Volchaos Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: December 8, 2015

Systems: PC (Reviewed), Xbox Live Arcade

Developer: Fun Infused Games

Publisher: Fun Infused Games

Rating: N/A

Obtained By: Review Copy Provided by Fun Infused Games

I can sum up most of my frustration with Volchaos with one line: it’s a game entirely set in a volcano that plays like an extended ice level. While the game does aim to be challenging, this dissonance (and the root causes of it, which we’ll get into later) stopped the game from being rewarding and instead made it as tedious as swimming in lava. But, as maddening as the game was I did find myself compelled to complete it.

You play as an unnamed man who decided that the most sensible way to pay off his alimony and other debts is to jump into an active volcano to collect the gems inside. What little story that’s here is all contained in one brief cutscene and pre-level screen caps, although these serve more as one line gags more than exposition. Some of those gags even manage to be funny. Ultimately, the stories biggest flaw is also it’s greatest strength: there’s just not much too it. That means that there’s not much to talk about, but it also means that it never manages to outstay its welcome. The game is much like a good Will Ferrell comedy in that regard: you’ll chuckle a few times but when you remember that you could be watching “Stranger than Fiction” or “Everything Must Go” instead you have to question you’re life choices.

As inoffensive as the set up was, the gameplay made me want to put my fist through my monitor in nearly every level. The major issue here is how floaty the controls are. Honestly, the controls are so floaty Pennywise the Clown could use the game to lure children into the sewers.

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“And When You’re Down Here You’ll Float Too!!!”

Gravity ranges from non-existent to “maybe there…possibly.” This is most prevalent in the jumping. There’s one late game level that’s mostly a strait line filled with Thwomp-like spiked walls that fall as you progress. Right at the start of this level is a pit you have to jump over, because falling into it means death. I died over a hundred times in that level (yes, I know that for a fact as the game keeps a death count) with most deaths coming from that point as even the lightest press of the space bar sent the character flying into the enemies above. Add to that platforms that were so slick that it was common for the character to go sliding off and into lava and you get can start to see where why I said it plays like an ice level. Not helping is the way enemies have a way of spawning in right in front of you. You die in one hit here, so when you have to make a blind jump (something you have to do often) and find that a group of enemy bats spawned in right above your head, the game swiftly becomes tedious more than anything.

The saddest part of it all is just how many better games Volchaos reminded me of while playing it. Like in Limbo death serves as your introduction to the puzzle. And like in….

WARNING! DARK SOULS COMPARISON INCOMING!!!!

….Dark Souls you’re never as far from the objective as it feels like you are. Unlike both of those games however, the mechanics just don’t stack up. Death taught me how to solve Limbos puzzles and I know how I made it through every boss in Dark Souls. There are more than one stage in Volchaos I don’t know how I made it through.

As much as I hated the game at times, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t some what obsessed by it. Maybe I just hate myself (I did admit to watching more than one Will Ferrell movie, after all), but I made a point of beating the game. I can’t say the game is good, but I also wouldn’t have been too pissed if I had dropped the $3 for it. The game has a nice visual aesthetic and the music…..well…..the music can be turned off at least.

There’s not a lot to like about Volchaos, but if you’re like me I think there is just enough to keep your attention for the 60 main missions. That took me about 5 hours and that feels like enough. I may (read: will) never go back to this once this review is up, but those 5 hours weren’t the worst thing I’ve been through.

volchaos-review-scores

 

The Final Station Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: August 30th, 2016

Systems: PC(Reviewed), PS4, Xbox One

Developer: Do My Best Games

Publisher: tinyBuild Games

Rating: N/A

Obtained By: Review Code Provided by Publisher

Trains are amazing things. The wide spread use of them helped build the US as we know it today, and they’re still in high use in places like Japan and…..Japan is the only one I know to he honest. So with that knowledge it’s kind of amazing more games don’t use them as a focal point. I mean honestly, how has no developer ripped off Snowpiercer yet? Getting back on track, The Final Station is a game where you play as a train conductor after the apocalypse. Is it full steam ahead or a total train wreck? All aboard and we’ll find out.

