Enoch is back with new enemies and a new, interesting endgame.
After a long wait, Outriders Worldslayer has finally arrived, the expansion of the third-person shooter of People Can Fly. In recent months we had the opportunity to try it out and see how the endgame works, which we could also put to the test ourselves. The original Outriders was released last year (you can find the review here), not completely convincing the press and the public, despite rather solid and fun gameplay.
The main problem with this title, which despite more present lore and narrative, retains a looter-shooter soul, was the repetitiveness of the missions, especially during the endgame.
This problem had been partially mitigated by the free New Horizon update, although, after many months of its release, the repetition, especially of the endgame, has made itself felt again. Will Worldslayer be able to improve the situation and give a breath of fresh air to the playful proposal?
New threats on the horizon
The Outriders Worldslayer campaign picks up where the original one left off. Those who have completed the original game will remember that there are still many questions about the nature of the planet Enoch and not only remain open.
In Worldslayer, the Anomaly is increasingly dangerous, with increasingly frequent and violent storms that risk wiping out the few survivors from the planet or turning them into dangerous Mutations.
During the investigation into the frequency of storms, our protagonist will face a new charismatic enemy called Ereshkigal, a red-haired Mutation with enormous powers and very particular ideals, which have gathered several proselytes under his commands. The threat you represent will seriously endanger the Outriders’ expedition.
The character of Ereshkigal is interesting and well characterised. Still, this beautiful work is almost completely lost due to the short duration of the campaign – which can be completed in about 5 or 6 hours if you also complete some secondary missions; otherwise, even less.
The succession of missions is linear and does not present great surprises, and the narrative, compressed in too short a time to give the right space to the story and the characters, is the loser.
The consequence is a story with interesting premises but suffocated by the haste of some narrative choices, which leaves several questions open for the future.
The most successful are the battles, with some exciting and spectacular bosses, even in small numbers.
From the point of view of gameplay, in Outriders Worldslayer (already available on Amazon), we find several additions that allow you to further evolve your character. The level cap has remained at 30, but now you can refine your stats thanks to the Ascension points, which will enhance four elements: Brutality, Resistance, Ability and Anomaly.
By obtaining these points, one or more aspects of our hero can be improved with greater precision to make his strengths even more powerful or fill a gap.
Pax points will instead be used in the new skill branches exclusive to this expansion: they cannot be used in the normal class skill branches (and vice versa with classic points) and will allow you to obtain new skills to enhance the class of your character in to make it even more lethal.
The big news of Outriders Worldslayer is the introduction of the Apocalypse Degrees, which will replace the World Levels present in the original game. The function is practically the same as the previous ones. Each Unlocked Apocalypse Degree will increase the general difficulty, but at the same time, it will allow us to obtain more powerful and rare equipment.
These Grades are 40 in total and will make the progression more complex and slower without adding anything new to the title.
However, it will be worthwhile to face them to obtain the new weapons and armour present in the expansion, which is many and quite powerful. The most interesting feature is the ability to find equipment with three slots, making every but extremely powerful than the versions with only two slots. These weapons will be fundamental to face the highest Apocalypse Degrees.
Apart from these variations, the gameplay remains almost the same as in the past; the statistics of our character and equipment change, but the mechanics will always be those of the third-person shooter we learned about a year ago. Of course, the gunplay is always solid and fun, but without any additions in terms of noteworthy mechanics.
The new Outriders Worldslayer endgame
But what impressed us most positively about Outriders Worldslayer is the new endgame. Tarya Gratar’s Trials are well done structurally and in terms of ties to the game’s history.
It could almost be said that this mode is a sort of epilogue that reveals some further mystery of the game, but its playful structure also struck us.
Tarya Guitar is an ancient city of the Pax, the indigenous race of Enoch’s past, and we will have to go inside it, facing different rooms full of enemies and loot, without ever having the chance to go back.
The structure is, in fact, similar to that of a rogue-lite: going out without having completed all the rooms or going to meet death will make us start the journey in the ancient city all over again, this time with a different position of enemies and loot. We won’t necessarily have to go through all the rooms to get to the end: some will be optional, but they will probably hide more interesting equipment and greater dangers.
The interesting thing about Tarya Gratar’s Trials is that, even after facing them several times, new elements will continue to be found, with new enemies that can only be faced within this endgame mode, including some rather powerful and well-made bosses.
In the long run, repetitiveness will probably be felt here too. Still, the roguelike-style structure makes the adventure much more varied and fun, especially compared to the old Expeditions.
If, in the future, the developers of People Can Fly will add some updates, new enemies, bosses and new types of rooms, then we will be able to have an endgame mode that is much longer and more fun than usual.
Version reviewed: PS5