Developer: People Can Fly
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre(s): Action, Shooter, RPG
Platform: Xbox Series (version reviewed), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 30th June 2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Back in 2021, Outriders launched and I excitedly jumped on as soon as I was able to get it downloaded. I spent the good part of a week levelling up my Trickster build before fatigue took over. I didn’t finish the main story and occasionally I would jump back in for a day or two but there was never enough to keep me engaged. With the release of the Worldslayer DLC, I returned to explore all the new changes, but can it hold my interest longer this time?
Evolving and Expanding
Having now finished the main story and with a fully levelled Altered, I was excited to progress further and power up my already deadly abilities and weapons. The story of Worldslayer sees you taking on a new threat in the form of Commander Ereshkigal. This red haired Queen of the Dead controls the shadows with some weird Venom-like tentacles and is hell-bent on wiping out those deemed not worthy.
As with the base game, the story doesn’t really engage. Honestly, you could easily skip all the cut scenes and get back to the brutally fun gameplay without it making a bit of difference. I would have liked to see more of Ereshkigal, with her only appearing in two cut scenes before the final battle. If you are interested in the story, you can of course watch these scenes, as well as picking up all the journal entries dotted around the world. These are used to fill in the story, however, don’t expect to be pulled in. If you didn’t bother with the base game story, you really aren’t missing anything here.
It’s All about the Loot
The real fun to be had in Outriders: Worldslayer is most definitely in the combat. With a Gears of War style cover shooting and Destiny style loot system, this feels familiar but different at the same time. Mixed with powerful weapons and your class-specific abilities, the fights can often get crowded but you never feel truly outmatched as long as you utilize the environment for cover and time the powers accordingly. Just running in and shooting anything that moves will only get you so far before a behemoth ends your killing spree.
I tried to mix up my Trickster abilities for different styles but always found myself referring back to my three favourite time manipulation powers and I have continued to use these long past the endgame. There are three other classes as there were before, Technomancer, Pyromancer and Devastator. If you have yet to play the base Outriders game, Worldslayer gives you the option to start a new character and jump straight to level 30 in order to get straight into the action. Granted, this is with some basic gear but more than enough upgrades and resources to see you through.
To be honest, this feels like carrying on from someone else’s game and you don’t have that same sense of achievement that comes from growing your own character from the ground up. I much preferred taking my existing character from the main game over and expanding on his powers, although it’s a nice addition for those who want to crack on with the DLC.
In addition to the new story elements, Outriders: Worldslayer presents a new challenge. Gone are the World Tiers and a new “Apocalypse level” takes its place. These work in the same way as Diablo’s torment levels in that the higher up you are, the more difficult the challenge. This also comes with a higher reward chance though and pushing through at the highest available difficulty gives you higher value gear.
I have no shame in admitting that on occasion, I did need to drop down a level or three as I would get absolutely decimated in a very short time. Nothing that a few upgrades couldn’t handle though and within an hour or two, I would be back up to the highest difficulty and totally overpowering all the beasts and freaks that felt they could take me down. I really must give credit to the fact that when you are at your best and most powerful, the game does a great job in making you feel like a powerful badass that could take on all comers. If you get too cocky though, you will be quickly humbled.
Glutton for Punishment
So, after the story is done with and Ereshkigal is firmly in the ground, what is there to do in Worldslayer? Well this is where the Expeditions and the Trail of Tarya Gratar come into play. These are relentless, unforgiving missions where you could be fighting wave after wave of enemies for 15-20 minutes with no checkpoints or re-spawning available. One false move could see you thrown straight back to the start and you will need to push through it all over again.
On more than one occasion, I would be on a final boss battle only to be blindsided and taken by surprise from behind by some sniper who was waiting patiently. Infuriating as this was, it only pushed me to change up tactics or upgrade my weaponry further and try again while constantly watching my back. And the reward for completing these missions? A drop pod or a sarcophagus filled to the brim with rare and powerful loot, with the chance to obtain the new apocalypse weapons, which offer a game changing third perk.
This could be anything from a small health boost to a full on comet strike with headshots but each perk really feels like it could be a massive lifesaver in the heat of intense battle. These perks can be altered, with you being able to equip your favourite ones to whichever weapon or pair of gloves you currently have equipped, as long as you have previously dismantled a piece of equipment that had it.
Outriders: Worldslayer lacks on engaging story or interesting characters, barring Commander Ereshkigal. Unfortunately, despite being front and centre on all the advertising, she only makes a small cameo and feels wasted. Story aside, the gameplay is fun and the mix of classes, weapons and abilities gives a range of different playstyles. It all essentially boils down to go here, kill these things gameplay, but most importantly, it’s fun and constantly upgrading and becoming more powerful never feels like too much of a chore.
There is the option to team up online with friends or random players but the multitude of server crashes made it near impossible to actually finish any of the missions. These were also annoying during solo play as the game requires you always be online. So, even during single player, I was kicked from a game if there were any connection issues. At the time of writing this, I am currently Apocalypse level 12 with only two matches completed online but I will certainly keep pushing to level 40 and beyond if this is expanded on in the future.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
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