Quantum Ungulations (Outer Wilds)

This is an OUTER WILDS thread because y’all were right, this game rules!

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When you first boot up this game it’s going to seem dangerously twee until you launch your spacecraft, at which point you will realize that you’re spending 90% of your time on mysterious apocalyptic hard sci-fi and 10% of your time vicariously enjoying the warm friendships of a bunch of dead goat scientists.

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This game has the same kind of appeal as Myst, but the balance between exploration and puzzles is tuned way further toward exploration, in a way that I really appreciate. Instead of a set of discrete puzzles mixed into otherwise naturalistic landscapes, here every mystery you’re solving feels authentically ecological.

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I like the spacecraft controls and the spacesuit thrusters. I like all of the game but I like flying around in space the most probably. I got stuck floating in space too far away from my ship and ran out of oxygen.

I haven’t made it very far, not even a complete loop yet, but this might be one of the better games released so far this year. I gotta find out what happened to the dude who never came back from space.

I really love the self-directed play in this game. When I first got into space, I just went to the first planet I saw and got terrified and left, then went to another planet and had a great time uncovering mysteries. One of the research threads I was following on that planet naturally led me to head to another planet to check on something related to it, which opened up into a whole other avenue of inquiry. So now I’m intentionally searching out information on both quantum mechanics experiments and time-related anomalies. And I still haven’t even started looking for any of the random leads the tutorial area gives you (like the missing guy Mr. Mech mentioned).

My most mind-blowing moment so far: While wandering a city constructed around a black hole at the core of a planet, I accidentally fell off a walkway right into the black hole. I thought it would surely kill me, but it actually warped me back out into open space. I floated around aimlessly and landed on a nearby structure just floating near the place I’d been spat out. Once I manipulated some controls to open it up and activate it, it turned out to be a little space station that had been put there specifically by the architects of the city to provide a safe spot for people who’d fallen into the black hole, and it contained a warp unit to bring me back to the planet! That warp platform contained a piece of media that, once I found the right player, gave me clues that led me to investigate a physics anomaly related to that warp technology.

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Even though you’re totally free to roam and go anywhere in a very large solar system, the game designers seemed to really think through where your attention will likely go as you explore. They’ve anticipated many of the situations you’re likely to encounter and they’ve thoughtfully placed things in ways that quite subtly discourage you from getting lost or stuck. It’s noticeable but it hasn’t ever felt condescending or overly didactic to me. It’s excellent level design.

Yeah your spoilered bit is how I got stuck in space! I ran out of fuel trying to reach something to land on (everything in space is constantly moving!).

I like how you can refill your O2 by standing next to a tree. My first question landing on new planets is always okay where are the trees.

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Yeah I really love this game. I think I said it in another thread, but it’s likely going to be my favorite game this year.

I think I’m close to wrapping it up. It’s a little tedious to play clean up once you know almost everything, but I’m invested to see what note the story ends on so I’ll almost certainly see it through. I think I know what I need to do to “beat” the game, but I still need some small pieces of information to accomplish it.

It’s cool that it almost doesn’t matter which order you find the clues in (and the game doesn’t really force you in a specific direction from the start). It was even compelling to fill out the backstory for threads that I had already found the end of.

The sense of exploration and discovery in this game, especially in the first 6 or so hours, is nearly unrivaled. I can’t think of another game I enjoyed exploring as much as this one. It also just has a huge capacity to surprise. Each of the locations are very unique and intriguing, and there were at least two times I found large new areas on planets that I thought I had almost fully explored.

It plays really well into the fear of unknown, too. The sheer scale of the sun or the geological effects on the planets take your breath away. There are a lot of times that I just stopped exploring for a bit to marvel in fear at my surroundings.

The physics and the physical aspects of flying around the solar system combined with all the varied environments to explore and the compelling mysteries make it a really special game. It’s an extremely impressive package.

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Precisely what scared me off from playing it thus far, but good to know it wears off. Can anyone else corroborate this?

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Yeah, that vibe is basically only at the start, and it seems like it’s there as an intentional contrast to how perilous and dangerous and slapdash the actual space exploration is. In fact, when you find your buddies on foreign worlds, the familiarity of their warm fires and soft folk music is a welcome respite from the unyielding wilds

As someone dangerously allergic to the twee concentrations in Edith Finch this clearly shares a school of origin but is fine, really.

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Basically you start off in a Zelda tutorial town and then go off into space where it’s doomed lonely Myst vibes most of the time, with an occasional encounter with a random Zelda NPC once every two hours.

OK, I gotta say, Dark Bramble has great atmosphere but it’s inexcusably fiddly and frustrating to get through. Antigravity stealth was a mistake.

Yeah it’s a huge pain. I’m not sure if you’ve found the piece of information about the enemy in there, but they’re “blind”, which means you can get very close to them as long as you don’t make much noise. What worked for me was building momentum before a seed entrance, and then just not touching the controls and waiting until I was well past them to use the thrusters again.

Yeah, even knowing that I was still having a pretty hard time. It took a lot of deaths but I finally learned the timing windows where I could aim my ship before I had to stay the course. So I was able to get through! Turns out I’m not ready to really engage with the thing I found in there anyway.

https://www.twitch.tv/tuppler Going to stream this game in about 10 minutes, hope to see you there, starting from a fresh save

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OK, I just had a weird thing happen: When I woke up, the probe fired by the Giant’s Deep gravity cannon didn’t launch horizontally as usual, but instead appeared to fall to Timber Hearth. When I went to investigate, I couldn’t find any sign of it. This happened twice but on my third run it launched as normal. Was this a bug, or did I somehow break the cycle briefly?

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Not a bug! :slight_smile:

Very intriguing… Was I supposed to be able to find it?

You can find it, but I’ve never seen it hit a planet before.

Ah, I see. The trajectory does look different every time.

Funnily enough, right after asking that question, I just found the explanation for what that probe is and why it’s going in different directions every time.

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