Outriders, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

1 : Anonymous2021/05/20 17:11 ID: nh5shd

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...it was Outriders.

This game, when working smoothly can be one of extreme fun and carnage with friends. When it is at its worst, it can be controller tossing off a wall rage inducing...and Im starting to run out of controllers.

Lets start with the strengths.

PCF captures the power fantasy pretty well when you finally get one of your characters fully min/maxed, and your reward is chewing through enemy variants with the dizzying speed of a trickster, the anomaly and debuff magic of a pyro, or crowd control dependency of the technomancer. I have nothing pippy to say about the other class...haven't used it.

At its best moments, this game takes the unadulterated slaughter of on screen minions to the highest peaks, as you and two of your buddies turn everything in front of you into a gelatinous pool of alien leftovers.

The loot pool is deep and can make for some great loadouts and builds. The grind is real, but the ability to run expeditions, hunts, bounties, and historians make gathering the best weapons and armor fairly straight forward if you have the patients to play chicken with RNG Jesus.

The upgrade system is pretty good, when compared to other looter shooters like Division, but doesn't reach the peak of games like Diablo.

The story was good enough, and made the campaign enjoyable, more so with friends, but it isn't very deep or memorable. Still, I have played worse.

There is a lot to like in Outriders, but if we are being honest, these memorable moments are fleeting when compared to all the issues you need to wade through to find them.

The Bads.

Starting with my biggest pet peeve in this game, the map. Whoever designed this mini map should be dropped into the ocean with an anchor wrapped around his ankles...kidding, but seriously, have you ever come across a more useless map in the history of maps? This problem gets better as you start memorizing the areas, but it is hilariously awful.

Next up, the repetitive loading screens. Why do I need to fast travel from a flag to camp, in order to fast travel from camp to a new location? Cant we cut out the middle man here? Also, if i see my guy squeeze through another crevasse just so i can hop into a black screen to catch a glimpse of the outriders logo im going to curb stomp the next boss i see. Redundant landing pages is so incredibly lazy, and just bad game design.

Another huge pet peeve for was a game being created with cross play in mind, and not having any kind of universal communication platform. How do you make something cross platform and not give your players the opportunity to communicate? This seems like a huge whiff, and screams off a game that needed more time in the oven to make sure these items were not omitted.

The amount of Quality of Life upgrades this game could use is astonishing. No loadouts, in a game designed around builds. A map line indicator that routinely points you in the wrong direction. The long holds on activating new areas, I know this is nitpicky, but just use the d-pad directional for stuff like this. The skill tree, why cant I just deselect on a skill instead of redoing all skills, if I'm just interested in making slight changes? Back to the map, would it kill them to use a North indicator ( I hate this map)? Also, the game code generator for cross play is ok, but wouldn't it be nicer to just have a section to add friends from other platforms? Also, akin to no communications for cross platform groups, a PING system would be great. One of the things I loved about Division, was the ability to lock gear so you didn't accidentally delete it, this would be helpful here as well. Map design the makes you run through prior cleared areas to get to hunts, bounties, etc. is frustrating, put a flag beside these, this is the essence of a make work project versus the intentions of fast travel. Load times, so many little loads. Hope you are on the new systems or have a nice external SSD or this is death by a 1000 cuts. Also, this is a game that from its map design, seems to want to be a cover shooter, but really isn't one in any meaningful way.

These are all tolerable on their own, but when placed side by side, can make for some jarring experiences.

And the Awful...

Oh my god the awful. Look, this could take a while, and I don't want to trigger the puritans who will die on any hill that takes a shot at their new favorite game, but lets point out the obvious and indefensible.

Network issues. Holy sweet merciful Jebus, the network issues. Game stability is just downright terrible. Like BF3 terrible lol. From random disconnects, to massive frame rate dips, to a new problem i have been having lately where you desync from your team, but don't get booted, and can now only walk super slowly across the map. This game is held together at the best of times by duct tape and miracles.

