We may not necessarily love all the ways the success of Bungie’s Destiny has re-aligned the priorities of big-budget gaming over the last near-decade—the rise of the “games as service” model, the baseline assumption that any shooter must have a co-op multiplayer component built into it (complete with plenty of MMO-lifted dopamine traps) in order to succeed—but that doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally enjoy the fruits of what’s been wrought. Take, for instance, People Can Fly’s upcoming title Outriders, which sees the Polish studio—best known for its work on other people’s franchises, including Gears Of War, Bulletstorm, and, yes, Fortnite—attempt to set out on their own with a bold new sci-fi property that also involves a lot of following quest markers and class-based shooting, because, well, that’s the world.
The recently released demo for Outriders encompasses its first full chapter, beginning with a “brave new world” prologue that swiftly transitions into something a little closer to “Hell on somewhere that’s not quite Earth,” as your titular mercenary explorer wakes from cryo sleep to find that humanity’s last refuge among the stars has become a whole new sort of uber-violent warzone. In the interest of showing off the game’s particular take on the third-person-shoot-ability-shoot-some-more template, we’re going to be running through an hour of the demo’s gameplay today, wandering around the planet of Enoch and zapping people with our cool laser sword. (Also: Shoot. One must shoot.) You can follow along at our Twitch channel, twitch.tv/AVClubTwitch; we’ll be kicking off the stream this afternoon at 2 p.m. Central.