Echoes of The Eye is the follow-up DLC for the fantastic space exploration game Outer Wilds. It sets you on a journey through a new location; The uninhabited ring world dubbed The Stranger. Within this new area you’ll uncover the secrets of its inhabitants and learn of a forgotten race who also discovered The Eye of the Universe.
Echoes of The Eye relies more on exploration and imagery to tell the story. You find slide reels that give a good idea of proceedings whilst retaining some slight ambiguity. The more you discover and explore the more you find yourself chasing at shadows instead solid clues. Whilst possible to see as a detraction, the process of discovery is just as emotionally charged as reading the ancient Nomai texts, if not more so.
The areas of both The Stranger and its counterpart, The Dreamworld, are visually stunning. The inner area within The Stranger gives off a new alien, secret forest and wild west vibe that looks appealing. The tall cliff-side structures in The Hidden Gorge; the harbour-like design of The River Lowlands and the area that The Island Tower resides in are all interesting, well designed and chock-full of secrets to uncover.
The Dreamworld is an inverse to The Stranger, with lush vegetation and signs of life. The beautiful Starlit Cove, Endless Canyon and Shrouded Woodlands are all dimly lit, forcing reliance on your torch. Exploring your way through The Dreamscape whilst lighting and blowing out light torches and candles to find new paths is interesting; It’s a shift on the base mechanics, but it doesn’t feel unfamiliar. Doing this whilst hunted by the community-dubbed Owlk in certain areas provides a sense of unease, dread and sometimes urgency. It also leads to more questions about just what happened and keeps you wanting to discover more.
Andrew Prahlow’s score for Echoes of The Eye is amazing. Hearing the game’s main motif in tracks such as “River’s End”, “Departure”, “Travelers’ Encore”, or hearing the dread that “Elegy of the Rings” and “Dark Passage” give you, Prahlow absolutely knocks it out of the park once again. It’s a strong OST that delivers a fitting emotional accompaniment to both the gameplay and setting.
The story of The Stranger’s inhabitants is as emotionally charged and heartbreaking as the Nomai’s. Whilst considered a side story, Echoes of The Eye feels about as dense and filling as the main game. For Mobius Digital to strike not only once, but twice and make me shed a few tears is a testament to the care and love they poured into this DLC.
All in all, Echoes of The Eye is a brilliant addition to Outer Wilds. My only wish is that it fit within the mainline story. Despite that, it fits so well within the Outer Wilds universe as a standalone experience.
Echoes of The Eye is available on PC, Xbox One and PS4.