[PC - Echoes of the Eye DLC]
Part I - Finishing the base game
I played this game back in 2019, its original release year, and I was floored by the spectacular visuals, incredibly fun physics mechanics, and the rich story that unfolded as I completed loop after loop of the game. But it took me until they announced Echoes of the Eye, a paid expansion for the base game, to actually FINISH the game. As I've already stated, I am not into scary games and generally avoid them entirely. And 95% of Outer Wilds IS NOT SCARY, but there's a particular, crucial bit that scares and stresses the begeezus outta me. So, despite wanting to see the end I just fell off the game and chalked it up as another maybe-I'll-get-back-to-that game.
For me, the announcement of EotE was met with a mix of elation and terror as I realized… on one hand, more of the things that made me love the base game and potentially new things were on offer. On the other hand, I knew despite how separate the DLC might be from the base game that I had to see the ending of the base game for myself.
I knew it would be a tough ask of myself to come back to this game nearly two years later and try and pull off the final stages of the game with little context to go on, other than what I could glean from the in-game ship log. But, with the help of a friend who sat with me on a stream to gently guide and encourage me, I completed the ending. Honestly, I'm not sure I would have had the drive or will to push through on my own. Shouts to you, G.
Part II - Echoes of the Eye DLC
Then this same friend and I started the DLC together in one of those rare moments in gaming where we got to kind of discover all the secrets and mind-boggling revelations together. Instead of furiously searching for the answer online to a puzzle or question, I usually texted my friend first and anxiously/excitedly awaited his response. This went on for a few weeks as we made our ways through the new content... actually let's clarify something: this DLC is far closer to an actual sequel to the original game than just some add-on content. It's an experience that fully stands on its own, but is of course enhanced by and enhances the story of the base game.
It's worth noting that the game warns you that there are sections of the DLC that are spooky, and *the anticipation* was actually more spooky than the actual spooks themselves when I got to that bit. I found my time with EotE less spooky and daunting than Outer Wilds.
This experience brings with it so many new and fun things to discover that really took me back to the same feelings I had playing the original game. This is one of those games where the lightning definitely struck twice, as they somehow captured those feelings and expanded on them simultaneously. The layers these games have for you to discover is unreal.
Echoes of the Eye is worth every penny and then some. Very few games deliver on their promises completely, and maybe that's part of what makes Outer Wilds so incredible; Outer Wilds doesn't tell you much of anything outright, and allows you to discover all that it has to offer on your own. Play this dang game. Play it ASAP.