Bugs everywhere. Loot bugs. First we had gear being completely wiped, now it seems random gear is just disappearing from inventories. Damage / Armor / and Mod Bugs. There are so many bugs to list, I'm just going to keep this short. You all know what they are (damage mitigation anyone? The Brood mother knows what Im talking about, that sheepish bitch), some are more prevalent than others, but it is like an insect infestation on the best days when playing Outriders.

Design. I could write a novel on this portion but I will just call out some really strange decisions I have seen. This game is not supposed to be a GaaS (Game as a Service), but it sure has a lot of GaaS attributes lol, without any of the benefits of it. If this was meant to be a standalone game as well as a single player, why is it online only? This is sooo odd. Why am i getting booted from an expedition when im playing on my own? What in the what? And you cant pause the game, huh?

Loot drops. If this is a one and done game, why are they making RNG so fickle? Do they really expect people to grind hours upon hours for the perfect piece? Perhaps. But how much replayability is there in this? People might grind this out for one character to perfection, but the fun wears thin when you realize you need to do this across 3 other characters, and even worse, across the same content. It is one thing to grind gear, when its on new content, but man, this gets stale super fast.

Matchmaking and End Game Content.

Good luck if you are solo and want to matchmake. You will either get booted by parties who think you are unworthy or you will land in the camp of some AFK dude. The expeditions are good, but they will get boring pretty quickly. This game has nothing else to offer for endgame.

All in all, the bones of this game are pretty good. There is a solid creation here, it is just buried under a mountain of bad choices and undercooked and half baked systems. There are so many examples as to why this game released too early. It should have been in the oven another 6 - 8 months probably. The fact this game moved to Game Pass a few weeks before its debut was troubling, but I guess I understand why after playing it.

I like Outriders, but I'm an easy mark, as I love looter shooters, Division, Diablo, Destiny, totally my jam. With that said, I cant really recommend this game is it is right now, unless you are playing through game pass. I would not pay full freight for this yet. If PCF stick with it, I am sure it will be a good game within a year, I'm just not sure anyone will be left around to play it.

Ps. I hate you map.

2 : Anonymous2021/05/20 17:22 ID: gyug1ke

Very well written and I’ve gotta agree with you on a lot of it.

The map has the be the worst in the history of games lol

3 : Anonymous2021/05/20 22:21 ID: gyvlgt9

The loot pool is deep and can make for some great loadouts and builds. The grind is real, but the ability to run expeditions, hunts, bounties, and historians make gathering the best weapons and armor fairly straight forward if you have the patients to play chicken with RNG Jesus.

I really disagree with this. Loot pools and character builds are one of the game's biggest weaknesses, and it's a big part of why the game has (mostly) failed.

At their hearts, looter shooter games (like Outriders) and ARPGs (like Diablo, for example) are not actually about loot, they're about character planning and building. The loot is only really valuable insofar as it allows the players to to design new and different character builds.

In outriders, there is no real character building. The talent trees are barebones. Each class has 2 viable talent builds, at most (top tree bullet build and/or bottom tree anomoly build), and the talent selection in those trees is entirely streamlined due to too many talents being flat out bad (reload speed in a bullet build) or lacking in synergy (you either take +AR damage or +shotgun damage, never both). There's an illusion of choice, but no real choice.

As far as gear, it just comes down to what three stats you need on every build. You look for a rare with those 3 stats, hope that when it upgrades to an Epic it will have at least one Mod that you need, and then you add another mod that you need through the crafting system. And for one or two classes, you have a build where a legendary set is actually useful, so you hope that RNG gives those legendaries to you.

That's it. Very little actual customization, and basically no character planning/building.