In The Final Station you play as a train conductor 106 years after an alien invasion. On this particular day it seems like the world might be facing another invasion, and you are tasked with taking important defense materials to where they are needed while also finding any survivors who may need help. While the games main story isn’t much to write home about, each station and survivor you find has their own story and I found those to be very entertaining. Unfortunately, the act of experiencing them could use some work. I remember once I had a group of survivors in the train argued about a conspiracy surrounding the First Visitation. I was enthused with the conversation, but I was only able to get bits and pieces of it as my attention was diverted and NPC conversations kept going even while I wasn’t able to pay attention to them. Because of this I didn’t really experiences a lot of these stories as fully as I wish I had. Not knowing how those two survivors worked out their conflicting feelings on the truth behind The First Visitation annoys me. And that’s not the only story I can say that about. The late game makes up for this a bit with a pretty great piece of environmental storytelling and an ending that is rather heart breaking. You could speed through the story like an express train through a vacant station, but I enjoyed taking the scenic route.

Gameplay is split between taking care of the train and it’s passengers and exploring towns and stations. The train sections are the low point, as most of what you do is some light puzzles making sure the different sections of the train aren’t drawing too much power. Not a bad idea for a core mechanic, but so little goes wrong at any one point that these sections feel like busy work. I was never rushing from one section of the train to another, instead I was casually strolling every now and again. Taking care of the passengers isn’t much better. You have to keep track of their health and hunger, but the ones who need it the most are almost never worth the effort. There were times I’d find myself wasting all my health packs on someone because they offered the best rewards only for them to die anyways due to reopening wounds. Or, maybe that was due to the fact that a train conductor was playing nurse. None of this is bad, I just wish it was expanded upon more. As it exists right now these sections feel more like they are there to give the player something to do between missions. But, with just a little more work they could have really added a lot to the core experience. For example, if too much went wrong and the player ignored it, what if the train broke down, forcing them into an impromptu mission to find replacement parts? What if as passengers died the others began to decide it was in their best interest to take their chances on their own? Minor additions like that would have helped the game greatly.

The Final Station Pic 3
There is some brilliant scale work done in this game

Combat and exploration fairs better however. Most of the places you stop are deserted and overrun with zombie like people infected by an alien virus. You have to go out and look for the code that disengages the locks on the train to get moving again, while also looking for supplies and survivors. I never found these sections to be hard, but they were enjoyably suspenseful. Rooms are blacked out until you open doors or windows, so you never know whats coming your way until it’s right there. And like in most survival horror games, health and ammo is always scarce and hard to find. Because of this, even when I knew I could shoot my way through an area I still moved with trepidation through each location.

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What’s across the street? Health? Ammo? Death? No way to know.

The only complaint I have about these sections is that they don’t evolve enough throughout the course of the game. The scope of the towns and stations you explore increases, sure, but you’re doing the same thing each time. With this making up the bulk of the game play, some mechanics changes every now and again would have been appreciated. The enemy variety does help with this to an extent, but one or two big shakeups to the formula would still have gone a long way. As is, the combat still manages to impress, but playing for extended periods gets tedious.

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The visuals and sound design never failed to impress however. Not only does the game look fantastic, but if you take the time too look at the back grounds there are some pretty damn gorgeous back drops. Add to that the sparse use of music and you get that classic survival horror feeling of isolation. Most of the games sound track is just your footsteps echoing on whatever surface you’re walking on until a fight breaks out. When music does come in its either disconcerting or somber, matching the games tone perfectly.

The game was tense when it needed to be and was engaging through out the four hours I spent with it. It may not scare the pants off of you like some other games and you may not find your self going back to it once it’s over, but I defiantly recommend giving this a look. The Final Station gave me a good few hours of tension and that’s all I wanted out of it. Some aspects of the game left me wanting more, but that’s only because what’s there was so good to begin with. It might be a bit of a bumpy ride at times, but this is still a train worth catching.

FS Review Scores

Bear With Me: Episode One Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: August 8, 2016

Systems: PC

Developer: Exordium Games

Publisher: Exordium Games

Rating: N/A

Obtained By: Review Copy Provided By Exordium Games

Bear With Me is adorable. Every facet of the game radiates a sickening level of cuteness that could infect even the edgiest of misanthropic goth kids. But as many a film noir femme fatale has proven, being pretty doesn’t make something good. So is the game worth bearing with? Lets find out.

You play as a young girl named Amber Ashworth who is awoken in the middle of the night by one of her stuffed animals, an elderly giraffe named Millie, who has some important news. Millie informs you that Paper City has been put on lock down after a string of fires, and that the mysterious Red Man believed to be behind them has been asking around about Miss Amber. After hearing this Amber teams up with her old partner, the retired private investigator Ted E. Bear, to solve the mystery of why the Red Man is looking for her and why he’s starting these fires.

