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‘OUTRIDERS’ DEVS OFFER HEFTY, 3-HOUR DEMO TO INTRODUCE PLAYERS TO “COMPLEX” MECHANICS

Square Enix has launched its fifth Outriders Broadcast, giving players a new trailer for the co-op role-playing shooter game, as well as tips and tricks for its upcoming demo, launching Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. PT.

Outriders is set in a dark and desperate sci-fi universe where mankind has attempted to settle on the planet Enoch, only to find the local inhabitants homicidally hostile. What’s more, settlers on Enoch found themselves changed, losing their humanity for unnatural powers. In the game, players create their own Outrider and embark on a journey across the planet.

In a games market saturated with content adapted from preexisting IP, Outriders introduces an original idea. “We never had a sci-fi book or movie that would be our inspiration,” Bartek Kmita, creative director for Outriders, told a small group of media members during a first-look event at the game earlier this week. “We took our inspiration from the beginning of our childhood as we started to go into fantasy and science fiction. We have something deep inside that we use in our games.”

“The overall tone and story we are telling…is a lot from history, a lot from our lives, maybe even an approach to humanity overall,” Piotr Nowakowski, lead game designer, said. “I think you will find interesting things in our game where we will progress and reveal the story and mysteries of Enoch.”

The demo offers the full first chapter of the game’s campaign, providing an estimated three hours of gameplay. This differs from most game demos, which typically provide a short, slim window into gameplay.

“That was important to us because we want to present a lot of mechanics that exist in our game and, on the other hand, the game is so complex that we need to introduce all the mechanics,” said Nowakowski. “We need to start when the game will start, going from the very basic and then introducing all the elements and mechanics.”

The demo doesn’t offer every aspect of the game, however, leaving opportunity for players to learn new skills when Outriders officially launches on April 1.

“One very important mechanic is crafting,” said Nowakowski. “It’s introduced even later in the game, connected with some story elements.”

One unique aspect of gameplay the broadcast notes is that Outriders rewards and encourages an aggressive strategy, giving health regeneration for slaying enemies.

“We are trying to convince people right now at the beginning of the demo to play aggressively, play differently and have fun,” said Kmita. “The more experienced players will build their own Outriders, their own approach to the classes.”

Each of the four classes Kmita is referring to — devastator, pyromancer, technomancer and trickster — have their own unique 20 point skill tree players can use as they level up. Despite fans’ hopes that the skill tree would increase to level 25, there are no current plans to expand.

“After some testing, we made a database and [through] the balancing process figured out that 20 is the best option,” said Nowakowski. “That’s a middle ground between how powerful you can become and the powers it grants you.”

Players can also create up to six characters in a game, allowing them to try their hand at each class.

The Outriders demo will be available on PlayStation 5, XBox Series X|S, PS4, XBox One and PC via Steam. The full game will be released on those same platforms as well as Google Stadia on April 1 and offers full cross-play support.

Photo courtesy of Square Enix

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