An indie game finally gave me something Halo never did

I’ve given up hope of getting the one thing I want from the Halo franchise. Microsoft has put together over a dozen Halo games and spin-offs, a small mountain of books, and a soon-to-be-released TV show, but it still hasn’t made a Halo game that would invite me to explore a grand, open, complete ringworld. It’s a Halo Game. About a halo

This year, I finally got exactly what I’d wanted from the last place I expected to find it: a barely promoted expansion to an indie game.

Alert, reader I’m about to spoil the first couple hours of Outer Wilds, Echoes of The Eye If you care deeply about Polygon’s 2019 Game of the Year, I encourage you to keep this post open in a tab until you’ve had a chance to experience the introduction for yourself. But if you’re merely curious about Outer WildsIts expansion. I guarantee this story will not ruin the meal, but it will whet your appetite.

The key art for Outer Wilds Echoes of the DLC, featuring an alien astronaut carrying a glowing lamp in a moody swamp

Source image: Mobius Digital/Annapurna Interactive

Echoes of the Eye: Outer Wilds The action takes place inside an alien world called the ringworld Outer Wildsuniverse. I don’t mean “universe” in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” sense. Original Outer Wilds drops players into an actual clockwork universe (not a “canonical” universe), in which each planet has its own ecosystem with unique gravity and biomes. The time limit for the player is 22 minutes. You learn about each loop and then use these lessons to explore more of space.

If Outer WildsThis book is about discovering the alien habitations and natural worlds. Echoes of The EyeIt is all about uncovering natural decay of artificial worlds. Oder, andrew hammond: Outer Wilds It is about the creation of a planet by an alien species to sustain itself in an era where all life has died. Echoes of The EyeThis article is about the way that all creations are inevitably destroyed by the universe.

The game’s ringworld, like the wider world in which it resides, contains a collection of unique settlements, built on marshes, inside caves, and deep within the river that runs the full length of the structure. A dam supplies power to the entire world, much like the supernova. Outer Wilds If the dam is broken in each cycle, it will be a disaster. Unlike the supernova, the destruction doesn’t instantly kill the player, but the flood unleashed by the burst dam will devastate the ring-shaped world, toppling spires, pulverizing homes, and revealing some new pathways in the process.

What I adore about this ringworld — what I’ve always wanted from Halo — is the completeness, the knowability, the interconnected machinery keeping the world from collapsing on itself. Science-fiction ringworlds are self-sustained, usually home to a closed-loop community in which everything — the homes, the farms, the mines, the factories — can be seen from any spot, the entire structure constantly arching overhead.

Even better, inEchoes from the Eye It’s possible to take a boat down the entire length of the river, and return the same way I started the journey. There’s something so comforting about this, how despite being limited to a ring, it’s the rare video game setting that feels real, like there are no fake boundaries preventing me from exploring the entirety of the physical space.

I know Halo isn’t about halos. It’s about a space marine, intergalactic war, and fun-fun-bang-bang multiplayer. I sincerely look forward to Halo Infinite and part of me holds out hope that it will be the Halo about a halo I’ve always wanted. But I’m also glad that indie creators came along to capture the promise of Halo, Combat Evolved’s iconic box art, which featured a world unlike anything I’d ever seen.

#Halo #indie