I’ve been enjoying Forza Horizon 5 and Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond enough but neither has quite taken over my game-playing brain in the way I expected them to. So based on some trailers and the talk on here and the fact that I should really be taking advantage of Game Pass more than I have — I played some Exo One.
The short version: it feels like Denis Villenueve remade Journey. I like Journey and Journey-like games, but I can only play so much of them before the (elegant) simplicity starts to burn me out. But the movement in this one is really neat — the way it challenges you to slingshot your way around each landscape, finding these sparse elements that interact with your craft in specific ways, it’s quite gratifying when it hits just right.
I will say though, I am not thalassophobic in the least — Subnautica is one of my favorite games and my favorite planet in Outer Wilds was Giant’s Deep — but the third(?) planet genuinely freaked me out. The darkness and sheer emptiness of that ocean, and the way you plunge into it without knowing exactly when you’ll re-emerge, it genuinely made my lungs clench and my heartrate speed up. The contrast between the tranquility on the surface and the murkiness below just adds to that too. It got under my skin in a way a game like this has definitely never done before.