The Outriders team has detailed why it was so important to release a rather significant, multi-hour demo ahead of the game’s launch. The demo will include a number of features including cross-play, 3+ hours of content, and even the ability to transfer progress to the full game in April.
Outriders is a pretty notable departure for People Can Fly. It’s the first game since the studio split from Epic Games, allowing full independence, and embraces some of the trends of more recent titles like Destiny. Players find themselves on a mysterious new planet and gain violent powers that allow for powerful combinations when playing in co-op. With the upcoming demo releasing on January 25, players will have the opportunity to experience a plethora of gameplay mechanics and get a taste of the story.
In a round-table interview, Screen Rant asked about the importance of making a truly expansive demo rather than a linear 30 minute level. Outriders‘ Lead Game Designer Piotr Nowakowski stated that the complexity and scale of the game meant that the demo needed to have more time to actually communicate everything it needs to for the player. “Well, that, that was important because we want to present a lot of mechanics that exist in our game. The game is so complex that we need to introduce all the mechanics the proper way and explain them to the players. So, in fact, we need to start when the real game will start going from the very basics, and then introducing all the elements and the mechanics the way that it will be in the final game. We need to go through all the tutorialization,” said Nowakowski.
Nowakowski notes that while the game will introduce a lot of story content and gameplay mechanics within the demo itself, there will be some stuff that players won’t see until much later. Things like crafting aren’t in the demo as they’re not available in the full game until players progress deeper into the story. He also noted the importance of simply showcasing what the game has to offer. “I mean, for those who just came from the typical shooters, we have a strong shooter component, but on the other hand, we want to show them how our story is deep and interesting. Also the RPG mechanics, the system that we have. We feel the piece that we are giving will allow players to experience all of the parts and the most important pillars that we have in the game. Still, there will be some elements, some mechanics that are even deeper in the game,” said Nowakowski.
It’s rare to see demos these days, especially for AAA titles. Sometimes there are limited-time betas for pre-ordering games, but rarely are there proper demos that serve as a way for fans to experience the game before paying any money. Given Outriders is a new IP that’s been delayed a few times, it’ll likely benefit extremely for having a free demo over a month before release with the added benefit of carrying progress over to the full release. Its extensive nature is also nice to see, given the demos that do release are typically quite shallow and leave much to be desired.
Outriders will release on April 1, 2021 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, and cloud streaming services.