Outriders has always been a bit of an odd game. An online looter shooter with a surprising lack of end-game. Releasing onto Xbox Game Pass without microtransactions. It fit in with many of the trends at the time whilst avoiding so much of what gets people hooked. Although it lacked in some areas, I always respected the decision not to copy other shooters' monetisation schemes.
Ultimately, after the dust settled, this left Outriders with an oddly niche fanbase. Now, with Outriders Worldslayer, they double down on many of the elements that set it apart without giving those who have fallen off any reason to come back.
If you're up to date on the game, this is probably a pretty fun DLC but it's hard to find a reason to recommend this to someone who isn't.
Losing The Plot
Set on the backdrop of a huge change in the world and climate, Outriders DLC is a very icy expansion. This allows our big bad, Ereshkigal, a spot to shine. She and her band of insurgents have a different plan than you, involving harnessing the Anomaly's powers for their own purposes.
The story is about as uninspired as they come. A new baddie has arrived and it's your job to take it down. Performances are mainly decent and it gives room for interesting new arenas but, if you're looking for a new take on the Outriders story, you won't be getting it here.
In a sense, this is a sign of what the team want to do with Outriders Worldslayer. They want to give you something to fight against while you power up your weapons, reach new tiers, and get even stronger. Where some games treat gameplay as an excuse to get to the story, Worldslayer does the exact opposite.
Luckily, that gameplay is still super solid. Ducking in between covers feels great and guns feel weighty and meaningful. Now, there are even more levels to clear and higher stats to see alongside your gun. Ultimately, Outriders is a game filled with watching numbers get marginally bigger but it's still oddly fun to watch.
They have a few main ways of getting you to care about your progression in Outriders Worldslayer. The World Tier system has now been replaced by Apocalypse Tiers. This practically does the exact same thing but goes higher than the last one and moves slightly quicker.
By the end of this system, enemies will be level 75, with almost 400% extra health and tonnes of other bonuses. On the plus side, your weapons can now spawn 45 levels higher and you gain XP at a 33012% bonus. All of this is to say you can now get better gear and fight tougher opponents.
As well as this, your characters have two new skill trees. You will still be level 30 by the end of the DLC but your PAX and Ascension levels will be higher. PAX is a tree much like your normal one except it isn't grown with EXP. Instead, it's linked to crucial events in the story, and you can spend points to unlock bonuses or buffs.
Levels on Levels
After this, there are 200 levels of Ascension you can go through. This is essentially your standard experience in Worldslayer. It's split up into four trees: Anomaly, Brutality, Endurance, and Prowess. These will take you a long time to level up but it is possible to unlock every single one of them. This is essentially your end-game levelling system, a big miss in the original game. Although you had some missions and gear to unlock, you didn't really have any change over your stats after level 30.
On one hand, it can sometimes feel like needless busy work. On the other, it's a nice background system while you clear out enemies and take down bosses.
Unfortunately, while combat manages to stay consistently interesting and new enemies are fun to take down, the balancing in some areas is off. It is clear that Outriders Worldslayer is supposed to be played with a few friends, meaning parts of the DLC felt downright alienating. You can always play on a lower Apocalypse Tier but having to make this choice is frustrating, especially when some fights don't feel entirely down to skill.
The campaign will only really take you a few hours to get through but it stays relatively fun throughout. After this, you can move on to the Trial of Tarya Gratar, a new end-game dungeon. With only a handful of deaths allowed, you have to make your way through rooms with random amounts of enemies to take down the end boss and secure loot. It's not something that will keep you entertained for too long but, alongside some buddies, it's a fun way to upgrade your apocalypse tiers.
In a sense, the main dungeon almost turns the game into a rogue-lite. With a few more dungeons, this idea could really pay off but it only feels like the start of something that could be much better here.
Ultimately, Worldslayer is the perfect DLC for someone clamouring for more Outriders. If you liked the original experience, warts and all, this is hard to not recommend. If, however, you're looking for something to wildly change the experience, you may want to look elsewhere.