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Outer Wilds

29 May 2019
Outer Wilds - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.36 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
921 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#8 All-time
#2 for 2019
Stuck in a time loop where a dying sun consumes all, The Protagonist must piece together what's happening using knowledge from The Nomai, an advanced alien species who were mysteriously wiped out from the solar system.
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Outer Wilds is a space exploration game where you uncover the mysteries of a solar system stuck in a time loop. Blast off into a fully physically simulated cosmos and seamlessly journey from planet to planet in search of the answers hidden in the unknown.
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Despite the tedium that can come with the genres that Outer Wilds has chosen be developed within, the sheer ambition and beauty of this title carries it out of that rut and far into the stars.
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djraccoon 2022-07-22T20:09:03Z
2022-07-22T20:09:03Z
4.5
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To be curious on your journey
A beautifully unforgettable, inimitable experience. Outer Wilds places you in a wonderfully well-crafted solar system with charming inhabitants, and plenty of secrets to discover, in which each piece of knowledge can allow you to unearth more nooks and crannies of these wilds. It's hard to go into too many details as this is a game that is heavily undermined by getting into specifics, but the way each geographic element and puzzle complements each other despite being explored completely non-linearly is incredibly unique. The only thing guiding you anywhere is your own curiosity and past knowledge, which accumulates as you play more.

Coming from a decent Kerbal Space Program player, the ship's controls and powerful/nimble thrusters along with a nice autopilot do a great job of allowing beginners to get acquainted with orbital mechanics and space exploration, for me, it fit like a glove. Definitely make sure to play this on controller though, there's certain mechanics that benefit from the precise controls of a stick and analog triggers.

It's so singular in how both desolate and comforting it is to explore these miniature, yet dense celestial bodies. Adding onto this is the similarly contrasting and wonderful art style which is homely and foreign when appropriate. The game feels so alien and yet so human in its aesthetics, dialogue, and character, the homeliness of the wooden yet scifi designs of your ship and the Hearthians compared with the anomalies and Nomaian ruins/technology left to discover in the solar system. The technical achievement of making such a dynamic setting work almost completely seamlessly at the indie level, where every piece fits together like clockwork while being one of the most nonlinear games I've ever played makes it so special. Add onto that a post-rock/electronic/folk-inspired soundtrack that goes toe-to-toe with some of the best in the medium combined with some of my favorite set pieces (of which I dare not spoil, they truly can only be experienced for the first time once), and this is my favorite game of all time.

It's interesting how I first discovered this game all the way back in middle school as Scott Manley had visited it as a simple alpha release. At the time, I thought it was a cool concept despite the (at the time) simplistic appearance, dialogue, and the general lack of polish. Still, I thought it had lots of potential but I lamented the fact I would likely not be able to play it, as I didn't start PC gaming until I became an adult. So, I promptly and completely forgot about it for another 6 years until friends immediately recommended I buy it. Now I find myself here singing its praises along with pretty much everyone else here. I guess it's true: there's always more to explore here.
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earthandspace 2021-05-07T19:07:58Z
2021-05-07T19:07:58Z
5.0
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Very good, but you wait too much time for X to do its thing, and progress is constantly slowed because of it, something that I'm not a fan of. It came to a point in which, while waiting for something, I started questioning myself, "don't I have other things to do?", a question I really shouldn't be making while playing a video-game. Maybe I would've liked it more if I could speed up the time whenever I want.

The story and mystery is great, and if you like games with a slower pace (and have plenty of time on your hands), this will become one of your favorites. It's one of the most original and creative titles to come out on the last years, both from a mechanical and narrative standpoints.

