If you enjoyed tossing fireballs and teleporting around like a ninja in Outriders last year, then do I have some great news: developer People Can Fly is giving you just about every reason to return with its upcoming expansion, Worldslayer. Imperfect as it was, Outriders largely hit all the right notes with me when it launched, but some of that momentum was lost amid the utterly tragic server issues right out the gate and a story that largely fell flat. With Worldslayer, Outriders seems poised for a comeback, and if what I’ve played of it so far is any indication, this 2.0 upgrade to the memorable looter shooter might be just what the doctor ordered.
Worldslayer seems laser focused on making everything about Outriders bigger. New areas of Enoch have opened up, which allowed me to traverse a whole new set of biomes and slay some unique monsters in the process. New weapons and armor have been added for some hot, new firefight freshness. Most exciting of all, some new endgame progression options have been added for those who want to dive deep into build-crafting and play long after the campaign is done and dusted.
The new places I visited in my time with Worldslayer included a frosted wasteland with giant snow rhinos along with areas that turned me into an icicle and a gross swamp where an extremely rude fisherman tried to chop my face off with a knife. Obviously the added variety of locales and enemies was welcome, but not as much as the new weapons and armor I found along the way, which are now more powerful than ever. Some new toys called Apocalypse Items now drop with a third mod slot, which helped me take my build to the next level. I found an ice-themed auto rifle that leeched health from my enemies and scaled with my Anomaly Power as well as a set of armor that froze enemies around me whenever my health was low. I would have already considered Outriders’ build-crafting system to be one of the better ones out there, and with Apocalypse Items it appears to be getting better still.
As you’d expect from any expansion worth its salt, Outriders: Worldslayer also features a new story – though I can’t say I’m convinced it’ll be enough to draw me into its confusingly weird world. Maybe it’s because I’ve played too much Destiny, a sci-fi looter shooter that’s long suffered from the same ailment, but the vanilla version of Outriders struggled to tell a story while juggling all that over-the-top space magic. So far, Worldslayer looks like it won’t get any closer to fixing that issue with a storyline that centers around The Anomaly expanding on Enoch and a prophecy that foretells the end of the world. But as Destiny proved: if you succeed at most of the other stuff, lots of people won’t mind a forgettable story, so maybe that’s not a deal-breaker.
But the highlight for me is that Worldslayer introduces not one, but two new progression systems that will make your Outrider even more badass. Pax Points, which are earned by progressing through the campaign and unlock new perks that expand on the already incredibly extensive skill trees found in the base game. The Trickster, for example, has a new Spectral Spike option that adds a 100% chance to deal additional damage when using skills that scales with one’s Anomaly Power – some of these new additions are no joke!
After reaching max level, you’ll also unlock Ascension Points, which allow you to over-level your character’s abilities up to 200 times. It’s similar to Diablo 3’s Paragon system, where incremental improvements are earned for those who really want to squeeze every ounce of power possible into their build. I didn’t get to see this in action myself, but stretching the endgame grind beyond the base campaign could go a long way to keeping me engaged this time around. We’ll see if Worldslayer succeeds at doing just that when it drops later this year.