Ted's Offics

The one thing Bear With Me does perfectly is sell you on the idea that this is a film noir as understood by a 10 year old girl. Character all speak like there are doing an Chinatown reenactment, but one put on by a fourth grade drama club. A couple of gangsters smuggle carrots instead of drugs and the hard drinking PI drowns his sorrows in carrot juice (I think the development team was made up of Bugs Bunny incarnations). This all leads to a feeling that Amber is a child raised on classic Noir films by cinephile parents, but one without the world experiences to quite catch the nuances.

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With a Name Like “Mugshots”, did these two ever have a chance NOT to be criminals.

While I did enjoy my time with Episode One, it does suffer from its stand alone nature. Where the best of episodic games manage to make each chapter feel fulfilling on its own while still contributing to the overarching story, Bear With Me Episode One feels incomplete. It ended at the perfect place and did it’s job setting the season up, but when looking back it’s easy to see that there really isn’t a lot here story wise. Once I’m able to look at the game as a whole I very much doubt this will be an issue, but as for now I can’t help but wish there was more here.

What probably will be an issue once the game is done are the out of place fourth wall breaks and odd tonal shifts. The two fourth wall breaks are the worst offenders here as they don’t add much and only served to take me out of the experience. One of them can be justified as it being a part of Amber using her imagination, but I didn’t care for it. The other one was…way to dark. Spoiler Warning I guess (this doesn’t impact the story in anyway): when interacting with a specific you listen to one of the developers (and yes, they do state they are a developer working on the game) being gruesomely murdered. The game does have dark moments that i’ll get into later, but this comes out of nowhere, contributes nothing, and is way more disturbing than anything else in the game. For a game that does so much right, that I enjoyed so much this was a “what were they thinking” scene on the level normally reserved for for truly awful games.

Then there are the tone shifts. These at least make some kind of since in the context of the games story and I can see what they might be leading up too, but they are so sudden it’s hard not to find them jarring. I’m not going to spoil when these happen, as they were effective scenes, but when they happen the game shifts into pure horror mode for a few seconds, and not knowing they were coming rattled me.

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Saurons search for the One Ring took Him to some strange places

With all of that combined, the game feels like there wasn’t a strong understanding of who the target audience was. That never bothered me or impacted my enjoyment of the game, but I wont hold the criticism against anyone who was bothered by it.

Gameplay wise this is a pretty standard point and click adventure. Most of the game is spent solving puzzles by finding the right item or right combinations of items to uses on people and objects in the game world. My main complaint is that these tended to be a little too easy. In the two hours I spent with the game on my first play through there was only one puzzle that game me any trouble. I didn’t actually use one item on another but thought I had, so I kept ignoring the solution because I thought it didn’t work. While I do appreciate the lack of classic Point and Click “Space Logic” in the game, I do wish the puzzles tested me just a bit more.

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Good thing we never had to do something like “use Seth Macfarlane on Ted to Make Bad Stoner Comedy”

On the other end of that spectrum, the hint system also needs a bit of retooling. In that one puzzle I couldn’t figure out I kept asking Ted for help, but the advise he gave ignored the step of the puzzle I was on. So much time was wasted trying to figure out that last puzzle, and Ted was no help at all. While I shouldn’t have needed it, I still think the hints provided should have been more better focused on the step of the puzzle I was on.

In the end, Bear With Me Episode One hints at a great game to come, but never manages to reach those heights itself. I have no doubt this will work better once it’s a full game rather than an episodic one. I loved it, I want more of it and the wait for Episode Two is going to be unbearable (you didn’t think I’d end this review without another bear pun, did you?).

Bear With Me Review Scores 2

Zombi Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: August 18, 2015 (PS4 and Xbox One)

Systems: PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Wii U (Under the title ZombiU)

Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier

Publisher: Ubisoft

Rating: M

Obtained By: Free With PS+

This is the worst game I’ve played since I started reviewing. I even took a look back at my old “Poor Mans Geek” stuff (which was really embarrassing, I might add) and my God did I underestimate how bad a game could get. The single nicest thing I can think to say about this is that it’s technically not broken. That doesn’t mean anything was done well, but the game does work.

The story….can be found online. I only spent around four hours with the game before forcing myself to stop as it brought on a level of self-loathing I reserve for when I’m thinking about my future prospects. In that time I played through missions with there own stories, but never found a real over arching plot. John Dee is brought up several times, but I never reached any pay-off for that plot thread, nor do I care too.

