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Get Sucked Into The Sun - Outer Wilds
Jun 28, 2019It's difficult to talk about Outer Wilds without saying too much. It's one of those rare games where you just want to place the person you are trying to convince in front of the screen and watch them play, like you'd watch a child stack building blocks for the first time. There is something inherently fascinating and intriguing about this simulation of space archaeology, where the journey is just as important as the destination — both in the messages it delivers and the satisfaction it provides.
Jun 18, 2019Outer Wilds is a genuinely delightful experience with a lot of bright points. It somehow manages to take the idea of a game about repeatedly dying in terrible ways and makes it enjoyable, relaxing and enthusiastic. It won't be a game for everyone due to its self-guided nature and its focus on puzzling things out for yourself, but it's exactly the game it needs to be. If you long for the space travel that No Man's Sky couldn't provide, give Outer Wilds a shot. It might not have a billion worlds, but each one is worth a visit.
Jun 4, 2019It may be due to the charming look and the likeable DIY approach of the hobby astronauts of Holzkamin, but Outer Wilds reminds me in the best sense (probably idealized) childhood experiences: the feeling of discovering something new at a ramble, finally on the top of the tallest tree Climbing in the woods or just getting to know something new that enhances your own horizons - I have that feeling in every corner of Outer Wilds.
Aug 20, 2019Outer Wilds is rife with breathtaking sights and sounds, and at the very least, no one could accuse it of being unambitious. Mobius Digital may be a small team but, almost paradoxically, they achieve a remarkable sense of scope by keeping things modest. However, their work suffers from the glacial pace of progress and a hands-off approach to storytelling. My biggest issues – a lack of combat, direction, or material rewards – are obviously deliberate, bold choices on the part of the devs, and I commend Mobius for them while also chiding the cold, inscrutable product that resulted. I admire Outer Wilds, but I don’t love it.
Jun 3, 2019This is very nearly a perfect game: beautifully designed and executed, intelligently written, and engaging from beginning to end.
TheThis is very nearly a perfect game: beautifully designed and executed, intelligently written, and engaging from beginning to end.
The setting is a miniature solar system in which the planets are subject to something like realistic orbital mechanics. Each planet may be small - on the scale of hundreds of meters in diameter - but together they offer up a wide variety of dynamic and visually striking environments. At moments, the imagery is breathtaking.
The aesthetic is stylized, but consistent - and consistently appealing. (I'm tempted to say: "you know, like a game published by Annapurna.")
The game-play mechanics are well crafted: navigation - in ship or in suit - and walking work smoothly, and all the tools the player has available function as they should.
As for the writing, this game should be held up as the very model of how to integrate a tight, coherent narrative into an open-world setting. You really can explore in any direction and in any order you like, following one line of clues or another. All the clues fit together, though, and all lead to the same place . . . when you're ready for them to do so.
The clues left behind by long-dead alien visitors provide a glimpse into their lives and hopes and loves - and their disagreements as to how far their experiments should go - without ever being heavy-handed about it.
In terms of story and game play, the 22-minute loop has a lot of appeal. Most of the time, it means you can be really relaxed about exploration, knowing there will always be another loop ahead of you. Sometimes, though, it gives you license to take outrageous risks in exploration, burning all your bridges behind you, confident that you'll be back at the launch pad at home soon enough.
Postscript: The thing about the controls is that this is one of the few space-based SF games that takes Newton's laws of motion seriously: you know, an object in motion remains in motion, and so on. If you hit one thruster, your ship starts moving in that direction . . . and keeps going in that direction unless you counteract it with another thruster. If you hold your finger on the button for a thruster, you will continue to accelerate in that direction.
It also takes seriously the law of gravity: if you are near a planet, you will start accelerating toward that planet unless you counteract that acceleration with a thruster blast in the opposite direction.
Most other SF games with a flying mechanic seem to assume that spaceships in a vacuum work just like airplanes in an atmosphere. They don't.
