People Can Fly and Square Enix have begun delving deeper into the character classes of Outriders, a new sci-fi co-op shooter, and Thursday's broadcast brought the Trickster class into the limelight. They fill the Rogue or Assassin archetype except with powers that let them manipulate space and time in unique ways. In an interview with the developers, we learned more about this exciting class.
What is the Trickster class in Outriders?
At the start of the game, players have to choose one of four classes after they're hit by "The Anomaly," a mysterious and devastating magical force on the alien planet of Enoch in the distant future. The three officially revealed classes thus far are Devastator (close-range tank), Pyromancer (offensive fire magic-wielder), and Trickster — but the May 28 broadcast also included hints at the mysterious fourth Technomancer class.
The Trickster class was the focus of the May 28 broadcast, and it's ideal for anybody who wants to mess around with time and space or for anyone who enjoys playing as rogue-type characters in other RPGs.
"Let’s call him the assassin type of class: fragile, low health, but huge damage," Outriders Director Bartosz Kmita tells Inverse. This class plays into not only the assassin or rogue player fantasy, "but the fantasy of time and space and how you can use this tactic you have in your head."
If this time-bending rogue archetype sounds intriguing, choose the Trickster class when you start playing Outriders. But even if players don't like what they find with their initial choice, things won't be set in stone.
"I basically change my opinion every time I play a different class," Kmita says. Design Director Piotr Nowakowski also says his favorite has switched periodically between the Trickster, Pyromancer, and Technomancer. (No love for the Devastator?)
Outriders Trickster class abilities and skills
The Trickster class will have eight abilities at their disposal in Outriders, and four of them were highlighted in the reveal video.
Temporal Slice is a close-range attack that damages and slows down all enemies in front of a player. Then there's Borrowed Time, which will give players extra shield and a spot they can teleport back to at any time, kind of like Tracer in Overwatch.
The third ability is Slow Trap, which creates an area-of-effect bubble around the player that massively slows down any enemies or bullets caught within it. It can be used offensively to trap enemies or defensively to dodge attacks. The final ability shown off was Hunt the Prey, which will teleport the player directly behind any enemy, opening the opportunity to ambush them. These skills all build on top of each other and can be used to restore health, which is a passive effect the Trickster has when killing enemies in close range.
While even the developers say the Trickster fills a certain archetype, there's also a lot of flexibility to play different types of Tricksters.
"What's good in our game is that I can build a long-range character and long-range build on even a Trickster," Nowakowski says. "The Trickster is the close-range class, but you can do a long-range build with success, and that's really fun."
There's also plenty of opportunities for further customization "through the different items you will find in the world and through different choices you will make on the character tree," so you aren't always stuck in one lane.
"You can change this class to be more of a supportive role, even a semi-tanky character, so it's up to you," Kmita says. "The more familiar you are with the game systems, the more secure you will feel in the world." So, in theory, a Trickster could become a close-range tank who can manipulate time or they could hang back and play more as a supportive sniper.
Can your Outriders Trickster use skills from other classes?
While the Trickster's time and space skillset is cool, you may find yourself wanting to use the Pyromancer's fire abilities or the Devastator's earth-based abilities during combat. "You can’t use the skills just grabbing them from a different class," Nowakowski tells Inverse, shooting down the possibility for overt multiclassing. Still, the game's systems seem robust enough to achieve something similar.
"There are skill and weapon modifications that allow you to taste a little bit from a different class. The effects are very similar," he says, proving that there are more minute ways to incorporate elements from other classes in Outriders. "That’s the way of stealing something from a different class, tasting it, but not combining the skills from the whole pool for classes."
Outriders will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X in time for the 2020 holidays.