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Alex W.

Outer Wilds

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The original name of this game is "Spaceworthy" and that name is so so so so much better even without the Outer Worlds confusion that sometimes I can't sleep for thinking about it

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It's up there with Disco Elysium as one of the best and most original games released this year.

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22 hours ago, Mugman said:

So on that theme, and to encourage a bit of discussion, I thought I'd mention that I started playing The Outer Wilds again the other day. The last time I played it I was doing so in twenty minute chunks, weeks apart from each other and it just wasn't really connecting. I found the ship cumbersome (no idea if anyone else has had that issue around these parts...?) and kept dying, so I'd only actually seen the Universe explode twice after a fair bit of play. I'd decided that the game was clearly really good/different, but was obviously only for the hardcorest of hardcore Sci-Fi nerds and puzzle fans and moved on to Shooty Mans 6 (Xbox One) (...snip)


Thanks for putting that so much better than I have. Bit frazzled at the moment. Outer Wilds made me care about games again when I was struggling to care about anything.  I’m so sad that I can’t really replay it due to the nature of the game, and nothing else is remotely similar. I sincerely hope the recent slew of GOTY awards raises more interest and that it captures the hearts and minds of developers and shines a light forward for next generation. 
 

I suppose more than anything else, I can’t believe Outer Wilds exists. It’s made by students. And produced by the guy who played Hiro in Heroes. And it’s left a deep mark on my soul, man!

 

The feeling of such a complex arrangement of mysterious elements slowly starting to make sense and tie together is unbeatable. Revelations within revelations, within a growing understanding of their context in the universe and the story, works on every level. That the game takes everything you’ve learned and gut punches you with so many touching and profound moments as the story starts to tie off is unexpected and powerful. 

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You’re safe for about ten mins or so, then there’s a spoiler warning. It’s very good. Some of the reveals about the technical implementation are crazy. There’s no trickery to most of it, it’s all rules/physics based. 

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I jumped on the bandwagon and started this earlier in the week (despite it being on Game Pass for ages). It really is something special, isn’t it? It’s everything No Man’s Sky should have been, and then some.

 

I haven’t really achieved anything yet, other than dying lots. I’ve unlocked a bunch of rumour pathways (mostly by accident!), but I’m going to take Mark Brown’s advice in his Game Maker’s Playlist video from last year and focus on one of them at a time.
 

It’s difficult to put into words how I feel about this game right now; I’ve experienced so many beautiful, unexpected moments already. I’ve actually sat there, mouth open, on more than one occasion. Those final few seconds you spend scanning alien language for clues - knowing you don’t have long left before the sun explodes - are haunting and beautiful. It’s astoundingly good.

 

As someone who usually skips the story in games, and rarely listens to the audio logs, I’ve found myself utterly absorbed by everything Outer Wilds has to offer. The story strands, dialogue, recordings, alien scrolls - everything. It all matters: filled with clues about where you can explore next, or what to do when you get there.
 

I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface, and there’s so much more to discover. It’s in a similar vein to Breath of the Wild, The Witness and Return of the Obra Dinn for me - a game about discovery. And I can’t stop thinking about it :wub:

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That alien writing is all wonderfully written too. It could easily have been really dry, as hard sci-fi can be at times, but the character of all the authors really shines through. 

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Just to double check, it does remember what you’ve learned if you die, right? As in, not if the supernova kills you but your own stupidity? 

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8 hours ago, Mogster said:

That alien writing is all wonderfully written too. It could easily have been really dry, as hard sci-fi can be at times, but the character of all the authors really shines through. 


Yep, definitely. It strikes the perfect balance.

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I need to give this another go. I started it and went exploring to different planets a couple of times, but I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or looking for, so I gave up. I'm sure it starts to make more sense as you get into it, but I found it pretty obtuse from my short time with it.

 

Has anyone got any tips to get me going? Which planet shall I go and explore first? Anything that'll give me a bit of purpose to kick off with?

 

I enjoyed what I played, but I really didn't have a clue what I was doing or why.

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19 minutes ago, JPL said:

I need to give this another go. I started it and went exploring to different planets a couple of times, but I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or looking for, so I gave up. I'm sure it starts to make more sense as you get into it, but I found it pretty obtuse from my short time with it.

 

Has anyone got any tips to get me going? Which planet shall I go and explore first? Anything that'll give me a bit of purpose to kick off with?