Oh, and the shy "Lovecraftian horror" listed on the influences IS NOT a joke.
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The future depends on the past, even if we don’t get to see it.
SCORE: 10 (masterpiece) outer wilds is a masterclass of storytelling in video games. the beauty of the game is that you can complete it instantly if you possess the knowledge, but gaining that knowledge drives you forwards. it is open ended in nature, yet subtly guides the player down the correct path in ways that are not obvious but are still immensely satisfying. the narrative threads i was following kept me glued to my screen for hours as i unraveled the immensely interesting story that at first appears quite simple, but unveils its complexity as the game progresses. i dont want to spoil anything here, so i wont go into the details of the story, but the way in which the exploration feeds the narrative which then in turn feeds back into the exploration is truly brilliant and unlike anything i have ever experienced. the visuals in this game are truly breathtaking, each planet offering a unique and interesting landscape to explore and become familiar with. the music is outstanding at conveying a sense of wonder as you explore the solar system and perfectly compliments the gorgeous visuals. the core gameplay loop (ha) is perfectly executed and kept me engaged for the entire runtime of the game. the first time i experienced the core moments of this game are some of my favorite moments in gaming history. again, spoiler free review, because i truly believe this game should be played by everyone at some point. the amount of times my jaw dropped because of a visual, story moment, piece of dialogue, or a naturally occurring piece of gameplay that i brought upon myself is easily in the triple digits. this is a truly one of a kind creative and thought provoking experience that has not left my mind in the months since i completed it. i found myself so immersed and interwoven in the world(s) of the game, and the payoff for this immersion is one of the most emotionally overwhelming and satisfying conclusions to a video game i have ever experienced. i could gush for about 10 pages of text if i could spoil, but if you have gotten this far in my review and havent played the game, do it. you wont regret it. overall some of the most unique, intriguing, awe inspiring, visually stunning, beautiful, and emotionally charged 13 hours i have spent in a game. games like this remind me why i love video games so much.
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dcook6302 2022-03-11T21:55:50Z
2022-03-11T21:55:50Z
10
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A special experience attempted by no other
Game design is something that all exceptional, even just good, games have to possess to set themselves apart from the vast sea of competing games available to the player. With hundreds of games being available at a few clicks and some debit card withdrawals, video game developers need to become increasingly able to craft not just enjoyable, but memorable experiences that captivate the player’s attention and leave a lasting impression on them. Everyone has played a game comparable to Call of Duty, but there is truly nothing out there that captures the magic and wonder proudly shown off in The Outer Wilds. Unique game design, a captivating narrative, and a game design seen like no other, fronted by the most seamless and engaging environmental storytelling seen in the industry in years, perhaps even ever.

Big budgets and a team of executives have become the norm in the video game industry, a welcome addition that has allowed for greater and broader experiences forged from the increased resources allotted to budding developers. But if there’s one thing that makes money in the industry, it’s patterns; sequels, similar game design, and unoriginal ideas feel tried and true and familiar to the player, and are a safe option for publishers looking to make a quick buck. While innovation and originality are indeed still present in the AAA gaming market, looking to the world of indie developers is a breath of fresh air for those tired of the repetitive machine of industry development. Small teams driven by passion and love for their craft pour time, love, and passion into their games, and it often shows in the craftsmanship and quality of their finished products. Do they have the vast worlds, sprawling customization, and populated servers driven by the bloated budgets of AAA developers? No, but passion combined with publishing money is all that an indie game needs to thrive. The Outer Wilds oozes its passion in every nook and cranny of the game, even though it was driven by a crowdfunding budget, and later, a steady stream of cash from Annapurna Interactive. Developer Mobius Games was headed by college students with an idea and a love for the video game industry, and they set to work for years crafting it to near-perfection.

The gameplay of The Outer Wilds starts simple enough, awakening as a Hearthian soon-to-be-astronaut on an Earth-like planet ready to make their maiden voyage to space. Armed with the knowledge of an ancient, long-extinct alien race known as the Nomai who once lived in your solar system, you prepare to set off to unravel the mysteries of what happened to the Nomai long before your species even existed. But exploring the planets of the Outer Wilds, the name of the aforementioned solar system, reveals more than just a simple mystery of sudden disappearance; the Nomai didn’t just come here out of coincidence, they came to the Outer Wilds with a mission, and it becomes up to the player to unravel the complexities of that mission and finish it for themselves.

