Something different. That is the best way I can describe The Fullbright Company’s debut “Adventure” themed game Gone Home. It’s different. Awesome, and different. The best way to describe this game, I feel like “Adventure” is misleading, is kind of a mix between Myst and Heavy Rain. I know, it sounds insane, but it actually works quite well. Gone Home is a game that challenges you to use your imagination. It’s not the best looking game in the word, but that doesn’t matter, what this game does right is hooks you in emotionally. You start to care about the character(s) in a way that I have not felt playing a video game is quite some time.
Gone Home starts you off as Study-Abroad student Katie who returns home to a new house after a year of gala vamping across Europe.You arrive to find that your family is missing and there is a cryptic note on the door telling you to not go snooping around to try and figure out what has happened. Your family has relocated into, what you later find out to be, a “psycho house” since you have been away so you have no basis on what the layout of this house is. And thus, the adventure begins. Figure out what the hell is going on in this GIGANTIC house. Where are your parents? Are they alive? What happened to my sister? And who is this mysterious Oscar? and what does he have to do with all of this?
Gone Home is a game that knows what it’s doing. The suspense it creates the ENTIRE time you play is not an accident. Fullbright knows what their target market is. People that love dark scary games, people that have played games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Dead Space, etc… You are on the edge of your seat waiting for something to happen, and when it finally does… well, it’s not exactly what you were expecting. For those of you expecting crazy zombies or creepy rapers. Don’t. It’s not here, but that’s actually a good thing. The market is over saturated with crazy demons, and evil pirates. It’s OK to take a break and deal with a different type of antagonist. Gone Home is scary, but not in the traditional sense. And that is also, OK.
Now, on to the problems I have with this game. Problem number one: length of play. I played through the entire game in one sitting and clocked in at 114 mins. Damn. That’s a short ass game. I don’t usually have a problem with a games length of play as long as the price of the game reflects the shortness. Which brings us to problem number two: price of the game. I bought the game for 10% off on Steam and after tax it came in at just under $20. That’s pretty steep for a game I beat in under two hours. Quality over quantity is what I always say, but in this case…maybe it’s better to wait till a Steam sale.In the end, the good out weights the bad, plus I have paid way more for shittier games, and at least the money is going to an indie gaming studio that is based out of the pacific northwest.
Gone Home is an experience that every gamer should have, especially those of you who are over 20 years old, due to the nostalgia factor (the game takes place in 1995). Gone Home is the only game of late that has done what Naughty Dog was willing to achieve with The Last of Us… tell a creative and emotional story where the characters are take center stage. Gone Home is a stripped down, heart breaking story that was a pleasure to experience. Kudos to you, Fullbright. Welcome to the party.