Outriders looks more promising than Marvel's Avengers in many ways. While both games are western titles with a big cooperative multiplayer component published by Square Enix, Outriders leans away from the live service model to focus on crafting a complete experience, including a compelling endgame.
Inverse's hands-on with the game was promising, and now we've learned that the game will stay engaging, even after you've beaten it. The latest Outriders Broadcast on Thursday revealed the endgame "Expeditions" experience for Outriders players. This concept trumps Marvel's Avengers endgame in one major way: variety.
Expeditions — The significant portion of Outriders Broadcast 4 on Thursday was dedicated to unveiling expeditions, which developer People Can Fly have been teasing since February. It clearly lays out what players can expect from Outriders after they complete the main story.
While it obviously doesn't take any direct shots at Marvel's Avengers, the parts of Expeditions emphasized in the showcase are things that Crystal Dynamics' Avengers game isn't as good at.
Namely, 14 brand new missions will pop up once players beat Outriders after about 40 hours. People Can Fly promises in the video that these will be brand new areas that are distinct from the one explored during the story campaign. They contain all-new story scenes, and players can also adjust their difficulty to get better rewards.
They are also built to be repeated with a scaling difficulty system. Players who complete these missions get Legendary Gear with distinct abilities, and can even mod and upgrade weapons with different skills to create deadly combinations like bullets that freeze enemies but also damage them with lightning.
While these levels may get repetitive after a while as People Can Fly hasn't shared any DLC plans outside of the game's pre-order bonus, it still sounds like a lot of effort was put into Outriders' endgame and making it feel distinct from the main campaign.
Avengers' Endgame — While Avengers Endgame was a satisfying movie, the endgame of Marvel's Avengers wasn't nearly as engaging. After you beat the main campaign in about 10 hours, you're thrust into a variety of multiplayer missions. While these have some interesting story tidbits to them, they get extremely repetitive as players are mostly visiting areas they saw during the main campaign.
A lack of enemy and building variation also means that the levels all start to blend together. That's why it doesn't help that the late-game missions don't do much to spice things up and just ask players to survive for as long as possible. The endgame is improving with new mission types and the impending addition of Kate Bishop and the Taking AIM missions, but right now Marvel's Avengers really suffers from a lack of variety.
Which is better? While the two endgames are similar in how players can scale levels and are doing them to get the game's best loot, Expeditions just seem like they could be a more enjoyable time than the Avengers Initiative. Exploring 14 levels you've never seen sounds a lot more engaging than playing the same 10 levels that were already getting stale by the end of the campaign.
Additionally, the loot you get also will have a greater visual and gameplay impact on your character. While many people dropped Avengers after beating the Avengers Initiative available, Outriders seems like a much more engaging game that could retain players even though its post-launch plans aren't as ambitious.
Outriders will be released on February 2, 2021.