In the fifty hours I spent dodging, dashing, shooting, and looting in Outriders Worldslayer, I couldn't help but obsess over the idea of an Outriders game with a AAA budget and roadmap of other looter shooters like Destiny or The Division.
Like the base game, the $35 expansion, which comes with a new campaign and a replayable endgame dungeon, excels at being a satisfying third-person shooter with enough new tantalizing loot to give new and returning players unprecedented build crafting possibilities and keep them invested in the gameplay loop in the process.
However, when Wordslayer stumbles, it stumbles on those same potholes that held the base game from being the pinnacle looter shooter experience.
Outriders Worldslayer review - How is it?
This review is divided into four categories -Campaign, Endgame, Buildcrafting, and Bugs and Glitches. There are no major story spoilers here, and you can skip to any of the four sections at any time, as they are pretty much unrelated to one another.
Campaign & Progression
The Outriders Worldslayer campaign picks up right after the events of the base game. A new threat appears, and the Outrider is compelled to take the matter into their own hands once again. This time around, the big baddie is an Altered called Commander Ereshikgal, who has her own stupid motives to end the world, the likes of which you usually expect from a AA budget sci-fi video game.
Worldslayer's story is largely forgettable though it does answer some lingering questions from the base game, or at least it tries to. While the story's quality didn't surprise me, its length did.
Worldslayer's campaign is surprisingly short, and you will rush through it in just 4-5 hours or even less at lower Apocalypse Tiers. There are no side missions and hunting quests to distract you either, and you will quickly find yourself standing beneath the intimidating entrance of Tarya Gratar, the game's endgame activity.
New players (and veteran players) can jump into Worldslayer content directly by creating a preset level 30 character. It's a nice initiative and is especially beneficial for veteran players who want to experience endgame content with a different class of character.
Combat-wise, what's there in Worldslayer's neat little campaign is solid, thanks to a decent loot drop. It's what made progressing the base game so rewarding, and it's no different here. It's safe to say that out of all looter shooters out there, Outriders Worldslayer is probably the most generous and rewarding for casual players.
Not everyone has the time or patience to grind hundreds of hours for a god roll of legendary gear, and Worldslayer understands and acknowledges this by consistently dropping decent loot every now and then. However, the loot drop rate significantly drops as you head farther into the game.
In short, you don't have to play 50+ hours to get a taste of the best weapons in the game though if you do decide to sink those many numbers, you can expect to be handsomely rewarded.
Speaking of rewards, Worldslayer's new Apocalypse weapons do not just carry some incredible mods that favor different playstyles and build, but they are also gorgeous to look at and boast some intricate designs. One Worldslayer weapon, in particular, has an uncanny resemblance to Destiny 2's Osteo Striga SMG.
It's no surprise that developer People Can Fly took utmost care in crafting some of the game's best weapons and armor though what I would like to point out here is how you won't have to pay (real money or in-game resources) to get these skins.
Bungie charges a fortune for ornaments and skins of exotic weapons in Destiny 2, and People Can Fly is giving away similarly looking gorgeous skins for no extra amount.
It's not like Outriders is generous, it's just that this specific genre of games has been tainted with microtransactions and other monetization schemes for so long that most players don't know any better.
Halfway through the Worldslayer's campaign, the game starts to hype up the impending endgame - Trial of Tarya Gratar - though it ends up overselling itself.
You will probably have a love-hate relationship with Trial of Tarya Gratar, and this relationship will get more turbulent the more you grind your way up the Apocalypse Tier. That's because Worldslayer doesn't really know how to treat players after they have sunken a substantial amount of hours in the game.
The Trial of Tarya Gratar is your pretty standard replayable dungeon with over a dozen main and optional encounters. While the game sells these encounters and boss battles as some of the most challenging ones in the entire game, they end up being just bullet sponge enemies that don't necessarily require any strategy or coordination between teammates.
The bosses in Tarya Gratar have excruciatingly long health bars, and some of them take over 8-10 minutes of non-stop shooting and spamming skills to take down. The final boss is a downright hilarious replica of the first Tarya Gratar boss and possesses nearly identical skill sets.
It's as if the developers didn't expect anyone to reach the final boss or just lost the motivation to finish the grand finale because everything else is just so underwhelming and lackluster. Of all the Tarya Gratar bosses, the one that notably sticks out and requires some actual brain stimulation is Okriel the Traitor boss fight.
While it's nothing extraordinary compared to the elaborate dungeon and raid bosses in games like Destiny 2 or The Divison 2, it's a fine example of what should have been the baseline for every other Trial boss.
Where Trial of Tarya Gratar excels is by giving you the option of targeted loot farming. When you open up the trial map, you will notice that every boss have a specific gear type they drop.
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So if you want to farm an Apocalypse Legendary Leg piece, you could simply head towards the boss area that is guaranteed to drop that particular gear type rather than obliterating everything in the way and hoping for someone or something to drop the things you desire.
It's a feature that I wish more looter-shooters, especially Destiny 2, had for some of its high-end activities, and having something like this in Outriders Worldslayer saves one from a lot of unnecessary grind, not to mention is a godsend for players who want to go for a specific build because at the end of the day Outriders Worldslayer is all about build crafting.
The heart of the Outriders Worldslayer experience (or any looter-shooters) is crafting and experimenting with different build types.
Leveling up your gear, equipping the right mods to increase firepower and anomaly power, increasing gear attributes, and investing the Ascension and PAX points wisely to craft your desired build are all you will care about.
Outriders Worldslayer shines by giving players the necessary tools to craft that perfect build, and it's always so satisfying to see that build become a powerhouse on the battlefield and do high DPS just as you intended.
I spent hours fiddling with the game's crafting system, disassembling gear for the desired mods, equipping the disassembled mod in my favorite weapons, and so forth for a particular run through the Tarya Gratar.
After returning, I would spend another twenty minutes or so experimenting with different mods that synergize with my class skills to get that anomaly power and status bonus.
In this regard, Worldslayer is quite flexible, and the thirst for better gear, more importantly, mods, and how I could synergize them with my current build had me coming back to the otherwise tiresome and monotonous Trial of Tarya Gratar.
Bugs and Glitches
Just like the base game, Outriders Worldslayer has a plethora of game-breaking issues that sometimes make it impossible to enjoy. During its early access launch, Worldslayer was simply inaccessible despite its servers being perfectly fine.
It's an issue that plagued the base game at launch, and you would think that People Can Fly and Square Enix had learned their lesson, but it turns out that wasn't the case.
Frequent crash is a common affair in Worldslayer. Once, after defeating the final Tarya Gratar boss, my friend got kicked out of the server and didn't get any of the rewards. In one instance, the boss spawned below the ground, causing us to restart the game and lose one of your Trial attempts in the process.
The worst of them was the one when my equipped weapon simply failed to trigger the mod effects during the battle, thus nullfying my build altogether.
Quality of life issues like these make me wonder what kind of an experience Outriders Worldslayer could have been if it had the budget, crew, and support of AAA live-service games like Destiny 2, The Division, or even Borderlands.
Despite the many technical issues that sometimes overshadow its monotonous endgame content and bland storytelling, Outriders Wordslayer achieves the one and only objective it sets out to achieve, that is, to be a satisfying and rewarding looter shooter experience.
For more on the game, why not check our section dedicated to Outriders Worldslayer news, features, and guides.
Featured image courtesy of Square Enix.