So, yes, the controls in Outer Wilds take some getting used to, but they are manageable with practice. Also, the developers have included an autopilot and a velocity-matching mechanic that can help you out of tight spots . . . though sometimes you do have to abort the autopilot if it plots a course through the sun. There is no substitute for your own judgment in such situations.… Expand
Jun 14, 2019This game made me feel like a kid exploring a very interesting playground, I haven't felt this good and comfy about exploring a game in aThis game made me feel like a kid exploring a very interesting playground, I haven't felt this good and comfy about exploring a game in a while. In the middle of rehashes and games that don't bring anything interesting to the table, this was refreshing. Sure, it's not for everyone, but it is a game that feels like it had a lot of love and dedication poured into it. If you don't like the idea of exploring or space and you aren't patient then this is definitely not for you. Otherwise, try it, it might be your next big experience, I know it was for me.… Expand
Dec 31, 2019In honor of Giant Bomb, my most watched video game website, naming Outer Wilds their Game of the Year, despite all my cynical predictions toIn honor of Giant Bomb, my most watched video game website, naming Outer Wilds their Game of the Year, despite all my cynical predictions to the contrary, I finally decided to try and write some kinda review-ish something of this game I've been trying to sort out my thoughts on for almost half a year now. The fact that I've even been thinking about it for that long already places it among rare company. Dark Souls, Bioshock, Braid, The Witness, Outer Wilds. These are the games that delicately drum on my dendrites day after day.
Outer Wilds does so many things that, I think, most other games are too afraid to do, even if they wanted to. It doesn't have combat. It, only in the most technical of senses, has a save system. If you knew how, you could beat the game in the first twenty minutes you spent with it, no speed-running skills required, and yet for most people (including me) it takes about twenty hours to finish. There are no upgrades, there is no exp. The only upgrade happens in your brain, as you accumulate knowledge about this solar system and its history and nature, and the only experience are the ones you have while attaining that knowledge, which include, but are not limited to:
falling in a black hole
accidentally hurtling into the sun
going inside a comet full of lethal ghost farts
getting launched into space by a waterspout
getting eaten by a giant angler fish
riding inside a jellyfish
toasting marshmallows on the moon
playing music around a campfire with your buds while the universe ends
Outer Wilds is, in many ways, a metroidvania game were you to replace the arbitrary abilities and corresponding doors those abilities open with a completely open, delicately crafted clockwork world where the only thing preventing your forward progress is what you know or have been able to figure out. That it manages to meaningfully stretch a twenty minute series of actions into twenty hours this way is completely mind-boggling. You can go to the planets in any order you want and not only will you not break the progression, but the story that unfolds will be just as satisfying as the order than anyone else chose. It's a giant set of interlocking gears, a game of rock-paper-scissors on an interplanetary scale.
The big, obvious thing it does is something I wish more games did--place complete trust in your intelligence and patience as a player. This will be like cold refreshing rain in a desert to some, and like compelled flagellation to others, so I understand why it's uncommon. However, I personally love nothing more than a game/book/movie/whatever treating me like I'm intelligent, curious, patient, and perfectly comfortable being confused, because I am those things, and it's rare to be treated as such. In some ways I feel like Dark Souls paved the way for games like Outer Wilds despite it having no combat and not being "hard," in the traditional sense, but that's a conversation for another day.
The most common complaints I've seen are that the game feels, "directionless," and, "like a waste of time." To which I can only say, nothing about Outer Wilds felt like a waste of time to me, and that it's okay to start a journey not knowing the destination, or even the next stopover. Most great works of literature are the same way. The nature of art is that often the best of the best asks a lot from you, because truly great art is not just passive entertainment but a long, satisfying, potentially challenging two-way conversation that requires your full attention, as well as patience and trust in your partner to eventually lead you somewhere interesting even if at first their anecdote seems to be going nowhere
If I were to pick the most "fun," video game I played this year, it would probably be Remnant or Division 2, because who doesn't love a tight, mindless shooter you can play with friends? I put 140 hours into Division 2, and 45 into Remnant (also got all the achievements).
But I can already tell I'm not going to be thinking about either of those games in ten years time. Remnant didn't bring me to tears. The end of Remnant didn't prompt mutual, misty-eyed proclamations of brotherly love with the friend I played through the game with (the same friend I played Remnant and Division 2 with, and for whom Outer Wilds is also his goty). Outer Wilds did. Outer Wilds is deeply contemplative, touching, life-affirming, and cathartic in ways only a video game could be, and if there's anything we need more of in this industry, it's more video games doing stuff that only video games can do, rather than worshiping at the altar of film and literature.… Expand
Dec 15, 2019A beautiful and melancholic game.
Pros: nice graphics, 3D space, somewhat realistic physics, ingenious story, amusing soundtrack andA beautiful and melancholic game.
Pros: nice graphics, 3D space, somewhat realistic physics, ingenious story, amusing soundtrack and astonishing planets (one of them looks like the planet from interstellar and it's really blows your mind when you first visit it)
Cons: the game is kinda short in some way, hehe; the story again, for some lamers it's too hard to understand… Expand