Earlier this year, I got to play Outriders. I came away wanting to play more and earlier this month, I got to do just that. At the start of August, I played a new gameplay demo of Outriders centered around the fourth class in the game: the Technomancer.
While my demo from February was placed at the start of the game, this one took place much further into the game. The rich world I was already entranced by became even more intriguing. Giant, weird beasts lurked in the distance, with roars like Godzilla. It was like being stuck on a planet with the monster from Cloverfield. While we never went anywhere near it, its presence left an impact on me and made me curious about what other forms of life lie on this planet.
When it came time to start fighting enemies, it became clear why they placed us further into the game. There was a huge spike in difficulty compared to what I played earlier this year. All of the enemies were high leveled and their AI was incredibly aggressive but also smart. It was clear it wasn’t just hard for the sake of being hard, they’re strategic in how they attack you. They flank, they flush you out of cover, they pin you into cover, they use their own abilities to try and trap you, and more.
Outriders is a cover shooter that constantly forces you to move and adapt because of the pressure it puts on you, it’s absolutely great. It became clear to me that as you play the game, the game isn’t going to grow static. It’ll constantly evolve as you play to ensure you’re not just cleaning house with total ease. Not that it won’t ever be fun but it will be challenging.
That said, as the Technomancer, you can absolutely obliterate the opposition. You’re granted rocket launchers, turrets, fancy grenades, and more. They have the ability to not only deal big damage to the biggest of enemies offensively but also play very defensively. It’s incredibly easy to break up large groups of enemies with the rocket launcher while charging. It’s also incredibly easy to protect yourself while your cover is getting chipped away by laying down a turret right next to you.
It’s a worthy class and while I didn’t get to see how Technomancer works when playing with other players as other classes, the potential is exciting. Juggling all the different powers with each other to take down bosses and other fodder enemies is something I enjoyed a lot in my first demo with Outriders. Combining those scenarios with Technomancers skill-set sounds like a total blast.
The only downside of the game that is becoming apparent to me the more I play is that Outriders feels very linear in a way that the gameplay doesn’t support. Games like these (like The Division) support big spaces to play in and freedom to explore. From everything I’ve seen, it feels like you’re forced to stick to very thin paths that occasionally divert to different little areas.
If you’re on a massive planet, it only feels right to want to explore that. Especially if it’s blooming with weird life, I want to be able to go and see that. Maybe this is just limited to the sections I’ve played and it opens up a bit more but it seems like it’s a lot of hub locations and walking on specific paths between said hub locations.
Even with that one downside, Outriders is still a blast to play and Technomancer only heightens that. Hopefully the game opens itself up as you play and allows for more freedom to really capitalize on all of its potential.
Outriders releases this holiday season for current-gen and next-gen consoles as well as PC.