I’m a ladybug, roaming through gigantic strands of grass. Then suddenly, I’ve switched over to become that green patch of grass, creating extra grass babies, shrivelling to minuscule size. Now I have transferred to something smaller. I’m a molecule, now I’m helium. If I dive deeper, I’m transforming into one-dimensional objects and shapes. At this point I am beyond the universe, and now I’m a galaxy. I then dive further into this universe, and become the sun within the solar system. There’s planets, so how about becoming the earth? Diving deeper, I’m now an island. Diving deeper again, I’m a tree, I’m a bear, I’m a house which I’ve scaled to the size of a mountain. Finally, I turn into a ladybug, and we’ve come full circle.
Now wasn’t that a journey? This was only a small segment of my experience of David O’Reilly’s game known as Everything, which is only available on PS4, Mac and PC (sadly not on everything). What’s the goal of Everything? Well, a story exists… sort of. The narrative is more or less a large tutorial, to get you used to changing into different living creatures and objects. You’ll be talking to things such as rocks, cigarette butts, penguins, and traffic lights, who all have their own oddball personalities. Never in my days would I think I’d be writing about a game containing a depressing satellite and comedic bush.
Over time you gain new abilities, such as shrinking and growing, making more of the same object, changing into a random object, and evolving as the game evolves with you. There’s a lot of fun to mess about with, and the brilliance of Everything is the sense of freedom. You can do whatever you please in this gigantic sandbox, at your own pace. When you first enter the game, the scope of Everything definitely feels overwhelming. After warping through the universe a few times, you’ll feel right at home.
Everything delivers a slew of emotions. You’ll be laughing from the sheer stupidity of the uncanny animal movements, then suddenly jump in fear from the deliberate glitchiness after causing too much chaos. Out of nowhere, you’ll be questioning the nature of existence after collecting an audio recording of Alan Watt’s lectures and philosophies on life. It shouldn’t work at all, but it really pulls you in. Especially if you’re game to become everything in everything. It’s really great for those who adore completing games.
If you are able to look past graphical fidelity, and go with the flow of Everything’s surreal, cartoony style, then you may be in for an expedition of a lifetime. There’s an odd yet likable charm to it, the music is absolutely amazing, and the controls function smoothly. Be aware, however, for some framerate drops. Especially if you’re birthing 100 giant penguins on a single screen… I may or may not have crashed my game doing that. Everything is not made for everyone; it’s definitely more of an experience, but is treated like a game. If what I described sounds intriguing, then definitely check it out. Hours after playing, you’ll be questioning, “Did a game where I can fly in the sky as a trumpet make me think about the meaning of life?”