Review: Gone Home

A Game too Good For a Subtitle

About

Gone Home changed has changed how I’ll look at games forever.  First off, if your reading this and haven’t played it, play it now!  Also, I’d suggest playing it in one setting (about 3 to 4 hours) because within seconds you’ll be fully immersed in the story, too immersed to consider stopping until the very end.  Ok, now that you’ve played it I’ll tell you what I really thing while avoiding spoilers for those of you who refuse to take my advice.  Gone Home is a mystery, after spending time overseas, the protagonist returns home to find the house abandoned and over the course of the game will discover where her family has gone.  As you explore the house, you’ll find various clues and hints leading to the most breathtaking, emotional finale to be found in any game or form of media.

Gameplay

Gone Home’s gameplay may seem overly simple if described, but is unlikley to leaving you wanting for anything.  As you navigate the house, searching every nook and cranny for clues to your familys whereabouts, you’ll be able to pick up about anything to read or examine it.  Aside form reading, you’ll find the occasional locked door, secret, or safe which will take exploration or some item to open.  The game can be extremily creepy at some times and very heartwarming at others.  You’ll be amazed at how you connect with every member of the family by doing nothing more then reading papers and looking at items around thier house.  Behind all the exploration is a greater story which is told by an narrator as you find certain pieces of information.  Though there’s little change in gameplay elements, it never feels stale thanks atmosphere.

Style

The house is beautiful and running the game on full settings will tax most mid range systems, but the game should run on most machines in some capacity.  Lighting is a huge element and will be used to make some rooms feel like your own bedroom and others feel like something from the darkest horror movie.  Aside from lighting, you’ll find great sounds which to the tone of every room be it a rain stomr, tv static, or music from a caset tape player.  The rooms of the house all look believeable but are all interesting and varied enough to keep the game continuously fresh.   Overall, the environment will draw you in and wont let you go until the games over.

Overall

Gone Home is the most amazing work of art I’ve seen.  It’s story is the best you’ll find and it tells the story in a way which only a video game could, through exploration.  By the end, your only regret is that there aren’t more games this good.  Gone home was a HUGE inspiration to me and has reminded me that a video game doesn’t require killing to be exciting and doesn’t require an epic sci-fi universe to have a good story.  Its a fresh game experience that will effect you profoundly, one that you wont forget and wont regret!

Score: 11/10 (yeah, I know that’s cheating but its that good)

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