Gameplay wise Zombie is as uninspired as it’s title, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with using established concepts. Where Zombie fails is in how little effort was put in to make it stand out. You play as one of a number of survivors stuck in London after a zombie outbreak is unleashed. When you die you play as another randomly selected survivor and all the equipment you have on you has to be recovered by killing and looting the zombie of your previous character. This isn’t an uncommon mechanic, but due to the fact that most of the environments lack any since of identity and several are repeatedly recycled it just doesn’t work here. Adding to the frustration is how simple a solutions could have fixed this: either have the new character spawn at the nearest safe house or have the missions objective markers reset. Either or those would have stopped so much irritation that the lack of their inculcation almost seems like Ubisoft was trying to piss players off.

Sticking with my issues with navigation, the running in the game is also a major problem as well. I was expecting some form of stamina management (knowing you can’t just run away from the zombies is part of the tension after all) but again, the mechanic was so poorly implemented that I almost want to say it’s main purpose was to aggravate players. Running is barely faster than the default walking speed and the distance you can go is so short that I always found myself questioning why I even bothered to use it at all. The worst part is that the game doesn’t communicate to the player when stamina is refilled, so when I did need to just get the hell out of dodge I was left just holding down the stick and running in small bursts because I couldn’t reasonably guess when the meter was refilled.

Now that I’m done bitching about the movement, I can move on to bitching about the combat!

Like with most Zombie fiction the game works on the logic that sounds attract the undead, so a large emphasis is placed on melee combat. And the one thing Zombie flawlessly replicates from other games is a painfully off feel for first person melee combat. The normal problems with judging the distance you an the enemies vs how far your weapon can reach is still present, but here you also have an extra nuisance as well. You can’t just swing your weapon. You have to ready it first, like how you did in the old Metal Gear Solid games. With the guns this makes a bit more sense as you have to aim first, but I can’t think of a single reason to add this stipulation to melee weapons as well. If you don’t ready the weapon first, your character will shove zombies away, creating some breathing room. But, when you hit them you get this same effect while also damaging them. So, why add the needless extra animation and button press? Compounding these issues is the fact that zombies take forever to kill. I never bothered to count the number of whacks it took, but each fight felt like it should have ended more than a few hits prior. When you do kill a zombie it doesn’t sound like you are breaking through skin and bone and instead it just sounds like you are stepping on a ball of wet paper towels. That would have worked for a more cartoony game, but here it only creates a dissonance between the world the game is trying to portray and the game world as it is. Things don’t get any better when guns are introduced either.

For starters ammo has an odd tenancy not to stack in your inventory. It’s the only in game item I recall being able to, but again it just didn’t. At one time I had three separate spaces used on handgun ammo; one full stack of 20 rounds, one with 3 and the last with only 2. After one big firefight I should have only had one space with around 14 rounds in it, but when I check, I was still wasting two more spaces than necessary. And if you’re wondering why I didn’t just go and manually put them together, I couldn’t. Your only options in the inventory are “equip”, “assigned to d-pad” or “drop”.

And for something so loud it draws the attention to every zombie near by, the gunshot sound weak as hell too. Every time I shot at a zombie the audio sounded like someone was shooting from somewhere down the block (and I say that as someone who has heard gunshots going off down the block in real life). Honestly, the “Lowercase R” from Enter the Gungeon had a more believable effect, and that was just some guy saying “Bullet” repeatedly.

And speaking of “some guy just saying shit”, the one thing that was almost tolerable was the voice acting. We’re not talking about award winning or anything, but the voice work could have been the highlight of the game save for one really bad decision: most of the dialogue is done through radio chat, and radio chat is put through the PS4’s controller speaker. I’ve mentioned this before, but the controller speakers are pretty crap, so making them a major part of the audio design is never a good idea. If any developers are reading this, please stop this shit. It’s not impressive, It’s not immersive or engaging, It’s just stupid.

In the time it took me to write this review, I’ve thought of one more interesting thing about the game I did like. You ready to get your mind blown? The map is made to look like It was drawn with crayons, which does give it a kind of scrappiness that fits well with the survive aspects of the game.

In the end Zombie was boring, ugly and audibly underwhelming. It wasn’t worth the time I spent playing it and it’s not worth your time even if you got it for free like I did. I hated playing this so much that the idea of spending another 15-45 minutes with it to get gameplay footage for this review is looking like more work than it’s worth.

