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Bullet Time Magic And 10 Best Outriders Features | Outriders Gameplay (PC)

Bullet Time Magic And 10 Best Outriders Features | Outriders Gameplay (PC)

This is Outriders from People Can Fly. Believe
it or not, you are looking at the next generation of video games. Yes: it involves rooms full
of waist-high cover and heads that explode like watermelons. But it also has giant time
bubbles that let you do slow motion murder, which is the best kind of murder, and definitely
something the current generation needed more of, so a big thumbs up for that. Okay, Outriders is not the sole representative
of next gen, but it is the first time we’ve been able to play a game coming to the next
generation of consoles – that’s the Microsoft Oblong Of Power and the Sony Thing That Looks
Like A Sandwich Toaster. Luckily for us here at Rock Paper Shotgun – a PC gaming channel
– we played Outriders on PC, but it is interesting to see what People Can Fly are aiming for. And it turns out that the next big thing is…
a mix of a few current things. Outriders is basically Gears of War and Destiny put in
a blender – something you could never do, because those big bastards from Gears wouldn’t
fit in one. If they could, the bloody smoothie at the other end would be this co-op RPG shooter.
It has guns that wouldn’t be out of place in Gears, but they are dripping with stats
to tempt you into a never ending hunt for loot.. I’m going to break all that down in this
video, but an important thing to get across is that it leans closer to a traditional action
game than your modern Game as Service. This is the first thing People Can Fly tell us:
no loot boxes, no microtransactions, and a complete game out the box. They are clearly
terrified of getting lumped in with the likes of Anthem or Ghost Recon Breakpoint, even
though, on the surface, there are structural similarities. The first thing to say is that Outriders feels
great. While it has those RPG trappings – the loot, the stats, the skill tree – it never
lets them overpower the sensation of pulling a trigger and something fun happening. This
won’t come as a surprise to anyone who played Bulletstorm or Painkiller, but it’s easy
to be sceptical. One glimpse of health bars above an enemy’s head and people begin to
think of bullet sponges and guns that fire weird maths. Outriders feels like Gears of War: the shotgun
channels the spirit of the Gnasher, in that way you just need to get the enemies body
roughly inside the reticule to shred them to meaty chunks. And sniper rifles are a head-popping
delight: not just the way those little noggins fly off with a squirt, but the fact that each
arena gives snipers something to do, while delivering the close chaos allowed by teleporting
powers. Admittedly, this is recorded on a mix of lower
difficulties: the game has 15 world tiers that increase enemy strength and damage in
exchange for better rewards. And in our session we only fight our way to fourth tier, which
is called ‘hard’. One developer tells us five or six is his sweet spot and that
coordinating powers is much more important on higher tiers, so maybe the game will become
more of a grind at those levels. But at lower tiers the game is punchy and
fun. We love how quick the skill cooldown is, letting us mix gunplay and magics a lot
more openly than similar space wizard shooters. If you get sick of waiting for your best toys
to unlock in Borderlands or The Division, you’ll find this more immediate. But before
I delve into those powers, let’s set the scene better. It is the 23rd century and earth has been
totalled by climate change, which sounds about right. Some of humanity lives inside this
giant lightsaber, which spits you out onto the planet of Enoch to look for a new home. “It almost looks like home. That’s what
worries me. Thankfully, you don’t have to play as this
Connor McGregor-looking dude. As you craft your character at the start. We can’t show
character creation, but you can see a few of our variations. Matthew, who was playing,
used the name generator and the first thing it gave him was Tory, which makes me think
it looked into his soul like a modern Sorting Hat. Anyway: Enoch looks nice. Grassy plains. Lovely
blue skies. Giant trucks to crush it all down. I love that the first steps of colonising
Enoch basically involve setting up a tutorial outpost where you learn to crouch behind rocks.
The team discovers a weird signal emanating from the planet and an even weirder storm,
later called the Anomaly, that puts on one hell of a light show, but on the downside,
turns your friends into puddles. Connor McGregor is not impressed. Those people the anomaly doesn’t turn into
soup are imbued with powers – what will become the character classes that I’ll cover in
a second. This includes you, who climbs into a cryo chamber to sleep through 30 years of
story exposition and wake up in a very different world… The main difference? You can slow time. Well,
you can if you choose the Trickster path – one of three available in this build. There’s
a slot for an unnamed fourth – something long range we hope, based on these current brawlers.
