Outriders features a fair few cutscenes, and while they might initially seem fairly pointless, it turns out they're essential for the co-operative nature of the game.
Below, you can see a brief clip captured from the Outriders demo by Eurogamer's Wesley Yin-Poole. In the clip, you can see a full cutscene play for the player character to jump from one side of the gorge to the other, a pretty lengthy interlude for such a trivial action.
Not sure I need a cutscene for that jump, Outriders pic.twitter.com/djZ25EyHhOFebruary 28, 2021
According to an interview with Eurogamer though, the cutscene is a pretty critical part of Outriders. In the interview, Outriders game director Bartek Kmita explains that because Outriders can be played by three people in co-op, they all need to be in the same gameplay section at once. So for example, if one player were to go through a door into a new area, the two remaining players would need to be teleported into that subsequent area no matter where they were. This can be disorientating, so the developer put in cutscenes for opening doors to give teleported players a better sense of where they were.
Outriders doesn't have dedicated servers, and this is critical to the game being able to load one area at a time. "Without dedicated servers, our solution would be if two guys want to go to different parts, we have to separate them so they will not be able to play together," Kmita explains. "Because everyone needs to compute the AI and everything on their machine, we would have had to split the party. I would like to have the door opening animation for two seconds, but still playing together with my friends, than just breaking apart through transmission. So we chose this solution. We understand it's not the best."
The game director goes on to explain that the development studio will consider changing the way these cutscenes play out in Outriders if they become an annoyance to players. However, it's unlikely that any fundamental changes can be made, considering how critical the cutscenes are to the nature of the game and keeping players together in a single area without dedicated servers.
The Outriders demo is still available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, and will be once the game releases on April 1. To see if you can run the game on a PC, head over to the full Outriders system requirements rundown for more.
For a comprehensive walkthrough of all the other games launching over the coming year, head over to our new games 2021 guide for further details.