When Outriders properly broke cover earlier this year with our first look at this looter shooter in action, there was a fair amount of talk of it looking like something pulled from 2008. The more I learn about People Can Fly’s first solo outing since 2013’s Gears of War: Judgment, the more I think it’s not so much a slur as something to be celebrated: this is a shooter that’s proudly, defiantly old-school.
It’s loud and brash and gory and completely over-the-top – like every good People Can Fly game in the past has been, really, from Painkiller to Bulletstorm – with all that excess met by some smart ideas. There’s an intriguing World Tier system that sees difficulty adapt on the fly and a class system that looks properly malleable with player choice having a big impact on character builds. Oh and, most importantly, shooting things looks like it’ll feel just great.
Yes, the art-style isn’t exactly inspired, although the fresh look offered in today’s extended presentation demonstrates that it’s got a much broader palette than first gameplay suggested. “Our goal with this new was content to show that every level in our game has a different colour palette,” Outriders director Bartosz Kmita tells us. “It’s not only about the brown colours and the World War One feel. It’s much more than just a warzone.”