Outriders: Worldslayer Review (Spoiler Free)
Humanity was finally on the right track. The supplies from the Flores were coming down and civilization once again had a chance. But Enoch isn’t that forgiving. Outriders first paid DLC, Outriders: Worldslayer picks up immediately after the events of the base game. The Outrider and their team have a chance at salvaging much-needed resources to survive. However, the Anomaly is growing stronger and more erratic. Despite humanity’s best efforts, it seems Enoch is doomed. With one final mission to try and save what is left, Outriders: Worldslayer ramps up for an intense narrative of desperate heroism.
At its core, Outriders tells a story of survival. It shows the player the twisted paths humanity has travelled down in an attempt to survive, and it does so with a balanced and well-paced story. Outriders: Worldslayer, unfortunately, feels disjointed in its campaign. On one hand, it hits each major story beat of the Outrider’s journey. It carries the blueprints of a phenomenal tale that continues the form and strength of the original game. In between those beats, however, isn’t much. Players will move from point to point to hit home the big parts of the story, but the downtime in between is confusingly short.
Light On Narrative, Big On Chaos
The story is one of desperation, that time is running out. In that vein, it makes sense to have a crisp, short tale. The biggest draw for Outriders: Worldslayer is of course the end game content, so letting players get to it quicker is a smart choice. At the same time, there is just enough extra narrative content to the campaign. It’s underutilized and makes it clunky.
Almost An Epic Tale
If the goal was to make a faster story and deliver that sense of urgency, there are story beats that could have been removed entirely to make a more streamlined experience. If, however, the idea was to build on the lore of Enoch and tell another epic tale, well, the building blocks are there but they weren’t quite stacked. Ereshkigal herself – Outriders: Worldslayers new big bad in all the marketing – is criminally underused and her motivations fall flat. Despite having the most unique Altered abilities in the series and a great bio in the lore, she doesn’t stand out as she could have.
The real meat of the Outriders: Worldslayer DLC comes from the new end-game content, and this is where it absolutely excels. There is a ton of new weapons and armor pieces to collect, but perhaps the biggest improvement is Apocalypse gear. Weapons and armor can now drop as Apocalypse gear which includes a third mod slot. While it may not sound like much, it’s quite a big deal. Mods provide wildly powerful enhancements to your loadout, and introducing a third slot makes for even more unbelievable god-tier combos. I myself have an LMG that causes a small explosion from successful hits every 1.5 seconds, a significantly larger AoE which triggers on four enemies simultaneously for a ton of damage every 2 seconds, as well as the ability to make critical hits cause a targets’ bones to detonate into shrapnel, dealing Bleed damage to nearby enemies every 3 seconds.
Mods for Miles
That is just one example, and Outriders: Worldslayer offers over 400 mods. The new mod slot gives players a god-level power fantasy but you never feel invincible or without a challenge; you always have to be on your toes. Apocalypse gear brings with it Apocalypse Tiers. This is a new difficulty system that replaces Challenge Tiers from the base game. There are 40 levels of Apocalypse Tier as opposed to 15 Challenge Tiers. This new system – while it may sound daunting – is significantly more balanced in difficulty progression. Going into the next tier doesn’t leave you feeling underpowered before getting better loot. The incremental changes between Apocalypse Tiers are a steady, accessible progression. It doesn’t feel like it’s throwing an insurmountable challenge at you which is great for new players.
Creating The Ultimate Unstoppable Outrider
Another welcome addition in Outriders: Worldslayer is the Pax and Ascension points. Outriders offers three skill trees per class to enhance their characters. Worldslayer’s Pax tree is a smaller, secondary skill tree with two new branches. Players will only unlock five points to put in this tree (with free respec) but the skills on offer here are significantly more potent. Having access to two skill trees adds substantially more customization and build diversity as players can narrow in on exactly how they want their Outrider to feel.
Ascension points, on the other hand, are a fantastic means of maintaining a sense of progression without relying on Apocalypse Tiers or loot drops. After level 30, players earn XP to unlock Ascension points as if they leveling up. There are 200 points to unlock spread across 20 categories. These offer further ways to enhance your character. Unlike typical level progression in Outriders, dying in combat will not reduce your XP bar, so players are always growing. Putting one or two points in a category can create a drastic gameplay improvement, like reducing damage from Elite enemies or increasing the number of bullets in your magazine. It isn’t a groundbreaking system. But it’s very much a welcome one that encourages players to keep pushing forward through the end game.
The Trials Of Tarya Gratar Are Brimming With Potential
Of course, the biggest addition to the game is The Trials of Tarya Gratar. This is a high-level, intense end-game mode designed for squads of three players to run. Expeditions scale in difficulty depending on how many players are present, but Tarya Gratar is always prepped for a full squad. This is a massive, sprawling, ancient city of the Pax where players will find the very best loot. Optional rooms allow Outriders to go after targeted loot, with certain rooms offering specific gear as their reward.
Tarya Gratar takes at least an hour to complete making it a great place to test your skills and your build. I died horribly on my first run in the city, but I grinded a few Expeditions, improved my build, and managed to solo the trial for some seriously amazing loot. It was easily one of the most satisfying end-game experiences I’ve had.
A Great, Gorgeous World
The area itself isn’t random and remains a single structure. However, the weather patterns and type of enemies players encounter will be random each time they enter. The level design is absolutely gorgeous, and Tarya Gratar features a few new enemies not seen anywhere else in the game. A few boss battles are truly unique and fresh (I particularly enjoy battling Okriel, the Traitor) but as it remains in its current state, I can understand players growing stale on it over time. Tarya Gratar is a very, very big place. There is room to add on and enhance the experience with new rooms, bosses, enemies, etc. One secret area has already been discovered within its walls, so maybe there are more.
Outriders: Worldslayer packs a lot of new content into the game. A new campaign, new enemies, difficulty mode, Apocalypse gear, Pax and Ascension points, and of course Tarya Gratar itself. The amount of content here is far more than an update, and the improvements to the game have seemingly revitalized the Outriders community to what it could have been at launch.
The campaign for Worldslayer feels uncomfortably chaotic. It has the story beats of a great tale but doesn’t fully tell the story. If it was meant to deliver a sense of urgency there are aspects that could have been cut. I and many others who played see so much potential for it to have rivalled the narrative of the main game and it’s unfortunate that it is so short. Despite its shortcomings, all of the other new content and enhancements easily make up for it. This is Outriders the way it was meant to be. This is the power fantasy we want to feel in gaming.
**PS5 code provided by the publisher**
- Pax and Ascension System
- Apocalypse Tiers and Gear
- Tarya Gratar is Phenomenal
- Tons of New Loot
- Tarya Gratar Could Use More Boss Variety
- Why is the Story so Short?