Early game gameplay introduces the player to a more fun and slightly lighthearted experience of flying through the Outer Wilds in your janky, hand-built spaceship gives the player a welcoming introduction to the intricacies of the Nomai ruins and the plants they are found upon. Primarily focused on exploration and discovering the basics of this universe, the early game is fun, rewarding, and engages the player to dig deeper beyond the surface level discoveries that they will initially make on their first few journeys.

The mid-game gameplay is when The Outer Wilds begins to shift from a primarily exploration based-adventure to a more complex and narrative focused tale as the planets and their characteristics become second-nature to the player, who begins to use the knowledge they mastered from the early game to fill holes and make connections between the story throughout the planets. Things that were once dismissed as small details become imperative for the player’s progression and they are forced to dig deeper within their knowledge and make more abstract connections to move further and solve the smaller mysteries that begin to present themselves. While still heavily comprised of exploration and discovery, the mid-game gameplay is when the game begins to shift from an adventure-based exploration game to a complex and engaging narrative quest.

Without getting into any spoilers, the late game of The Outer Wilds is one of the finest conclusions to a game I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing first hand, without any spoilers. I’ll keep this segment short as to avoid even the possibility of the smallest of spoilers. After playing for many hours by this point, the player has become well-accustomed to the quirks and traits of the Outer Wilds and its planets, rules, and characteristics. Already experiencing most of the knowledge and exploration the game has to offer, the player is left to connect the final huge dots that define the overarching story and meaning behind the entirety of the game itself. While this segment of the gameplay is easily the most profound and rewarding experience the game has to offer, it also hosts the game’s largest flaw; some of these late game puzzles are simply too abstract for most players to reasonably figure out, at least entirely, on their own. I found myself stuck at multiple points at this area of the story, and upon inspection of online forums and discussions, many players had the same frustrations at the same areas as I did. I had come so close to peaking and cracking a long-sought after solution to a monumental question the game presented to me, only to be disappointed when it turned out I had missed a single tiny detail hidden within the recesses of the solar system. In a game built on exploration and solving mysteries for yourself, it is disappointing that a majority of players have to look up solutions to at least one point in the narrative. Some of these puzzles are simply too abstract or too discreet, and while this is certainly not the case for all players, it is enough of an issue that effects enough players to be a legitimate criticism. However, this does not mean that the end game is any less rewarding, and the thrill of solving so many long-standing puzzles and mysteries towards the final end is something I have yet to experience in any other game. The last two hours are indescribable, the feelings and ideas presented are just impossible to describe without venturing into spoiler territory.

Unique, polished, engaging, and fantastic are words that come to mind when writing about The Outer Wilds. As someone with years of experience and hundreds of games under his belt, I can safely say that this game is one of the best that I have had the pleasure of playing through. Don’t let the less-than-perfect rating fool you, this is one of the best games of this generation, and that score was only given because of the aforementioned slight frustrations towards the endgame. Do yourself a favor and experience this breathtaking game for yourself (oh, and, careful not to view any spoilers). And I completely forgot, but the music is just as good as the rest of this game.
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cashums 2021-08-09T23:57:55Z
2021-08-09T23:57:55Z
4.5
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Very, very, very special
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supok 2020-06-01T08:27:40Z
2020-06-01T08:27:40Z
4.0
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Catalog

