Gone Home: An Unexpected Adventure

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Originally for the PC, Gone Home is a first-person adventure and exploration game that takes place in the abandoned home of the Greenbriar family in the mid 90s. You play as 21 year old college student Kaitlin, who returns to her family home after being abroad to find the house mysteriously empty.

Going into this game without any knowledge of what it was about made my experience with it much more special. This game is a beautiful heartfelt adventure that tells one of the most important stories I’ve ever experienced in gaming. Gone Home is one of a kind. It’s remarkable how Fullbright have managed to tell such an impactful story through screenwriting and simple exploration.

Exploring the home of the Greenbriars and coming across objects that you would normally find in an everyday home made the world of Gone Home feel real. Every room of the house had its own personality, something that made opening a new door especially intriguing each time. Sam’s teenage bedroom felt like a teenage bedroom, filled with secrets that would create instances of nostalgia for the older generation of gamers. The amount of detail that had gone into the design of the items scattered around the house was so impressive that I wanted to explore every inch of the place and examine everything I came across, which is exactly what I did.

Within the first few minutes of playing, and with no instructions on what to do, I found myself walking slowly down corridor because I suddenly had the impression the game was more sinister than I had expected. With eerie sound effects like creaking floorboards and rain pattering outside, as well as lights flickering as you walked past them, I was hesitant to go into an empty room. I found myself holding my breath and closing the door behind me for safety, as I was convinced a jump scare was imminent. However, there’s nothing supernatural or scary about the residence, as I soon came to gather upon delving deeper into the home.

Hidden around the home are clues as to what took place when Kaitlin was away, such as diary entries from her 17 year old sister, Sam, photographs, notes and voicemails that indicate to the player a deeper mystery. As you begin to unravel the clues, you soon come to realise that this isn’t Kaitlin’s story at all, it’s Sam’s. Collectable diary pages scattered throughout the house begin to tell the coming of age story about Sam’s life, and how she meets an intriguing girl at school, named Lonnie. The voice acting is amazing, and creates deep, meaningful characters that are so relatable without even having to show them to the player.

The story is both emotional and gripping as you scurry to find each diary page and discover more about the relationship between the two characters. The struggles between Sam and her parents are displayed by remnants of objects and letters left behind, giving the player a much more informative look into the life of this teenage girl and the problems she’s dealing with. This is an excellent way of storytelling and something I love about Gone Home. With its strong narrative and well-written characters, this game is much more than just just a “walking simulator.”

Gone Home is a game that manages to handle dark and powerful themes impeccably. It’s something truly special. For such a short and rewarding experience, there is no reason not to play this game. It’s easily one of the best first-person games to be brought to the PlayStation.

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18 | Writer & Journalism student | Video games | Star Wars & superheroes | I also stream

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