Zombi review scores

Furi Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: July 5, 2016

Systems: PS4 (Reviewed), PC

Developer: The Game Bakers

Publisher: The Game Bakers

Rating: M

Obtained By: Free with PS+

Well this came out of nowhere. Even though I saw reviews for Furi popping up a few weeks a go I didn’t pay them much attention as it was yet another game I wouldn’t be able to play as I’m broke again. Then I heard this was one of this months free games for PS+ subscribers and I instantly jumped at the chance to download it. I’m not sure why the game was free at launch, but I’m glad it was as I wouldn’t have been able to play it otherwise and I really enjoyed my time with Furi.

Furi is light on story: you play as an unnamed prisoner trying to escape the multilayer prison you are held in by killing the jailers who stand between you and freedom. This sets up the string of boss fights that make up the bulk of Furi’s gameplay, but even then the game still manages to pull some neat narrative tricks. In the pre and post boss fight exposition dumps you are never told why your character is imprisoned, but once you’re out there is a beautiful and wordless scene that explains it perfectly and casts the entire game into a new light. It’s hard to really praise Furi’s narrative as there is so little to it, but what’s here worked well.

It would be easy to say that Furi is also light on gameplay, but that’s only because explaining the game doesn’t do justices to the act of playing it. In Furi you go from one challenging boss fight to another with only a brief expository interlude between each. Each boss has several Stages you need to go through in order to beat them, and each stage changes the bosses attack patterns. This stages are made up of two phases each (think along the lines of one bar of Sheilds and one bar Of Health) with each phase using a different style of combat to get through each. Each fight starts more like a twin stick/bullethell shooter where you move around the combat arena dodging projectiles and shooting back. Once you manage you bring down the first health bar on most bosses you enter a close quarters section where you focus more on slashing and parrying. None of your moves are really exclusive to these sections, but it is pretty clear what the priorities are for each.

Furi’s greatest strength is its simplicity. While each boss changes attack patterns with each stage of the battle, players only have a limited number of abilities at there disposal, meaning you swiftly learn how to deal with each new obstetrical. There are no light and heavy attacks and no real combos to memories, just “shoot, slash, dash and parry” and everything the bosses do can be countered by one of those moves. This lets players know they have the tools to overcome each boss, so no matter how challenging the fight gets (and make no mistake, these fights get hard) paying attention and hitting the right button at the right time will always lead to victory.

That’s not to say it’s a perfect system by any means. The fact that each attack only has one right way to counter it means fight can become slightly stale if you repeat them often enough and bosses could use some better audio/visual feedback to let players know when they are done with a combo. Some boss combos have delayed attacks to them they don’t always use, so I often lost a chance to get in a hit or two each fight because I wasn’t sure if the boss was done attacking or not. Another issue is that for how fast the combat is a few animations take forever. Getting back up after you’ve been knocked down should have the same swiftness as a dash in my opinion, but instead it feels like the character is intentionally taking as long as possible to get back on their feet. The worst example of this are those “expository interlude” I mentioned earlier. Here you walk from one battle to the next using a form of tank controls while moving at a snails pace that kills the games momentum.

But the worst part of the game is just how long a lot of these fights can last due to the games admittedly interesting Health System. Like your opponents you have multiple health bars which gives you a few chances to beat each boss. When you do beat a stage of each boss fight the current bar your on refills and the previous bar comes back as well. So if you died once and the boss took off half your health before you beat their first stage you get all three attempts back. However, bosses have a limited version of this power as well. While you don’t have to redo a previous stage of the fight, the boss does get both health bars for the current stage back forcing you do redo both phases of that stage again. Because of this fights had a tendency to drag on. It wasn’t uncommon to spend 20 minuets or more on a fight because I’d die before getting the last hit on one stage.

The one area the game never disappoints is the sound. For a game with so little story worth paying attention too it has needlessly good voice acting and the electronic soundtrack fits well with the games tone and aesthetic. As good as all this is tho I never found it entirely necessary to the experience and mostly found myself playing the game with the volume down as a podcast played in the back ground.

I enjoyed Furi, but for what’s here I can’t imagine paying the $25 asked for it. $15 seems like it would have been a better price and it was a steal for free. I very much recommend giving the game a go, but I also recommend waiting for a sale before picking it up. While there is a new game plus mode that rises the difficulty and changes the attack patterns, there’s not a lot to go back to. I spent about five hours making my way through my first play through and enjoyed it, but there just isn’t a lot I want to experience again.

