After finishing the Long Dark episode 4, I moved on to finally play Outer Wilds Echoes of the Eye DLC. Outer Wilds is another game I avoided for so long, but was amazed when I finally played it. The cartoonish style graphics and text-only dialogue is what originally put me off, but the time loop game play is fantastic.
A must play game, so no doubt the DLC was an automatic play.
Outer Wilds Base Game
Besides constantly confusing the name of Outer Wilds with the Outer Worlds, the cartoon graphics did not really interest me. Previews for the game were also clear that conversations were all text based. To me, it’s a dated concept that frustrates me when games take this easy way out. Nintendo first party games are notorious for this.
The graphics, although the cartoon lifestyle, are so smooth. The text based conversation were as annoying as I feared, but only in the beginning. Most exploration is devoid of people to talk to, so that slight annoyance subsided quickly.
I would love to see them do a Director’s cut with voice work added like Disco Elysium did this year. Hopefully Outer Wilds Echoes of the Eye DLC is not the last for the game.
Exploration and discovery are magical in Outer Wilds. Each time loop lasts about 22 minutes before the sun explodes, resetting everything. The planet positions and surfaces change over the course of the time loop. There’s plenty to discover on each planet at various times in the loop. It was a good mix of rushing to get to a location in time or waiting for the correct time to visit later in the loop.
Uncovering the Outer Wilds Mysteries
Each time is a new chance to learn new information for use on the next loop. I loved the puzzles each planet presents. Some of the things that stick out to me include:
- Timber Hearth – the home planet with wood shelters, trees and water.
- Giant’s Deep – Planet of gigantic water spouts that launch islands into the atmosphere.
- Hour Glass Twins – gravity moves sand from one planet to the next over time.
- Brittle Hollow – planet whose surface slowly disintegrates into a blackhole.
- Dark Bramble – a strange space structure easy to get lost in.
- The Interloper – ice comet that melts and freezes based on the proximity to the sun.
- Various moons with their own secrets
- Space stations with mysteries and changes overtime
Despite my reservations in the beginning, it was a true joy to unravel the mysteries with each loop. The graphics definitely grew on me and the music really set the mood. Besides dealing with the changing planets and satellites, dealing with the space suit and ship mechanics added layers to the gameplay.
The mad rush against time and changing planets often lead to ship damage. It’s easy repair, but tough when the ship is spinning out of control. It’s a nice touch to repair various systems in space or on the planet surface.
Without the ship intact, the space suit oxygen and fuel supply are the next thing to worry about. Luckily, death just resets the timeline. Conserving those resource to avoid desk is often important to continue exploring after reaching a new area.
Outer Wilds Echoes of the Eye DLC
After Outer Wilds rocked my concept of what a game is, I looked forward to more story and exploration from the developers. Outer Wilds Echoes of the Eye offered me exactly that. It took quite a bit of time to figure out how to start it, so there’s no shame in searching for a guide online.
Once I found the path to “The Stranger”, the game blew my mind again. It’s hard to say whether it’s a space station, or a planet, or something else. What I do know is entering it was like a whole new world. It’s like a full of grass, trees, canyons and even more raging water. What is really crazy is it’s a looped like a smaller version of a halo ring.
Outer Wilds focuses on space exploration, but Echoes of the Eye is a lot more grounded, literally. All the action takes place on the planet or station surface. The raging water and rafts offered an interesting change to the base game.
More Outer Wilds Echoes of the Eye DLC Surprises
It’s especially interesting when an event happens mid-time loop that changes the face of the surface. The event acts almost like a half way point reminder.
The DLC is filled with light based puzzles that power the rafts, doors, projectors, portals, bridges, doors and more. There’s a special artifact that I found that changes everything in such a great twist. Without ruining it, the change took the DLC from just good to fantastic.
Some of the puzzles were a bit harder than the base game and I actually stumbled upon the answers by accident. One of them I literally fell into. The ending of the DLC was not what I expected at all.
The Outer Wilds Echoes of the Eye DLC is a must play. The base game is still king, but the DLC is now an essential part of that story in my mind.