Oh, look another game designed to get popular off the backs of “Let’s Play” stars whose target audience is children that would rather watch a video game with a personality reacting to it instead of experiencing the game for themselves. That game is actually pretty philosophical, despite its simple presentation and initial gimmick. I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been so surprised by a title like I was with Everything. In many ways, one could argue that it’s weird, borderline nonsense exterior was the perfect ploy to trick people into, well, having an existential crisis. That is until I played it for longer than 10 minutes. Don’t let my initial praise fool you, Everything is hardly a game, and it lacks a lot of polish, but it’s a unique experience, and one that will be hard to forget.
Much like Goat Simulator, Everything tries to bank on its weird physics engine to garner some kind of interest. It’s almost like a viral game, and for the most part, those are shallow experiences. There are tonnes of examples outside of Goat Simulator. Five Nights at Freddy’s, even Minecraft (though you can argue it’s a deep experience that influenced an entire generation of titles) are just a few off the top of my head. Those types of games rely mostly on a hook, and in Everything’s case, that hook is in the way the character models move. Instead of actually animating them, they kind of just roll around.Taking control of a horse to start, players somersault their way through the world, forming groups with animals of the same species. While it’s an interesting concept, it doesn’t actually do anything. The real meat of the game allows players to take control of larger or smaller species, from the grass and trees all the way up to continents, planets and even solar systems, eventually looping into molecules and back to the trusted horse.
Throughout this adventure, players learn that they can talk to different life forms, from trees and rocks to other creatures. Some are there to help, while others are only concerned with themselves, but it appears that most are concerned with their existence and what it means to be alive. This is an interesting premise, and the further into the game players get, more questions arise. It’s frustrating though since every time it seems like players are on the verge of learning something, it’s never followed up. It’s a concept that is never fully explored. In fact, much of it feels manufactured. While it’s an interesting premise, one that is actually explored frequently in the medium, it feels like that theme of existential dread or questioning is only there to make the game feel “weird” and “different” to give the streamers something to react to. And in that way, Everything feels incredibly disingenuous.
That’s unfortunate because there really isn’t anything outside of that initial sense of “weirdness.” Everything is shallow in every department. Visually, the game is ugly, except for a singular area between space and molecules. The music, while timed hilariously, is epic, but it’s a small loop played at random times, and as mentioned before, no work was made to actually animate any of the character models. Not only that, but detection physics are all over the place. At some points, players will be able to roll almost all the way through rocks. It makes for an extremely unpolished experience that only takes away any good will Everything tries to build.
Still, for an easy to pick up title, there is something there that is lost in a lot of modern gaming: a sense of relaxation. There is no challenge in Everything, it’s more of a concept than a fully thought out experience. Still, the possibilities are almost endless in what players can take control of, and in a way, it’s almost overwhelming. It’s just unfortunate that they all pretty much play the same, offering little to no actual difference in experience. With that being said, weirdly enough, I noticed the worm had slightly more animation than anything else but moved so much slower. That’s neither praise nor criticism, just something I noted in my play through.
Yet, as much as I wanted to enjoy Everything, it’s an empty experience trying to be deeper than it really is. It’s even more frustrating when it becomes clear that Everything is nothing more that streamer fodder to get views from an audience that will probably never actually buy the game anyway. Still, as a one time playthrough, Everything can be interesting, even good for a chuckle or two, but once it’s over, there’s no need to ever get back to it.