Upon arriving home in the game What Remains of Edith Finch, a subtle hint of reality and fear kicked in. The home is hauntingly inviting as you play as Edith who is returning home to her inheritance. Knowing that all of her family members are long since gone, she pushes on, journal in hand to find out what really is going on with the old family home and the rumored curse the family, your family, has been said to have.
Some people have reviewed this game as a dreaded “walking simulator” but this isn’t as true as most people believe. Edith Finch, represents more of a novel with a spirit. As you play through the game, Edith is walking through her journal describing different parts of her memories and the memories of her family. Words dance around the screen directing and guiding the player to different areas. At times, there are some minor things to do such as open doors, use keys, look through peepholes, crawl and play with different objects but this doesn’t hold the game back from progressing through the story. Without these small mechanics, the player would more than likely become bored and find no purpose in the game.
Imagery from the Finch house in Oregon is very well done. The house holds up to the imagination that Edith and past family members have as well as create a foreboding and welcoming home. These two things don’t seem to have any reason to be together but with so many generations within the house, there is a feeling of unease with the old items scattered about as well as modern items that remind players of their own homes.
Edith finds herself casually going through the old house looking at her own history until she wanders upon a book that mentions secret passages. This is where the game really takes off. Edith plays through each member’s history as if it were her own. Through these stories, the player and Edith learns about the tragic pasts of family she has never known, and the people closest to her. Some memories are easy and quick to progress through while others cause a challenge and take a while longer before ending. All of the stories are compelling and leave a sense of wonder and speculation.
Most players will likely find themselves questioning if the game really ended the story. There is no conclusive ending but Edith leaves the game in a position where a lengthy discussion will likely occur right after the end. But this ending too, just opens up more doors to further questioning. What Remains of Edith Finch will likely have players wanting more of a story, a solid conclusion and a sequel all at the same time. Overall, I give it a thumbs up and would definitely play it again especially to collect all of the achievements that come with the stories.
Developed by Giant Sparrow
Available on Steam ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/501300/What_Remains_of_Edith_Finch/) Xbox One and Playstation 4