Furi Review Scores.png

 

Bloodborne Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: March 24, 2015
Systems: PS4
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Sony
Rating: M
Obtained By: Purchased

The original Dark Souls is one of my favorite games of all time. Not only was it near perfect in what it was trying to achieve, but this was a game that changed me as a person. Unfortunately neither of the games sequels managed to live up to that. Three still managed to be pretty damn good and Two had it’s moments (although too few of them), but both felt like there was something missing. With that in mind the question going into Bloodborne was “will this be another almost great game or another let down”? Lets find out.

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Gone Home Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: January 12. 2016 (Console Edition)

Systems: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Developer: The Fullbright Company, Midnight City

Publisher: The Fullbright Company, Majesco Entertainment

Rating: M

Obtained By: Free With PS+

This is a game i’ve wanted to play for quite a while now, and after the awful events this past Sunday it just felt right to do a review for a game that involved LGBT issues. More importantly I wanted to do something that didn’t treat that community like a tragedy waiting to happen, and that is what Gone Home does so very well.

Gone Home is one of those much maligned“walking simulators”, but it’s proof that the genres does in fact have something to offer. While most games of this elk make the mistake of having the story the player is passively witnessing be more interesting that the story they are taking part in, Gone Home ties both of those experiences together. While the story of your in game sister coming to grips with her sexuality is the main story, the way the player has to piece that story together, along with the initial impressions of the house, gives weight to the actual moment to moment game play. The game starts out almost like a horror game: the lights are all off, there are boxes everywhere as if someone was forced out against their will or left in a hurry and the sound design invokes memories of Silent Hill as it implies something terrible is hiding just off screen. Because of all that, along with the foreknowledge that the residents of the house are meant to be the player characters family, I wanted to know what happened, and the need to investigate is what drove me on. In a way this is a detective game. You’re given too much information outright for that to be totally accurate, but I was in the same mental space here as I was when playing LA Noir.

Gone_Home_-_Zine.png
This is what Tumblr looked like in The 90’s

The main gameplay involves searching through the house and looking for clues as to where your family is, often having to solve minor puzzles in order to obtain them. After each clue you are treated to a snipits from the sisters journal that slowly shine a light on the events leading up to your arrival. Again this made the game feel more like an investigation game more than a “walking sim” and that’s why it works so well. I found my self invested in the story being told and in my presence in that stories after math. For comparisons sake, look at “Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture”. There is no reason in that game for the player to be there. Gone Home on the other hand proves that limited interactivity can still be engaging if done right.

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this very well could have been my room in high school

The house layout also deserves a special mention. The house is large and filled with secrets, but it feels like a real house. As I made my way through the darkened house, I found everything was pretty much where I thought it should be. I never had to spend much time looking for the lights in each room as I could almost tell instinctively where they would be. That became something of a godsend as more of the house opened up, as I knew where I was just by weithor or not the lights are on (something the developers expected and even made a jab at in one of the in game notes). But more important that they lay out is the design of each room. There was so much personality in every room that I almost think this was molded off so one of the developers real homes growing up. With how much The Fullbright Company were relying on the environment to help tell their story any mistake in how the house was crafted could have made the entire enterprise fall to pieces, but they nailed every aspect. I can almost guarantee you that you’ll be able to tell who occupied each room from screen shots alone. That’s something few games can claim.

The game also has one of the best vocal performance I’ve ever heard. Sarah Grayson who voiced Sam (the sister) delivers each line flawlessly and adds the perfect amount of emotional weight to all the characters dialog. You feel her initial confusion as new feelings start to grow, you feel her pain when those who matter to her think this is just a phase she’ll grow out of and the pain that comes with letting someone you love go so they can achieve their dreams and the joy of a happy ending. I don’t know if this woman has done anymore voice work but I sure as hell hope she has, as just listening to her was the best part of Gone Home. The soundtrack is also pretty great as it’s mostly made up of Riot Grrl Punk (most of which I think come from real bands). Not only does it just fit the tone and the story, but it kicks a lot of ass.

gone-home

Gone Home wont be for everyone, I know that. But it sure as hell was for meant for me and I think everyone should at least give it the chance to be for them. I beat the game in under an hour and I can tell you in all honesty I’d happily pay the $20 for it. My one and only complaint is that I wish the character moved a little faster, but after that I loved this game. If you have PS+ and haven’t played it, it’s free this month so give it a chance. All you have to lose is two hours at most, I think that’s more than worth the asking price. The ending of the game, which I already said doesn’t treat the LGBT community like a predestine tragedy so you know it’s not sad, almost had me in tears I was so happy to know everything worked out for all those involved.

Gone Home Review Scores