As the would-be Convention season comes upon us in 2020, many developers have chosen to hold live streams to showcase their latest games. Outriders, which is due during this year’s Holiday season, is no different. I was able to sit down and dissect what we have learned from Outriders Broadcast #2, so let’s take a look.
Story & Gameplay
In the first installment of “Outriders Broadcast“, we were introduced to The First City, a place where you spend a good portion of the early game. This time around, we ventured out into the wilderness of Enoch and learned more about the hub-and-spoke design of other areas. Literally starting with a central area, or hub, this is an are filled with NPCs and vendors where you can get quests and learn more about the world and people of Enoch. In hub areas, your weapons are holstered and the feeling is a bit different than being out in the wild.
Hub areas aren’t just cities. Your truck is also your own mobile hub filled with its own cast of characters like your driver, Jakub, who also serves as your truck customization vendor. In the truck hub, you will also find your stash where you can store unused items for later or one of your five potential other characters. On top of that, you can update the appearance of your Outrider or use the games matchmaking terminal while at the truck hub.
Now, that we have explained the hub, we can talk about the spokes and some of the paths that may lead you there. In Broadcast #2, we were introduced to Eagle Peaks which is an area that hosts a side quest where you investigate a missing person and confront an Altered Cult on a snow-covered mountaintop area.
While Outriders is not necessarily an open world, it does have open areas to explore that may lead you on one of these side quests or even other ones. During the video, they showed bounties and Monster hunts which are some of the other things one could find by stumbling off the beaten path. While they didn’t go much more into these missions, I’d love to see a monster hunt be some sort of investigation where you could hunt down a legendary or boss-level enemy for higher quality loot or crafting materials.
It’s also worth noting that side quests will scale in both difficulty and rewards based on the player’s level. As someone who has played many loot-based RPGs, I sometimes get ahead of myself with completing side quests to gain the XP and miss out on higher tiered rewards. Knowing these things in advance can help those looking to min/max their gear right from the start.
Class Breakdown: The Pyromancer
Last month, we got a detailed breakdown of the Trickster. This time, we got to see the Pyromancer. The Pyromancer is typically a mid-ranged attacker and uses the powers of heat, flames, and ash to cause havoc on the battlefield. What the Pyromancer lacks in movement abilities, it makes up in the ability to stun, immobilize, and burn its enemies using anomaly powers like Overheat, Thermal Bomb, Ash Blast, and Heatwave.
I don’t want to forget to mention that there aren’t any healing items in Outriders, but playing the game aggressively will reward players with healing abilities. Specifically for the Pyromancer, they heal by killing enemies marked by their ability effects. This also should play somewhat significantly in choosing a skill tree path, of which there are three: Ash Breaker, Fire Storm, and Tempest. Ash Breaker and Fire Storm both focus on improving player damage output. Tempest, on the other hand, is a path dedicated to adding health and damage reduction. They also made it a distinct point to showcase in this branch called “Phoenix Nestling” that will instantly revive you upon death once every three minutes.
Personally, I’ve liked what they have shown with the two classes so far and I’m very surprised by the diversity in how you can build them. The Pyromancer being no exception to this. I look forward to seeing how people build out their Pyros.
In a bit of an unexpected addition to the Broadcast, we got a unique tour of Outriders’ score in production at TomTom Studios in Budapest. I often feel a game’s soundtrack gets overlooked, but I think Outriders may be different on that front. The composer for the game is Inon Zur and it would come as a complete surprise if you hadn’t heard one of his works in a game over the last decade. With scores from games like SOCOM II, Crysis, Fallout 3, 4, and 76 as well as Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, we could be in for an audio treat this holiday. Zur was seen in the video leading the Symphony of Budapest performing some of the ominous music from the game.
What Did They Miss?
During the closing Q&A session, it seems many people have been asking about the same three things: a Beta, End Game, and Crossplay. All of these questions are completely valid at this point, but as of right now they don’t have an answer for any of them. Hopefully, we will know more on these fronts soon. Also, at this point, a vague release window of “Holiday 2020” could have been narrowed down a bit, but that could be me being nit-picky.
Next Time on Outriders Broadcast…
While no date for the next broadcast has been announced, they have given us a rough outline of what to expect from it. On the story and world-building front, we will learn “What it means to be Alters?” where they will dive a bit into what happened after the anomaly ravaged the first settlement on Enoch. They also plan to show mods, crafting, and legendary gear sets as well as a comprehensive breakdown of the Devastator class.
Outriders will launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, and PC via Steam this holiday season. See you all in August for the next Outriders Broadcast.