Outriders isn’t what I was expecting. In the lead-up to launch, it looked like one more Destiny-like looter shooter to toss on the pile. But while it does have looting, shooting and even online co-op, Outriders isn’t just another live service game. In a lot of ways, it feels like an experiment to blend looter shooter mechanics with single-player design and hectic, old-school combat. It doesn’t completely succeed, but enough of it works that I want more.
Developed by Bulletstorm studio People Can Fly, Outriders is a third-person cover-based shooter that includes magic powers, tons of loot, and online multiplayer. But unlike nearly all other shlooters, there are no social hubs, PVP, or random encounters with other players. You can opt in to co-op action to play with a squad, or the entire campaign, including all side content, can be played perfectly well single-player. Playing alone, at least your first time through, lets you focus on and understand the story better and, with only a few exceptions, most missions and fights feel balanced for solo players.
You play as a nameless, badass Outrider, skilled soldiers who are sent into space alongside thousands of humans to colonize a new planet. Earth is dead, and this ship is humanity’s last hope. After 60+ years of flying through space while cryogenically frozen, your ship arrives at a planet called Enoch. As soon as you arrive, you’re nearly wiped out by a superstorm. You are one of the few survivors but are gravely injured and get chucked in a cryopod until they can fix you up. Nearly 30 years later, you wake up to a world that has become a nightmare.