 

I enjoyed what I played, but I really didn't have a clue what I was doing or why.


This was me. The sense there was something obvious I was missing - with the game being included on so many GOTY lists - kept me going.

 

Make your way around the first settlement and talk to everyone, then explore as much as you can of the first planet and its moon, and use the ships log to plan what to do next. There’s a particular tool you’re taught how to use in the first area - once you’ve finished that little tutorial, use it! That should give you more than enough to get started.

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39 minutes ago, Paulando said:


This was me. The sense there was something obvious I was missing - with the game being included on so many GOTY lists - kept me going.

 

Make your way around the first settlement and talk to everyone, then explore as much as you can of the first planet and its moon, and use the ships log to plan what to do next. There’s a particular tool you’re taught how to use in the first area - once you’ve finished that little tutorial, use it! That should give you more than enough to get started.

Sounds good to me. I’ll give it another go tomorrow and see how I get on. What’s the tool by the way, or should I just find out for myself?

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3 minutes ago, JPL said:

Sounds good to me. I’ll give it another go tomorrow and see how I get on. What’s the tool by the way, or should I just find out for myself?


I think you start the game with it, so it’s not much of a spoiler:

 

Spoiler

The Signalscope.


But honestly, I would consider anything a potential spoiler. It’s a game about discovering things for yourself, however mundane they might seem!

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21 minutes ago, Paulando said:


I think you start the game with it, so it’s not much of a spoiler:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

The Signalscope.


But honestly, I would consider anything a potential spoiler. It’s a game about discovering things for yourself, however mundane they might seem!

Thanks! I do want to try and unfold it all myself, but that little hint to get me started is perfect.

 

I hope it grabs me this time.

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2 hours ago, Paulando said:


This was me. The sense there was something obvious I was missing - with the game being included on so many GOTY lists - kept me going.

 

Make your way around the first settlement and talk to everyone, then explore as much as you can of the first planet and its moon, and use the ships log to plan what to do next. There’s a particular tool you’re taught how to use in the first area - once you’ve finished that little tutorial, use it! That should give you more than enough to get started.


Ive just got back into this and like you I was the same. I started it in probably the worst way possible, chatting with friends and in a rush to fly a space ship. It didn’t help I had no clue what the game even was.

 

I messed around for hours visiting various planets and randomly Coming across things and whilst that was fun and exciting it meant I had zero clue what was going on or what I was meant to be doing. 
 

Last year I did just leave the game assuming I’d never touch it again. But TCGS kept going on about it in their game of the year shows (it was robbed @murray, it should have won, life is strange 2 isn’t even the best life is strange game @elmo) so today I thought I’d dive in again. This time I used the logs on the computer and picked a planet to try and make that one complete and now having gotten into it properly I’m ready to finish it.

 

It really is a great game, it’s original, inventive and unique. I can have fun spending twenty minutes chasing after a piece of the canon that explodes at the start or by crashing my ship into the sun accidentally.

 

Its only downfall and it’s a bit of a big one is that all this freedom means you can easily start it the wrong way. Almost like getting a Harry Potter book and reading a chapter at random this game can get off on the wrong foot depending on how you play it. I wish at the opening it was a little more hand holdy without losing the freedom. Even something as simple as telling me to visit the moon first and making it very clear that should be my first task (but allowing me to ignore that) Would have helped give a bit of structure on what I’m meant to do and what is happening around me.

 

So if you haven’t played this yet, explore the island properly, it’s pretty small, then go to the moon first. Finally after that, pick a planet and complete as much as you can on it before moving onto the next. The game will be more enjoyable this way giving you a bit of structure to the story than doing what I’ve done which is whizz to every planet and uncover tiny bits and pieces but not know what they’re all about.

 

Cant wait to finish it.

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Austin Walker (ex Giantbomb, Vice) Game of the year.

 

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/v74m73/the-best-game-of-2019-made-me-feel-wonder-for-the-universe

 

Quote

“What elevates Outer Wilds is how it confronts this tension between practicality and contemplation. Your exploration rarely feels heroic. In fact, it is often melancholic. There are moments of shout-worthy victory, sure. But as you piece together the history of your little star system, it becomes clear that there are no easy answers.” What more can I say?

