Everything (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 21.03.2017

Review for Everything on PlayStation 4

There's a good reason a lot of games use similar themes or controls. First-person titles use a lot of the same controls so the player can pick them up and understand them instantly. RPGs take place in medieval settings often because they allow the player to escape a real world setting that might be seen in a point and click adventure or shooter, not being tied to pesky realism. Then every once in a while, a game comes a long that doesn't care about convention. Everything is one of those games.

Everything appears to be a sim that simulates, well, everything. The player is able to control multiple facets of existence. One moment they will be controlling a deer, the next a tree, then a beetle, and so on and so forth. Realism is thrown away, as rocks glide across the ground, and mammals beautifully face plant tumble across the terrain.

Screenshot for Everything on PlayStation 4

In the early moments, you might get the distinct vibe the game is broken. Controlling a deer means its legs simply don't move, instead rolling along the grass like a child's stop animation video on "Animals That Live Near My House." After a minute, it becomes clear this isn't a build mistake or a line of code missing the semicolon at the end. This is the way deer move. In fact, mammals in general move like this, regardless of what you're doing with them.

One of the first "abilities" Everything introduces is singing, which allows players to communicate with other creatures. When you transport into new life forms, you'll have to sing in their native tongue (all by pressing R3), and then off you go. Rocks glide across the ground, while small blades of grass really don't do anything. The most interesting of the abilities is that to dance.

Screenshot for Everything on PlayStation 4

Get a large herd of bears together, for instance, and dance in a circle. This amounts to tumbling in the fashion of a sacred dance that probably calls the moon back every night, but in all reality it spawns a new bear, or rabbit cub. These cubs roll around, populating every so often. You can press X to spawn new ones once an on-screen display fills up, but even if the controller dies, the game will just keep doing it for you. There can really only be so many at a time, though, or the game destroys them, turning them into dollar signs.

There is also the option to talk to other lifeforms when a bubble appears over their head. They usually just wax poetic about the nature of existence, but it has its occasional funny moments. There are also, hidden throughout, audio logs that can be picked up from a seminar. The seminar is clearly just another excuse to wax poetic, and while useful insight might never be gained from it, it's not the worst thing one could listen to, and is occasionally interesting.

Screenshot for Everything on PlayStation 4

All of these little phrases are saved to be viewed at the touch of the touchpad, but that's really all Everything has going for it. Despite everything that's been mentioned, Everything has a tendency to be terribly boring. Now, it should be stated this game is clearly a fun space to relax in, so if not blowing up baddies or solving puzzles isn't something you'd enjoy, you may want to exclude this from your mental "wish list." After the first few transformations, however, it all grows a bit tedious.

Artistically, the game is going to annoy anyone who enjoys realism above all else, but it's nice in its own way. Creator David O'Reilly previous created Mountain, and clearly enjoys more experimental affairs. While Everything might check the experimental box, it also feels more akin to a fish tank than an adventure. It's fun to occasionally mess with it, and by all means this could be a fun experience to revisit every so often. Unfortunately, if wanting something more substantial than an ecosystem of things not walking correctly that makes you ask philosophical questions, you may not find what you seek here.

Screenshot for Everything on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Everything will no doubt be included in the "Is it or is it not a game?" debate, but it is an interesting space to explore. It's exactly as odd as it sounds, and many may walk away from it begrudgingly. If you stick it out, though, you may find something here that really scratches an itch you never knew you had. The problem is: how long can it be scratched before the itch goes away?

Developer

David O'Reilly

Publisher

Cat Head Productions

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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