4 Reviews liked by fdfsdgdsfgsghgf
I should love this game. I wanted to love this game. I tried to love this game. Even now I am disappointed—mostly in myself—that I did not.
I think it's a "me" problem, not a problem with the game itself. Most players don't seem to find Outer Wilds even half as frustrating as I did. I resorted to using a walkthrough pretty quickly, and even with the guide, I still almost gave up out of frustration. It's not just that the controls are tricky, but that the way to progress is often unclear, the puzzles are obscure, and the physics-based challenges are no cakewalk, either (%!$& that #$&!ing cyclone to the end of the universe and back). The moments of pleasure and discovery I had with the game, and there are plenty, were fighting a constant war with a horde of annoyances, and on many occasions the annoyances almost won.
The fact that they didn't is a testament to the game's many good qualities, which are real, so please believe all the other reviewers when they tell you about them. I just wish all the lovely parts didn't have to coexist with so much stuff that bugged the living hell out of me.
Oh, and while the game receives a lot of praise for its story, I found it...a bit less than revelatory? It suits the style of gameplay perfectly, but you more or less know the basic contours from the beginning, and there aren't many surprises along the way. I think part of the reason I didn't enjoy the game more is that I was playing mostly for the story and was impatient to learn more, which is the wrong way to go about it. Really Outer Wilds does not mix well with impatience of any kind. I think you are meant to explore haphazardly for the sheer fun of exploring, piecing things together little by little, in which case I can easily imagine this game lasting a good 30-40 hours or more. I don't think I personally would have had the endurance to play that way, but kudos to anyone who does have what it takes to get the most out of the experience.
I loved my first five hours with the game -- the novelty of discovering an entire solar system, flying around with intuitive controls which remind me of what it feels like to fly in dreams, etc. However, the game soon started to drag on -- I was basically wandering aimlessly, filling out a checklist and looking for audio logs (bits of text on the wall) which slowly filled me in on a story I really didn't care for.
This went on for around ten hours, with me feeling like I was just filling out a checklist for no reason, until I suddenly started accessing all the "endgame" areas in quick succession in the last five hours, and it suddenly felt like I was making strides towards understanding how to finish the game. Thus, I went from making little to no progress within the first 15 hours, to suddenly beating the game. In retrospect, I feel like I could have beaten it in 10 hours if I had more of an idea of where to go to look for actually important information, and I wish there was something the game would have done to help me trim down the boring bit in the middle.
The ending is a definite highlight of the experience, and is probably why this game is so overwhelmingly positive. I don't want to sound cynical, but I think everyone knows that a good ending can overshadow a boring slog in the middle part of a story, in one's memories. I just wish this game didn't force you to do the same thing over and over so much, and maybe trimmed the fat with how much unnecessary information you end up "discovering".
Overall, it's certainly a good game, but it suffers from glaring issues with its pacing and tedious gameplay loop. That's all I can really say.