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An Outrider goes up against a armored boss in a storm Image: People Can Fly/Square Enix

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Outriders’ Worldslayer expansion improves on the game’s already solid build crafting

We’ve played a short demo of People Can Fly’s upcoming expansion

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Last year, Outriders surprised players with its surprisingly deep customization system and ability-focused combat. Toward the end of 2021, developer People Can Fly launched a small content update, New Horizon, and revealed a new expansion, Worldslayer, coming June 30.

In a livestream on Thursday, People Can Fly offered the first concrete details on the upcoming expansion, which we played a short demo of in late March. Unlike the New Horizon update, Worldslayer is a paid expansion for Outriders, and won’t come to Game Pass — although it seems the base game will remain a part of Microsoft’s subscription service.

Worldslayer should be pretty familiar to Outriders players, and there are no big-ticket items like a new class or weapon type (that we know of). Instead, Outriders’ first expansion focuses on improving the solid base the game already had. That starts with difficulty, where the game’s various challenge tiers (difficulty levels that go up as you progress, offering better rewards) will now be Apocalypse tiers.

The first 15 Apocalypse tiers will be for all Outriders players, while the final 25 — up to tier 40 — will be exclusive to Worldslayer players. Of course, players who brave these higher tiers will be rewarded with higher-level gear (up to 75) and special “Apocalypse” items.

Two Outriders fight a boss on the ice Image: People Can Fly/Square Enix

When an item drops in Worldslayer, it has a chance to drop as an Apocalypse item, which has an extra, third mod slot on it, further enhancing a player’s skills and offering more combinations than before. However, players will still only be able to swap out one of the now three potential mods on their armor, making god-rolled items that much harder to grab, but far more rewarding for players willing to put in the work. With each class also getting two new Legendary sets and numerous Legendary weapons, there will be some major build shakeups in Worldslayer.

Aside from gear, players will be able to improve their characters through two other avenues: PAX class trees and Ascension.

The PAX class trees are new skill trees that players will be able to invest in — using special skill points that come from Worldslayer content. These trees give bonuses to classes that their kits are otherwise missing, and should allow players to either broaden their builds or specialize further.

The Ascension system should be familiar to Diablo or Borderlands players who’ve interacted with the Paragon or Badass rank systems, respectively. As Outriders continue to do their Outrider thing post-max level, they’ll be able to improve their stats with small, incremental upgrades. This is a very long-term system; People Can Fly says it could take around 360 hours for players to unlock every node.

For players who want to jump into Worldslayer but missed the original Outriders, the expansion will come with a level-30 boost, which players can use as many times as they want, and can even be used to boost other classes up to endgame levels.

An Outrider with a flaming Legendary gun Image: People Can Fly/Square Enix

As for what these newly level 30 characters will be doing: Worldslayer will add several hours of campaign content, new areas, and more. People Can Fly is also promising a new endgame activity, which will get its own broadcast closer to the expansion’s launch date.

In our limited experience with Worldslayer, where we played about an hour of the new campaign in a three-player group, it’s definitely more Outriders. But that’s not the dis it may initially appear to be. I was a pretty big fan of Outriders last year, and it always felt like something that was close to greatness — a solid first draft that could come out swinging with a sequel or an expansion.

With the character build depth coming in Outriders: Worldslayer — not to mention the mysterious endgame activities — the expansion could be the start of a new era for People Can Fly’s third-person shooter. In my demo, Outriders still felt great to play, and I was excited by every piece of Apocalypse gear that dropped for me and PAX points I could place in my new skill tree.

Regardless of whether the final product is more of the same or the improvement I’ve been hoping for since last year, Worldslayer definitely showed me enough to leave me excited about my return to Enoch.