>> Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye

Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye PS4 is an additional story content or DLC that introduces a new hidden planet or region which focuses more on creative thinking and mechanical exploration. Aside from the Anglerfish, this also introduces a direct horror element of pursuing enemies in darkness which adds more distress and fear aside from the innate time pressure. Above all, this expansion provides a very difficult puzzle mystery with new mechanics and ideas to ponder which gives a challenge rivaling or surpassing the original. The DLC is definitely worth the challenge and a good reason to revisit this stellar game.

>> Notes and Thoughts

WARNING: Early game spoilers ahead

Finding the new region is quite a surprise as stealth technology has never been introduced before. The new region is visually interesting as it rotates on a wheel and the opposite side can be seen anytime almost the inverse of Brittle Hollow. Riding the river with a raft is also nice as a new means of travel and how centrifugal force maintains the current. As this is also a new race, I appreciate that the translator does not work and the way to communicate is with images through the slides. The new inhabitants are an intriguing combination of owl and deer, but it would be nice if they could fly as well. Overall familiar with the earthy swamp aesthetic and nocturnal animals but something hidden beneath that exterior.

The overall goal in this new region is to unlock the vault. Since the challenge is higher, exploring areas thoroughly specially for the slide reels and reviewing the facts is more important here as the region is small. Solutions are designed cleverly and fair as discovering them offers the same thrill and joy. Sadly, the ending of the new region may seem abrupt or anti-climactic considering the effort which is similar to the Quantum Moon optional quest. Aside from seeing the ending again, the true reward is a variation on the ending, and it is definitely worth redoing.

My major personal gripe with this new region is the global darkness that makes it hard on the eyes; however, it works in this game as light plays a central theme and role for this new region. The darkness also heightens the environment from the familiar to the treacherous as the pursuers hunt. How they reach out from the darkness to extinguish the player's light will stay with me. I feel the darkness is an integral part of the experience, but an accessibility option would be nice.

As solving the mystery requires more backtracking and setup, some players might feel this is more tedious like the rafts which is understandable. As a DLC, being more complex and challenging is its goal although at the cost of some tedium. What it brings to the game is still worth exploring and tackling.

WARNING: End game spoilers ahead

Understanding the history and motivation of the precursor race is quite sad. They had high hopes for the Eye but felt resentment and shame on what it will bring and what was sacrificed. To prevent others from making the same mistake, they blocked the Eye's signal and retreated into their simulated home world until it dies. Rather than harming them, I believe they failed to realize that the Eye was calling out to everyone and that refusal might have prevented others from restarting the galaxy. If not for the sacrifice and excessive imprisonment of one of them, the Nomai might have never come and the Hearthian to finish the story.

With the precursor race specializing in light and being primarily observers, concealment or ignorance is a major motif in its story and aesthetics:

  • The ship itself obscures light to hide its presence to keep their slumber undisturbed.
  • Much of the information acquired is through watching memories through their numerous projectors and slide reels which may be redacted or burned.
  • The number of hidden passages, false walls, invisible bridges and locks is meant to hide things in plain sight.
  • Finding the glitches requires extinguishing the light and finding it in the darkest area like the green fire.
  • The hidden world is a reflection of their vivid home world rather than what they did to it.
  • Blocking the Eye's signal in a way denies its existence similarly to the Prisoner.
  • The lantern's themselves allow the player to focus or conceal their light. To shine the way or to hide it.