Gone Home – A Review
Gone Home is a game heavy in story, ambiance and exploration that in unexpected fashion begins its tale with a question. You’ve arrived home after being overseas only to find yourself very much alone during a storm that gives the perfect amount of eeriness one appreciates in a game such as this one. Lightning flashes and there is the sound of thunder as you make your way around the empty house, turning on lights and uncovering clues, learning just who exactly you are, but also even more importantly, learning about your sister.
Though you never see her, your sister is truly the main character of this game and as you open doors, find secret passages (yes, this house actually is one of the coolest houses ever), and uncover various notes and hidden items you come to learn the story of your sister as well as hints about what is going on with your mom and dad.
I loved the ambiance of the game, the voice acting, and the story – for the most part. The game itself is on the shorter side, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I found myself getting swept up into the story and feeling a lot of emotions as the story unraveled more and I listened to the voice of Samantha (your younger sister) in various journal entries. Full disclosure – there were moments where I found myself crying a little.
That being said, and I’m sure I may have missed some things in my exploring, when the ending came I felt a little bit let down. There were elements that had been introduced that never really went anywhere and I was disappointed, but also it felt just a bit anticlimactic. Ultimately I was glad that it was a generally happy ending, but it was also as though… picture this: You are handed this enormous bowl containing the most amazing looking sundae in your life. You can see its piled high with brownies and ice cream and hot fudge and whipped cream and that glorious red cherry. You dig in and the vanilla ice cream is good, but it’s just vanilla… a whole lot of vanilla and the hot fudge is actually Hershey’s chocolate syrup and the whipped cream is low-fat. Thankfully the brownies seem fresh, though. That would have been too big of a letdown. So, while it looks amazing and parts of it are moist and delicious, it’s not quite as great as you had hoped and hiding under that whipped cream there aren’t nearly as many flavors as you thought there might be.
Okay, that was a really long food analogy. Where were we? Ultimately, I really do recommend this game simply for the ambiance and emotion. It draws you in and holds you there.