R3pl4y

Completed the game

Gone Home is a game where you come home after a long journey to find your home abandoned. It is now up to you to go through the mansion and discover what happened.

The original game is a couple of years old, and I played the console version. It is quite noticeable that it doesn't go hand in hand with the graphics of, for instance, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. It is also noticeable that the production is tiny. There are reused assets all over the place, and the game not only feels short, it actually is very short.

I don't think it bothers me too much. The main focus of walking simulators is to experience a story, to discover it by moving forward observing and interacting. It matters only little that the graphics are outdated and that the controlling is sub par.

The things that moves the story forward are mostly notes, left by the younger sister in the house. This strikes me as weird. As a teenager I wouldn't leave notes about my feelings around where my parents could see. Some of those notes are pretty intimate.

Also, it feels like random things will trigger a story progression, like picking up that cap from the bike steering wheel. You understand why it moves the story forward once you've picked it up, but it feels so random that you start picking up everything and turning it over. The game becomes a little bit like old school adventure games where you tried to combine everything with everything else because the puzzles didn't make much sense until you solved them.

There are quite a lot unexplained things going on, and some of the things explained doesn't make much sense. Like why her parents are gone hiking in the middle of a thunderstorm. Who the heck is Oscar and what is this undertone of satanism that is never explained? It just feels strange.

The story of a walking simulator is the most important thing, but I find this story weak. I think it is probably a very important theme for lots of people out there, but for me it is not enough. It is way too straight forward, simple and shallow. Not at all like Everybody's Gone to the Rapture where every character had depth and contributed to the main theme.

I think this game has some good intentions, but I think it falls flat and the ending was not satisfactory at all. They could've done so much more using the same setting and tools, and I'm sad they didn't. However, it is only 2 hours long so it is not a huge investment if you want to take a break from shooting people in the head.

My rating: 2