Polish People Can Fly studio in cooperation with Square Enix releases a new game. Outriders is a looter shooter that takes a handful of genre classics and adds something from itself. I have already had the opportunity to see how the title planned for the end of 2020 falls into practice.
After three decades in hibernation, I penetrate the sand-covered ruins. I don't even know what happened to this world, but I'm hiding behind cover - mutants are everywhere. Tick. Tick. End of magazine. They're already surrounding me, but I'll let them smoke. I have a new gun and helmet, and I will teleport behind the sniper's back. I will slaughter them with the innocents ...
Developers from People Can Fly are undoubtedly solid craftsmen. In their portfolio they already have slightly dusty brands such as Painkiller or Bulletstorm, but they also prepared a spin-off of Microsoft's flagship shooter series called Gears of War: Judgment.
Now, in cooperation with its publisher, which is Square Enix, the Polish studio wants to take the reins again. Developers want to prove that they are not only skilled craftsmen, but also artists. Their new game is a title from the AAA category and a completely new IP.
What do you need to know about Outriders ?
Developers include Outriders in the RPG genre, but it only fits the term in the context of tables. After a few hours, I have no doubt that Outriders will fight for time, wallets and hearts of fans of series such as Destiny and The Division and may appeal to players disappointed with Anthem.
Outriders is a shooter that you can play alone, but the game allows you to pair or threes. The campaign full of cut-scenes will take about 40 hours before the endgame grind begins. However, there is no point in counting on moral choices characteristic of RPGs. The plot should be long and engaging, but linear.
And no wonder, since Outriders is primarily a cooperative looter shooter.
The game belongs to the increasingly popular sub-genre of shooters, which consist primarily in defeating during repetitive missions successive swarms of enemies and being sponges to damage bosses, preferably in cooperation with other players. The reward is a chance to get better equipment.
The developers in the talks convinced me, however, that Outriders puts an extraordinary emphasis on single-player experience. The movie campaign is a story that begins with a flourish and guides the player through subsequent missions. Cooperation with other players is suggested - but not required.
I hope it will be so because many people prefer to play alone and often looter shooters are boring.
After the first show it is impossible to say whether this difficult art will succeed, but I see the potential here. I played alone at the start - and very well, because I could focus on dialogues and look at every corner of the map. It wasn't until the next attempts that I rushed from clash to clash, rushing each other with my companions.
When it comes to mechanics, including shooting from behind the covers, it immediately reminds me of The Division, which I have already mentioned. I also see a trace of Microsoft's Gears, but I was not particularly surprised, since People Can Fly worked as a spin-off subcontractor on this series.
In turn, the style brings to mind more the Rage series.
It should only be noted that, unlike Bethesda, which is also a shooting in a post-apocalyptic world, where firearms with supernatural abilities were married, Outriders is a science-fiction game taken seriously. It's so pure science fiction.
During the game, there are only slight winks in the eye towards the player - a bit like in the context of the mechanics in the Gears of War series - but there is no autoironia characteristic for Rage. Outriders, at least not at this moment, are gaining distance. It's all serious.
I wonder if this will work in Outriders in the long run.
It is years before the fictional reality anchors in the mainstream. Good examples are the Marvel and DC comic universes, the Disney Star Wars saga, the Game of Thrones or the cult Lord of the Rings that has already ended. All these worlds have fans who treat them with almost reverent reverence.
In the case of new IPs, it is really difficult to find something similar, and you have to keep the right balance - on the one hand, it can't be too pompous, so that it does not work artificially, and on the other hand, making fun of yourself destroys immersion. I am not sure if this will work with Outriders.
At first glance, the new People Can Fly game is such generic science fiction with superpowers in the background.
Developers call their game on the website dedicated to the new production shooter "embedded in the original, dark and forcing to fight for survival sci-fi universe." It is a vision of the future in which humanity destroyed our planet and fled to the stars aboard two huge ships.
One of the areca disappeared, and only half of the colonists reached the planet Enoch. In addition, an inexplicable disaster takes place immediately upon arrival. Then follows a time leap, and the hero goes to a completely foreign world and meets this new society with the player.
During the show, I tried to ask the developers if they are going to develop their universe outside of video games.
I was interested in whether this universe will appear in comics or books, for example. My interlocutors did not want to make any binding declarations as early as understandably, but from the conversation I concluded that they would love to talk about the universe they created in other media as well.
However, I have the impression that additional sources will prove to be a nice addition and will not be necessary to understand what this is about. In the demo, information about the presented world is mainly derived from cutscenes, dialogues and numerous documents raised from the ground. Fortunately, this does not overshadow the entertainment itself.
I am also glad that People Can Fly already promises no lootboxes in their looter shooter.
During the presentation, the developers proudly announced that their game will not be so. a game-service that is supported by micropayments. It's bold, considering the genre they chose, but maybe that's what the Outriders players will love. However, I would not be myself if I did not sow some defeatism here.
Such a declaration is happy because it shows that either developers respect players, or at least their publisher has learned a lesson from their mistakes. Paradoxically, the lack of micropayments is not good news at first glance. It costs money to keep playing after the premiere.
