Right now, Outriders seems to be all the rage. It launched on April 1st, trending on Twitter even as many praised the game’s beauty and combat. The launch has been so big, in fact, that Ouriders has trumped Marvel’s Avengers on Steam, beating out its fellow Square Enix game by a large margin already. All of this is a good sign for the game, but there’s been one undeniable problem with the launch.
It is quite difficult to get into the game. Multiple times since launch, the servers have been intermittent, hard to work with, and at times, impossible to get into. Server issues in the “day one” period, however, are frequent; there’s no telling how many games have suffered from the same fate. Thankfully, People Can Fly and Square Enix have been working around the clock to improve these issues that have plagued their players. On Twitter, the official Outriders account has been providing constant and seemingly around-the-clock updates, even humorously encouraging fans to “take [their] dog/hyena-looking-cow-thing for a quick walk” and warning of the “mother of all turn-it-off-and-on-agains.”
Indeed, People Can Fly’s reactions to these launch-day issues have been admirable and worthy of praise. The company has been as transparent as possible leading into launch, and it seemingly continues to be so. That said, for some Outriders players, there is the fact that solo-play has suffered probably the most.
As with most looter shooters, Outriders is best played with friends. Whether it’s a pair of Tricksters making quick work of enemies or a full, balanced squad raining destruction down on their enemies, the frenetic combat pairs perfect well with the laughs of friends. However, there’s just as many who prefer to play games, even those which are heavily co-op oriented, solo. Outriders is more than capable of supporting solo players in terms of content and fun, just as it is with friends. However, the server problems seem to hit them the most, as it removes the best part of solo play: playing whatever whenever.
After all, not being able to hop on and squad up is one thing. It’s frustrating for sure when friends try to get together to play the game, but that’s secondary to the fact that the game cannot be played at all. Outriders fans looking to hop on and play solo, to kick back, relax, and sink into Enoch, cannot do so when the servers are down. Because it is an “online-only” game, solo Outriders players cannot play missions offline. Though the performance of the game, despite some stuttering, is solid, it’s undeniably frustrating when/if the game crashes during a cutscene. Being booted out of a game to the home screen happens, but because it’s a server crash, players have the added waiting 20-30 minutes (if not more) to hop back into the game. This may even happen on the first load up.
One thing that bears mentioning is the fact that these problems are likely temporary, at least to the current degree. Once Outriders‘ servers are brought in line, it’s not likely to affect as many players as severely moving forward. However, it stands to reason that many solo players would also likely benefit from being able to take the game offline. If they don’t want to play with friends or randoms, if they don’t want to take part in the drop-in/drop-out aspects, then the online-only requirement only serves to slow, not prevent piracy.
Perhaps People Can Fly will remove this requirement in the future, as while it’s not likely to be anywhere near as severe then, it’s not impossible servers go down weeks or months after. Then, solo players wanting to dive into what feels like a single-player Mass Effect style RPG simply cannot, or cannot simply. That’s not to say that those who sink a lot of time in to maximize the game’s looting and shooting element don’t suffer as a result, but the player wanting to boot the game up after a long day of work to casually check out the next big game may have it worse.
Ultimately, online-only requirements may continue to be the bane of many gamers for years. It’s something that many see as un-needed, even though that’s not exactly the case from a business perspective. It’ll be interesting to see how this players out in a few days, weeks, and even months. After all, many act like it’s the end of the world when something like Twitch, Destiny 2, PSN, or Xbox do go down, and this may be somewhat similar. Nonetheless, fans should find solace in knowing that People Can Fly has issued multiple updates on this day one, and the company is doing its absolute best in trying to make sure that players get to dive into Outriders‘ Enoch.
Outriders is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.