Think of Paths as your Destiny classes: adding a layer of powers on top of gunplay. Each
character can equip three powers at any time, but you choose from a pool of eight that unlock
as you level up. Talking to People Can Fly they think people will swap skills in and
out to fit specific challenges – they don’t see earlier powers as any less important than
the later ones. On top of power customisation you can also shape the path with a pretty
vast skill tree – looking over this spread of minor stat buffs and new power behaviours
we begin to have flashbacks to Borderlands’ skill tree tweaking – this seems of a similar
depth. On top of this you have gear which can modify your powers further: a jacket that
lets the Pyromancer use his ash move to turn burning status into instant damage, for example. The potential for meaningful customisation
is there, but it’s not something you can hope to test in an hour or so of demo, so
let’s get back to time-bending murders of the Trickster class. This is the Slow Trap,
a pocket of gloopy time that applies slow to any flesh or lead that enters, letting
the whole co-op party unleash hell. Got brutes running towards you? Why not turn that run
into a jog and enjoy some headshots? Or maybe you just use it to avoid damage, as it slows
bullets too, letting you recreate the Lobby scene from the Matrix again and again. It’s
such a good effect. I also love that if you kill an enemy slowed by your melee attack,
they die in slow motion, too. Is it sinister to watch a man crumple like this? Where Trickster
really kicks into life is when you unlock the teleporting move – letting you zip behind
an enemy and afflict them with slow, giving you a chance to crack out one of those aforementioned
shotguns, or plop down a time bubble. Or both!. Jumping in to freeze the enemy frontline is
such a fun concept, and we’re told that a later power lets the Trickster teleport
back to where they came from, which in theory will let you set up your own slow motion shooting
galleries. Should be fun. If Trickster is my top pick, then the Pyromancer
is hot on his trail – literally so, thanks to his power to pick an enemy, fill them with
fire and explode them horribly if they die while suffering the burn effect. This thermal
bomb has a ludicrously long range, too – does that guy over there even know why he’s burning
from the inside? And the fact it turns the corpse into a bomb that detonates nearby enemies
is just the cherry on top. A horrible, screaming cherry. Spreading fire is important, as killing burning
enemies is how a Pyromancer gains back health. But I also like the reach, from ground pouncing
through cover… to doing a lazy version of a Street Fighter dragon punch. The punch is
great in combination with Ash Blast, which makes everyone do their best Pompei impression.
It’s not as dazzling as the time bubble, but legging it in and dropping ash has big
co-op potential, or you can just enjoy headshots in peace. The way it can make groups more
manageable in solo play is a good sign that People Can Fly are thinking about both modes
at all time. For a bigger area of attack his Heatwave summons
burning fissure, which is mainly great his hammy big ‘turn up the heat’ gesture he
does with his hands. That deserves a mwa-ha-ha-ha. Combine Heatwave and Thermal Bomb and you’ve
got a two-one punch that softens up a group, then detonates one to wipe out everyone. It’s
really fun stuff. We have less praise for the third path, Devastator,
aka the big, dumb rock person. It just feels a bit by the book. An earthquake ground pound?
Check. Rocky skin that can block bullets. Check. A massive aerial dive bomb that causes
enemies to get crushed in a crater? Okay, that’s more like it. Yes, the gravity jump
is the saving grace of the early power unlocks – the sudden shift to an aerial view is neat
and targeting a specific enemy has the same unstoppable power of the Pyromancers Thermal
Bomb. It’s especially good paired with slow motion monsters. Importantly it brings you
into the action, which is vital for healing the Devastator – this class only heals when
near to enemies that die. But as we throw around rocks, our eye is constantly drawn
to time bubbles or grunts going supernova – throwing dirt around just doesn’t quite
have the same magic, does it? Although that does remind me that the Devastator can throw
bullets too – using Reflect Bullets to collect a wall of lead to fire back. Alas, Matthew
tried to demonstrate it against lightning. Classes that are fun by themselves, come alive
when you play in co-op – three person, drop-in, drop out action that auto-shifts difficulty
on the fly to accommodate the numbers. Outriders is solid when played alone – there are a few
frantic moments with enemy types that charge at you that force some cowardly backwards
running, but such is the range of powers and weapons that it’s perfectly doable. But co-op
is just a more interesting place to be – there are powers firing left, right and centre,
and that short cooldown time is really felt. Plus it’s always fun when someone drops
