Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gone Home Console Edition (Xbox One) Review

Gone Home is a first-person adventure game that was developed and published by The Fullbright Company and was released in August 2013 for Windows PC, OS X, and Linux and was later ported to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in January 2016. This game was released as part of Microsofts's Games With Gold for free in October 2017.

Gone Home takes place on June 7th, 1995 in the Greenbriar home in Oregon. You are Katie Greenbriar who comes home after traveling overseas. When she gets home she finds the house deserted and the game consists of you exploring the house and finding items that inform you of what your family has been up to. You have an 18-year-old sister, a mother who is a wildlife conservationist, and a father who wrote two novels but when that didn't work out became a reviewer of tech for a magazine.

The game really has no gameplay other than exploration. As you enter new rooms you search them for items that continue the story of your family. There are no bad guys chasing you or zombies trying to break down the door, it's just an exploration game inside an average family's house. Truthfully this kind of game usually bores me but I remember reading a review of this game when it was first released and it sounded like a game I might be interested in. When it was released as a game in Xbox's Games With Gold I got a chance to play it without having to buy it.

I was surprised that I enjoyed this game. There is no way to lose, you just explorer at whatever pace you'd like. You'll find cassette tapes that you can play to add a little extra to the gameplay. When you find significant items that are vital to the story you'll get a voiceover from yourself to further explain new information.

This game has a great atmosphere, the night that the game takes place on is experiencing a storm so you hear rain mixed in with some thunder and lightning. I found that this game was great to play when you wanted to play something that doesn't take lots of effort on your part like with a first-person shooter. I also have to say that this game was lots of fun to play with a buzz on but not too much to make you miss the story as it unravels.

With the exploration of each family member's story, you'll come across cool items like the comic book above or the father's VHS tapes of his favorite movies.

I love the X-Files as does the father. Also, the movies he has recorded are some of my favorites. It's little things like this that make this small game with a small story feel more substantial and realistic at the same time.

The game took me less than three hours to finish and that's with me finding nearly everything. One of the achievements is for beating the game under one minute. Unless you're one of those people that just want a notch on their belt I recommend playing through the game at least once to experience what the game is.

Overall I think that while being a short game it has enough going for it to keep you entertained for at least a few hours. This game, which is set in the 1990s, was more exciting to me. Even though I grew up in the 80s it's nice to play a game set in a different time frame since there's been a lot of 80s nostalgia lately. If adventure games are your bag, or exploration type games, I think you'd enjoy this game. I give Gone Home Console Edition a 7 out of 10.

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