Everything is about every thing. Or at least every thing the game developers could render into the game. You’re thrown right in to a procedurally generated world with little to no context, and soon you’re stumbling down the long plains, taking in the subdued yet breathtakingly beautiful vistas around you.
As you walk (well, not really walk, but flip/roll around) further in any direction, you’ll see other creatures going about their own thing in the world. You’re free to mingle with them, or simply watch in fascination. You can interact with them by singing to them, and soon you’ll start moving with the pack. Or you can choose be something else entirely. See a rock that catches your fancy? Well, possess it, and you’re a rock. Or an insect. Or even go further down to atomic and subatomic articles. Or maybe you want to go big. How about a tree? Or a continent? Still too small? Then go be a planet, or even an entire galaxy!
There’s a sense of scale in Everything that is unmatched. It’s not the scale of a technical or graphical powerhouse, but a sheer sense of wonder at how small one can feel in the massive scale of the universe. As you float around as a pollen grain, the depth of field and vibrant color palette do a great job of making you smile, and the soft sounds of the music slowly playing in the background set a great tone for what Everything is. It’s simply a game to delight those who are willing to be delighted by it. It’s definitely not for everyone, and many would probably be put off by it in the first few minutes. And I wouldn’t even blame them.
However, Everything is much more than just a Video Game, it’s a hint at the hidden potential in video games, a small glimpse of what sheer creativity is capable of building inside a digital world, where imagination can run wild, and the only limit to what’s possible is the human mind.
It’s the quiet moments in Everything that feel thoughtful, punctuated by actual philosophical musings of Alan Watts, a British philosopher, which often lend context to the events set off by you or happening around you. Watt’s words will often left you moved and in thoughts, but I can also see how the same may not resonate with you depending on your mood, or even philosophy of thought.
However, Everything is also a game, and you are interacting with it constantly, unless when you’re not. If you leave the controller untouched for a few seconds, the game will start turning its internal gears on its own. And it comes to an end. The end, however, can definitely be divisive. I was impressed by everything (yeah, I know) the game made me feel and experience in my time playing it. There were humbling moments and empowering moments throughout, all filled with thought provoking dialogues.
Despite how the game may be received, I am happy to see a game like Everything being made and put out there for people to experience and enjoy. It’s games like these that show the kind of ideas that can be brought to life by the power and creativity that only this medium allows. It’s not always perfect, but Everything is clearly sowing the seeds for greater ideas and iterations yet to come.