Outriders Worldslayer Review: Riders On The Storm
The first major story expansion for last year’s gritty looter-shooter, Outriders: Worldslayer offers plenty of reasons to return to the harsh alien world of Enoch in search of super-powered shootouts. It introduces a new campaign, loot, and challenge tiers, along with an addicting rogue-lite-inspired endgame featuring some of the People Can Fly-developed title’s most spectacular boss encounters yet.
Of course, all of this sounds great on paper, but does this expansion do enough to justify its rather steep $40 asking price? Read our full Outriders: Worldslayer review and find out.
Outriders: Worldslayer’s story picks up exactly where the main game left off. Yagak’s forces have been defeated, and the Flores’ life-sustaining cargo pods have touched down on Enoch, giving humanity’s remnants a fresh shot at survival. But unfortunately, it doesn’t take long until a new threat rears its ugly head. Before earth’s weary ex-pats can commence popping bottles, Zahedi discovers the Anomaly storm is poised to devastate the land once and for all. So, in a last-ditch effort, he sends the Outriders to rendezvous with an Insurgent scientist he’s been collaborating with who just might hold the key to averting the apocalypse.
The expansion pits players against a new antagonist, a freaky Insurgent general known as Ereshkigal, in a campaign that’ll take most players around five hours to complete. As you mow down waves of bloodthirsty creatures and heavily-armed insurgents, you’ll make your way through scenic locales like a frozen mountain pass, an ancient Pax city, murky swamps, and dimly-lit caverns littered with mangled corpses. Needless to say, Worldslayer’s new environments probably aren’t the kind of places you’d want to take your wife and kids on holiday. Still, they make for delightful backdrops for the bullet-ridden carnage Outriders so gleefully provides. So if you’re a fan of gunning down hordes of baddies across breathtaking battlefields littered with conveniently placed waist-high barriers, you’ll undoubtedly find plenty of that to keep you busy.
So, what’s new aside from the added story content? Well, for starters, Outriders: Worldslayer replaces with World Tier system found in the original release with Apocalypse Tiers, giving you 40 levels of mayhem to work through as you ratchet up the challenge in pursuit of shinier gear and boatloads of experience. Speaking of equipment, Worldslayer also introduces a new loot rarity known as Apocalypse. The biggest draw with Apocalypse gear is that it features a third upgrade slot. That may not sound like a big deal to the uninitiated. However, if you’re familiar with just how over-the-top some of the upgrades in Outriders can be, you’ll understand how much of a game-changer this is, as these weapons can be tremendously powerful. It’s worth noting that this third mod slot can’t be swapped out for anything else, though. But, more often than not, these slots pack some absolutely killer abilities. As such, I rarely felt myself wishing I could change them out for something else anyway.
In addition to collecting a miles-high body count and hundreds of weapons, you’ll also earn PAX points as you complete objectives throughout Worldslayer’s story. These points can then be spent to unlock new skills from the PAX Skill Tree, which branches into two new, distinct sub-classes for each of the game’s four character types. As you’d expect, these new skills are very powerful, but you can only have five nodes active at any time. Admittedly, this does feel a bit limited. But just like your standard skills, you can respec your PAX Tree anytime. That said, there’s plenty of flexibility for those who want to experiment with the system.
Last but not least, Worldslayer’s Ascension Points give endgame players a bit more room to fine-tune their builds by dumping points into twenty different passive attributes. They’re divided into four categories: Anomaly, Endurance, Brutality, and Prowess. These traits are more subtle than the benefits you’ll receive through your PAX Tree, but you can upgrade each one up to ten times, which can really add to your health, armor, damage output, and more. If you hope to tackle the expansion’s higher Apocalypse Tiers, you’ll want to make sure you spend these points wisely.
If you’re looking for more of the same trigger-happy gunplay that made Outriders so enjoyable when it was released last year, Worldslayer’s campaign undoubtedly delivers the goods. However, the new endgame component was probably my favorite part of the package. Dubbed The Trial of Tarya Gatar, it tasks you and your squad to explore a sprawling Pax palace in search of its secrets. Here, you’ll come across some of the most spectacular firefights and bosses the game has to offer. And, in rogue-lite fashion, you only have a limited number of chances to complete the challenge before you find yourself plopped back to the beginning to lick your wounds. With higher stakes and some genuinely memorable firefights, this endgame experience is an absolute riot.
If I have any one complaint about The Trial of Tarya Gatar, it’s that the dungeon layout itself is static, which does make the developer’s rogue-lite description seem somewhat misleading. With only the enemy types changing from raid to raid, it does start to feel a little bit too predictable. Still, the castle is massive, and there are multiple routes to reach the final chamber, so there’s still plenty of replayability. Even as I write this review, I’m dying to reunite with my squad and give the bloody trek through those majestic alien ruins another shot.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Outriders: Worldslayer. But that’s not to say it’s perfect. My biggest issue with the DLC is that it sometimes feels painfully linear. There are none of the well-written side quests or thrilling hunts like those found in the main story this time. Instead, you’ll be tearing ahead like a bullet from a Mindmugger with a 300% damage multiplier as you make a beeline to the finale. Again, The Trial of Tarya Gatar is a fun bonus to keep players busy once Ereshkigal gets her just desserts, but the total lack of optional content is disappointing nonetheless. A few more settlements and NPCs to interact with would have gone a long way toward making Worldslayer’s vision of Enoch feel a little more alive and the DLC’s $40 price tag easier to swallow.
Outriders: Worldslayer is a fun but fleeting experience that can be completed in just a couple of sittings. However, those who love tinkering with their builds will find plenty of reason to keep coming back for more, thanks to features like Pax Points, Apocalypse gear, and the fantastic new endgame challenge. As someone who finds himself square in the middle between enjoying Outriders’ storyline and stat crunch, I enjoyed my time with this expansion but found myself wanting more side quests to make all of my shiny loot and fancy buffs feel a bit more worthwhile.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for more brilliantly brutal gunplay and satisfying supernatural shootouts, Outriders: Worldslayer delivers the goods. But there’s a good chance your mileage will vary depending on what you hope to get out of the DLC. If you love fine-tuning your builds and tackling the highest World Tiers, Worldslayer will keep you glued to your controller for the foreseeable future. However, if you’re the type of player who’s strictly in it for the campaign and quest lines, you’ll probably want to wait for it to go on sale before pulling the trigger.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
Available on: PS5 (reviewed), PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC; Publisher: Square Enix; Developer: People Can Fly; Players: 1-3; Released: June 30, 2022; MSRP: $39.99
Editor’s note: The publisher provided a review copy to Hey Poor Player.