Title: Outriders Worldslayer
Developer: People Can Fly
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Reviewed On: PS5
Genre: Looter Shooter
There is something special about sitting down with my friends and reveling in some carnage while loot in various vivid colors flies out like an overused pachinko machine. Outriders Worldslayer manages to capture the essence of that feeling.
A few months after the original game’s ending, the anomaly storms are ramping up in intensity. The Outrider has decided to find the source of the storms to try and find a way to survive this new terror. Along the way, they delve into the origins of the ancient Pax civilization and bring an end to the civil war between the insurgents and the ECA. The story is the most fascinating aspect of Outriders, and the gameplay is well refined but repetitive. I can quickly boil each section down as move forward down a hall into an arena to kill a horde of enemies, open doors, and repeat ad nauseam.
The four playable classes that help break up this monotony can roughly be divided into support, DPS, and tank-focused. Each deals with a different element, besides the trickster, whose skills focus on crowd control via time-based attacks, making them invaluable when teaming up with friends. However, if you are one of the more lonely gamers out there, not to worry. You can easily play the game solo, as each class has a way of healing themselves via different methods, usually by killing enemies under certain conditions or dealing damage. This shared power allows each class to be viable regardless of players’ circumstances.
Even level progression has been upgraded, giving players access to Pax levels and three additional trees for their class. Pax levels work differently from normal levels in that they seem to be awarded upon completion of objectives rather than by gaining experience. Instead, experience points will be funneled into ascension levels that allow players to incrementally level aspects of their character.
These upgrades are minor, giving only half a percent of an upgrade each time a point is redeemed, allowing players to heal health, deal, or mitigate damage much better. This incremental increase won’t be noticeable until significant progress in a tree has been made, though. The loot is fun to obtain, and I love to see what I got after mowing down a horde. Even then, I soon found that there was little incentive for me to switch too often, as I could break down the loot I don’t like and upgrade my current gear that I have already tuned to my playstyle.
Frequently, I would spend time between each section of the map to spend my resources and improve the gear I had already become attached to. Worldslayer tries to mitigate this mentality by adding apocalyptic equipment, which carries an extra ability that cannot be changed. The idea of this is excellent, except it requires a resource only obtained from breaking down these rarer loot drops or from elite enemies.
The consequence makes these drops feel more disposable, as I was more inclined to keep my older items instead of trading up as these weapons would be outclassed rather quickly by the more common drops. Eventually, these apocalyptic drops would be more readily available as players enhance their Apocalyptic Tiers, allowing them to trade up and upgrade these weapons more easily. However, as it stands, this process takes a long time that will far outlast the main story of Worldslayer.
I mentioned that the story is the most interesting aspect of Outriders, exploring and expanding upon the world of Enoch and the powers of the Altered. Story details are given through talks while exploring an area and cutscenes between each major area, making each story section a reward for clearing out an entire region.
Worldslayer feels rushed compared to the base experience, and areas are far more linear while sporting bigger combat arenas. Even hearing about the rise of the Pax and their former civilization feels like a story that is being rushed —for example, leading to the end of the expansion after learning about the Pax.
Not to worry, additional content is unlocked after clearing the main story that will take up players’ time, the Trials of Tarya Gratar. These trials serve as an endless dungeon meant for players to explore and see how deep they can get. In canon, this area is the birthplace of the anomaly and the source of all powers. This area amps up the problems I have with Outriders to the maximum. Each area is just an arena to fight foes until a door opens so you can do it again. Loot is plentiful because of this focus on combat. However, I would not recommend this content without at least one other friend to play with, as the dungeon gets old fast.
Outriders Worldslayer is a decent expansion to a game that was flawed upon its release. Loot is plentiful, and playing with friends over comms can be a blast. The repetitive gameplay loop and breakneck pacing leave much to be desired, especially when playing solo. Worldslayer won’t convert anybody who wasn’t already on board with Outriders to the cause, as it shares many problems with its predecessor. Still, Worldslayer will give fans of the base game reason to return to Enoch’s world.
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