4 : Anonymous2021/05/20 18:12 ID: gyun65o

Completely, absolutely agreed! Fun read too lol

5 : Anonymous2021/05/20 17:24 ID: gyug9j3

I agree with a lot of what you say (fuck the map and the horse it rode in on), but I must say, the game has been very stable for me since the last patch. Solo, no problems. Multi, I haven't had any issues. Once I got an afk guy, but no desyncs or anything like that. Not even any griefers. I know my experience is different from others, but some of the problems don't seem to be affecting as many people as this sub makes you think. Problems? So many problems. But stuff like network issues and disappearing loot doesn't happen to everybody.

But seriously, the map can die in a fire in a dumpster, and then that dumpster can die in another dumpster, also on fire.

ID: gyuyx8r

The map was the first thing that tipped me off this game might have issues, 'cause holy hell.

I'd played Remnant for the first time a few weeks prior and complained to a friend about how bad the map is in that, and when I got to this I hit them up, laughing, like, "Okay, you were right, there are worse maps than Remnant's. Look at this shit."

ID: gyumvdw

That's fair - I have had every connection issue and player disagreement known to man in the week I've played this game, but it's still mostly been a positive experience... When anyone is even playing online during the EU hours.

But just as some people can't even get past the first login screen, it's definitely good to remind myself and others that none of those issues are global.

6 : Anonymous2021/05/20 18:35 ID: gyuqeri

Perfect analysis.

7 : Anonymous2021/05/20 19:34 ID: gyuyuw5

I came here to see if the connection issues ever got fixed, I guess not.

Played the Beta, loved it. Bought the game, me and my brother couldn't stay in the same game for more than 3 minutes without getting disconnected, so we stopped playing and said we'd wait a month or two.

I guess I'll wait another month or two. Sigh.

ID: gyvyso7

I play every couple days and haven't had any DC issues at all in the last couple weeks. Not sure if it's cause they patched it or cause I upgraded to xbox series s but that was by far my biggest issue with the game.

8 : Anonymous2021/05/20 20:07 ID: gyv3iz1

The map to me feels more like a radar then anything else since there is no marker or anything for that matter except for enemies

9 : Anonymous2021/05/20 20:45 ID: gyv8t2d

When it is at its worst, it can be controller tossing off a wall rage inducing

Reminds me of my Destiny days, just after launch.

10 : Anonymous2021/05/20 23:44 ID: gyvvc2t

Played for an hour and I've never been more frustrated over unresponsive sloppy controller input in my life. I legit just dropped my controller out of hands and gave up.

If they ever add the ability to turn acceleration off or any other settings I'm 100% certain I can get passed all the other stuff I see people complaining about and sink a couple hundred hours into it. I don't need another live game. I'm a sucker for the genre. Kill stuff ad nauseam for a chance at an item that will give me 2% more chance to crit or some other mathy rpg nonsense? Yes please! I breathe that shit. I just cannot get passed the controls.

11 : Anonymous2021/05/20 18:47 ID: gyus69t

PCF captures the power fantasy pretty well when you finally get one of your characters fully min/maxed, and your reward is chewing through enemy variants with the dizzying speed of a trickster, the anomaly and debuff magic of a pyro, or crowd control dependency of the technomancer. I have nothing pippy to say about the other class...haven't used it.

I don't agree. Power fantasy was in the demo. Full game doesn't offer power fantasy at all. You may min max your character for certain situations to feel power fantasy but it's not enough.

They need to fix the game first and then make it similiar to their demo and Diablo 3.

12 : Anonymous2021/05/20 21:17 ID: gyvd4md

This the same criticism id voice

Id also voice the extremely limited stash and character slots as massive downsides

And i sincerely hope the can crush the worst and make it amazing over time

13 : Anonymous2021/05/20 22:39 ID: gyvnn8a

I agree with most of what you said however the part I disagree with you on is the "deep loot pool" which is not wrong but not right either

14 : Anonymous2021/05/20 22:41 ID: gyvnv2g

Yeah I quit playing because I just got ps5 and don't wanna break it

15 : Anonymous2021/05/20 23:06 ID: gyvqxeq

In my head I imagine that they guy in charge of the map is some sort of charismatic slacker. When asked about it by the play test team he just blew them off by saying “Enoch interference... something, something...”

