More than four years in the making and after a few delays, People Can Fly’s Outriders is out on April 1st for Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and Google Stadia. As a brand new IP from the studio that brought us Bulletstorm and Painkiller, Outriders is a third person action RPG looter shooter that may seem similar to the competition but has its own unique hooks. Let’s take a look at 15 things you should know before buying the game.
Story and Setting
Outriders is set on the planet Enoch as humanity attempts to colonize it. However, after investigating a strange signal and going up against a huge storm, the surviving colonists and other inhabitants of the planet gain mysterious powers. The player begins in the First City and ventures out into the world, once again in search of the signal and a chance for hope. Players will create their own characters – though appearance can be changed afterwards – and there are dialogue trees that can change certain conversations (though this doesn’t affect the overall story flow).
The main calling card of Outriders is its combat. Though cover is an option, players are encouraged to attack enemies head-on, since slaying foes is the primary method for healing. Gunplay is key but it’s your abilities, which vary depending on each class, that will be doing some of the heaviest lifting. Outside of combat, you’ll be exploring the world, talking to NPCs and vendors, and taking on side quests for loot.
The four classes available at launch are Devastator, Pyromancer, Technomancer and Trickster. Each has three different class trees that can provide weapon damage increases, healing, power bonuses and much more, offering a strong amount of customization.
The Devastator is your tank, entering the fray with attacks like Earthquake and Gravity Leap to interrupt foes. It can also have 65 percent damage reduction for 8 seconds or generate a barrier against incoming enemy projectiles and then send them right back. The Pyromancer is a mid-range fighter that can, as the name indicates, use all kinds of fire. Heatwave will burn all enemies in its way; Thermal Bomb will interrupt and afflict an enemy – killing it will then create a huge explosion; and Immobilize lets you pull a foe towards you and drain their health.
Technomancer is an interesting support class that can throw proximity mines, place Cryo Turrets and missile launchers, and even create a rocket launcher or mini-gun for its personal use. Alternatively, it can heal players and turrets over great distances. Trickster is also a close quarters combatant but it can paralyze, slow and interrupt foes with Temporal Slice, trap them in a bubble and slow them for 10 seconds, and also quickly behind enemies.
Weapons are broken up into fairly standard categories – you have assault rifles, automatic shotguns, bolt action rifles, pistols, light machine guns, submachine guns and so on. However, given the game’s looter shooter core, you can expect to find some fairly unconventional weaponry. This is best reflected in Legendary weapons. For instance, there’s Rarog’s Gaze, a rifle whose shots can cause explosions and inflict weakness on foes within a 5 meter radius (while also dealing burn dame). Aerie Master is a Legendary pump action shotgun whose shots will lift enemies into the air for 5 seconds, while Legendary double gun Amber Vault gains 30 percent increased damage for 30 seconds on each kill, stacking up to 5 kills.
So how will loot drops work in the game? As revealed by lead game designer Piotr Nowakowski to WCCFTech, loot is determined by World Tiers and not restricted to specific bosses or levels. Also, while you can find universal loot that can be equipped by any class, items will only drop for your current class. If you make more than one class, then you can trade loot between them via a shared stash.
Much like Torment levels in Diablo 3 or World Tiers in The Division, World Tiers in Outriders are difficulty levels that will increase enemy levels while also provide a higher chance for better loot, including higher level items and Legendaries. You can set the World Tier beforehand, making it higher or lower as needed, though dying too much can drop you down a World Tier. One nice touch is that unlocking a new World Tier confers rewards like Resources packs, higher level weapons and Accolades which can be used to unlock emotes and customize banners.
Though it’s not currently available in the demo, crafting presents several different options. There’s the option to improve the primary parameter of Unusual or Rare items and unlock another mod for them. By using shards, it’s possible to raise gear attributes, though specific shards correspond to specific attributes. Shards can be obtained by disassembling items. Gear can be equipped with different mods, which are divided into three tiers with Tier 3 being for Legendary mods (obtainable only from Legendary weapons and armor).
