Gone Home is a game made by Fullbright, the people who made Minerva’s Den for Bioshock I believe. It was released for PC in 2013 and was ported to PS4 and Xbox One in 2016. I got my copy of the game for PS4 for free when it was on PS Plus special.
Katie Greenbriar is a college girl that returned from her trip to Europe, only to find her home empty and family gone.
Samantha Greenbriar is Katie little sister. She has issues that she needs to solve, and well, now she is gone.
Katie returns to her home and it is pretty much abandoned. The story is the main thing in this game so I will not go in any details.
What is interesting is that the story follows Sam, the protagonist’s sister more than the protagonist despite her absence. We get to find out more about the family and what they are going through opposed to the protagonist Katie.
There is almost no real gameplay. It is first person game where you look around and interact with the environment. There is a map and items that you can gather, and there is actual progress you make throughout the game.
I wasn’t sure what the atmosphere of the game was suppose to be. Was it to be creepy? But this is nulled by sister’s music cassettes. Was is suppose to be nostalgic and cheery? But the grim and dark hallways says otherwise.
The characters in the game and other reviews talk about how the house is haunted, but I saw none of that. Sure there are strange passage ways here and there, but that is architecture rather than paranormal. The grim atmosphere came from lack of lighting, and I really did not feel that this house was haunted. It might have to do with the fact that I live alone and the lights at my place are rather dim… The characters’ notes in the game makes a point about calling this house the “the Psycho House” and … why?
I guess I have to talk about SPOILERS, please go to the next section to avoid:
The main plot reveal is that your sister, Sam, is a lesbian. And Sam and her lover ran away from home. The reason why I bring this up is because it is the only thing I can see for people praising this game. If Sam ran away with a boy, do you think people will make a big deal about this game? Let’s see the facts: this game has meh graphic, also no gameplay, weak puzzles, and not so creepy mansion. I guess what I am saying is that nothing about this game is exactly spectacular, and the only different thing about this game is the LGBT appeal. I do not mind the LGBT things, but here it seems like it is the only merit, and I think that is a problem.
The story was interesting enough, and figuring out things through obscure documents like receipts and report cards were pretty cool.
How the letters and items were placed makes the progress of the story rather chronological. I especially related to the father character as we get to see his career going up and down and how this affects his relationship with his family.
I am very split on placing this here, the game length. I played this while I was sick and not wanting to play anything blood pumping. I finished the whole game in about hour and a half in one sitting. If you think this is a negative, I feel you and it would be hard to disagree, but I think if it were any longer it would have over stayed its welcome. The game’s length was perfect for its gameplay, that is to stay it was short enough to experience and move on.
- Will I play this again? No. If I really have to, then it would be to show a friend.
- Do I recommend this? Sure, why not. It is different from the usual shoot the brown people. And its short game length really makes it hard to say it is waste of a time.
I do not understand the praise this game is getting, nor do I understand the hate. This game is not the greatest game I ever played, but I found nothing here that could potentially generate hate. One thing I heard regarding the hate was regarding the “Kicking Against the Patriarchy” thing, but I think this one one character’s opinion that is almost irrelevant to the story. Ultimately, I am saying I have no strong opinion in one way or another.
Nothing in the game was spectacular, but nothing in the game was awful either. If you want to pretty genuinely creepy game, I recommend the Silent Hill games (Retrsopective on Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2 here). If you want a game with more mysteries that require more thinking, whay not try Danganronpa? If you want an indie game that has indirect story telling, Papers Please is a master at that.
Did I offend you? Do you think this game is gold and I need to see the light? Let me know in the comments!