16 : Anonymous2021/05/20 23:47 ID: gyvvock

Biggest awful... It doesn't allow you to pick a content you want to run with others and then matchmake you with a host and other who want to do the same expedition, tier, hunt, whatever. It just... Maybe I'm spoiled from playing mmos and other always online games, but the multi-player doesn't feel intentional. You're not queueing up for the content, just dropping in with no communication. Destiny was already a shit show with their no matchmaking for so much content or ability to organize and meet up in certain content... We don't need worse looter shooters!!!

17 : Anonymous2021/05/20 17:33 ID: gyuhnp0

What's the issue with the map? I think it's pretty good as a quick reference for where enemies in close range are - most of the level design is straightforward enough that I can't recall ever getting lost anywhere.

I agree with the networking issues wholeheartedly and some of the design choices feel unfortunate - particularly the universal time trials as the endgame loop, I'd have preferred more variety and the same kind of creativity they showed in the campaign. Also a bummer that the WT/CT system leaves the (frankly, at times, astonishingly beautiful) campaign map largely useless after an hour or so into the endgame.

The networking seems like a budget/efficiency choice in terms of implementation and it shows.

I guess the bugs just don't bother me as much, but I've been playing videogames since there have been videogames. Can't recall a new IP big budget title that was released with no major issues, but then I don't play every game out there. To each their own in terms of tolerance level for that stuff.

I've got 400ish hours in, with all classes pretty maxed, and still find time to play just because I do enjoy the gameplay. Yeah, there are times something doesn't work right or some janky "wtf" moment ruins a run, but those are pretty easy for me to tolerate as that power fantasy payoff when you are successful is more than enough counterbalance, for me anyway. Haven't come across a game for a long time that has made being a demi-god feel like an actual challenge in quite the same way (and I'm not referring to problems with the code, I mean the actual gameplay).

ID: gyupyun

What's the issue with the map?

The main map just shows a pip in the center of whatever region you're in, and the mini map doesn't have any direction indicators. If you're in a spot with multiple paths to different missions (like the quarry camp) you have no way of knowing which path to take until you've memorized each area. On top of that, you can't select missions from the map to follow unless you've already interacted with the wanted poster or whatever, so you have to wander around looking the right path to get you to that interaction point.

On top of that, there's the useless extra load screens. If I complete a hint and want to turn it in I have to travel back to camp, talk to whoever is driving the truck, and then fast travel to where the huntsman is at. The map screen should have a local/world toggle so you can skip the extra loading screen & conversation and just go directly to your destination.

ID: gyuvbg2

Oh - the main map. Yeah that makes sense, I hadn't really considered it. Like I said, I found the overall level design pretty straightforward and never found myself at a loss (I am not sure that I ever really consulted the main map except to click on flags, and I did complete all the quests). Not a "git gud" statement, I legitimately hadn't even thought about it and it is a valid QoL design issue even though I personally didn't experience it.

There's just so much hate about every little thing to wade through and it was the first time I'd noticed a complaint about the map.

I agree on the fast travel to camp and then to city and then to location; it's definitely not the fastest "fast" travel system. And while I've got a SSD and haven't really noticed load times in games for a number of years, Outriders was definitely a game where I noticed them again, and definitely not in a positive way.

I think it primarily comes down to personal taste (aside from bugs that absolutely need fixing). Every game is a compromise between your personal design ideal and the one the developers go with. In this case, they have done a lot of things differently than people are accustomed to - for me that's part of it's charm but I can certainly see it being outside others' comfort zones. I don't mean this as an excuse - as you can certainly glean from other games when developing your own - but it is a brand new IP and not Call of Duty 47: Blacker Ops. I have noticed that a lot of the QoL stuff in various game series tends to creep in with the followup games.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x