Outer Wilds 10 Minute Gameplay Walkthrough - First Impressions

No Man's Sky if it had actual content during launch.
A gameplay walkthrough for Outer Wilds has been released.
A gameplay walkthrough for Outer Wilds has been released. Annapurna Interactive

It’s not often that I’d get to see a new title purely by accident and get hooked immediately, but that is just what I experienced in a gameplay walkthrough of the upcoming Outer Wilds.

The gameplay footage was released exclusively by IGN, and is narrated by the game director and creator Alex Beachum.

My first thoughts were immediately how the title is eerily similar in premise to No Man’s Sky, which, if you know your recent video game history, was very underwhelming in its launch, subsequently failing to live up to its enormous hype beforehand. Looking at Outer Wilds from a first glance, it’s easy to say that the game can fall in the same holes as No Man’s Sky did; “you can do anything”, “you can go anywhere” and all those meaningless buzzwords that are spoken to cover up the extreme lack of content and polish.

However, after watching the nearly 10 minutes of gameplay, I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be a lot better on release than No Man’s Sky ever was. For starters, it introduced a really cool and somewhat underused mechanic in video games: the game’s solar system is set to die due to a supernova within 20 minutes of game time, but your character is stuck in a time loop, so you will have the chance to solve the mystery of the dying sun. The kicker here is that in dying, you get to keep whatever progress and clues you made, so each playthrough will be different in that you have advanced farther than the last, while also allowing you to explore even further. Outer Wilds features a much smaller world, in that it only has one system, but Beachum promises that each planet will be condensed and packed with more details. If the game delivers on that, then I’m already sold.

The character has access to a rocket that he or she can use to fly and land on various planets. My favorite thus far has been the gas giant, which from the exterior is quite large, until you break through its atmosphere and find that it’s a small, mostly aquatic planet perpetually plagued with tornadoes and storms.

There are also a varied cast of characters on the different planets, each one with their own backstories and missions to help you solve the question of your time loop and the dying sun. Add all these elements with quirky game mechanics such as low-res photo-taking probes, rocket packs, and the even quirkier art design and you have yourself a very unique and interesting title.

Outer Wilds is set to be released for PC on Windows and Linux, OS X and the Xbox One. Its release date is currently unknown.

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