Entertainment

ferocious combat and shiny trousers make for a compelling loot-shoot

You are one of those “Altereds” capable of fighting as a variety of classes against opposing factions and toothy monsters. These range from the tank-like Devastator to the villainous Trickster and the long-range Technomancer. I spent most of my playtime as a Pyromancer, a mid-range attack demon that can hurl a stream of flames, turn defeated enemies into devastating mobile grenades, or encase any nearby villain in ash. The powers you wield are nicely varied. My second build is a trickster that has a timer and can teleport behind groups of enemies and wreak havoc before, for example, flying away. But the real blessing is how each different class significantly changes your approach.

The worn level design suggests that Outriders is played as a cover shooter. Quiet, narrow corridors arch into arenas peppered with waist-high barriers to sniff through. But it quickly becomes apparent that cover is for your enemies, not you. You snarl into battle, fast cooldowns allowing you to overwhelm groups of scurrying attackers. The cover is there when you need to retreat, but even recovery usually comes with an attack. For my Pyromancer, any enemy I set on fire with one of my powers is “marked.” Any enemy killed while marked gives me a welcome health boost. The Trickster replenishes HP with melee and personal kills. Each class has a different healing technique, but all are based on aggression. Of course, a diverse team in co-op reveals the very best each has to offer when you weigh each other’s strengths.

It leads to gameplay that’s insanely fun as you dance through the arenas and find a rhythm as you dart between volleys of bullets and devastating forces that refill your health. In contrast, Outriders tries to overpower you. Combat can be fabulously intense, and while you’re set up as a fearsome attacker, Outriders gets pretty tough and pretty fast.

But one of Outriders’ other successes is that it knows games like this work best when they’re accommodating, not obstructive. Your difficulty level is determined by both your current level and the parent “world tier”, which can be changed at will once each tier is unlocked. Level up each level by killing enemies to fill a bar at the top of the screen to unlock the next level, die and the bar will fall. Higher tiers offer better loot, but you can always drop them if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Start breaking your current tier and you can move on to work on the next one.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gaming/features/outriders-review/ ferocious combat and shiny trousers make for a compelling loot-shoot

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