OK, so forgive the attention-grabbing headline, but stick with us on this one. Outriders, the fast-paced looter-shooter from gunplay experts People Can Fly, may be best remembered for its glorious violence and explosive weaponry, but its story deserves a shout out, combining deadly viruses, power-hungry villains, and a world that is desperate to kill you and everyone you know.
A good story is what keeps players coming back after all, and Outriders certainly provides. Nobody should feel prohibited from understanding a game just because they jumped in too late, or find half the info about the game’s world isn’t actually available inside the game itself.
And with Outriders’ new Worldslayer expansion, the action and excitement is getting kicked up another notch, with a new faction led by a new villain to contend with, as well as new environments to explore, weapons to use, and classes to delve into. And it’s all tied together with an epic story which you can jump straight into, whether you’re a first-time player or a veteran of Enoch.
If you’re just jumping into the fray, or it’s been a while since you last played, we’ve got the lowdown on why Outriders has a story that far outshines any of its contemporaries.
In the beginning
One of the key strengths of Outriders, and one that has been further expanded on in the new Worldslayer storyline, is the immediate depth of story. As a new player, you step right into the deep end, surrounded by gruesome violence and compelling narratives, uncovering truths and coming face-to-face with some of the biggest and baddest the game can throw at you. You’re starting the game at a disadvantage – being one of the last Outriders left, cast away onto a new and hostile planet, and tasked with protecting the future of the human race. Think that sounds hard? You haven’t seen anything yet.
Before the UI has even had a chance to solidify on-screen, things begin to go wrong for your character. First there’s the deadly viral fungus that almost wipes out the few people left alive after they breathe it in, and then there’s a terrifying anomaly storm that either kills you instantly or turns you into a superhuman known as an Altered. Your character is one of the lucky few that survives the initial storm and gains superpowers, but before you’re able to get to grips with the fire at your fingertips, you almost die and get put into cryostasis for 31 years. So it goes.
This is where Outriders really excels, leaving its peers in the dust. By the time your character breaks out of their cryochamber and begins the fight, you’re already wrapped up in levels of mystery and intrigue that other looter-shooters spend entire seasons building to, and you still get to kill plenty of enemies along the way. The world already feels real, tangible, and full of genuine peril. The responsibility on your shoulders feels noble, and it sets you up for relentless curiosity as you delve deeper into the mysteries of Enoch.
We aren’t alone
That’s just the very beginning of the game, so a quick spoiler warning before we go any further if you haven’t played the story. Happy to keep going? Then let’s go.
Pretty soon the story takes yet another twist, so you better be keeping up. It turns out Enoch was natively inhabited before you arrived, so the brave new world you thought was a blank canvas quickly becomes one with its own cultures and history.
You stumble upon an Enochian called August, who is in need of saving from an evil scientist who’s been experimenting on them to try and find a way to stop the fungal virus from killing more humans. Yeah. Luckily, some other scientists figure out a way to stop the virus without the need to torture the locals, and you’re finally safe from one of the extremely deadly threats on Enoch. It is in this way that Outriders cements your understanding of the world, and despite the many gory battles and admittedly satisfying weapons, manages to cultivate a sense of moral responsibility and genuine concern for the world around you.
With the fungus taken care of, you’re free to explore more of Enoch than ever – but you might be horrified by what you find. You’ll encounter the hostile Pax, and discover the connection their evolved forms, Ferals, have with those Outriders you thought were dead.
After several more mind-blowing twists and turns, along with a number of explosive, tough battles in the main story’s thrilling finale, the sinister story of Enoch and its varied inhabitants is about to unravel. But don’t think that’s where it all ends – the story is only just beginning.
As more of the story unfolds, you’ll find yourself picking sides, searching for clues, and wondering just what happened to this world. Unlike many other games in the genre, Outriders manages to sustain that sense of wonder and anticipation throughout the entire story, rather than descending into meaningless gunplay that feels repetitive and cold. And even when you’re in the endgame of the main story, there’s still more narrative to discover, rather than just endless battles against the same two bosses just to have a chance of nabbing a single weapon.
New friends, new enemies
As if that wasn’t enough, the massive new Worldslayer expansion introduces another faction of Insurgents led by Ereshkigal, considered to be the first Altered on Enoch. She’s super powerful, wants you dead, and has an army under her command who will protect her with their lives. You’re going to need some seriously powerful loot to take her down – and then you’ve got an expansive endgame to look forward to as well.
How does the endgame compare to its contemporaries in the genre? Well, without spoiling too much, we can say that even the mechanics are built with the player in mind perhaps more than any other looter-shooter. With many of these games you’ll be grinding endlessly to get to that final stage, with many elements of the game blocked until you reach it organically or – even worse – by paying real-world money.
Outriders wastes no time in giving you those tactile guns up front, and their space-age arsenal blows every other game out of the water. Each fight is as brutal as the last, with powerful guns that eviscerate your enemies available from the get-go, complete with their own unique mods to add some visceral detail to every kill. That’s not to say the endgame and higher levels don’t have some seriously impressive loot to work towards, but every single gun in Outriders – from Common to Legendary – offers a level of satisfaction that other games could only dream of.
Additionally, you don’t need to play through the entire campaign to reach the Worldslayer content. Whether you’re a newcomer to Outriders or you dropped off after launch, you can easily create a new character and boost them to level 30 to get straight to all the tasty new content.
So what are you waiting for? Outriders Worldslayer is available right now on PC via Steam, so buy your copy today and jump in for an epic tale of greed, betrayal, and death. Leave your weird robots and floating cubes at home – Outriders is where things get really interesting.