After playing hours of Outriders at PAX East 2020 I was able to sit down and chat with both Lead Writer Joshua Rubin and Lead Narrative Designer Syzmon Barchan. While many looter shooters like this don’t feature a robust story, full of lore and intrigue, Square Enix and People Can Fly seem to be bucking that trend. Mixing story and gameplay together into what they describe as a more old school experience.
I would agree in a number of ways, as you can see if you check out my gameplay impressions here. But more than that, Outriders seems to want to make you think about the world around you, using science fiction with a bit of western mixed in to do so. Starting off by explaining what an Outrider even is, we go on to discuss topics as far reaching as how multiplayer impacts the narrative experience, and what players can expect in terms of an ending.
What stood out most in our chat was how in-depth they went into the plot and the lore of this new world. Completely unshackled from any licensed property or previous game, Joshua and Syzmon were free to craft anything they wanted, as long as it fit into the massive world they had created. In just the opening hours you see this attention to detail with many layers of story, plot, and character that lead to some interesting developments.
It’s clear that this isn’t the sort of experience we’ve come to expect out of the looter shooter subgenre, and that could be a very good thing. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the entire interview below and be ready to jump into the world of Outriders when it launches in holiday 2020 across multiple platforms.