Irrational Exuberance Preview: Transcending Space and Time
Deep space phenomena certainly would be a fantastic sight to witness. Thanks to Irrational Exuberance, we’ll all soon be able to discover the naturally occurring events in space with our own eyes. Although my time at E3 didn’t allow me a chance to sit down with the experience firsthand, it did allow me to have an incredibly informative talk with developer Buffalo Vision about their ambitious new title.
Irrational Exuberance is much less a game than it is an experience. Discovery and exploration are the two main goals as you float through the vast infinity of outer space – there’s no direction, no narrative, and no distractions. You just go. You just go and attempt to understand and interact with the loneliness deep space has to offer. The intention here is for players to learn more about themselves by relying upon the player’s own autonomy in a universe where there is no right or wrong space to occupy, and thusly no concept of wasted time.
Floating around the edge of the universe definitely sounds like a daunting concept, especially given the context of a full-room VR experience. The sheer solace and spectacle of the organic happenings in space has a lot to offer, though, and it can easily promote players to do things and make decisions they wouldn’t typically do or make. Some of these settings and scenarios can so be realistic that it can motivate players to confront, say, a fear of heights.
Finding yourself atop an incredibly tall point on an asteroid may leave you with only one choice: step off and fall to the base of the organic structure. Irrational Exuberance plays heavily with gravity and physics, and when combined with its convincing use of height and impact it can present players with a plethora of situations that they have never before experienced.
You only have yourself to rely on when making decisions of what to do and where to go in the game. Moments of peaceful discovery are found just as often as the terrifying scenarios of an ever-changing cosmos. Destruction, much like creation, is naturally occurring wherever you end up, and the fragile environments you discover break dynamically when worlds collide with otherworldly phenomena. Irrational Exuberance does not hesitate to present players with a variety of sensory input, utilizing highly evocative audioscapes to more fully remove players from their reality while further immersing them into a hyperrealistic experience full of infinite possibilities.
As potentially terrifying and simultaneously awe-inducing as some of these situations can be, people having just played Irrational Exuberance were walking by the developer and I wearing nothing but smiles and remarking (quite loudly) about the intense wonder they just experienced. Multiple people passed by singing their praises, while others stopped and repeatedly complimented the developer. The full release plans on having a variety of beautiful worlds to explore, filled with mysterious sensations accompanied by a heightened sense of awareness.
You can apparently learn a lot about yourself in the vacuum of space. The effect I’ve seen it have on the people who played it is an incredibly rare trait for a video game to have, and I could not be more excited to experience it for myself.
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