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Outriders is delayed until April 1, but a demo is coming in February

The co-op shooter Outriders has been delayed again. Developer People Can Fly announced on Twitter today that instead of coming out in February as planned, the game will be released on April 1. The studio said the extra time will be spent "fine tuning the game and focusing on delivering a fantastic play experience at launch," which may or may not be a gentle jab at a certain recent game that was decidedly not in fantastic condition at launch.

(It also emphasized that despite the traditional significance of the date—that is, April Fool's Day—the new release schedule is not a joke.)

The good news is that February won't be entirely bereft of Outriders: On February 25, curious followers will be able to sample "the first few hours of the game" courtesy of a free demo that will include all four character classes and support both single and multiplayer action. Your character and any progress made in the demo will carry over to the full game when it goes live.

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Outriders, if you're not familiar with it, is a sci-fi shooter for 1-3 players. It bears a stylistic similarity to Destiny 2, although in terms of gameplay it seems more akin to The Division,  but we said in our early 2020 preview that it's not quite as committed to a sense of its own importance as either of those games—a reflection of the fact that it's coming from the same studio that made Bulletstorm.

"Outriders manages to be the kind of 1-3 player co-op third-person shooter-RPG only People Can Fly could make: A fast-paced, super power-infused shooter that straddles grimdark and laughably ridiculous," we wrote. "You’re getting into cover frequently, but you’re also running and jumping around like a maniac sometimes. You unlock one of four special classes’ abilities, allowing you to chain and combine moves that stun enemies and hurtle you across the battlefield for big area-of-effect attacks. It’s nowhere near as corny as Bulletstorm, but you can sense Outriders’ cast is, at any moment, just about to look over their shoulder and mutter, 'Can you believe this shit?'"

This is actually the second delay for Outriders, which was originally expected to be out in time for the 2020 holiday season. In October 2020, publisher Square Enix pushed the game to February 2, 2021, saying it needed the extra time to incorporate full crossplay support across all platforms.