This week, developer People Can Fly released its latest title, Outriders, a looter/shooter with a focus on a story campaign. And while the developer did release a demo and host a number of preview events to make sure that gamers were well aware of Outriders by the time it released, there were still some who don’t know what the game is.
As a result, when gamers see a stream or video of Outriders, they instantly make comparisons to a number of games. Some see the cover-based shooter mechanics and compare the game to Gears of War, which makes sense given that People Can Fly helped Epic Games on its work with Gears of War Judgment. Others draw comparisons to Mass Effect based on the fact that Outriders offers a selection of classes with unique abilities. But the most popular comparison that seems to be made is Destiny.
Anyone who has watched an Outriders stream on Twitch has likely heard the Destiny comparison. For us at Geisha411, we have streamed the game a few times, and each session has included several mentions of Bungie’s popular franchise. The comparisons have been so consistent in fact that some content creators have taken to social media to express their frustrations.
Whether or not the comparison is apt is beside the point. What makes the comparison between Outriders and Destiny interesting is that it brings things full circle for the latter franchise. Early on, Destiny content creators and Bungie itself couldn’t escape the comparisons to a variety of different games. Now it’s a new game that can’t escape being compared to Destiny, among others.
When Destiny first debuted, the comparisons were targeted at a specific gameplay aspect. Some called Destiny “Halo with powers” because it is a first person shooter with a similar design aesthetic. Considering that Bungie was well known for the Halo franchise, the comparison made sense, even if the developers were trying to break out from underneath the shadow of Master Chief.
Others liked to point to the loot aspect in Destiny and say that it was “Diablo with guns.” Granted, there are tons of differences between Destiny and Blizzard’s ARPG franchise, but the idea of repeating content to farm loot triggered those comparisons.
And then the MMO-esque aspect and the implementation of raids had some saying that Destiny was a lesser version of World of Warcraft. In time, Destiny revealed itself to be starkly different from WoW (or any MMO, for that matter) but early talk of shared worlds, multiplayer excursions, and raids had some gamers think that Bungie was targeting the PC gaming behemoth.
Even once Destiny was out, there were some who pointed to it as a lesser version of Warframe, another looter/shooter with plenty of differences, but some similarities. To this day, there are some members of the Warframe fanbase that still criticize Destiny for not delivering the same type of experience that they enjoy in Digital Extremes’ game.
Now things have come circle for Destiny with the launch of Outriders. Rather than it being the game compared to a number of other games, Destiny is one of a number of games being compared to People Can Fly’s new release.
There is a cyclical nature to the comparisons with Outriders, with many pointing to the loot mechanics and abilities as similar to other games. As mentioned, it’s nearly impossible to stream Outriders online without having viewers bring up Destiny.
Obviously, there are a lot of differences between Outriders and Destiny. First and foremost, Outriders is a third person cover shooter without a jump button. There is no verticality in the encounters and the focus is on managing gunplay and ability cooldowns, the latter of which are much quicker than Destiny’s. In recent memory, gameplay feels more like Remnant: From the Ashes.
Outriders also is more story-focused than Destiny and is not billed as a live service game. People Can Fly acknowledged that most players will get through the campaign of Outriders and be “done” with the game. Others can enjoy the Expeditions or try to refine their Outriders class build, but the idea isn’t to keep players coming back with daily and weekly activities, at least not yet.
Maybe for Outriders things will also come full circle, and a 2027 release will be compared to it. Comparing a new release to older games is inevitable, and for the older games, it’s almost seen as a sign that they’ve made it.
Outriders is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series.