Outriders Worldslayer provides plenty of new material for players to enjoy. In addition to several quality of life features, and new changes to difficulty levels, this premium expansion includes new enemy types, a new campaign, new gear, and new endgame material. It also carries the same baggage that hampered the base game. When it all comes together, this new content is fun, breezy, and just on the right side of silly nonsense. But when it doesn't, it can be painful.
Back when Outriders first launched, I described the experience as a melange of late 2000s action shooter tropes and trappings. The tone is packed with hyperviolent grit and dark apocalyptic overtones alongside disarming bursts of gallows humor. The story is engineered mostly to string a bunch of gunfights together and barely held together with fantastical technobabble and psuedo-supernatural elements. Finally, the core gameplay is cathartic and packed with creative ideas, all of it given structure with an ever escalating RPG progression system.
Outriders Worldslayer continues in this style. After investigating one of the many drop pods that fell to the planet Enoch in the final moments of the main game, your characters discover new information about the Anomaly, the weird fantastical storm that's been tearing the planet apart and mutating the wildlife. This starts off an investigation that unearths more secrets about Enoch's ancient past as well as awakens a new enemy force that your character has to shoot in the face.
If that last paragraph seems dismissive of Outriders Worldslayer's plot, it is mostly because the story's developments are hard to follow. In a way, it does conclude the dropped subplot with the warring factions on Enoch, it is where the big bad of the expansion hails from. It also continues fleshing out the alien precursors, the Pax, with the introduction of ancient ruins and some worldbuilding details regarding their technology and the Anomaly itself. But all of these elements are tertiary at best when the story pulls you from gun battle to setpiece with such energy and verve.
As for those gun battles, Outriders Worldslayer continues expanding on its high-octane action. The distinct character classes all give you unique control over the battlefield. When combined with the right armor and weapon configurations you can feel like a force of nature mowing through waves of troops. Overall, if you enjoyed how the cover in this cover-based shooter is more of a suggestion than a tactical decision, then know that that hasn't changed in the slightest.
What is a notable change is the introduction of Apocalypse Tiers. This basically merges together the World Tier difficulty system from the base game with the endgame dungeon difficulty tiers. The higher the tier, the better loot drops you'll get, but at the cost of having tougher enemies to fight. Much like World Tiers, this difficulty can be toggled back and forth at any time in case you hit a difficulty wall.
Progression in these tiers will lead to you unlocking new Apocalyptic Gear. These are brand new weapon and armor drops that contain three mod slots instead of two, allowing you more complex customization and build options. Furthermore, level progression has been split across three different skill trees. In addition to your class skill points, there are Pax points and Ascension points. Pax points are spent on a second skill tree that gives you more customization options. Think of this tree as an extension of your class tree. Alternatively, Ascension points give small incremental bonuses to certain stats that add up over time. Ascension points are essentially ways to keep leveling up your character beyond their cap.
While all of these quality-of-life updates are good, Outriders Worldslayer does carry some of the base game's baggage. Whenever you are facing waves of different enemies equipped with different firearms and melee weapons, the combat is exhilarating and fun. But whenever the game throws boss battles into the mix, these fights immediately turn into dull slogs due to repetitive, boring attack patterns and absurdly large health pools. It strips the cathartic combat into a simple numbers game and kills the pacing dead in its tracks.
This kind of health sponge boss design is even found in Outriders Worldslayer's newest endgame dungeon, Tarya Gratar. While the boss and enemy encounters found in this repeatable dungeon are unique, there are no special Raid mechanics to be found; just keep shooting and spamming your abilities. There is one notable exception, but the mechanic just amounts to capturing a platform to de-activate a shield. Given that Outriders has a lot more in common with Diablo than Destiny, I'm not expecting highly complex overlapping mechanics that require coordination, but it doesn't put the combat in its best light.
Finally, despite Outriders Worldslayer being released a year out from launch, there are still some technical issues. The servers were completely overwhelmed the day of launch, network connectivity is still patchy at best, and there were stretches throughout my playthrough where the game's audio became garbled white noise. Furthermore, there is still no offline mode, meaning if the servers aren't up, you can't just grind encounters for gear.
Outriders Worldslayer Review | Final Thoughts
Outriders Worldslayer does add some extra polish and complexity to People Can Fly's chaotic RPG shooter. The new weapons and armor are creative. The new enemy encounters – when they aren't obnoxious health sponges – are fun to fight. The new gear and difficulty systems continue the game's simple but satisfying rush of numbers getting bigger. While the campaign isn't exactly memorable and the online elements are still lackluster, the core gunplay is still unlike anything else out there. If you want more Outriders, this is just that.
Outriders Worldslayer was reviewed on PlayStation 5 with a code provided by the publisher. This new downloadable expansion is also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
- Fast-Paced Exciting Gunplay
- Refreshing New Gear and Progression Systems
- Packed With Replayable Endgame Content
- Forgettable Main Story
- Boring Health Sponge Boss Battles
- Lingering Online and Technical Issues