Gone Home is the Masterfully Told Story of a Seemingly Normal Household
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Gone Home is a narrative-driven adventure game, developed by Fullbright. It originally released on August 15, 2013 for PC, and later on, it came to a variety of platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. This game is a notable title for many reasons. Mainly, it boasts an emotional and grounded story that unfolds in a masterful way.
The story of Gone Home begins as the protagonist, Kaitlin Greenbriar, comes back home after being at college for a year. When she arrives, it’s to an empty house, devoid of her parents and younger sister. Sensing something is off, Kaitlin starts exploring the residence for clues as to her family’s whereabouts. She discovers many items and documents linked to each member; through these, their individual stories are slowly disclosed.
In this game, players must pick up objects and read documents to find clues about the family. This information gradually forms together to explain what has happened. Most items in the game are interactive. Similarly, almost every door and drawer can be opened. According to its PlayStation page, Gone Home has several awards to its name. To list just a few, Game of the Year (Polygon), PC Game of the Year (IGN), and Best Debut BAFTA.
Why I Recommend This Game
There are many noteworthy aspects of Gone Home. In my opinion, one of the most impressive is its story. The game weaves an involved, engaging tale full of heart. In addition, this story is paced well and told at a satisfying rate. Players slowly uncover it bit by bit, with each hint adding more depth. As you make more progress, more is revealed about each family member; their innermost desires, buried thoughts, unfulfilled wishes, and deepest secrets. Everything eventually comes to light, and the way it does, left me in awe.
Throughout the narrative’s course, there are many twists and turns. The story is constantly changing direction and subverting expectations. Many times, I thought I had certain plot points pinned down, only to discover there was much more going on. Furthermore, most subplots in the game are fully explored. However, there are a few story threads that remain ambiguous, even until the end. Personally, I think Gone Home does this in the best method possible; details are left open-ended, but this leaves room for the player to interpret the story in their own way. And this is a story that can potentially be taken a variety of ways. In the end, the final details are for the player to decide.
Furthermore, this game boasts a cast of realistic, deeply fleshed out characters. You begin the game barely knowing anything about the Greenbriar family; Kaitlin is the one with all the previous knowledge. So, each character is like a puzzle just waiting to be solved. Every item the player finds, reveals a bit more about the characters. Eventually, this information converges to provide a deeper understanding of the Greenbriars as individuals. The family members all end up being interesting, and likeable, to some degree. Even more important, I genuinely wanted to find out more about this mysterious family.
For such a narrative-driven video game, it’s important to have a gripping story and unique characters. Gone Home successfully nails both these aspects. In doing so, it creates a truly wonderful experience.
Moreover, the game builds and maintains an excellent atmosphere the entire way through. It truly fits an empty home. The atmosphere ranges between eerie, lonely, and melancholy. This causes players to feel as if they’re really experiencing the confusion of arriving home – only to discover everything has changed. While playing, I felt that the house was wildly unfamiliar. Even playing as the protagonist, all aspects of the house were new and disorienting. To me, this is an excellent example of how vital atmosphere is.
The gameplay of this title is fairly simple, but it’s effective and does a great job of telling the story. And really, the story is so good, the gameplay doesn’t have to be revolutionary. It’s just fine for the experience that Gone Home is. Interacting with household items and reading notes is enough.
Voice Acting/Sound Design/Graphics
In addition, the voice acting is great. It clearly adds depth to the characters, and the voices fit their respective roles well. Furthermore, the overall sound design is very solid. A creak here, a crackle there. Each noise is well placed and further enhances the somewhat lonely atmosphere.
Lastly, the graphics are quite good. They help present a detailed view of the Greenbriar household. Drawings, items, environments; all these factors are accurate to how they’d appear in real life. This makes Gone Home into an even more believable story.
In conclusion, there’s a plethora of reasons to play Gone Home. It truly is a worthwhile video game. Its intricate story, intriguing characters, and excellent atmosphere combine to create an unforgettable gaming experience. This is a tale more than worth unraveling.
Gone Home Press Asset Folder
Official Gone Home Website- https://gonehome.game/
Official Fullbright Website- https://fullbrig.ht/
PlayStation Gone Home Page- https://bit.ly/342NK7Y
PlayStation 4 Store Page- https://bit.ly/325Uy2Y
Xbox One Store Page- https://bit.ly/2NuFtnL
Nintendo eShop Page- https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/gone-home-switch/
PC/Steam Store Page- https://store.steampowered.com/app/232430/Gone_Home/
All pictures used in this article were obtained from the Gone Home press asset folder, and/or the official Gone Home website. These images were used with both the knowledge and permission of Fullbright, the developer. Many thanks to Fullbright for all their help. This article wouldn’t have been the same without it.