While crafting, locate a weapon or armor with the mod you desire. Choose to mod that onto another weapon or armor of your choice and the first item will be dismantled in the process. Once that mod has been unlocked however, it will remain available in your mod list for future use. You can also swap a weapon’s variant, like changing an assault rifle from full-auto to single shots. Finally, you have the option to level up an item, thus re-rolling its attributes, though it’s maximum cap will depend on your current level.
So you’ve completed the campaign and all of its side quests. What’s next? Expeditions, which make up the end-game and provide brand-new levels and challenges to tackle. Set in 15 different locations, they won’t have enemies dropping loot. Instead, all loot is earned at the end and you’re encouraged to clear the mission as quickly as possible for better rewards. Progressing through Expeditions means navigating different challenge tiers, which will subsequently unlock new missions as you progress (though enemies will also get tougher). For those seeking the very best loot, including level 50 weapons and gear, Expeditions are the ticket.
So how many hours are you looking at in total? When speaking to WCCFTech, game director Bartosz Kmita and narrative designer Szymon Barchan estimated about 20 hours for the main campaign. Go through all the side activities and quests and that will add up to 40 hours in total. Add the end-game content for another 20 hours and you have about 60 hours of playtime. However, it was noted that those seeking to perfect their build will have to invest a lot more time to do so than someone who’s simple there for the story. In short, there’s plenty to grind for those who want to.
Outriders supports online co-op for up to three players though it won’t have dedicated servers for playing. There’s also no trading, so you can’t just give someone a sick Legendary you’ve found. In-game chat is also missing though the developer explained that this was due to “other aspects” that had to be considered. In the meantime, it will work to “figure out something.” On the bright side, matchmaking is available and the game will warn you of spoilers when matching with someone who may be further along in the story.
Not Live Service
It’s been said before but bears repeating – this isn’t a live-service game or games-as-a-service title. Despite being online-only, which may raise questions about its live-service aspect, game director Bartosz Kmita told IGN that, “We are not chopping the content we have created to release it month by month. We are giving all what we have created on day one.” There are no loot boxes, pay to win mechanics or microtransactions. Everything in the game is unlocked by simply playing the game.
Another nice addition is that cross-play between all platforms will be available at launch (it’s currently in the demo but in beta form). That means Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and Stadia players can all group together without any issues. Matchmaking between Steam and Epic Games Store players will also be available.
PC Requirements and features
Along with cross-play, Outriders also supports DLSS, ultra wide-screen displays and dynamic resolution scaling on PC. Key remapping, UI customization and different graphical settings will also be included. In terms of requirements, the minimum requirements include an Intel i5-3470 or AMD FX-8350, a GeForce GTX 750 Ti or Radeon R9 270x and 8 GB of RAM. This will run the game at 720p resolution and 60 FPS. Recommended requirements include an Intel i7-7700 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600, a Geforce GTX 1060 6GB or Radeon RX 480 8GB and 16 GB of RAM for 1080p/60 FPS performance. There’s also an Ultra preset whose hardware is yet to be detailed but in all cases, you’ll need 70 GB of installation space for the game.
4K/60 FPS on Xbox Series X/S and PS5
Not only will Outriders run at 4K/60 FPS on Xbox Series X and PS5, but it will also run at the same resolution and frame rate on Xbox Series S. Xbox One and PS4 run the game at 1080p/30 FPS performance while Xbox One X and PS4 Pro can it at 4K/30 FPS. The good news is that free upgrades are supported, thus allowing previous gen owners to get it for free on Xbox Series X/S and PS5.
People Can Fly has already talked about this being a complete experience with no live-service elements. However, it still wants to provide some measure of post-launch support. Speaking to WCCFTech, Nowakowski said that while the goal was a complete package for release, “talking about the things that may come later, it really depends on the players. How they will react, if they will be interested, if we will build a huge player base. We have the ideas, of course, but for now, there’s nothing we can promise.” Said ideas would be more akin to new elements than adding missing features though. You can also expect some tweaking for the meta if it becomes too stale.