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Outriders: Worldslayer Review – Baby Steps in the Right Direction

todayJuly 14, 2022 14

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Outriders: Worldslayer on PS5

Back in April 2021, developers People Can Fly unleashed their vision of a looter-shooter in an admittedly crowded genre, but Outriders was a breath of fresh air that did plenty right, especially when it came to empowering the player with powerful weapons and fun supernatural powers. Now that the Outriders: Worldslayer expansion is upon us, the same core pillars remain, for better and for worse.

To catch you up on the plot, the base Outriders game was about humanity’s pressing need to find a new home after devastating Earth. Having found a suitable alternative in the planet Enoch, things go south pretty quickly as a destructive storm known as the Anomaly leaves nothing but death in its wake. Time passes, but the initial colonists are still stuck on the planet, wedged in between mutated wildlife and Insurgent forces that now follow the whims of the Altered –beings that can tap into the Anomaly and wield dangerous powers.

Outriders: Worldslayer builds upon this narrative foundation that was not exactly tied up in the base game, and takes things up a notch. Without Enoch’s native species, the Pax, to negate the Anomaly, the supernatural phenomenon is spiralling out of control. As if this life-threatening development wasn’t enough, the Insurgents finally have a leader for players to go after in the form of the Altered, Ereshkigal. Once more, it is up to the players to save the day and save Enoch once again.

While there is undoubtedly promise when it comes to the overall story development, the expansion suffers from the same issues that affected the original. Although the player is the key to progressing things, it never does seem like they are at the center of all the events that unfold, not that it always has to be, just that it lessens the engagement and immersion for the player.

Outriders: Worldslayer Ereshkigal

Furthermore, the addition of Ereshkigal could have meant more in terms of building a believable villain whose motivations made sense, but outside of a seemingly insatiable need to bring the world to ruins, it smacks of a missed opportunity in Outriders: Worldslayer. However, for what it’s worth, the additional context and explanations for the Pax, Enoch, and the Anomaly are welcomed. Whether this will still be the case for future content coming to the game remains to be seen, it would be a waste to see all of that potential go untapped.

Thankfully, Outriders: Worldslayer maintains the stellar combat and looting gameplay loop that is still so enjoyable, and is now enhanced with new additions and tweaks. No new classes are added, but players can focus their attention on the new Pax Skill Tree with the Ascension Points and Apocalypse Tiers mechanics.

These additions are excellent if you are hoping for more ways to bring the hurt or new powers to harness in combat. With a total of five Pax Points earned from completing the story missions, players can potentially unlock some truly powerful perks necessary for success on higher Apocalypse Tiers. Whether you seek significantly more powerful weapon damage, defensive mitigation, swift cooldowns, and more, constantly tweaking your build with this additional skill tree adds another strategic layer to the experience.

Ascension Points function similarly, albeit in a more generous fashion, allowing players to upgrade 20 passive abilities housed under the broad categories of Brutality, Anomaly, Endurance, and Prowess. Again, it all serves to make the player more adept at dealing damage, hardier, and make use of their Altered powers more effectively.

Outriders: Worldslayer Ascension Levels

With more weapons, armor, and skills that come with the Apocalypse Tiers, there are also more ways to synergize your builds and parties for even more brutal combinations. And yes, there is now a third perk slot for your gear to add to the fun with the new Apocalypse items. There is simply nothing quite like freezing hordes of enemies with a modded-out Trickster, enhancing that improved AoE damage and status effects from the Technomancer and Pyromancer, while keeping everybody shielded and protected with the Devastator, and that is just one of many combinations you might stumble upon.

Combine the new and more robust loot drops with additional mods, the Pax Skill Tree, as well as the Ascension Points system, and making progress in Outriders: Worldslayer instantly feels more rewarding, engaging, and utterly more entertaining for a longer period compared to the base game.

If the Apocalypse Tiers seem familiar, it’s because they are meant to replace the World Tiers found in the original campaign, where the higher level you go, the more difficult the opposition, with the promise of better gear and mods. You can even restart the story on these new tiers, bringing added challenge and more powerful and worthy rewards as you progress towards Tier 40, and not relive the newer content in Worldslayer over and over again to jump to the next tier.

The expansion allows new players to skip all the older stuff and jump straight into Worldslayer content with a level boost, which is a nice touch, but you might find yourself lost with all the mechanics, so make that decision with caution.

Outriders: Worldslayer gameplay

As for endgame content, Outriders: Worldslayer adds the Trials of Tarya Gratar dungeon, which is purposefully built for players to grind and find better loot. Broken into three acts, each consisting of several more minor fights in Troves, areas with several rounds of enemies that reward a particular gear piece, and ending with a boss battle. How players proceed towards the end is up to them, with branching paths allowing for some freshness, but it is the draw of more useful loot that will likely keep you around.

That said, the dungeon itself is essentially the same for every run, which might not be the best argument for replayability, but the fights and the rewards do make it worth investing time and effort in. If you are already knee-deep in the grinding, the endgame content has more for you to enjoy, but if you are on the other side of the fence, it will do little to sway your opinion.

At its core, Outriders: Worldslayer does bring to the table enough enhancements when it comes to the actual gameplay of this looter-shooter. That entertaining combat coupled with new Apocalypse Gear, Tiers, and more are what makes the game truly tick, even if the narrative beats can be hit and miss. There is certainly room for People Can Fly to explore other parts of the world in future content, but for now, we’ll make do with a looter-shooter experience that has become even better than before.

Outriders: Worldslayer Critic Review

Reviewer: Jake Su | Copy provided by Publisher.