The loch ness monster, chupacabra, bigfoot, the yeti, aliens, what is the common characterstic they all share? That most people assume they do not exist.
Today I cross off something from the list of things I didn't believe in. A video game so bad that deserves the 1/10 rating. Not because it is broken, or does not work as intended. Oh, it works exactly as intended. It earns this rating plain and fair purely on merit. I don't even need to take the initial registration and server issues into account.
Of course the game I'm talking about is Outriders, at least the PC Demo of it. Which supposed to contain the full first chapter of the game, so for all intents and purposes it is representative of the final product. You can even continue your character created in the demo in the full game when that releases, if you are a mazochist that is.
What the heck is going on at Square Enix? First they put out Avengers, which I admittedly did not play, but it was a giant flop and widely criticized by both sides of the aisle who rarely agree these days. I mean journalists and apolitical gamers.
And now they put out this atrocity with a straight face. While experiencing the demo I laughed out loud multiple times, not because it was funny, but because my brain could not process what I saw any other way. The proposed release date of the game is very apt, this is a joke.
First thing we are subjected to by it is that you need to register a "square enix" account to even start the game, which was a half hour process until I finally managed to do it, because the registration either gave errors or it wouldn't send the confirmation email. But we are still not in the juicy bits, this too can be disregarded and the game would still be a 1 / 10.
After the completely soulless intro cinematic, which seems more like a trailer for a game than an actual intro for a story driven game, what this is supposed to be. We find ourselves in the character creator. An atrocious one. Your options are limited to selecting from half dozen preset faces, hairstyles and a few skin colors, all of which seem as close to actual human skin colors as any shade of blue would be. And you can forget the female faces, they are all extremely ugly. Like they are deliberately made ugly, I have no other explanation.
But that is not the only thing that is ugly, the graphics is a joke, and even at that it's inconsistent. Some of the models are let's be generous average, while others are a complete farce. Like the so called trucks in the intro. They are undetailed blobs, I have not seen the like since the early 2000s. I mean when the camera is in certain angles and it happens to be many times during the opening, you can see that they have no undercarriage, the bottom is just flat, and the axles that are themselves made of about 3 shapes, float bellow it, there is no suspension or drivetrain to speak of. These models would not be fit as lo-res placeholders you look at from five hundred meters, yet here they are used as centrepieces in close up cinematics.
The shading and the lighting is eerily similar to the Halo Infinite that got delayed because people were so disappointed how ugly it was. Well this looks even worse, much worse. Even if you selected a light skin for your character, it and the NPCs just look brown in-game, the color of diarrhoea to be exact. The game seems to be working on a 3 color palette: diarrhoea brown, led blue, and goose shit green.
Of course everyone's favorites are also present: chromatic aberration, depth of field, and motion blur, none of which can be disabled.
Also of note, that during each cutscene there is such strong camera shake that I had to skip them because I didn't want to go nauseous. And no, these are not action scenes, this is going on even on simple calm NPC conversations, and even when you select the reply in the conversation system. The completely redundant conversation system where each time there is only one choice to continue, the rest is just for additional meaningless dialogue. Why even include the selection?
The story? I can explain in 2 inches of text: Ripoff of ME:A. Just how dull and unimaginative you have to be to copy that of all things? There is no beating around the bush. Outriders are literally the same concept as Pathfinders were in ME:A. They even stole the idea that the real pathfinders die and you are just the replacement. And of course you fly an ark ship to a new planet, when I said it is a ripoff of Andromeda, I was not exaggerating.
The story is basically that you are stuck on evil planet because corporate asshole decides to land on it, for no reason. Motivations? Who needs that, he is just evil because he is the corporate guy. They even gave him a cloak like he is some super villain, it does not get more pathetic and clichéd than this.
The game mechanics? The only thing that is not terrible is the shooting, but it is negated completely by the bullet sponge enemies. If you can have negative fun then it is with this game. It is of course a looter shooter somewhere between Anthem and the Division without flying, and locked into Battlefield 1 / 5 like pathetic maps. I mean the single player maps of those games, linear, walled around with invisible force fields. Where the only way to progress is to kill every enemy within each section as the way forward only opens after that thanks to an unending supply of deus ex machina.
Just for fun let's give it some scores:
Overall impression: 1/10
I'd have liked to provide screenshots for the garbage tier graphics, but steam overlay does not work in the game and I'm not going to waste my time trying other methods to take screens of this, besides I already uninstalled it.