going until the next installment, offering up new details on the game’s customization options, dynamic difficulty features, as well as a closer look at the Trickster class. We’ve gone ahead and put together an in-depth analysis of the Trickster in another article but today we are focusing on the other announcements from the broadcast, as well as a few bonus snippets of information we gleaned while sitting down with Game Director Bartosz Kmita and Design Director Piotr Nowakowski.
As mentioned during the broadcast, shooters often need to display a lot of information without taking up too much of the screen’s real estate. The team at People Can Fly want Outriders to be friendly to players of all types, and so they’ve given gamers the option to pick and choose just what they want on screen on the fly. You will not, unfortunately, be able to re-arrange, reposition, or customize these options but the number of features to be toggled off and on based on your preference is pretty staggering. Here is a quick side-by-side of of some of the adjustments you can make:
The largest focus during the broadcast is Outriders’ dynamic difficulty system. At its heart, Outriders is an RPG shooter. Players will earn experience to level up and upgrade their character, but the game will also adjust itself based on your proficiency in combat. Known as World Tiers, this will have its own experience bar on screen. The more effective you are in combat, the faster your World Tier will level up and unlock a new difficulty. Each progressive World Tier brings with it more difficult enemies, more experience, and better loot. Should you die you’ll lose a small percentage of your World Tier experience to stop you from getting too ahead of yourself. The fact this isn’t tied into your character XP is fantastic as you’ll still be able to get stronger. Your World Tier level can be adjusted on the fly but cannot be set to a level you have yet to unlock.
Each World Tier starting at level 4 offers players not only better loot, but the ability to equip loot of a higher level than the player as long as they are within that difficulty setting. For example, should you be a level 20 Pyromancer in World Tier 9, you will unlock and be able to equip gear up to 6 levels higher than you. Find a shiny new level 26 assault rifle? Have fun, but if you drop to World Tier 8 which only allows for gear 5 levels higher, you’ll have to find something else until you level up. This creates a dynamic difficulty vs. reward system to keep players on their toes.
Finally, when playing in a squad of up to three players, enemies will scale up in terms of strength, armor, level, and sheer number. This makes the game retain its challenge and keeps the game fun whether you play with friends or solo. Bartosz and Piotr confirmed that, should a player drop out of the game mid skirmish, the next wave of generated enemies will adapt to the new player count, so this adjustment in difficulty happens very quickly in game and won’t leave you overwhelmed. It’s also worth noting when playing in a squad that one player will be the host player and has soul control over what the World Tier is set to. You’ll still be able to unlock and equip gear based on that difficulties rules, however upon returning to solo play you may have gear you can’t use if you were on a higher difficulty than you might normally play.
A New Enemy: The Perforo
I don’t know about you, but I hate playing a sci-fi shooter and my enemies are just other humans. We got a sneak peek at one of Enoch’s core enemy groups: the Perforo. Originally a native species of the planet, when the First City became irradiated and bombarded by the anomaly, the local creatures evolved into these horrific creatures. Acting like a bestial faction for the Outriders to take on, the developers were hesitant to touch on what other creatures we may encounter, or if indeed there are other alien factions to worry about, but rest assured the Perforo are going to be a challenging and varied enemy species.
Outriders: Another Animal Entirely
It is easy at a quick glance to assume Outriders is just another microtransaction-riddled, games as a service shooter like we have seen many times before. It takes very little effort to see that this simply isn’t the case. Knowing this has been some of the hot-button questions to come up, I asked Bartosz and Piotr what they felt made Outriders stand out against games like Destiny and Anthem, to which they offered an honest and heart-felt answer: story. On the surface Outriders is a looter-shooter, but they built the game with a heavy focus on narrative and world building, taking considerable inspiration from RPG and fantasy games to create a story you can be immersed in. The core focus of Outriders is to make an RPG experience that happens to use looter-shooter mechanics, not the other way around.
This follows closely into a point they made about the four classes of Outriders. Destiny finds its balance in 3 distinct classes which – for all intents and purposes – aren’t terribly different from one another. Anthem finds its balance in four classes which are a little more unique from one another. What the team at People Can Fly revealed is that Outriders was not intended to be a class-based experience. They originally envisioned you having access to a slew of powers and abilities, but their vision grew so complex it no longer became user-friendly. They took their ideas and broke them into groupings most easily defined as classes, however as you’ll see in our Trickster spotlight, the customization options do not force you to play any one particular way. You’ll find an incredible amount of freedom in making your Outrider your own.
The Outriders Broadcast closed out with an FAQ section hosted by Community Manager Robbie Palmer. His answers can be summed up as such:
– No, Outriders is NOT a games as a service experience. It is a complete game from start to finish.
– Outriders is in the final stages of polish, balancing, and debugging.
– No, Outriders will NOT have microtransactions.
– No, Outriders will NOT use Denuvo.
– What we have seen so far is only a slim part of the world of Enoch.
Outriders is on track for release holiday 2020, and will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC simultaneously. For more information, check out the game’s official website.