Cam’s Eye View 421: Everything for the PC & PS4

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. I did get a review copy of this game, but got no financial compensation for reviewing the game. I got the code and nothing else. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

As much as I love to support new original game ideas, sometimes, being original can be the problem. Listen, I’m tired of the same games being published and shoved out from the triple A industry as much as the next guy, but at the same time, if you are trying to be unique and nothing else, then how appealing are you going to be in terms of playing? I have played many games that tried to be unique or stand out, that only turned into hollow experiences or flawed ones. So, what does this have to do with the first game of the PlayStation Play Collective for 2017? It’s because the first game is David O’Reilly’s Everything. It was developed by, well, David O’Reilly, and was published by Double Fine Production’s publishing scene, Double Fine Presents. If David O’Reilly sounds familiar in the indie scene, it’s because he was the guy that made the “controversial” game, Mountain, the game that people argued was not really a “game” and more of an impressive screensaver. So, how is Everything? Is it everything I could ever look for in a game? Well, let’s take a look.

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Everything is a, well, um, it’s hard to pin down what kind of game it is. It’s very explorative, it has philosophical speeches from famed British philosopher Alan Watts, it’s a nature simulator, it’s open world, and you get the idea. You play as literally everything from the tiniest cells to literal planets and universes. You pretty much explore as everything, and unlock Alan Watts’s recordings, and learn how to cooperate with other individuals, change into other things, and you are able to even make your own universe. It’s obvious this game is aiming to be more thought-provoking and an experience on life itself. It feels like it’s trying to be an ABZU, Flower, or Journey.

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Graphically, it’s a mixed bag. Sometimes the 3D polygonal models look great, like when you are tiny cell organisms, but then you get minimalistic animals and planes that don’t look the best, and don’t really have any animation to them. When I realized how the animals moved in this game, it reminded me of a film titled A Town Called Panic, since no one actually “walks” on their legs, and they move around like a toddler playing with a horse doll or action figure. I found Everything’s presentation quite amusing. The music by composer Ben Lukas Boysen was atmospheric and calming.

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So, where do the bad things pop up? Sadly, it’s a game that I feel like doesn’t really have any lasting appeal factor. Like, I don’t have any urge to play this game again. If that’s the point, then more power to you, but to me, that doesn’t really make me want to spend $15 to buy this game. I want to play and buy games that I would want to replay multiple times. Maybe not replay it the next day, but still, I want to pick it back up and play again. The game can also get repetitive, since all you do is ascend from something small to something bigger, over and over and over again. I mean, it’s tranquil and different than what we have gotten in March, but at the same time, I can see this game being really boring to players, since to me, I never felt like I was making satisfyingly enough progression to get somewhere.

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I honestly don’t know where to go with this game. On one hand, Everything is intriguing, and does have some interesting thoughts/ideas. It’s definitely an experience I won’t get twice out of 2017, and it can be engaging with the recordings from Alan Watts. However, I can only see a very small number of people actually enjoying the game and finding a reason to want to replay it. It’s a mixed bag for me, and while I’m definitely not a super fan of it, I don’t think it’s a bad game. I don’t see myself purchasing it for $15, but hey, if you like games like this and want to support the developer, by all means do so. These are just my opinions, and I know they won’t represent everyone in the world. If you like philosophical experiences, then definitely pick it up. It’s a “not my cup of tea” situation for me.

This game gets a 6 out of 10.

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