The introduction to Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye is Hall of Fame worthy, so comically hidden that gamers might full the entirety of Outer Wilds with out realizing they’d missed the entirety of its growth. Once discovered, the reveal is unforgettable and price the hour or extra of head-scratching required to search out the proverbial entrance door. Its creators apparently agree; they managed to hide the entirety of what the DLC is from its advertising and marketing marketing campaign. I love that selection whereas questioning if the ambiguity’s been detrimental to calling consideration to this gem in an already crowded market.

So, I’m going to do one thing uncommon. I’m going to persuade you to do this masterpiece with out ever explaining what it’s. Think of it as the important equal of watching an eclipse: You’ll see the form of the factor, however we’ll by no means look instantly into the solar. I’ll observe up with a full-spoiler evaluate in the coming week, however for now, right here’s why you need to be enthusiastic about one of 2021’s greatest video games.

Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye has been marketed as a downloadable growth to the unique game, Polygon’s 2019 Game of the Year. But by virtually each measure, Echoes of the Eye is a sequel. It’s practically so long as its predecessor, plopping the participant in a equally huge and disorienting setting. The creators inform a new story, arguably darker and extra mysterious than the first. And the game might be performed with out uncovering a single secret in the unique Outer Wilds.

The solely motive Echoes of the Eye isn’t a true sequel, so far as I can inform, is as a result of you may’t expertise its many wonders with out discovering the game within the unique’s universe. When I say “find the game,” I imply that actually.

Here’s the closest I’ll come to spoiling Echoes of the Eye, although actually I’m simply offering a map to reaching it. There’s a new notice in the museum on the planet the place Outer Wilds begins. The notice factors you to a radio station. That radio station, a few pictures, and a quantity will get you the place you’re going.

What in case you by no means noticed that notice? Or bothered to go to the radio station? Like I mentioned up prime, you’d straight-up miss the game. Despite Echoes of the Eye being inside the identical universe as Outer Wilds, reaching its “space” within outer area is extra summary than merely pointing your spaceship in the proper course.

And when you do get inside Echoes of the Eye, these twists preserve coming, like the game is a busted gumball machine and it might’t cease dishing out deal with after deal with. Even after 5 hours, having seen what I believed was the entirety of what there’s to see, I sat down at a fireplace pit, took a breather, and found I had neglected yet one more separate world, within the world, within the world of Outer Wilds.

Does it sound like I’m on MDMA? I hope so — that’s how I felt enjoying Echoes of the Eye.

To preserve my promise, I’ll depart it at that. Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye is a masterpiece residing within one other masterpiece. As a sequel, it’s sensible. And in case you take the two video games collectively, as one single video game, then Outer Wilds deserves its area close to the prime of any checklist enumerating the biggest video games of all time. If you wish to argue with me, I suppose you’ll must attempt it for your self.

Outer Wilds Echoes of the Eye was launched on Sept. 28 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. The game was reviewed on PC utilizing a pre-release obtain code supplied by Mobius Digital. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These don’t affect editorial content material, although Vox Media could earn commissions for merchandise bought by way of affiliate hyperlinks. You can discover extra details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.