Outriders is a single-player shooting game with optional co-op. Why then do server problems for the first few days prevent me from running it at all? People Can Fly is hardly the first studio to design a game this way, but it’s a great reminder how it can backfire.
The subreddit Outriders are full of fans who are eager to upgrade their electric pipes, but instead many of them are Venturing out frustrations About falling into the login screen. Meanwhile, people can fly is the version Hourly updates On Twitter as he reboots servers and tries to get the Outriders healthy. We’ve been through this before – we know the server issues will ultimately work by themselves and things will be smooth sailing, but there’s no good reason why online disruptions have to interrupt a game I’ve been playing on my own for the most part. The way the game stops is extremely frustrating:
The sudden fading to black makes it seem almost intentional, just as People Can Fly noticed my poor performance and decided to close the blinds on their own so they don’t have to see it anymore. The strange cinematic setback is already producing Tragically funny Moments of timing, too.
Even when the servers are in good shape, Outriders is a worse game due to its lack of an offline mode. Repeat after me: You. Not possible. pause. Ever. I think we’ve let FromSoftware go unpunished in Souls games for a very long time, because non-stop single player games are popping up more these days. Valheim restricts hiatus in single player for a reason. Destiny 2 is historically an anti-pause, but at least most areas in that game are common worlds that players can roam around organically. The pot areas are also large enough that you can simply ride the sparrow west for a few seconds and find a quiet place to get up and pee.
Outriders levels are divided arenas: you are either in conflict or on a straight path to the next stage. Co-op is completely optional so I should be able to unsubscribe from random players joining my team and subscribe to pause the scary game.
Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that Outriders’ online requirements aren’t going anywhere. If the game was built from the ground up to perform a continuous ping test on the server (which looks like it does, depending on how the game was completely paused in the first version), then eliminating this functionality might not be a trivial task.
Let Outriders’ disastrous launch day be a warning to studios working on hybrid single / multiplayer games: We still want to play your game offline, if we allow. It would be worth it, even if the thousands of players have something to do when all the servers are on.