Artificial truth

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The more you see, the less you believe.

What remains of Edith Finch
Sat 23 January 2021 — download

Last year, I played two walking simulator: The vanishing of Ethan Carter (that I didn't like) and Dear Esther (that was ok-ish). So I was a skeptical to say the least when I was warmly recommended What Remains of Edith Finch: an other walking simulator, with 1h30 of gameplay, meh.

Game logo

The synopsis is pretty short:

As Edith, you'll explore the colossal Finch house, searching for stories as she explores her family history and tries to figure out why she's the last one in her family left alive.

While it's a walking simulator, the map is way smaller than The vanishing of Ethan Carter, and way prettier than Dear Ester. The story is split into different first-person view tales, one for each family member, from the distant past to the present day, making you live, feel and understand what happen to them, in a different gameplay and visual style every time. To access the substories, you're exploring the Finch's house and its surroundings, with Edith narrating what she's observing, thinking, and remembering, with her words visually displayed like subtitle integrated in the scenery. Speaking of the scenery, everything is modelled with a ton of details, and it's really pleasant to wander around in and around the house, looking for clues, hints and pieces of what happened, and not only because The visuals are astonishing thanks to the UE4, but also because of a solid artistic direction and an immersing sound design.

The further the stories are in time, the more extravagant they seem to be, and while some are almost comical, others are really moving and sad. The game starts out slowly, but quickly becomes captivating once you begin to explore the Finch house, and at no point during my playthrough was I close to getting bored:and the way to story is delivered though the game is stunning. It really changed my perspective on what a video game can be and deliver, and it left me with wonder at its end.

A short but memorable adventure that I can't recommend enough.