Outriders: a close-up look at the Devastator class

What is a Devastator and how do they live up to their name? We take a look at what it's like to play as this tough, brutal class.
By Duncan Heaney
Tags: Outriders

Over the last few weeks, the Square Enix Blog has been taking a close-up look at some of the classes you’ll be able to play as in the upcoming RPG shooter Outriders.

Previously, we showcased the flame-spewing Pyromancer and the spacetime-warping Trickster. This time, we’re focusing on the Devastator - a burly class that controls gravity and mass to wreak havoc.

People Can Fly answer: What is a Devastator?

We asked Bartek Kmita, Game Director for Outriders, to share some thoughts about the Devastator. Here’s what he had to say:

"The Devastator… now that’s a very tough type of character. Think of it as a close combat tank.

This class is all about brute strength. By that I mean that they’re able to deal enormous amounts of damage to enemies near them - and survive quite a few hits themselves.

Devastators can control gravity and mass, and these skills really help them in their frontline role. For example, you can manipulate gravity to get close to enemies really quickly, and make yourself denser so bullets do less damage.

It’s maybe not the most subtle class, but if you want to use a very direct, savage playstyle I think you’ll really enjoy it."

What can Devastators do?

The clue’s really in the name - this class devastates enemies with powerful attacks that cause massive damage and keeps them off-balance. It’s also a great class for defence, with skills that help you withstand a beating while you deliver your own.

Here are just some of the things you can do as a Devastator:

  • Earthquake: Releases a shockwave in an arc ahead of your character. Any aggressors unfortunate to be hit by the blast will be damaged and knocked back. This is great if opposing forces are massing together - it hits fairly wide and disrupts their attacks and movement. It’s also enormously satisfying - it tears up the scenery, the sound is wonderfully deep and rich, and when you send a group of enemies stumbling backwards you get the impression that they really feel it!

  • Golem: When you activate this skill, your character will increase their density, making them far more resistant to damage. It’s a skill that really suits a run and gun playstyle, though it’s also a very useful way to get out of trouble if you’re surrounded. It’s not the most flamboyant skill that the Devastator has at their disposal, but it’s one of the most useful.

  • Gravity Jump: If you want flash and sizzle, here you go. Devastators are not bound by the laws of physics and they can manipulate gravity in many ways. With Gravity Jump, your character launches up into the air, where they can hover for a while. Simply choose a place to land, and they’ll crash into the ground, pulverising everything around them. It’s a fantastic way to quickly get close to enemies - and give them a smack in the process.

How the Devastator plays

More than any of the other classes revealed so far, the Devastator is all about brute force. It’s a hulking frontline fighter that excels when you take the direct approach to an encounter.

Look at it this way - if the Pyromancer is a flamethrower and the Trickster is a precision scalpel, the Devastator is a really big, heavy hammer.

Devastators throw themselves (literally) into the thick of the action - when they’re surrounded by angry people with guns, they’re very much in their element. When you play as this class, you’ll rush and leap around the battlefield, using weapons and skills to cut a swathe through enemy forces.

That’s one of our favorite things about the class actually - even though Devastators are super-tough, they’re not super slow. On the contrary, they’re extremely manoeuvrable - their Gravity Jump in particular can get them to the other side of an area almost instantly.

You’ll want to take advantage of that ability too, because Devastators rely on being in close quarters to restore health.

In Outriders, every class heals in different way, and Devastators do so by killing things in very close proximity.

If you snipe a foe from the other side of the room, you’ll get nothing outside of the satisfaction of a well-aimed headshot, but if you dive into a mob, and start wrecking house, HP will flood back to you with every casualty.

It creates a very entertaining gameplay loop where getting up close puts you at risk, but also keeps you alive. It also brilliantly complements the other classes in the game - a Devastator can harass enemies and keep their attention, while other classes do hit and run attacks and pick them off from a safe distance.

That’s just a brief look at the Devastator. It may not be the most subtle or sophisticated way to play class in Outriders, but its face-first style is an enormously entertaining way to play. If you’re someone who likes to dive right into the fight, this is very possibly the perfect class for you.

You’ll be able to find out for yourself later this year. Outriders releases Holiday 2020 for PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One and Steam:

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