Walking Simulators, you either love them or hate them, games were narrative is more important than the actual gameplay, where you walk from place to place, look at stuff, learn about stuff and then walk somewhere else, and let that sweet, sweet story unfold. There’s been some quite popular walking sims such as “Firewatch”, “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture” and “Gone Home” to name a few but they all lacked a vital formula being gameplay. “What Remains of Edith Finch” is the new kid on the block by developers Giant Sparrow (the creators of “Unfinished Swan”) promising a brand-new twist on the walking sim with a different way to tell a story. So after a long five years of development it’s finally here but how does it hold up?
“What Remains of Edith Finch” is quite a morbid game, following the themes of life and death of good people from children to the elderly, but it’s presented in a unique and interesting way that certainly wowed me at times. Why? Because you return to a house after being away from years to uncover the families “curse” as you venture through an old rickety home you will find the truth of what exactly happened to each one of your family members.
Furthermore, instead of just going from room to room going through stuff and reading notes, you actually re-live past events and some of these are presented in an extremely creative way. An early part of the game has you in the shoes of a child sent to bed without supper, after walking around in a room you end up turning into a cat, an Owl and then into a Shark! All with the goal of hunting down prey and eating it. However, the story soon leads to a disturbing conclusion. Some of the stories hold the same standard delivering some powerful emotional moments while others are just fleeting and left me wanting more.
The presentation is at a high standard with photo-realistic visuals. The house looks incredible, as each room has its own theme, which gives you some clues as to who lived there. I would also like to point out that the settings are accompanied with an excellent sound design and voice acting. The short stories that you also play through look great especially one that is presented in the style of a comic book, this is how walking simulators should tell their stories, “Edith Finch” felt far more engaging than some of the other games in its category. There are moments in this game that literally blew me away through imagery and sound, and they are certainly worth experiencing if the opportunity ever arises.
My time with “Edith Finch” did leave a positive impression on me. As there were some great ideas at work here, but my gosh, it was short, at a meagre 90 minutes I felt a bit short-changed. So, yes there were some nice standout moments during the game. However, it left me wishing that there was more to it. I mean, there were some wonderful ideas to be found in the game, but they were so fleeting. So rather than being shocked at the revelation of what happened in the final moments, I just sat there while the credits rolled on my screen and said “Is that it?”. The game also chugged at times with countless frame rate issues that just took me out of the experience, even when activating PS4 Pro’s “Boost mode” there was little to no improvement.
I must admit. I find it hard to wholeheartedly recommend “Edith Finch” for the fact it’s so damn short and there is no replay value, there’s no Platinum Trophy either (For those that care). There’s some stand out moments that did impress me, but these were few and fleeting I just wanted some more depth. I would have loved to have spent more time exploring the house and just learning more about the family but there isn’t enough to do that will add to the experience overall. With so many great games releasing at the moment such as little Nightmares (Also priced at £15.99) on PC I can even imagine Steams refund Policy put to use for such a short game.
You know, it’s sad, because there are some powerful themes covered here and some wonderful ideas. I just feel there wasn’t enough content to make me feel my money was well spent (which just happens to be the case with a handful of other walking simulators that I’ve played in the past) . Furthermore, I must admit that I was pretty bummed out as I felt I’d wasted £16 rather than bought a game that made me forget how much it cost. So in my opinion, there is no reason to rush out and buy this game now. Simply put, just wait for a sale, and that is probably what I should have done in the first place.
+ The game looks lovely
+ Nice (albeit tragic) way of telling a story
+ Great sound design
– What Remains of Edith Finch is an extremely short game
– Frame rate drops galore
– No reason to replay
Replay value: 0/5
Giant Sparrow’s “What Remains of Edith Finch” is an interesting but fleeting experience that costs more than a cinema ticket and is shorter than a Blockbuster film. In other words, there are better and cheaper FPS adventure alternatives out there on the market. However, if you still would like to play “Edith Finch” despite what I just stated, then I would recommend you to wait until the game gets a price cut.
Title: What Remain of Edith Finch
Developer: Giant Sparrow
Genre: First Person Adventure
Release date: 26/04/17
Difficulty: Very Easy
Spent time: 100 Minutes (Includes the credits)
Average grade internationally: 89.78% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 16+
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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