(happy 2020 yall!)
so i'm sure a bunch of us here in the gb community have finished (or will be finishing soon) Outer Wilds on account of this year's GOTY. i'm curious to hear what everyone's experience is relative to the effusive praise the GB staff gave the game.
for my part- i did find the game utterly remarkable. for something that occasionally reveals its seemingly limited budgetary scope, the clockwork mechanics of the solar system and the way the system adheres to a rudimentary reality is truly outstanding. my personal biggest moment was postulating that if i waited for the comet to be near the sun- maybe some of the ice would melt (and then sure enough, that's exactly what happens). also discovering the cause of the supernova (and how that affected my presumptions as to what was really going on)...if there's two things this game does masterfully they are 1) utilizing mechanics that support constant exploration, experimentation and wonder and 2) building a narrative that coalesces through the highly personal process of assembling clues that eventually all fit together. it's actually pretty god damned impressive once you remember this is the result of a dev team's intentional design (and the painstaking process it must have involved to ensure all this discovery and wonder feels organic, despite being the product of a specific intent).
i think where my personal experience deters from the GB staff a bit is with respect to the emotional resonance of the narrative and eventual ending. the tragic fate of the nomai (which arguably is where all the emotional tension in the game comes from) was well constructed and thoughtfully considered- but i dunno, i suppose i found the story slightly flat? that sounds harsher than i intend, because i did really enjoy it. there are tremendous moments of narrative significance, such as finding the nomai who perished in the comet or dark bramble.
i say flat not because it was poorly written, but rather its presentation- bits and pieces of dialogue and soliloquy as projected through my translator screen certainly created a sense of melancholy, but didn't get its hooks as deeply as i had hoped. it's probably a personal hangup, but i think i would have been more 'bought-in' if there was more complete character development and personal stakes (through roleplaying or otherwise). the ending was solid- but since the character investment is fairly limited, and the folksy-twee aesthetic of the main theme while effective had finite appeal for me- i was left with a slightly diminished impression relative to those that had it build to a triumphant crescendo.
i think i was hoping for an ending that was more abstract or open to interpretation (and less 'it's all about the journey'). something more like the 'annihilation' ending- which frankly has ruined a lot of sci-fi for me, but i recognize many hate that sort of thing and it's an unreasonable expectation for this game.
how did the rest of yall make out?