OUTRIDERS - Game Infinite Demo Impressions Review
The decision to have Outriders delay and launch in April, with a free and admittedly generous demo launch early was a smart decision on their part. I have said before on multiple occasions that the AAA industry needs to start getting creative when approaching release dates that can’t be met. We either get games that have ridiculous amounts of delays, or games that launch at full price and in unfinished states to the backlash of critics and gamers. No one wants their game to be the next Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout 76, or Anthem.
I frequently argue the use of AAA early access, betas, or other buffer periods to temper expectations. If you just tell us a game is unfinished before we hand over our credit cards, it is amazing how forgiving the gaming community can be. Maybe...too forgiving.
I kind of hate when I’m proven right by seeing it used to sell a bad game to the public.
This is where I think this popular “demo” of Outriders proves the psychological effect of notifed unifinished state, and the effect of up front cost on gamers. There’s a unusual thing happening here...
I’ve read comment sections across social media. I’ve seen early reactions. I’m just absolutely fascinated by the fact that the tone ranges from “meh to good”, not “awful to meh” like I think it should. The opinion of this game is being artificially inflated by being a free demo
This game is seriously just...Anthem.
Don’t believe me? Both take place on an arbitrarily "Earthlike" alien planet. Both planets have an obscure unexplained anomaly that gives the hero character vague powers. Both have an equally bad generic cast of forgettable characters, taking you on an equally bad scifi channel cancelled-after-one-season story line. The two games are so similar that I am scratching my head that the player and critical comments aren’t really pointing that out.
In fact, I’m here to make the blasphemous claim that...price aside, Anthem is actually the better game.
Now, in my review of Anthem, I said it was one of the hardest I’ve ever reviewed because everything about it was so bland and painfully below average, except for one thing: One thing that was just 10/10 phenomenal, and that was the Javelin’s flight and combat.
The combat and flight in that game was so fun, that honestly I wish Bioware had just scrapped the RPG, the narrative, and that awfully bland “open world” and just given us a Co-Op PVE hoard mode shooter. That stripped down alternate universe version of Anthem would have been excellent.
My point was, Anthem had a huge saving grace when everything else was awful. Outriders...doesn’t have that ironman flight and amazing combat. It has all of Anthem's flaws, minus the only good thing. It’s a boots on the ground generic sci-fi third-person cover shooter. It is Anthem, but without the one thing that made Anthem tolerable. What happens when you take a the only good thing away from Anthem? You end up with Outriders. Outriders is bland.
This game is so painfully lazy and boring and unpolished, that I wondered where is the backlash?
The "problem" is they did the smart thing. They did the smart thing I've been telling AAA to do! Anthem was 60, or even 80$. Anthem launched with no elongated buffer period. There was just a brief buggy server overloaded beta. Outriders is in my opinion just an objectively inferior game in every way, but thanks to being “free to start” and admittedly “unfinished” it is getting huge passes from gamers that I don’t think it deserves. They call it a “demo” but with transferring progression and the lack of time limit, Outriders really is a “free to start” game and that’s skewing it’s value.
If they just launched it in it’s current state at 60$, I think the realization of it’s lacking value would be there.
I’m here with this review to try to warn not to fall for the free to start tactic. Just because the game isn’t demanding the 60$ right away doesn’t change the fact that this game is a boring, lazy, shooter that should be skipped.
It's not that it needs polishing or that there’s potential for updates. It is undercooked yes, but further cooking time won’t add any seasoning. It will still be bland.
Destiny 2 is a massively better scifi game with years of support ahead of it and that is free to start as well. All I can say is just play that instead. Destiny 2 is more fun. It looks way better. It is also "entirely" free on Game Pass.
This is a Demo Impressions review, so all we have are the first few hours of Outriders, but so far those hours are not good. Worse, it is a poorly executed free to play quality game hoping to lure you into a 60$ premium price that it simply doesn't earn.