Reviews & Ratings
I still find its procedurally generated worlds sort of lifeless and boring.
Outer Wilds ( go.pcworld. com/byow) may be the game for me, then. Instead of a sprawling universe of “infinite” possibility, Outer Wilds takes place in a single, ultra-detailed solar system trapped in a time loop. Like
Groundhog Day, the solar system resets every 20 minutes when the sun goes supernova. Time passes during that 20 minutes, with locations changing around you—closed passages opening, or entire cities being buried by sand. It’s presumably packed full of secrets to uncover, as long as you’re in the right place at the right time.
Fascinating, and after a long wait Outer Wilds is finally due to release sometime this year.
14. MUTANT YEAR ZERO: ROAD TO EDEN
Release Date: 2018
Okay, so it’s XCOM set after the nuclear apocalypse ( go.pcworld.com/mtyz), and your main characters are a six-foot duck and a
boar carrying a shotgun. Good? Good.
In all seriousness, even the Mutant Year Zero ( go.pcworld.com/bymt) team throws around XCOM comparisons, so why shouldn’t we? It’s almost identical at times, down to the layout of buttons on the user interface (and their accompanying keyboard shortcuts). There’s a neat stealth mechanic that lets you pick enemies off one at a time, as well as a more freeform gear system, but at its core this is just more XCOM with a stranger aesthetic.
And who’s going to complain about more XCOM? Certainly not I.
15. THE OCCUPATION
Release Date: 2018
Another game with a real-time element and a tight focus, The Occupation ( go.pcworld. com/ocup) has you playing an investigative journalist in the late ‘80s. An explosion’s killed dozens of people, and nobody’s been brought to justice. It falls to you to pick up the case.
The catch: You have four real-time hours to solve it. The decisions you make during that time, the leads you pursue, the amount of time you spend reading documents and so on—it all determines what information you get, and how far you’ll get in the case.
Expect to play this one at least twice, I think—once to get the basics, another to execute the same plan but twice as fast and with a better handle on the information. Maybe a third time, or a fourth, I don’t know. It looks incredible though, with that vague Bioshock influence married to a combat-free detective game. An actual detective game, I might add. I’m very excited for this one.