Outriders is everything Anthem wanted to be and more
Outriders released with the promise of a looter shooter, with a solid story, fun game play, exciting loot, and an end game that promises a plethora of hours dedicated to grinding. Does this sound familiar? Anthem wanted to be all of these things, with the added bonus of being dubbed the “Destiny Killer”, a title that Division tried to wear, yet failed miserably.
Now, let’s look at each of these elements and see where Outriders went right and where Anthem went wrong, oh so horribly wrong.
Arguably the least important aspect in the looter shooter genre. I don’t care where I go, why I go, or why I shoot the things that I shoot. Give me my loot and shut the hell up. That’s how everyone plays looter shooters, yeah?
For the most part I don’t pay attention to the story in these types of games, Anthem especially. At no point did any of the characters spark my interest and at no point did I ever want to watch any of the cut scenes. I skipped a large portion of the cut scenes in Outriders as well, yet I did find myself watching a bunch of them whilst actually giving a shit about the characters. Outriders did a pretty decent job with the story whilst Anthem shit the sheets.
Now, of course, you can’t truly fault Anthem for a poor story. As I mentioned previously, story isn’t very important to a looter shooter. So long as you have kick ass game play and a solid end game your game will shine.
Anthem had both of those things, right?
Gameplay is one of the most important aspects of a game like this. If the game isn’t enjoyable, there is no incentive to experience the stor
I will give Anthem this, it did have fun game play. The flying mechanics and the abilities were truly enjoyable. Where they went wrong was incorporating difficulty. Anthem had 6 difficulty settings they went as follows
The issue with these difficulty levels was that they did not feel naturally difficult, or mark progression in any way. In Outriders, as you up the difficulty, the game does become tougher, yet it retains its playability. As you gear up, the harder difficulties become easier to the point where you can farm max difficulty with some ease, the smaller enemies and even the boss can be killed very quickly.
Anthem made their difficulty tiers incredibly poorly, by the time you got to GM 2 or 3 all of the enemies were complete bullet sponges and damn near one shot you, regardless of gear.
Easily the most important aspect of the LOOTER Shooter.
Anthem managed to provide their players with some of the most boring loot ever seen. Their loot system included Greens (Uncommon), Blues (Rare), Purples (Epic), Oranges (Masterwork), and Yellows (Legendary). The upper echelon of loot was almost impossible to find, even playing at the highest difficulty. It was a common for someone to complete an activity on GM 3 and only receive uncommon and rare items. Not only this, but the Masterworks and Legendaries were not unique enough to justify the slog of a grind. On top of that, Legendaries were simply higher gear scored masterwork items, nothing else.
Outriders loot is unique and feels powerful. If you get a legendary that you don’t like, you can delete it and put it’s mods on another weapon. All the armor looks good and is super useful.
The only thing worse than a piss poor campaign is a terrible end game to wash it down with.
Anthem’s endgame was abysmal, they had three activities that people could run. These activities were fun the first couple times, then became boring extremely fast.
Outriders on the other hand has provided us with 14 new activities to farm after the campaign, a solid world tier system, and the challenge tier system for the expeditions. I’ve only begun to dive into the end game in outriders, and I am already addicted.
Outriders has succeeded where Anthem failed. It wins in every aspect, although it may be an unfair comparison. I plan on writing a review about Outriders that simply talks about the merits of the game without putting other games down so much.
Also, this will be the last negative article I write about Anthem. I feel I’ve beat that dead horse long enough and I would like to write more positive articles. So one last time, Anthem was bad and BioWare was right to give up on it. As they say, you can’t polish a turd.
Expect more Outriders content, Destiny 2, and some creative writing here in the near future. I plan on using this a lot more.