Almost a month ago, Gone Home, an indie game that was under our radar, was released, but we had our hands full so we could'nt talk about it at all. After finally contacting the team behind the game, we received a review code for the game and we were very excited to discover it by ourselves. The reviews had all been super positive about it, but we decided not to read any of them before experiencing the power of its storytelling. In the end, we think we were right as it would have been a shame to risk being spoiled with such an original title. Note: In spite of our powerful rig, we were forced to capture the game at 30 fps because it didn't allow us to use Fraps or Mirilis Action! properly.
Home Sweet Home
Much like Dear Esther before it, Gone Home is a game like no other. The Fullbright Company developed this FPA (First Person Adventure) to tell us the story of the Greenbriars, an American family who just moved into a new home, the house of a deceased uncle. You play the role of Kaitlin, the elder daughter of the family, who just got back from a long tour around all Europe on her own. When she arrives in this unknown place, all she can find on the door is a note left by her younger sister Samantha, telling her not to go after her. No one's home and the reason why is of course hers to find out. She will have to fumble through the familiar furniture to understand what happened, making her way from one room to another hoping to uncover the whereabouts of her sister and parents. Gone Home is a game about exploration in almost every sense of the word.
Gone Baby Gone
Contrary to Dear Esther, in which interaction was limited to moving around the environment, Gone Home lets you touch about anything you want. All the objects and personal belongings you can find in this empty house can be observed from every angle. Switching on the lights, opening all the drawers and checking every possible corner of the house will be necessary to make sure you haven't missed something important. From time to time, after finding a piece of the puzzle, Sam's voice tells you a bit of the story, which gives even more melancholy to the whole thing. Gone Home features no monster in the closet, no combat, only exploration and narration. That's basically why we don't want to say much about the game, as even just small details are best discovered on one's own. It a short experience overall (it only took us 3 hours to complete) but it can easily teach a few lessons on storytelling to many AAA titles, which makes it worth your while and money according to us.
Note²: Running the game with all options maxed out requires a good PC, especially if you want to leave the shadow distance option on MAX.