Xalechim Outer Wilds 2022-09-28T01:09:49Z
2022-09-28T01:09:49Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
notengopadres Outer Wilds 2022-09-28T00:06:12Z
2022-09-28T00:06:12Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MajorCom Outer Wilds 2022-09-26T01:57:49Z
2022-09-26T01:57:49Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
boekplate Outer Wilds 2022-09-26T00:04:19Z
Windows
2022-09-26T00:04:19Z
8
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bup02 Outer Wilds 2022-09-25T23:27:07Z
2022-09-25T23:27:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
IceKiller159 Outer Wilds 2022-09-25T17:00:17Z
2022-09-25T17:00:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
axlm26 Outer Wilds 2022-09-25T10:41:46Z
2022-09-25T10:41:46Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Barmaglot47 Outer Wilds 2022-09-24T22:45:30Z
2022-09-24T22:45:30Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SneedDeck Outer Wilds 2022-09-24T12:28:00Z
Windows
2022-09-24T12:28:00Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zero_signal Outer Wilds 2022-09-24T11:30:55Z
2022-09-24T11:30:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
wishlist
SixCrystals Outer Wilds 2022-09-24T05:23:26Z
2022-09-24T05:23:26Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
charlazy Outer Wilds 2022-09-24T01:08:36Z
2022-09-24T01:08:36Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Single-player
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  • Previous comments (93) Loading...
  • TheRealJimMorrison 2022-08-29 00:00:21.92524+00
    life-changing stuff
    reply
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  • thatpower 2022-08-30 23:33:25.691595+00
    Literally the best game ever made. Should at least be in the top 5
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  • DoradoMusic 2022-08-31 13:14:35.388705+00
    Damn top 10 I need to get on this
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  • Convalescence 2022-09-06 17:19:49.990243+00
    #7 today, well deserved
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  • ThePsuedo 2022-09-06 17:47:04.556399+00
    Wow!
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  • earthandspace 2022-09-07 07:03:44.60089+00
    my biggest regret is not savoring my playthrough enough. i knew it was already one of my favorites ever, but sometimes it feels like, instead of moving on towards every mystery like a checklist, i should've taken more time to just stop and smell the pine trees, and appreciate the wondrous solar system in the moment.

    maybe it's just me being wistful, for what i wouldn't do to play it for the first time again
    reply
    • Convalescence 2022-09-08 19:33:45.050079+00
      I very much agree. Though I do feel like I did spend a fair amount of time just savouring it. I still enjoy going back to the game just to fly around and explore, see what little bits I missed, mess around with the jetpack and such, go for the hotshot achievement.

      one of the very few games I've played whereI really feel like I could spend forever just soaking it all in. shame I can't experience that first playthrough again. I just hope whatever this studio releases next can capture some of that same magic again, but I don't wanna get my hopes up too high. this kind of game is really a rarity
    • earthandspace 2022-09-09 10:05:17.184805+00
      yeah, i get the sense that i'm never gonna play a game that both appeals, awes, and clicks as much as this again, at least not for a long, long time, and putting mobius up to that standard to just do it again wouldn't be fair to them, imo.
    • AzeXiR 2022-09-10 13:06:46.971701+00
      I remember on my first playthrough whenever i decided i will be ending the session i finished it with just taking a loop to walk around the village, listen to the entirety of timber hearth, maybe fly a bit around some of the more familiar spots etc. it was really nice.
    • Convalescence 2022-09-11 23:08:34.218524+00
      ditto. even just floating out in space, outside of the ship was so cool to me. just wanted to soak in it
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  • Paradiddle 2022-09-16 02:18:40.882109+00
    My friend thinks this game sucks but i think hes a dumb loser. Some people can never appreciate real art. A piece of ecstasy 10/10
    reply
    • dontwannaknow 2022-09-23 02:48:23.74874+00
      You say this but gave Star Wars battlefront II (PS2) a 5/10. Pretty contradictory, I’ll say
    • Convalescence 2022-09-23 18:37:16.253549+00
      ^^^.....what is the connection here...?
    • jake7 2022-09-25 00:47:16.779676+00
      They're saying that Star Wars BF 2 is real art and Paradiddle can't appreciate it
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  • axlm26 2022-09-25 10:42:37.232193+00
    I know want to get amnesia but still remember I need to play this game.
    reply
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