One game that shocked me last year was Outriders, developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix. It was flashy, had an interesting concept for a story, and most importantly, I felt like a god when playing it. With some key legendary equipment, my pyromancer turned my enemies to ash in an instant. While it didn’t feel completely balanced or have the most engaging post-game, I enjoyed my time with it. So, to know that more content was finally coming in the form of Outriders Worldslayer, I was ready to hop back in. Unfortunately, for better or worse, this DLC is just more of the same.
In Outrider Worldslayer, you continue your adventure as the outrider. After stopping one threat that would end all humanity on Enoch, another has risen. A massive storm is slowly encompassing the planet, and you and your team need to find out why. However, this threat seems to be much more than it appears as a new rebel leader plots to take out your faction with this storm. But while also on this journey, you will not only learn about the history of Enoch but why you have superpowers and what other secrets this planet has in store for you. Some secrets could lead to saving humanity; others could lead to its destruction.
I’ll be upfront. If you didn’t care about the story of the main game, you will care even less about this one. I didn’t mind the Outriders story when I first played it. But with Worldslayer? Maybe it was the time since I last played, but I couldn’t care less about why I was going on this murder spree. I tried to pay attention. I really did. But I could barely find reasons to stay engaged during cutscenes. Even with paying attention, there were many times that the game’s story just felt like it took leaps. Not just in logic but in general storytelling to keep the gameplay moving.
Does that mean I was disappointed with all my time spent with Outriders Worldslayer? No. I still had just as much, if not more fun returning. I think that was in due part to all the changes that have been implemented since its original release. Particularly with balancing, each fight felt like more of a challenge that pushed me to change my loadouts to win. Which wasn’t something I felt was needed often during my original playthrough after I unlocked weapon upgrades. For Worldslayer, the standout changes were the new class skill trees, new enemies, changes to gear, and Tarya Gratar, the new post-game.
Each class got two new skill trees to add more depth. As a Pyromancer, my new skill trees were called the Gunblazer and Pyromaniac. One focused on the output of my guns on enemies affected by my abilities. The other enhanced my rad abilities further. I went with the latter, Pyromaniac. Even with only five new skill points, I could tell how much these new skills changed how I played. By the end of Worldslayer, I was playing very differently from how I started. Particularly with a focus on Thermal Bomb and Eruption, I couldn’t help but laugh at the destruction I was causing across the battlefield. All of this was thanks to the sheer amount of damage output these new talents offered and how much they reduced my cooldowns. Combine that with the gear changes, and I was a god again.
With gear, a new third armor mod was added thanks to Apocalypse Gear. These new mods were not changeable but added some good variety to the loot table. My favorite piece, which I thankfully found early on, decreased all my cooldowns by three seconds if all my abilities were on cooldown. Since you know how heavily I relied on my abilities, you can probably tell why I loved this so much (so many resistance members were turned into thermal bombs). I didn’t collect too many of these pieces, but each one I did collect noticeably felt more potent than their standard counterparts. As these are a chance drop, with higher chances at higher Apocalypse tiers (the new version of challenge tiers), it gave an excellent reason to keep the Apocalypse tier set to as high as it could go.
While I enjoyed the more balanced gameplay and incentive to play on higher Apocalypse tiers, there was one enemy that felt like a genuine challenge. With each faction, a new executioner-style enemy was added. This enemy was a tank—a complete bullet sponge who also dished out a ton of damage. At first, I hated facing off against them as they felt too overpowered. That changed, though, once I could read their moves and learned again how I could use the fodder to deal more damage to them. Also, because these enemies were melee-focused, they were great rivals to my more ranged/pick-em-off-one-at-a-time approach.
Finally, Tarya Gratar. This lost city is magnificent in design and is a really awesome rogue-lite addition. Instead of the regular expeditions, this is a full-blown dungeon where you explore this city to find its secrets. There are branching rooms that lead to treasure, punishing bosses, and a whole lot of awesome loot to find. In my two run-throughs, I found myself enjoying this honestly more than the base game. Mainly because it’s challenging in its own way and rewards risks and exploration much more than anything else in Outriders did before.
But, I did find myself getting more annoyed at certain bugs or issues that I remember having in the base game. Numerous times I got stuck in a corner by enemies, which all led to my death each time—not being able to roll away sucks. It sucks even more when they’re all hammering me, and I can’t get shots off or recover health. On top of this, the difficulty spikes continued. The final boss and the new enemy types were punishing. But they only felt unfair because of the sheer amount of damage some of their attacks did. Like getting locked out by one attack could lead to death in seconds. Which is something I only remember happening during the final boss of the first game because of several overpowered mechanics.
Outriders Worldslayer, while introducing some fun new additions, just ended up being more Outriders for better or worse. By this, I mean that in the end, you’re going to think this DLC was worth it depending on how much you enjoyed the base game. There is no revolutionary overhaul of systems. They built on what was already there or just retooled to fit in theming-wise (looking at you, Apocalypse levels). One thing is for sure—People Can Fly can make a fun game even more fun, regardless of whether it ends up being good.
Outriders Worldslayer is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, and PC.
Outriders Worldslayer, while introducing some fun new additions, just ended up being more Outriders for better or worse…There is no revolutionary overhaul of systems. They built on what was already there or just retooled to fit in theming-wise (looking at you, Apocalypse levels). One thing is for sure—People Can Fly can make a fun game even more fun, regardless of whether it ends up being good.