When about a year ago Outriders arrived on the market, it was undeniably accompanied by an aura of skepticism on the part of the players. Either because it was a particularly adverse historical moment towards products labeled as ‘Game as a Service’, or because of a market rather saturated with experiences of this type, the noisy communities that populate the internet never missed an opportunity to show their disappointment.
Fortunately, however, the developer People Can Fly has once again shown that he knows his stuff and has managed to package a much more fun, full-bodied and refined product than was reasonable to expect. Net of some small lightness in the construction of the science fiction world of Enoch and a certain basic repetitiveness that was possible to feel after the first hours of play, the latest effort of the Polish team has been able to convince even the hard core of the most pessimistic fans with adrenal, violent and damn galvanizing gameplay.
A precise and timely marketing campaign and some particularly successful distribution choices (such as the inclusion of the title on day-one in the Xbox Game Pass service, ed.) Did the rest: Outriders made headlines as a veritable success with over 3 million active players in the first 30 days of launch.
To capitalize on this excellent starting data, of course, it was necessary to invest in a program of updates on a regular basis that could have given users the motivation necessary to continue to dedicate their precious time to the game, even after completing the large campaign. principal.
Here, then, that after an initial period of worrying silence, People Can Fly has launched the free expansion New Horizon which has gone to implement four additional expeditions of extreme difficulty for high-level characters, in order to rekindle the dormant flame of ‘ interest in the heart of Outriders around the world.
Most importantly, however, was that New Horizon made substantial changes to the endgame formula with the aim of making it considerably more enjoyable and accessible, removing among other things the much-hated mission timer that was harshly criticized by the game. fanbase and that, in fact, represented a real obstacle to the success of the game in the long term.
After all, given the fierce competition crowding the ether, who would have decided to invest more time in an activity as unrewarding as the old timed quests?
Based on these (very welcome) structural changes and with a view to flesh out even more the already rather robust content offer of the basic package, People Can Fly and Square Enix worked hard on what would be the first paid expansion for Outriders, a DLC of considerable value that is preparing to crash like a Storm (excuse the easy pun) on Enoch and on everything you think you know about this dystopian universe.
Outriders Worldslayer is much more than the usual content injections we are used to seeing in ‘persistent world’ games lately: it’s a new campaign with new opponents, hundreds of new pieces of equipment but also new progression systems and new … activities for the endgame?
Let’s go step by step. A few weeks ago we were invited by Square Enix to try the first stages of Worldslayer in the company of two other fierce companions. As soon as we set foot on the surface of Enoch after so many months from the original launch, we immediately realized how radically changed the world of Outriders: icy winds and violent snowstorms lash the surrounding landscape while even the native creatures seem to have suffered the damage. caused by these sudden climate changes.
The reason why? It is easy to say: the Anomaly is growing, is transforming and adapting, almost as if it were a sentient organism that wants to survive at any cost to survive our presence and maintain hegemony. The dramatically lowered temperatures and atmospheric phenomena of various kinds that have recently occurred appear almost as a response to the exponential growth of the power of our Outriders.
As if that wasn’t enough, a new threat is rising from the bowels of the planet. Ereshkigal, one of the first living beings to undergo the Alteration and ferocious leader of a faction of elite fighters, appears to be on the verge of unveiling his dark machinations to the world, armed with an absolutely terrifying unique power and a massive army of diehard faithful. .
People Can Fly introduced us to Worldslayer as an expansion designed to further elevate the lore and imagery underlying the Outriders universe but suitable for any type of player. Whether you are an early veteran with hundreds of adventures behind you, or a novice novice, you can actively participate in the resistance against the mighty Ereshkigal.
Precisely for the latter, the developers have well thought of including in the package a ‘boost for level 30’ that allows you to jump directly into the history of Worldslayer without having to first complete that of the base game. It is a very useful expedient for those who, for one reason or another, may have been forced to change platforms but also an excellent tool for users who want to join the games of friends with a few more hours of experience. Nobody will be left behind.
Furthermore, as we said, Worldslayer brings with it a series of changes to the progression system, specifically designed to adapt the difficulty level to the statistics of the characters involved, in order to offer an always fresh and interesting challenge rate. For this purpose, the ‘Apocalypse Tier’ system was introduced which joins the already known ‘World Tier’ to dynamically scale the amount of obstacles placed in our way. Forty additional difficulty levels that translate into an equipment level cap raised up to 75. This means that you will be able to find weapons and armor of varying rarity but all with above average characteristics, some even equipped with a third slot for the mods that will make them completely unique.
Believe us when we tell you that, during our test, we were able to experience firsthand how punitive the new Apocalypse System can be. Although we were equipped with a rather level character and equipped with all respectful equipment, we found ourselves in serious danger in some situations, overwhelmed by the enemy troops (some with completely new movements and attacks) that exceeded us in number and aggression. It took a certain amount of coordination and a good positioning on the battlefield to be able to take home the victory after numerous attempts … and we have not even had the opportunity to face the fearsome Ereshkigal!
To allow us to better face the growing threats that will face us, however, People Can Fly has well thought of introducing also PAX points that allow us to have access to a secondary skill tree to unlock new abilities for our heroes. The latter, deriving from an ancient civilization that had intuited how to bind the power of the Anomaly, can be purchased in key moments of the Worldslayer campaign and allow you to further customize the performance of our virtual alter-ego to get the better of the most fights. advanced.
Incredibly, there is even more. An additional gameplay element known as the ‘Ascension System’ has been implemented, which allows you to obtain the namesake Ascension points during fights to alter the basic statistics of your Outrider. You can choose to invest them in health improvements, shield increases or a permanent damage boost: the choice will be yours (and the build you intend to create, of course, Ed.).
And what about the artistic direction? The two environments that we were able to explore during our tests, Glacius Edge and Driftwater, respectively an impervious glacial expanse and a treacherous swamp, seemed to us very inspired and full of breathtaking views. People Can Fly’s art team seems to have even surpassed some of the most beautiful scenarios seen in the base game.
Ultimately, Outriders Worldslayer is taking shape as one of the largest and most ambitious expansions ever designed for an online shooter like this one. A rich campaign (with a duration varying between 5 and 10 hours according to the developers), profound structural changes and a series of measures aimed at extensively extending the experience offered by the title speak of a considerable effort by People Can Fly that seems really willing to better support its loot shooter.
And did we mention that there will also be other endgame-related activities that are still totally shrouded in mystery and that will be revealed in the coming weeks? Well, the developers seem to have really gone big, no doubt about it.
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