This new multiplayer brawler is so good I’m still thinking about it weeks later

This new multiplayer brawler is so good I’m still thinking about it weeks later


(Image credit: Hardball Games)

The OutRage developers over at brand new studio Hardball Games promised to go easy on me. They promised. In the chaotic brawls, though, it’s far too easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of little old me in the midst of it. But I’m also glad they’re not treating me with kid gloves, because suddenly I’m in, figuring out the combos to smack them back almost as hard as they can. 

OutRage, which only just got announced at our very own Future Games Show, is a 32-player multiplayer brawler and is unlike anything I’ve ever played before. It’s not a side-scroller, but rather an isometric experience that gives you a really good overview of the action as it’s happening. You’ll want to keep an eye on things too, as progression in OutRage is very, very visible – and exceedingly fun.

Put ’em up

The story goes that an underground fighting competition has become a huge success thanks to an unexpected side-effect of a wellness product – pure, unadulterated rage. Not the kind of rage that fuels social media sites, but rather comic book-inspired rage. In OutRage the aim is basically to start Hulking out. The more damage you deal the more you’ll charge your Rage meter, which as it fills will enable you to get physically bigger and stronger. So while you’ll start as a weedy little thing, capable of maybe lifting a box here or a barrel there, by the time you start truly whaling on people you’ll be lobbing cars and giant wire spools across the map. The same goes for melee weapons too. You might initially grab a baseball bat, but later on, I was watching some of the uber-stacked players using palm trees instead.

Within a few minutes of each brawl starting, there’s a whole mix of different player sizes. There are three stages of Rage Evolution, and a final flame-covered OverRage mode for the truly undefeatable. Whoever is clearly smashing it at that moment is built like a brick shit house with arms like trees, while others are hovering more around the She-Hulk range in their height and stature. It’s amazing how quickly you can understand each player’s capabilities just by looking at them, and as a newcomer, I can make sure to attempt to focus on those who are still in the more nimble, early stages of their quest for rage. 

With so much flying around and careering through walls – including bar stools, arcade machines, other players, and at one point a life size bear statue – the maps quickly become a mess too in the best way. They encapsulate those mad bar brawls you see in movies, with a touch of comic book chaos thanks to little pop-ups of “ooft”, “thud”, “bop”, “biff”, and other onomatopoeic words, alongside the obvious Hulk influences.

Like you’d hope from any good brawler, Outrage certainly fulfills the requirements of easy to pick up, difficult to master. The control scheme is simple, with each face button mapped to a kick, punch, attack, or roll, with a special attack unlocked by going into OverRage mapped to RB/R1. You can hold the kick or punch buttons down to do a flying version, and while there are combos they’re just doing three actions in a row rather than the manic memory games usually required for fighting games. I also love the fact that if you pull off a flying kick or punch, you get a little gap where you can carry on the combo without giving your opponent a moment to fight back. It’s a nice way of getting in on the action even if you’re still learning the ropes.

Punching a new genre


(Image credit: Hardball Games)

“Domination is your standard capture zone affair but with more punching, and there’s also Rage Bank which involves working to fill your Rage Gauge but then depositing that rage into vats scattered across the level.”

There are also plenty of game modes to ensure there’s something for everyone. My particular fave during this preview session was Crate Grab – a team-based mode where you’re trying to get 12 crates of your team color back to your base faster than the other teams. It’s as much about moving the crates as it is interrupting the other team, so there’s a great balance between offensive and defensive tactics. 

There’s also Pain Points where it’s all about dealing the most damage you can either solo or in teams before the three-minute timer is up. Domination is your standard capture zone affair but with more punching, and there’s also Rage Bank which involves working to fill your Rage Gauge but then depositing that rage into vats scattered across the level. The team with the most rage banked in three minutes wins. 

Interestingly, OutRage is also trying its hands (or fists) at a battle royale mode too – with its version simply called Survival. At the end of each three-minute round, the number of players halves, and the playable map gets smaller. If you get downed, you’re out too. It works well, particularly as an observer sport too. As you can imagine I was out fast – even paired in duos with one of the dev team – and yet I was gripped, watching two of the art team go down to a head-to-head in the smallest circle tossing various items from a spit and sawdust pub at each other. It was brilliant fun to watch. There’s no camping or stealth involved here, just pure fisticuffs and silliness. 

But the developer says this is just the beginning for OutRage, as there are plans to continue evolving the game going forward. It’s launching into Early Access in March 2024, and there are already plans to have successive seasons, new maps, modes, weapons, cosmetics and more. After just half an hour or so with the game, I genuinely can’t wait to play more. I’m not usually a fighting game fan, but with gameplay feeling so intuitive and each mode being so enjoyable, it’s now high on my list for 2024 fun.

Put up yer dukes with the best fighting games kicking ass right now 

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Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she’s also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she’s in charge of the site’s overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it’s the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin’s Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren’t sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.

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