Now that the Outriders Worldslayer release date is upon us (the DLC will drop at 5pm BST today, Thursday 30th June, for players in the UK), it’s time to share our full thoughts on this sizeable expansion for the sci-fi shooter.
When the Outriders base game launched last year, we proclaimed: “This could be a brilliant game, but it's too soon to tell." We were referring to the fact that the review embargo lifted just two hours after the game came online. Looking back, though, we should’ve known that Outriders would need a little longer to become its best self.
After all, online ‘looter shooters’ like this often improve over time as new content is dropped into the game post-launch, while players take time to work on their character builds and find their favourite ways to play. After publishing our Outriders review-in-progress, we finished the base game and found ourselves satisfied with the overall experience, but we didn’t know that the best was yet to come. In fact, we switched off the game post-credits and didn't spend much time with it after that.
Jump forward to the present day and we’ve spent a fair chunk of time with the Worldslayer DLC for Outriders, which really does push the game to giddy new heights and breathe new life into it from both a story and a gameplay perspective. Keep on reading and we’ll tell you why we’re very impressed.
Once you’ve got Worldslayer installed, talking to Channa will trigger the new mission chain, which immediately draws you back into the action. Picking up with our Trickster character that we built in the base game, we used our trusty collection of massive guns and telekinetic abilities to fight off a massive polar bear-like creature along with hordes of smaller enemies, before finding a small lab.
The anomaly, which gave the player-character their powers, is threatening to expand and devastate the planet of Enoch. Of course, it’s down to you and your companion characters (along with your multiplayer allies, if you’re that way inclined) to find a solution. A discovery in the aforementioned lab will send you out into brand new areas on a hunt for answers.
Without wanting to get into too much spoilerific detail (we did recap the opening couple of hours of the DLC in our Outriders Worldslayer preview), one thing we do want to mention is that this new story segment makes some brilliant additions to the game. It’s a really enjoyable evolution of the experience.
There’s a major new villain that makes an immediate impression (we’d say she’s scarier than the base game baddies), there are revelations that hark back to the pre-human-settlement history of the planet, and there are lots of new improvements you can make to your character. And of course, there are combat encounters that will push your abilities to their limits in exciting new ways.
The gameplay feels great, especially when you chain together a few different attacks and see those damage numbers pushing up into the thousands. It’s very satisfying to zip around the battlefield, outthinking your enemies and overcoming massive crowds of aggressive alien creatures. The graphics look awesome, as well, whether you're taking in the lush sci-fi scenery or watching an enemy explode.
The difficulty system now has ‘Apocalypse Tiers’, with each of these new tiers upping the ante in terms of how tough your opponents are (and how good the loot is that they’ll drop). Just like in the base game, though, you can always switch back to a previous tier if the game gets annoyingly difficult.
With the Apocalypse Tiers comes a chance to get Apocalypse Loot, a new type of gear/weapon that comes with a third mod slot. One slight annoyance is that you can’t alter all three of the slots, but still, it’s great to be able to create wild new combinations and push your damage-dealing abilities further. As ever, it’s thrilling to watch as your opponents are torn to shreds, skeletons exposed, as you unleash hell on them.
There are also two new ways to continue altering your character. Once you hit the Level 30 max level cap on the main skill tree, you can now use the PAX skill tree and the Ascension skill tree to keep on adding new perks. This means your build can get even more complex, allowing you to bolster your stats even further and make your battlefield excursions even more varied.
As the story progresses, there are satisfying twists and turns, with some big reveals and surprises deepening the lore of the game. We’d also say that the performances are pretty strong here, slightly less hammy than the base game, with various new characters making strong first impressions.
You might even find yourself wanting to stick around after you’ve finished the story, which should take you a brisk five hours to beat - this might not feel like enough to some paying players, but we felt like it was a suitable amount of content to get us hooked all over again.
Thankfully, the new endgame mode (The Trial of Tarya Gratar) offers a fun new way to keep the party going post-story. Or if you skipped the Expeditions that became available after beating the base game, it’s worth going back to check those out as well.
All in all, Worldslayer takes all the great things about Outriders – the chaotic combat, the intriguing world and the enjoyable character-building element – and turns them up to 11. With all the improvements, the game feels better than ever. It's in a different class, even. At long last, we feel confident in saying that this is a great game.
Outriders Worldslayer launches 30th June for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. We reviewed on Xbox Series X, and you can click any of the links in the previous sentence to order your copy. Or check out the deals below.
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