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Found 2 results

  1. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

    What happens when you mix a walking simulator with a murder mystery that has ties to the occult? You get the newest release from The Astronauts – The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. A non-linear game that lets you take control of your adventure and the story. You play as Paul Prospero, an occult minded detective who is brought to Red Creek Valley, the home of Ethan Carter. Carter has written him a disturbing letter about the events taking place in his home town. Realizing the boy is in trouble, you rush to his aid, but when you arrive Ethan is missing, there has been a brutal murder, and something strange is going on. Game play is completely non-linear. As the game begins you start walking on a set of railroad tracks discussing the letter you received to yourself. The direction of the tracks is the only real direction you get in the game. Soon you will discover a crime scene and will have to uncover all the clues to recreate the crime. You will even be able to visualize what happened. Once you complete this recreation, it is up to you to figure out how to advance the story. You are set free to wander in a good-sized world. There are boundaries, but you are free to explore the woods, buildings, roads, and town to your hearts content. One of the best features of the game is the non-linear nature of it. Unfortunately, this is also the game’s biggest downfall. Without a clear direction, you can wander around for an hour or more trying to find the next story section. The game has stunning visuals. I played it on an X Box One X, and it ran smoothly at the highest frame rate setting. The attention to detail in the environments is amazing. You can stand in the forest, look up and watch the light dance off individual leaves as they sway in the breeze. You can hear the wind blowing through the those leaves and birds singing. Throughout the game you are treated to a haunting soundtrack. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is now available on XB1, PS4 and Steam. The title carries a price tag of $19.99, which isn’t a bad price considering the amount of time that can be spent exploring. Just know that you are getting into a completely unguided gaming experience that will require you to figure out what you need to do every step of the way. 9/10
  2. What Remains of Edith Finch

    Many think that the genre of Walking Simulators is something new to gaming, but it has actually been around for decades. These no pressure games just let you explore without worry of death or dismemberment. Many are set in beautiful locales, so they are a feast for the senses. The newest entry into this category comes from Giant Sparrow and Annapurna Interactive under the name of What Remains of Edith Finch. What Remains of Edith Finch puts you in the shoes of, you guessed it, Edith Finch. A young 17-year-old girl who just lost her mom. Her mother left her the family home and a key to something in the house. The house has been abandoned for 6 years, but there are many stories trapped within its walls. So you travel to Orcas Island and begin to unravel your family history, and what has brought you to this place. The game begins with you on the ferry from the main land to your family home. You learn a bit about the Finch Family history as you stroll toward the house. As you progress, words will appear, hovering above the ground to help guide you along the correct path. The sights are truly something to behold. The house looms larger as you approach, and takes on a slightly whimsical feeling, instead of the ominous shadow it originally portrays. Once you enter the house, the story really grabs a hold of you. You learn about your family tree through vignettes about their life. During each story you take control of that family member as they narrate their plot. What sets this game apart from others is the way that each family member tells their story. Each life is represented with a different view, so the art style and music is tailored to that specific person. This helps to show the variety of personalities in the Finch family. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous. Whether you are strolling through the woods, exploring the old house, or just looking at the family photos that are scattered around the house – the level of detail shown will draw you deep into the story. You begin to feel for all the characters that you interact with – like they are part of your own family. The only real negative that I can find in the game is the length. You are immersed into the lives of this family for too short of a time. Even though you can play through the game in under 3 hours, the story is strong enough to hold up to multiple visits. What Remains of Edith Finch is out now on XB1, Playstation, and Steam. This experience elevates the walking simulator to true art, and should be in everyone’s collection. 10/10
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