Outriders is the big winner of the game month of April: The loot shooter became a long-runner after several weeks Valheim from the Steam throne and within the first week, too break some records: With over 125,000 simultaneous players, it was about the best launch of a title published by Square Enix. Actually, developer People Can Fly should have plenty of reason to be euphoric, but the reality is different: The studio is currently much more busy Endeavored to limit the damage. Despite the successful start, criticism has recently increased, and glaring mistakes chased the players away in droves. So maybe an Anthem 2.0 awaits us here?

Let’s start with the positive: You can play outriders (buy now 59,99 € ) actually the least to blame. People Can Fly delivers a coherent shooting spectacle here: The loot shooter is fun, plays crisp and, with its four different classes, offers plenty of opportunities for experimentation. Sure, the story is stupid, the graphics at most mediocre and the opponent, level or combat design could have used a little more variance. “Always a firm druff” is currently still the best method.

Without offline mode, without me!

For me, the really serious problems lie elsewhere. Especially when it comes to technology, Outriders still has a lot of catching up to do: It starts with superfluous loading times, extends to asynchronous cutscenes, graphic bugs and performance problems and finally culminates in broken mission triggers or endless login screens that make the title completely unplayable. The loot shooter is also completely unstable. Crashes and disconnections were particularly common at launch. Due to acute server problems, there were occasionally hardly any functioning sessions. The advertised crossplay feature between PC and console was even completely deactivated and only recently submitted via patch.

There isn't too much to criticize about the basic shooting gameplay of Outriders, only the technical implementation causes headaches.

There isn’t too much to criticize about the basic shooting gameplay of Outriders, only the technical implementation causes headaches.

Source: Plassma Media Agency

But even in single player, Outriders is not always a lot of fun. Among other things, this is due to the fact that People Can Fly relies on an always-on approach for completely incomprehensible reasons. Means: You have to be connected to the internet at all times, even if you just want to gamble alone. If the server is down, even single players look into the tube. In addition, you can never pause the game even in a solo session. If you just want to take a short pee break, you’re out of luck. In my humble opinion, an absolute cheek towards the customer, especially since there is no reason for a permanent network connection: Co-op is purely optional, there is no PvP, even microtransactions are in vain. So why can’t I play offline when I create a private lobby? This is given to comparable genre representatives – such as the 3-player co-op shooter Remnant: From The Ashes – yes also baked.

All in all, in many corners and ends it almost seems as if Outriders wasn’t designed to be a lot of fun on your own. Especially in higher world levels – that is, levels of difficulty – playing solo becomes increasingly strenuous, almost unfair. You are faced with a ridiculous number of opponents who are not only strong but also incredibly tough. Since single players have no way to revive themselves, frustration quickly arises here.

This is then multiplied by the fact that Outriders throw unnecessary clubs between your legs when trying to level your equipment to match the increasing challenge. If one of the servers wears out, it can happen that your stored character and with it all of your items go flutter. The problem occurred several times at the launch, but experienced another revival after the last patch installed – which ironically was supposed to iron out the bug. For example, players sometimes lost their progress from over 100 hours of gaming time. Of course, the makers are currently working on compensating the injured as much as possible. On Twitter, for example, they said: “We know and deeply regret that some users are still using one Inventory-Wipe have to fight and do everything in our power to solve the problem. “
For many, this step is likely to come too late, they have already thrown in the towel in frustration.

And if not because of an inventory whipe, then maybe because of the lousy endgame. Without having fun: The creators have the opportunity to meet with genre colleagues wie Destiny, Warframe or The Division to see how it works – or at Anthem or Avengers how not to do it. And then you just miss this opportunity and run blindly to doom. Even in the run-up to the release, the makers announced that they had not looked at the competition. And this is now also clearly shown in the content that awaits you after the campaign is over: Currently there are only expeditions to farm legendary equipment. But these are not large-scale raids, but rather small rescue missions: You will be sent to find resources and weapons that fall out of orbit in drop pods. To get to this, you have to flatten wave after wave of opponents before you can finally bag the tasty loot. It varies depending on how fast you have completed the 15 different levels. The faster you are, the better your reward will be.

If you are unlucky you will lose your entire inventory due to a bug.  Not a problem after a few hours of play, but in the endgame this can be a real reason to put the game aside.

If you are unlucky you will lose your entire inventory due to a bug. Not a problem after a few hours of play, but in the endgame this can be a real reason to put the game aside.

Those: PC Games

Is that the endgame or can it be the way?

In plain language, this also means: You are practically only busy blasting your way through a bunch of opponents over and over again under time pressure – in the narrow hope of someday getting a legendary item dropped. This is not only boring, but has also caused massive balancing problems: Since the distributed damage is practically the most important factor during the expeditions, players who are not that powerful are often thrown from endgame sessions. Devastator players are particularly affected by this problem, as the tank class cannot keep up with the damage output of Technomancer or Pyromancer.

A familiar picture for Outriders players: Once again the server connection has been interrupted.

A familiar picture for Outriders players: Once again the server connection has been interrupted.

Those: PC Games

That led to even more trouble. A recent update now required the special abilities of the other two classes. Above all, the skills Twisted Orbs, Corrupted Orbs and Volcanic Orbs have undergone extreme changes – for example by increasing the cooldown phases or reducing damage buffs. According to People Can Fly, players would have exploited these mechanics to play through all of the endgame content solo. The developers hadn’t planned it that way. The reality now looks like the devastator is still too weak, but players of other classes have also been deprived of the fun. The basic problem has practically not changed: The top builds are still the top builds, they just play even worse now.

As you can see, there is a lot going on with Outriders. Which brings us back to the initial question: is another Anthem or Marvel’s Avengers-style flop looming here? I would say: No, and for a relatively simple reason: Unlike the two genre competitors from BioWare or Crystal Dynamics, Outriders is not a live service game. There are no seasons, no add-ons to wait for. The loot shooter is a self-contained work and works well in this regard – if the technology plays along. There is enough story, enough gameplay, enough content – and that for single players too. So it is not a problem if the number of players drops after the launch hype slowly subsides.

The fact that the title is available in the Xbox Game Pass and can therefore also be tried out for the small thaler, the extinction of the loot shooter should also be almost impossible. But, and this has to be said very clearly in this form: If the makers want to get even more out of the brand, for example in the form of self-contained extensions, then you should start working on smoothing out the gaming experience as soon as possible. And if possible, before you gamble away the remaining trust of the remaining users …


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