Outriders certainly has some worrying issues - the terrifying inventory wipe bug chief among them. But those who are soldiering on with the endgame have found a useful method to the madness: punching.
Punching - or, to give it its proper name, melee - is an ability I barely used during my playthrough of the campaign. But players have found it is a powerful tool in Outriders' brutally-difficult endgame, and can be a potent option even when playing solo.
Even more interesting, the melee skill - and the melee builds that have emerged around it - is most powerful with the much-maligned Devastator class. This class is ostensibly a tank that some Outriders players are kicking from random co-op groups because of a perceived lack of damage per second potential during Expeditions, the endgame missions that revolve around completing the map as quickly as possible.
But some Devastator players are using a melee build to power through the endgame - and are even able to hold their own solo.
I came across a few Devastator melee build guide videos this week that are great at explaining how this all works. Essentially, you want to use the bottom skill tree to boost the effectiveness of the melee, and mods (reduce the cooldown of your melee skill by 50 per cent, for example) and armour stats (anomoly power, status power, and cooldown reduction) that tap into the skill. Melee counts as a skill in Outriders, which is something I didn't realise - and it's viable because of it.
Melee on the Devastator also adds the bleed effect to all it touches. This is particularly powerful in combination with bleed effect mods. There are two melee options in the game: the basic punch, which does damage in an arc in front of you, and a sprint and leap and smash melee, which does damage all around you.
So, by combining your powers with the melee and the occasional fire of a weapon, you can literally punch your way through the 15 tiers of Outriders' endgame - and you don't need a full set of legendary items to do it, either. The video below from YouTuber SwingPoynt does a fantastic job of explaining how it all works. There's massive amounts of damage on the table here.
It's also a lot of fun, too. Outriders is at its best when you're up close and personal - not cowering behind cover. I spend most of my time using my Devastator's powers in combination with a shotgun. Hugging cover in this game is not fun. Punching things in the face is.