a time bubble just as you need one. The moment where the interplay between classes was really
felt was in the first boss fight of the game – this creepy looking chap. Our trickster
would drop time stops, giving us windows to empty high powered sniper rifles into his
head. Later in the fight he builds a metal shield to heal inside – a shield we could
shatter with the gravity jump, ideally with a thermal bomb for dessert as he was staggered.
The first time we did the boss it was a ten minute slog; returning with better command
of the powers it was sorted in a couple of minutes – a great showcase for how much the
game can click, after just two hours. Another thing this Guardian fight shows off
is how good Outriders is at communicating what’s going on. It’s only a small feature,
but I love the way elite enemies have a space above their health bar to communicate what
move they are triggering – it’s almost like a loading bar for incoming damage. When Mr
Electric Personality here says he’s going to drop discharge mines, you know it’s time
to look to your feet. Likewise, a Lightning Storm alert tells you to start stretching
for a jog. Of course, there are visual indicators of what flavour of pain is about to be served
– reading boss attack animations is an ancient artform. But I like Outrider’s clarity. Same
goes for how the game communicates areas of effect – whether it’s the red circle around
a grenade, or the very clear boundaries of the Lightning storm attack or other flashy
special moves. Games often sacrifice readability in the name of special effects, but Outriders
strikes the balance well. Oh, you have to love the route-finding line, too – I wish
I had these to find my car keys every morning. It’s the little things that count. More
of these please! Not that you’ll get lost in Rift Town, your
dingy intro to modern Enoch. Outriders is built around hub towns and the game shifts
between these NPC communes and quest areas where the guns and cover come out to play.
This early quest area has the linear shape of a Gears of War mission, but the presence
of crafting Materials to harvest and side missions remind us you are free to return.
We are told that revisiting the stage on a higher difficulty tier will reconfigure what
enemy force you encounter. Side missions are more like side arenas than traditional RPG
quests, but it works as bite size world building. Helping a wounded soldier murder her old boss
doesn’t take long, but does show off fire tornadoes we pray get to unlock. These can
also be replayed later, and will scale to your level and with world difficulty tiers.
Handily, placing explorer flags creates fast travel points for later investigations. The hub itself is relatively empty: there’s
a man being threatened with death, a box to stash excess equipment, and a little bonfire
that you sadly can’t light with Pyromancer skills. For shame. The shop is more useful,
especially if you want to finally cash in on those crusty pants. We’re told that later
in the game your Outriders Truck acts as a mobile hub, which makes me wonder if there’ll
be more open areas to explore – the game’s tutorial, which we can’t show, does give
glimpses of grassy plains and some terrifying wildlife. I think there’s definitely a lot
more to the game than muddy bombed out battlegrounds…. But whatever it is will have to wait for the
end of the year, when Outriders emerges from cryo sleep. Or whichever big gaming show they
thaw it out for next. I’ll admit, we went into this one with low expectations – a single
E3 trailer was hard to get excited about – but it’s nice to see these virtual gunsmiths back
doing what they do best and with real colour and zip. And no loot boxes. Or microtransactions.
Maybe the next generation has a chance after all. I hope you enjoyed this look at Outriders
– if you have any questions bang them in the comments and let us know if you want to see
more of the game. We’ve got hours of footage so tell us what you want to see. You’ve been
watching Rock Paper Shotgun – subscribe to the channel and check out our other previews.
We got a juicy Doom Eternal video you might dig. Thanks for watching and see you again

Reader Comments

  1. I seem to recall, some summers ago, Tecmo Koei made a game called Quantum Theory.
    It was a Japanese approximation of what was popular in western games at the time – and most heavily inspired by Gears of War.
    It was terrible. This game gives me the same vibes that game did all those years ago.

  2. How could I enjoy generic ability 3rd person shooting when Doom exists ? Still, maybe worth a try if I'm bored in autumn….oh wait, I'm in Night City then….

  3. Good to hear that the game seems decently balanced for solo play.

    Looks fairly generic, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. If there's a good enough story with enemy variety and cool setpieces, it'll probably be worth a spin.

  4. Excellent analysis of the game, thanks! Especially liked the part where she talked about the visual indicators the game uses. Seems very well designed, with some nice innovation here and there.

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