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ACMI Re/commends: Outer Wilds

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The moment your eyes blink open in Outer Wilds you’re warmly greeted with the promise of adventure, a promise that delivers over-and-over again without once ever telling you what to do. Your motives are entirely your own and as a result your journey is uniquely personal. 

Over the course of many lifetimes, you’ll venture-forth on a mission of discovery to unlock the mysteries of an alien (but surprisingly endearing) star system. You’re equipped with only a camera, long-range microphone and home-made spaceship; tools which perfectly encapsulate the core elements of Outer Wilds: identify, explore and examine. 

At its heart Outer Wilds is a puzzle but instead of opening the box and laying out your pieces, there is no box to look at and the pieces are strewn around on different planets. 

With each expedition you’ll collect precious nuggets of knowledge about the wilds and the story of their inhabitants, becoming progressively more attached to your home as you do-so, and you can feel your sense of identity and purpose evolve as you begin to understand how your life (or multiple lives) might eventually contribute to influencing the greater machinations of the universe. 

It’s incredibly satisfying to watch these pieces link together. There are moments of genuine exhilaration when these loose conceptual threads suddenly converge, transforming from a collection of hunches into a unified theory, and eventually, from a collection of theories to a grand revelation. It’s easy to understand why Outer Wilds is a Bafta-winner.

It’s a difficult game to describe without revealing too much. I came away from Outer Wilds feeling all-at-once like a hero, a detective, a scientist and most importantly, part of a community who has the power to create lasting change. 

– Alex Fithall, AV Technician, ACMI

Outer Wilds is available on PC, Xbox and PlayStation.


Our staff always have one eye on a screen. Find out what else we're watching and playing with ACMI Re/commends.