Gone Home is a fabulously atmospheric first-person exploratory adventure game. You arrive at home and begin to explore through the house. So what do I think of it?
Game: Gone Home Console Edition
Developer: The Fullbright Company
Publisher: The Fullbright Company
Platform: Xbox One
This is an intriguing game as it leaves it very open to the player as to how much or how little they do and explore. Although it would be a shame to miss out on areas of this house – and there are certainly plenty of rooms to explore. I would highly recommend going room to room and looking at everything. The little details are all in there and you start to imagine what has been happening in this family whilst you have been away. Some extra explanation appears through the journal entries left by Sam which you can collect throughout the house. These and the details of the house even down to the items in the fridge paint a wonderful picture of this family, who have had quite an eventful time of late. I love learning snippets of the Greenbriar family through the items, Sam’s journal entries and the journal from Mitten too. These journals are so well written, and spoken by the voice actress Sarah Grayson, they really invite you into Sam’s world and her perspective on what has been happening in her life. The writing is so carefully done and it comes across so well. All these moments spoken to you through these journals make you feel so connected to Sam and it can get a little emotional.
This game puts player choice at the forefront by allowing you to do however much you want. You can interact with items, open cupboards, and find things that you maybe don’t want to find. Read notes, school work, postcards and only once does the game force you to look away. This is so unexpected but is a wonderful addition. I was so interested in the background to the family and finding out what has happened to them through all the details left around the house.
The atmosphere is quite spooky, and indicates how you really don’t know anything since you have just returned from abroad, which is achieved through simple things like the thunder outside, flickering of lights and the odd creak of a floorboard. To be honest as a scaredy cat when it comes to jump scares or any form of horror my initial look at the house I found myself outside at the start of the game made me slightly concerned about what I had started. I had no reason to worry, the game is just very atmospheric and this works so well and really adds to the game.
I would also highly recommend the developer commentary. I have been listening to all of these and they are so interesting. A delightful addition to learn a little more about this game. If you have played through Gone Home once already, I would say turn on this modifier and stroll back through the house and try to find all the commentary nodes to listen to.
The console edition comes with some interesting achievements, particularly surrounding the speed runs. I haven’t attempted these yet but I am tempted to try and see if I can manage to complete the game in under 1 minute. These allow a nice challenge to keep you coming back for more. It does also require you to get very practiced the routes through the house. I haven’t started my practicing yet!
I do have to highlight my favourite little item in the house. The Christmas duck. Adorable and Christmas themed, this little duckie just wants to find his place to nest. Look at him all comfy in his nest.
Christmas Duck at home finally.
So if you are an Xbox Games with Gold member, Gone Home is currently on Games with Gold for October 2017 so grab it quick! If you aren’t or miss this in any way I would thoroughly recommend this game. I can’t believe I hadn’t played this before and is a bit different from anything I have played recently.
Have you played Gone Home? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.