This much at least: Seven months later, and Outer Wilds is still on my mind week after week. This is a blessing, because to hold a game in your mind is to play it, if indirectly. It is also a curse, because what I want more than anything else is to forget about Outer Wilds completely so that I can play it again from scratch.

It’s a game that makes me discard social grace and make the hardest sell I can: If you’ve liked something I’ve written in the last few years, do me a favor and play this game. Try it, at least. Stick through early difficulty with controls. Push past confusion about where to go. Follow your rumor map if you’re stuck, and if you’re really lost, find a guide and follow it long enough to jump start your curiosity.

If after all that, you still don’t click with it, then no worries, that’s how it goes sometimes. But I’ve never wanted to champion a game as much as Outer Wilds, which confounded me, surprised me, and left me standing in awe and wonder. I said there’s no decade-wide throughline to this list, and I think that’s true. But what I can say is that I can’t imagine ending the 2010s in any more hopeful way than with Outer Wilds.

 

I hope OW is going to get a big second wind off the back of all these GOTY awards and noms, and rightly so.

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Some more things I love:

 

Spoiler

- Your spaceship looks like a space invader on the globe map.

- The alien tech is used in your ship, which you start to notice as you progress through the game.

- No inventory to manage. I cannot stress how great it is to just jump into your shop and go somewhere without spending ages tooling yourself up.

 

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If I remember correctly, the game does give you a couple of good starting points from your ship's computer, although this probably relies on you having certain conversations on your starting planet. Starting off is clearly a stumbling block for many people anyway, which is a shame.

 

That said, the way the game manages to tell such a compelling story while still offering so much freedom is quite remarkable. 

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I'm just about to start this again.  I played for a few hours before, but I've done a reinstall of Windows and lost my saves and it doesn't seem to use cloud saves on Epic Games - or at least didn't when I played previously.

 

The game does sign-post where to head.  I can't recall how, but I felt steered toward a certain path pretty early on from what I recall.

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10 hours ago, Ketchup said:

. Even something as simple as telling me to visit the moon first and making it very clear that should be my first task (but allowing me to ignore that) Would have helped give a bit of structure on what I’m meant to do and what is happening around me.

 

Cant wait to finish it.

Bizarrely they literally do this. I missed it the first time I played too. The only guy you speak to as you come out of the Observatory at the beginning tells you to go to the moon. And while I have moved around to other places I've pretty much been following the things I learned there ever since. 

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Yeah, a little more insistence on going to the moon is probably all that is needed. Like a clear reason to head there first. I don't think they should take away from the fact you can do what ever you want but that first hour i think is so important to this game in getting you to know what you are doing and following the right bread crumb trail than bumbling around aimlessly for many hours.

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The fact the game is never explicit with any specific "go here, do that" is its great strength in my opinion. It wants you to simply have your own adventure, on your own terms. It's enormously freeing.

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

The fact the game is never explicit with any specific "go here, do that" is its great strength in my opinion. It wants you to simply have your own adventure, on your own terms. It's enormously freeing.

Yeah, but if you miss a few of the pointers at the start it becomes really difficult to play. I literally had no clue what I was supposed to be doing on my first go. I couldn’t have my own adventure, because I didn’t understand the point of anything I was doing.

 

It’s cool that you found the right clues at the start, but for all those who didn’t - and there’s been a few of us with a similar story in this thread - they could have done with making those initial nudges a bit more explicit.

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The first hour of this is really bloody boring, walking around talking to what seems like an endless number of tedious villagers before you're even able to get in your ship and explore. When I played it before I was so fed up by the time I actually got the ship that I managed to smack it straight into the nearest planet and never went back to it. I need to give it another go.

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I bought this tonight.  I'm really into it,  but you do need to have some patience.

 

I could do with a little advice regarding...

Spoiler

the planet with the black hole in the middle. I've discovered that the entrance to the observatory type building on the south pole is under the planet's crust.  I found some tractor beam style lifts to get me there but the last couple don't seem to connect properly. The last one is too high to reach, the previous one drops me off into the abyss. Should I just search somewhere else?

 

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I’m trying to get into this and I really like the atmosphere but I just can’t get on with the ship controls, and don’t really like the suit navigation. I appreciate it’s trying to give you a physics simulation and I need to be more considered but to be honest I can’t even work out how to land the ship properly. I mean I’ve landed a number of times but it’s mostly a case of just not smashing too hard into the planet and I can’t see how the landing view out the bottom of the ship is ever any use.

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