Outriders Worldslayer preview – A looting, shooting good time with plenty of reasons to return

Outriders Worldslayer screenshot showing combat with a bossPeople Can Fly/Square Enix

Outriders Worldslayer offers more shooting, looting fun that feels like a lap of victory for a game that’s bounced back from its troubled launch.

Did you play Outriders? That’s a question you may spend more time thinking about the answer to than you’d think. That’s partially because of its enjoyable but unforgettable B-movie plot, but may also be down to how it made a splash on Xbox Game Pass when it arrived before a series of server issues at launch rendered it unstable for several weeks.

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If you missed out, or you need your memory jogged, though, it was a fun third-person shooter that borrows liberally from the likes of Destiny to build a gory, loot-filled shooter with a lengthy campaign and fun classes.

Worldslayer, the game’s first paid DLC following the sizeable free update “New Horizon”, won’t change your mind if you didn’t fall in love with Outriders before. Still, if you’re looking for more enemies to burst like meat pustules, more insane weapons to earn, and a much smoother experience, then it’s a great time to get involved.

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Like riding a bike

Outriders Worldslayer combatPeople Can Fly/Square Enix
Lock and load, Outrider — there’s more gear to earn.

If Outriders’ “shoot first, maybe think about asking questions later but probably shoot again” protagonist in the main game warmed the cockles of your heart, then the good news is that things pick up not long after the campaign’s conclusion.

Your gruff main character is still on Enoch, and in a short hands-on session, I was thrust into a battle for a fallen drop pod of information on a snowy corner of the planet. Escaping to a nearby cave where I and my co-op partner were attacked by a gigantic monster, I was amazed how quickly I found ourselves slipping back into Outriders’ very deliberate combat rhythm.

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Despite playing through the demo with a fully kitted-out Devastator with none of my own gear (you’ll be able to get an instant boost to level 30 to take on Worldslayer from the off if you’d like), it wasn’t long before I was switching between a huge machine gun and an automatic sniper rifle and grabbing loot as I went. This early encounter with a boss also serves as a great reminder to get up close and personal — each class in Outriders has a health regeneration mechanic, and the Devastator’s triggers when killing anyone who dares get too close. Think of it like Doom’s “glory kill” mechanic and you’re on the right track.

Get the Mystery Machine

Outriders Worldslayer combatPeople Can Fly/Square Enix
Expect much more challenging encounters in the Worldslayer expansion.

So far, so Outriders, but the next mission I was able to play mixed things up a little. Creeping through an abandoned fishing village, one of our companions keeps wittering on about a spectral fisherman.

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This local legend builds to a crescendo as you work your way through the small town, pushing through the fog. It’s a genuinely interesting ghost story about love, loss, dedication, and revenge, and something I found myself thinking about long after I’d killed all of the enemies.

That is until a boat, shrouded in mist with a huge hooded figure pulled up. While the game’s protagonist had gone from mocking the legend to pondering the truth behind it, seeing “the Fisherman” step off the boat leaves him audibly panicked.

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As you’d expect from Outriders, though, what follows is less a study of the paranormal and more a tense, “push and pull” battle with a huge enemy (who is absolutely not a ghost, by the way) that left me and my teammate inches from death by the time it was over.

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Aside from the boss, though, it felt like an encounter that had taken a step up from Outrider’s cover-based main campaign skirmishes. I found myself prioritizing targets like snipers, pumping bullets into the boss, and relying on abilities to prevent myself from being swarmed by enemies. It’s fast, furious, and just as gory as the base game, but now with a little more gray matter involved.

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A Brand New Me

Outriders Worldslayer legendary weaponPeople Can Fly/Square Enix
Outriders’ builds are about to get even more extravagant.

That ties into character progression, too. Outriders drip-fed upgrades and new abilities at a really solid pace, and Worldslayer sees smart new progression options that equate to more than just raising the cap.

For one, there’s new gear, with two new Legendary armor sets per class as well as two sets for all classes, alongside almost one hundred new Legendary items across weapons and armor.

Once you hit level 30, you can unlock the PAX tree. This new skill tree is aimed at enabling subclass-like abilities to each of the game’s four base classes. The best part is that it can be respecced at any time and at no cost, letting players experiment freely with new builds.

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They’ll be important because there are new Apocalypse difficulty tiers that replace Challenge Tiers. That means Expeditions, the highest level of content in Outriders, is now formed of Apocalypse tiers to help make earning gear a constant process. It also opens up the option to earn Apocalypse Gear variants.

Finally, playing Outriders Worldslayer will earn you Ascension Points after level 30, and these can be invested in Brutality, Endurance, Prowess, or Anomaly, helping you further customize your character.

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People Can Fly is also promising a fresh endgame mode called the Trial of Tarya Gratar, but we’re still waiting for more news on that.

Final impressions

Outriders Worldslayer is looking like a hefty chunk of content for fans of the base game that’ll put a greater emphasis on providing a challenge than ever before — but with the rewards to match. The new progression system is just as exciting as the campaign, though, offering plenty of incentives for existing players to return.

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Loot-shooter fans like myself have been spoiled rotten this year with The Witch Queen and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, but don’t count out Outriders just yet.

Outriders Worldslayer is expected to launch in 2022.

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