Square Enix announced the game for the first time at E3 2019 with a cinematic trailer depicting a gritty sci-fi co-op shooter. The upcoming title is being developed by People Can Fly, the same company that made Gears of War: Judgement and Bulletstorm, and it's slated to launch in early 2021.
Here's everything we know about Outriders.
When is the Outriders release date?
Square Enix originally said Outriders would be released in Summer 2020, but that window was pushed back to Holiday 2020 when the game reemerged in February. Unfortunately, it is making neither of those release windows. Square Enix confirmed in October that the release date for Outriders is February 2, 2021. This means that this cross-gen game is coming out almost four months after Xbox Series X and PS5 get released on November 10 and 12, respectively,
While the game's delays may initially be concerning, keep in mind that release dates are always subject to delays, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Square Enix External Studios Co-Head Lead Singleton claimed the delay was to polish the game further and add features like cross-play that "will make our game much more accessible on all platforms."
Outriders' delay isn't even the only major delay from Square Enix this year. Square Enix delayed Final Fantasy VII Remake, its biggest title of the year, to April 10 from its original March 3 release date to "apply final polish." Marvel's Avengers was also pushed back from a May 2020 release to a September 2020 one.
While Outriders' developers have confirmed to Inverse that the game is already in the final stages of "finishing, balancing, and polishing," they appear to need a little more time to ensure that the game the best it can be before launch.
What consoles will Outriders be released on?
Outriders was announced for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in June 2019, but in February 2020, we learned that the game will also be releasing for PS5 and Xbox Series X this holiday season. Gaming Bolt reports that its launch will be simultaneous across all five platforms when Outriders' release date does roll around.
During a Stadia Connect on July 12, 2020, Square Enix confirmed that Outriders is coming to Google Stadia like Final Fantasy XV. That said, this port of the game will not be released until later in 2021, months after the other versions initially come out in February. No Nintendo Switch version of Outriders is expected and Square Enix has not revealed if the game will come to Amazon Luna yet once that cloud-based gaming platform is released.
What to expect from Outriders gameplay?
Outriders is a third-person shooter that can be played either alone or in a group of up to three players. It's aiming to be less cartoonish than People Can Fly's previous outing Bulletstorm and will have visceral gore and weapons. To start, weapons will be fairly realistic, think shotguns and sniper rifles. That being said, the developers have teased that weapons will get more fantastical over the course of the game, with special modifications that burn or even poison enemies.
A lot of RPG elements have been spliced in as well. Enemies have health bars, though People Can Fly told Game Informer that they don't want enemies to feel like bullet sponges. Inverse has gone hands-on with the game and can confirm that the game feels like Gears of War meets Destiny.
Players have the ability to customize their character's appearance and will be able to choose between four different classes that give abilities to use in addition to one's weapons: The Trickster, the Pyromancer, the Devastator, and The Technomancer.
The Trickster is poised to be the most nimble of the three as it can teleport and slow down time to get out of tough situations. Next up is the Pyromancer, which has a plethora of heat-based attacks that it can use. This class seems to be the best for those looking for a massive spectacle with area-of-effect attacks that slowly whittle enemies down over time
Then, there is the Devastator, which serves as the tank of the group. This class is heavy-hitting, but can also use its abilities to protect itself with stone armor. If you want to see these first three classes in action, check out the trailer unveiling them.
Finally, there is the Technomancer class. This is definitely more of a support class, as it's the only one with a healing ability. Additionally, it can freeze enemies, poison them, and summon turrets to fend opponents off. While it isn't smart to make a team of 3 Technomancer, this is definitely a class someone in your group should have.
Is Outriders a games-as-a-service title?
No. Outriders director Barek Kmita told Game Crate that while comparisons can be drawn to titles like Destiny or Anthem, People Can Fly does not see Outriders as a games-as-a-service title. "From day one we basically wanted to make the game for ourselves and we’re not talking against games-as-service services overall, but we just we wanted to give a complete story," he said.
"From A to B it’s a finished story. Early on we knew it wouldn’t work as a games-as-service." While Outriders will have endgame content and appears to be a fun title to hop into with friends, don't expect it to be built around weekly, or even seasonal, content drops like other popular multiplayer shooters such as Fortnite or Destiny 2.
What is the story of Outriders?
Outriders follows the titular groups of characters who were part of the last bastion of humanity after Earth is ravaged beyond repair by climate change. The survivors flee to Enoch, which initially seems nice, but a mysterious force called "the anomaly" ruins typical technology and warps anything it touches. Players fall into a 30-year coma after being caught in it and have special powers when they come to.
From there, it appears that players will have to deal with all of the different factions scattered throughout Enoch in order to hopefully restore some semblance of a nice civilization. To get your feet wet with the game's narrative, check out its narrative trailer below.
Will Outriders support cross-play and smart delivery?
When Square Enix confirmed a release date for Outriders, cross-play and smart delivery support were also confirmed. That means that players PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia will all be able to play with each other. Specific details on how this works haven't been revealed yet, but it will likely have to do with Square Enix's proprietary accounts.
As for smart delivery, supporting that means players don't have to worry about buying multiple versions of the same game. PS4 players can upgrade to the PS5 version for free, and Xbox One players can upgrade to the Xbox Series X port for free.
When is the Outriders beta?
As of right now, Square Enix and People Can Fly have not revealed if or when Outriders will have a beta. That being said, it's likely that it will get one due to having a major multiplayer element. If there is a beta for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions of the game, we will likely be hearing more about it as Outriders approaches its early 2021 launch.
Outriders will be released on February 2, 2021.