It's A Family Affair!
I was originally apprehensive about this game due to my previous experience with a walking simulation game (see my review of Beyond Eyes) however I was so pleasantly surprised by What Remains of Edith Finch. As mentioned previously, this game is a sort of walking simulation game. The aim of the game is to investigate the house that the lead character; Edith Finch grew up in. We investigate her family history as well as the curse that runs through it.
The game plays out like a movie, similar to games like Heavy Rain, The Wolf Among Us, etc. but at a much slower pace. As you walk through the house you must open doors, find hidden passageways, read letters and live through family member’s flashbacks to uncover the secrets of the house. During these flashbacks you play through short mini stories that range in a variety of different styles. For instance; during one of the first flashbacks you playthrough a young girl’s memory and imagination as you transform between different animals trying to find a food source, during a later flashback you navigate the same house 50 years earlier in a comic book style, it’s difficult to explain – but I’d suggest just taking a chance and playing through it yourself rather than watching playthroughs online, I don’t think you’d get the same feeling of satisfaction.
What Remains of Edith Finch contains an engaging story that’s packed full of emotion, I was always on edge expecting some kind of jump scare or creepy ending, but the game was just calm and solemn. The entire experience felt like my imagination had been bought to life as I’m so interested in old fantasy houses that are full of many different rooms and secret doors therefore getting to experience what it would really be like felt so magical to me. Every detail had been thought of which really added sentiment to this family home from children’s bedrooms to treehouse hideaways, this house has it all! Although this is considered an indie game, I was so pleasantly surprised to notice how well everything in game had been designed and crafted, none of it looked rushed or tacky, it’s clear that the developers had payed close attention to the visuals of this game, something that I am always pleased to find in video games.
I’ll admit, I expect many people to find this a little slow but as someone who has been studying storytelling and cinematography for the past 2 years, it really was spectacular to playthrough. The game has a run time of around 2-3 hours which at first felt a little bit of a waste as I bought it on the PS Store for £15.99, meaning that’s roughly £5 an hour worth of game time but by the end of the game, it really didn’t matter, I had such fun playing that the price was totally worth it.
So, if you’re a fan of story driven games and love uncovering mysteries, I can’t recommend this game enough. Although short in length, it felt like the perfect amount of playtime even if the ending was a little lacklustre. It’s definitely one for the film geeks out there as it is written beautifully with superb voice acting and no cheesy dialogue in sight! As well as being a great source of escapism. Right now it’s only £15.99 on Xbox One and the Playstation Store (possibly less for PS+ members!) and £1 cheaper on Steam! So treat yourself! I promise it’s worth your time.