I will be calmer when I learn how People Can Fly wants to finance additional missions, special events, etc.
About end-game developers, however, do not want to say, but I do not blame them. There is still a lot of time until the premiere, and in the demo I only saw the beginning of the campaign. After a short and negligible prologue, which is a tutorial introducing us to the realities of the presented world, there was a time shift.
This is where the actual game starts and you must immediately decide which character we will play. It's basically the only choice that can't be changed later, because the avatar's appearance and gender can be modified, just like the skill tree. Active special class abilities can be juggled.
If anyone dares, one active skill can be changed into another even during a fight.
Importantly, the game may not be completely different, but it clearly differs depending on which class the player chooses. I myself had the opportunity to go through the demo to the end with all three available at the moment. Another one will appear in the final version of the game, but the appearance and abilities of the latter are kept secret for now.
Each character has several abilities. They are unique - the skill of one hero is not just a skin for the ability of the other with similar parameters. One hero can stun enemies within a few meters, another burns them with live fire, and another slows down time and teleports them behind their backs.
Players can join in groups of up to three during the game.
Despite this, each player discovers the story by himself and is in its center - this can be seen in the cutscenes, which only show each player his character. On the map, in a large hub, there are traders and other independent characters, as well as starting points for subsequent missions.
However, those in the demo were not overly complicated. They didn't go far beyond the typical looter shooter patterns. Oh, here you need to clean the room, and then watch it, and there conquer a fortress. The gameplay in the demo was strongly scripted, and some fragments were already boring on the third attempt.
I hope that in the full version of Outriders the repetition can be hidden at least a bit.
I'm glad that each character has several unique abilities, which radically changes the way of fighting. It is not possible to create a team that consists of all four. Some characters will work better in short-range combat, and others - in close combat, but they can be developed differently.
Something I feel that the game will require a lot of combining with the preparation of builds that will complement each other. Choosing the right weapon, equipment and passive perks can be crucial. The creators also told me in a conversation that at later stages of the game, items will change the nature of skill.
And those you want to use.
Each of the classes, which are Pyromancer (fire power, medium range), Trickster (space-time power, close range) and Devastator (tank, close range) has a different way of restoring health, which is directly related to their skills and suggested style of play.
This means that although Outriders is a shooter, I do not forget to use skills. The cooldowns are short enough that there is no need to hamster them for later. Using them is fun instead of annoying - and often in games after using the ability I spit in my chin that I did it too early or too late.
And where does the title Outriders have their powers?
I won't go into details to avoid spoilers, but it's enough to know that an anomaly on the planet Enoch causes most people to die when they come in contact with it. However, this unusual storm does not kill some, but gives them special abilities. That's why the player can choose one of the classes.
The hero does not have time to think about what actually happened to him, because immediately after the change he took a nap not quite voluntarily. Only after waking up from forced hibernation does he discover that a new society has formed in his absence. Wild and uncontrollable.
The world presented in the Outriders is completely unlike our Earth and is full of armed savages.
That is why the further into the forest, the more weapons, armor and helmets will become more exotic. The fusion of mystical powers and technology can be a distinguishing feature of this game - provided that the creators do not let loose their fantasy when designing guns and the rest of the equipment and will not change it into a grotesque.
Fortunately, the player will be able to save up to five different heroes on his account - we'll get one slot per class along with one bonus. Equipment acquired by one of them can be transferred to another, although People Can Fly is not planning to create an auction house.
The creators in the conversation revealed that they do not want the option of trading items to negatively affect the game's balance.
If the concept doesn't change, players will not get decent equipment if they do not play on their own account - in Looter Shooters after completing the plot, the most important thing for build is set items. I wonder if completing it will give you enough fun.
A few hours is not enough to take the assessment. Anyway, the balance will certainly be changed. At this stage, it makes no sense to focus on progression, and many other things about the game still do not know, such as whether PvP mode will appear, and if so - in what form. Fortunately, the developers have a lot of time.
Outriders - release date, trailer
The new game from People Can Fly was supposed to hit the market a little earlier, but the developers and publisher decided to postpone the premiere to the end of 2020. The day before yesterday the visible trailer hit the network, and barely half an hour ago the first live stream started presenting Outriders in action .
We also know that Outriders will go not only to PCs and the Steam platform, but also to current and new generation consoles. It is a pity that at least for the moment after running on a really cool PC ... well, it does not look exaggeratedly impressive and I can not help it associated with the latest Fallouts.
And this is not a compliment.
Remember, however, that I played the early, not yet optimized version of the code. It is rare that the creators show the press to the press at this stage, let alone reporters play it themselves. It would be unfair to judge artists today from the perspective of the current graphic design.
The gameplay in the demo was fairly smooth and was probably achieved at the expense of graphical whirlpools. Let's hope that Outriders will now downgrade the graphics, which unfortunately happens in this industry - because it would be a disaster. However, I want to believe that we will witness the opposite situation.
We played in the Outriders of the Polish studio People Can Fly