PS5 Review: Exo One

Is this space adventure a ball or a flat experience?

A strange signal… an alien craft… Exo One is an interplanetary, gravity-defying journey through space and time. Master a truly alien traversal system and move through enigmatic and desolate landscapes in ways you’ve never experienced. Use gravity and momentum to reach colossal speeds and exhilarating heights.

I honestly didn’t understand what was going on in Exo One when I first started playing it. You are essentially in a ball that can roll across surfaces of planets, then become a hovering disc for short periods or if the weather conditions like wind keep you up in the air. There’s no HUD or UI to distract, so the entire experience is full immersion. The alien craft/ball handles well and can reach amazing speeds. But what’s the objective?

Essentially you need to reach the light in the distance, which could be quite a long way away. You will come across some ruins from time to time that contain upgrades for speed and flight, but these aren’t highlighted as well and so you’ll need to discover these on your own without a beacon to guide you there. Once you reach the light, you are catapulted to the next planet and the cycle continues…

At first, I thought “is that it?” after spending 10 minutes rolling towards a light, only to have to repeat the process again and again, sometimes taking longer to reach the light. But after a while, it didn’t feel like a repetitive cycle, but a chilled out experience with no stress. I could take my time to reach the next area, soak in the atmosphere of each individual planet for as long as I wanted to.

It may not be the most in-depth game and its story isn’t all that, but there is something calming and relaxing about just rolling and gliding around a planet with nothing in sight but you and the end goal. It helps that the game looks pretty great too with some superb details for each planet and it runs at a solid framerate throughout. It also adapts the DualSense’s haptic feedback and does it well.

The Verdict

While quite basic in its design, Exo One delivers a serene experience that not only looks great, but also handles well. A unique game that won’t be for everyone, but definitely worth a look at.

Score: 8.0

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