Excerpt: Gone Home is one of the best games that I can only recommend under a big pile of conditions. But if you meet them, this could wind up being one of the most important games you play. Some who try Gone Home will walk away very angry about it, insisting that it's not even actually a game since there is no combat, nor are there any puzzles.
Conclusion: Gone Home tells a story unlike any other game in recent memory, and yet it does so in a way that only a video game can. The masterfully executed environmental storytelling guarantees that each player will walk away from Gone Home with a different experience. The tale of the Greenbriar family, as woven by their material possessions, is one that players won’t soon forget.
Gone Home’s ghosts in the closet aren’t the usual ghosts in closets
16 August 2013
Excerpt: Many videogames that struggle to reconcile gameplay and storytelling fail valiantly. Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us would have been so much better if the developers hadn’t jammed into their wonderful stories the rote gunplay, stealth, and scavenging you expect in your games. But then there are games that know enough to dispense with that stuff to concentrate on story. Some of these are called “adventure games”.
Conclusion: Like my beloved My So-Called Life, a “little” show that struggled for ratings and mainstream acceptance, I fear that Gone Home may face an uphill battle when it comes to finding its audience. As an indie adventure, it’s small potatoes compared the team’s previous AAA credits (Fullbright’s founders worked together on the BioShock 2 DLC Minerva’s Den).
Conclusion: "All you’ll find are carefully placed narrative elements that work together to tell a story deep with meaning and significance." "Gone Home is as much an introspective journey into human life as it is a game so very worthy of your time.
Pros: The constant sense of discovery and exploration, A richly-woven narrative for you to uncover, Environments that are full of life and charm
Cons: Finishing the game in two hours, Little replay value, Some fuzzy textures
Conclusion: When Thomas Wolfe wrote "You Can't Go Home Again," the mere idea of Pong would've wrecked his fragile mind. But nearly a century later, Gone Home presents us with a game that both embraces that melancholic notion while simultaneously exploring the roots, secrets, and artifacts of a family that feels as real to me as my own. Stepping foot inside of the Greenbriar home and discovering the things they left behind is a powerful experience.
Pros: Impeccable writing, Fantastic voice work, Original, powerful themes, Amazing sense of exploration, Evocative score/soundtrack
Excerpt: Open a closet door in the Greenbriar household and amongst the stacks of storage boxes and shelves of dusty books, you’re likely to find a nugget of character development. A hotel matchbook, perhaps, with a suggestive invitation scribbled on the inside fold. Or maybe a mix tape of ‘90s grunge, covered in the teenage doodles of high school boredom.
Conclusion: Gone Home is story in which you'll get to know a handful of characters without physically meeting any one of them. A game where engagement is driven by exploration and absorption at a pace that perfectly suits the story it needs to tell. An experience that offers first and third person accounts of different stories and trusts the player with filling in the blanks. It's not that they don't make them like this anymore, but rather they've never made one like this before.