- Genres: Adventure, Exploration, Mystery
- Platform Xbox Series S
- Start: 2022-06-07
- End: 2022-06-10
- Rating: 9/10
The Outer Wilds is a shining example of the human kind’s ability to create a sense of wonder and adventure.
The premise of the game (no spoilers) is that you get stuck in a time loop that is 22 minutes in length. You have no idea of this until the first 22 minutes have passed. When you start the game you are greeting by waking up next to a campfire (which doubles as a healing station and a time fast-forwarder should you need one). Its your first spaceflight today. You have passed the training program and are officially and astronaut for The Outer Wilds Ventures. You fly out of the crater your species has lived in for eons and enter into the solar system wherein which you live.
The game greets you with a star system that has several planets, a sun, as well as some stations and satellites. That is the guidance the game gives you in the form of a tutorial at this point - its time to explore! You pick a planet, you land on it, and you walk around. The star system you live in was home to a prior civilization (explained to you before you even take off). Landing on any body will have ruins or other such items for you to look at. After the player has been playing the game for 22 minutes the sun goes super nova and everything explodes. The player then wakes up near the campfire and everything was when the player started (except you can skip the tutorial now, as you know the launch codes).
The advancements you get in this game are knowledge - no new items for you to collect after the start. The one exception is your radio equipment can tune to different frequencies as you discover them - but arguably that is just knowledge of where to turn the dial. With this system in place, the player is entirely free to explore everything they wish and to complete the game at their own pace. The story is quite well done, intertwining the history of the solar system’s prior inhabitants (The Nomai) and your race. The story gets quite existential, and focuses on the themes of inevitability.
This game is amazing and I would recommend it to anybody. I will be on the lookout for new games from this developer.