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Outriders: Hands-on with Square Enix’s New Superpowered Shooter

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Towards the top of January 2020, Den of Geek traveled to a bitterly chilly Warsaw to attend the primary main hands-on occasion for Outriders, an upcoming sci-fi shooter from People Can Fly, the Polish builders who beforehand labored on Fortnite: Save the World, the Gears of War video games, and the extremely underrated shooter Bulletstorm.

Outriders is a co-op shooter sport with an analogous gameplay model to Destiny and The Division, however it’s set on a distant planet known as Enoch that mankind has tried and didn’t colonize after escaping a post-apocalyptic Earth. A sludgy “anomaly” on this planet has gifted some folks with fantastical superpowers, which turn out to be useful as there are additionally large monsters to contend with. Mankind has cut up into factions, and there appears to be no scarcity of power-mad villains attempting to realize dominion over this messy, harmful planet.

Visually, the sport seems fairly gorgeous – there are detailed landscapes and great blasts of colourful power throughout its epic firefights. Outriders shouldn’t be solely launching for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC but in addition on next-gen consoles as effectively. Unfortunately, we did not get to see how the visuals will examine throughout {hardware} generations. It appears secure to imagine that every thing we noticed was working on top-of-the-line tech.

As sport director Bartek Kmita explains, the motivations for launching Outriders alongside the brand new consoles had been easy: “People are going to search for new stuff with the brand new, subsequent technology of consoles,” he says. Kmita says that growing a sport for unreleased {hardware} just like the PS5 and the Xbox Series X presents its personal challenges, for the reason that actual technical specs of those consoles aren’t but set in stone. As Kmita places it, “There is plenty of stuff that’s sort of new for us, as effectively, as a result of, as you understand, plenty of technical necessities from next-gen remains to be, sort of… I would not say TBD… however it’s [still] coming our method. So we’ll see how the method is definitely going later.”

Read extra: Outriders Trailer, Gameplay, and More News

Sitting down at a strong gaming PC to play the sport, we loaded up the tutorial. You’re in a position to design your player-character, who is likely one of the first “Outriders” that get despatched down from a spaceship in orbit to establish if this planet is secure for human life. After studying the essential cover-based shooter mechanics, you’re thrust right into a struggle with a scientist that has already gone rogue and has a militia backing him up. If you’re well-versed in video games like The Division or Gears of War, you may become familiar with the fundamentals fairly rapidly – you progress from cowl to cowl, taking out enemies and dealing your method in the direction of a clearly signposted purpose. The gunplay feels tight and responsive, customary shooter fare… however then issues begin to get bizarre, in a method that superhero followers will notably take pleasure in.

After the aforementioned anomaly hits, coming at you in a thick black gloop, you’re prompted to select from a wide range of lessons that may decide your particular superpowers: there’s the fiery Pyromancer that may hurl flames at their foes, the tank-like Devastator that may manipulate rocks and dish out plenty of harm, the Loki-like Trickster that may teleport across the battlefield and freeze folks in place, and a fourth class that’s but to be revealed.

Immediately tempted by the opportunity of channeling my inside God of Mischief, I selected Trickster on my first playthrough and it didn’t disappoint. In truth, it was ruddy good enjoyable – it doesn’t take lengthy to your powers to cost up, and you then’ll be zipping across the battlefield, sneaking up on folks, freezing them, capturing them and/or blasting them with an energy-based melee assault. It truly looks like they’ve made Marvel’s Loki right into a gun-toting hero character, and that’s simply as enjoyable to play because it sounds.

When I gush about my love of the Trickster to Kmita, he appears satisfied: “I believe that our expertise are fairly distinctive to the shooter style as a result of we’ve got imagined it to be the flashier and extra fantastical RPG expertise [mixed] with the shooters,” he says. “So, we love them, and naturally it is dependent upon your character, you’ll select them in the beginning – your most well-liked model and most well-liked class – however we encourage you to strive totally different lessons, as a result of typically I believe ‘Ah, I’m not a typical sniper participant,’ however I begin enjoying with the sniper and now I prefer it.’ So you possibly can be taught one thing extra about your self.”

Read extra: Best Video Games to Play in 2020

After selecting my class, I linked up with two different gamers to deal with the remainder of the demo in a co-op style. We had one Trickster and two Pyromancers as we fought by way of a couple of waves of enemies, my teammates meting out big blasts of flame to break a variety of enemies whereas I snuck round and took out the strays. We then stopped to observe a cut-scene and decide up a mission within the first of a number of hub worlds, earlier than speeding out once more in quest of motion. Picking up loot and upgrading our characters’ strikes alongside the best way, we ended up going toe to toe with the sport’s first boss character. He’s a lightning-charged villain with an array of particular assaults, and he took a good period of time to defeat. And it’s a must to be tactical, too – attacking whereas he’s charging up his subsequent transfer is the important thing to victory, however it took us some time to work that out.

After beating the boss, we had been in a position to restart the demo in single-player mode and check out the opposite lessons. Playing because the Pyromancer, I spotted that this class isn’t nearly large showy blasts of flame – you even have the flexibility that permits you to flame-charge in the direction of your foe from a distance, giving the Pyromancer a slight sniper vibe. And with the Devastator, there’s plenty of enjoyable available in smashing your method across the battlefield and leaving rubble in your wake – you might have a strong ground-smash assault and the flexibility to quickly remodel into dwelling rock, basically making your self impervious to assaults. The totally different superpowered lessons positively really feel like a enjoyable approach to revitalize the multiplayer shooter expertise.

During a battle that concerned a Pyromancer and a Devastator, the mixture of fiery powers and rocky powers made us consider the Fantastic Four. If The Human Torch and The Thing used weapons and went into battle on an odd new planet, it’d feel and look a bit like this. These recognizable superpowers imply that comedian e book followers might discover extra to take pleasure in right here than they might in a normal shooter. And working up the ability timber to develop your superpowered skillset guarantees an addictive development system. It seems like your character’s bodily look will change enormously, too, relying on how a lot you alter their talents.

Playing by way of the identical demo 3 times with totally different lessons meant that I had loads of time to go searching, too. I stumbled right into a fully-voiced side-quest involving a shopkeeper and an area gang at one level. It took me into one other transient battle and rewarded me with some additional expertise factors and loot. This mini-mission didn’t take lengthy, however it did make me hopeful that this might be a deep and assorted world that rewards you for exploring. Certainly, if the world and the story can dwell as much as the extremely satisfying superhero-style shooter motion, this might be a sport that I’ll fortunately experience again into.

Outriders is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One later in 2020.

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