People Can Fly, guided by Square Enix, was one of the first companies to show us a next-gen game. A bet defined as a 3rd person cover shooter with a strong loot component. Or to put it another way, it implied that it could be Destiny, or more broadly, a “game as a service”. Being unattractive and even generic and apparently not offering anything new, let alone the graphic quality expected (yet) from the new consoles. But still with more doubts than certainties, Poland’s People Can Fly released a demo. Yes DEMO, not beta. Thanks to which we were able to try the title firsthand and eye, everything changed.
The argument isn’t bad at all, at certain moments I felt like I was in a Sanderson book. That means we will be an outrider (male or female, you choose) whose mission is to help people settle on a new planet as surprisingly the earth is about to crash. At the beginning we land in a kind of prologue on an exciting and strangely precious planet. A place that seems more than ideal for the lives of people in the second age of mankind. Everything looks fine, weather, vegetation… some creepy but apparently peaceful cows… until suddenly THE STORM. A rather strange storm they call “The Anomaly” that can instantly decompose any being it touches. Except for a lucky few (or not) who will have superpowers. They are called “mutations” and of course our Outrider will be one of them.
The first thing I liked was the fact that it’s not colonial history, a little yes but not quite. That is, shortly after launch, our character will be cryogenized to save his life later. But of course, just like that apple you keep at the bottom of the fridge… you forgot we were there and time flew by. Thirty years later, rather accidentally, we are “awakened” and the game begins.
Surprise! Our ideal planet of murderous storms has turned into absolute chaos, plagued by wars. Where every faction fights for survival with the utmost ferocity. The planet has become hell, but luckily we outriders will be worse than the devil.
And that’s the reality, we’re not going to be superheroes, we’re going to be a GOD! Once you take control, we have four classes to choose from, each with their own benefits. Such as “Pyromancer” the power of fire. Perfect to play solo with absolutely destructive powers. Or, in contrast, “Technomancer” is more cooperatively oriented, with healing powers and ranged combat.
The truth is that each of the classes is unique and offers a different experience, all of which are quite spectacular. For example, if we choose the Trickster class (it would be an assassin), we can slow down the enemies and even create an encirclement power inside which time slows down and see in real time how our enemies’ bullets slowly pass ( very matrix) and carrying out massacres to the smallest detail. Outrageous that.
Once the class is selected, it’s time to play properly. We will go to the command center and missions will rain down on us at close range. As always in this type of game, we can choose between the main game and the side game, the latter being quite original in many cases. But essentially the route of all missions will be the same, kill, kill and kill.
The development of the game is quite simple. We discover Zone, we kill everything that moves and one more. The strange thing and the first surprise is that it won’t be an open world (as usual in the genre) but that there will be large but really corridor scenarios divided into zones (each for each mission, main , secondary or hunting). where the collectibles will just be entertaining texts to feed your good lore.
His greatest clumsiness thus becomes his chief virtue. The repeatability. The game shows its cards in minute one (after the prologue) and keeps it until the end. But far from being repetitive, it turns into a brutal entertainment product.
Outriders have a huge shield on their chest. It’s a fun game. No more. A game of cerebral disconnection, you turn on your console/PC, you put on a good podcast or your favorite music group and kill yourself by disconnecting from your mundane life for a while.
This is achieved with three bestial pillars. A good gunplay, a decent level design and above all some fast, varied and very spectacular skills.
Unlike other titles of the style like Avengers (also by Square), the skills here update fairly quickly. It won’t be more than a minute (to put it mildly) before we have our energy back at our disposal. And that’s a blessing, since the basis of the game will be their use. We’ll be able to equip three of these skills, throw in a bit of strategy here, or see which ones best suit your playstyle. There are multiple uses within the chosen class, resulting in up to three types of the same class that are very different from each other.
The gameplay reminded me of a brown beast like Doom. And yes, those are big words and far is the excellent quality of the ID Software title. But the truth is, hustle is in Outriders’ DNA. For example, if you want to restore health, you need to kill enemies. This nonsense already makes you shoot non-stop and the covers … become a simple decoration on the stage or in any case only used by the enemies.
This gameplay, this wasting of power makes us (as I said before) a god among humans with the ability to destroy anyone who crosses our path.
The level of difficulty is perfectly measured. This is thanks to World Levels, a very useful Diablo-style tool. Basically, the world level regulates the level of difficulty as well as the rewards received. Therefore, we can perfectly adjust the required level of difficulty and increase the level of difficulty when a colleague comes into play.
The game is perfect to enjoy alone, but honestly, it’s best enjoyed in company. During the campaign we will defeat different bosses, some mutations, others simple native beasts. Especially these fights with a moderate level of difficulty are a real experience in the company of a colleague. Coordinate, deal damage at key moments. A pleasure.
Now let’s move on with the low. The title commits some sins. Don’t worry, mostly minors, from those who go with a few sets. To begin the story. Without being bad, it doesn’t shine at all and seems to have serious trouble finding tone, shifting from laughter to drama in the same breath and making it difficult to empathize with either extreme. Still, I find the world that People Can Fly has created fascinating and everything that surrounds it is worth knowing. To talk more about it here would mean committing dangerous spoilers.
On the other hand, the variety of enemies seems low to me since the same type of people will be repeated throughout the adventure, but with different skins. Essentially the same dog with a different collar, as we know both their attack patterns and weaknesses very well. And finally his serious initial problems. The servers started much lower than expected, making it impossible to even play solo or spit you out of the game like a Gargajo.
His attitude is generic and beautiful. An exotic planet where we will casually go through the manual biomes. desert, forest, city and snow. None are missing, and all are fairly well managed. Without becoming what’s expected of the new generation (we’re talking about a multi-generational title), it seems to me that it performs and looks like a motherfucker. Perhaps you can add a downside to the menus, which in turn are already seen in a thousand and one games (thanks Destiny), but in which there are parts that are completely unreadable unless you get close to an inch of the screen.
For the rest, and as I suspected in the demo, this is a very good game, as I always say, one of those that, without doing anything excellent, does everything well. A remarkable game, one of those that needs 7.5 on Metacritic and reminds me of the golden age of average video games. The PS3/360 era. Game that you can also find on GamePass, making it impossible not to recommend it to those who have the service. When we talk about going through the box, I can’t deny you it’s worth it.