padrino's Gone Home (Steam) (PC) review

Chapter One of a Great Game

I picked this up after hearing a large number of extremely glowing mentions around the gaming podcasts etc. The amount of glowing references seemed to be growing as I plunked down my cash to check out the full game.

After playing this game through to the end, I completely understand the positive buzz but I also recognize a serious shortcoming of this game. It simply does not deliver on what it promises from the beginning of the game. As far as atmosphere and story, it starts out in great fashion. The story pulls you in and the game presents a great method of telling an interactive story. In that respect, its one of the best presented point and click story telling games I have ever played. Ever! And that is why it is receiving numerous glowing reviews.

However, the problem is that the game feels like one of the best first chapters of a story. It sets up a number of story threads but never really delivers enough of an arc on most of them. Certainly, there is one single thread in which it kind of sees though to an arc but even then the arc just leaves you wanting more. And sure, there is the "always leave them waning more" aspect that this game delivers on a grand scale but mostly, it also leaves you feeling like the game is just an "intro" to a much longer game. But what is clear, is that the makers of this game know how to create a extremely compelling, driving, involving, story driven game and for the price, you get a taste of what they can do. But for the price that I paid, I certainly feel a bit shorted here.

The hardest part of story telling is in the ending and here is where they makers of this game certainly skimped. There really is no ending, just a couple of truly great beginnings. And for that, its certainly worth playing. But you may want to wait for a lower price or maybe even a follow up chapter (I hope) because I think many will feel a bit disappointed by how much is left on the table.

UPDATE:

I knew there were things I did not find in my first play-through but after I saw one of the things I had missed I wen't back into the game and I was floored by what I had found. On my first play, I had stumbled onto a path that I was not supposed to and missed at least 1/3 of the game! This happened because, as an experienced adventure gamer, I am inclined to poke around. The problem is, it lead to me missing quite a bit of content. And with a game this short, that meant the game seemed extremely cut off. After playing the content I had missed, I felt I had to bump my rating since my main complaint was that the story seemed truncated. After all, it was because I missed it. However, I will say that the game design is a bit flawed here in that you can easily miss a lot of the content and not even realize it. This flaw sort of ruined a large chunk of the game. I feel like I would have enjoyed the game much more if this had not been the case. that all being said, the game is still fairly short but I think I now see more clearly why others have given the game such high marks on the story. Considering how easy it would have been to fix, I just wished the game made it a bit more difficult to skip right to the ending of the game and not realize it.

So, I feel the game is certainly a good game worth playing but its still over before you know it for the price. Grab this game now if you like a great story or wait a bit for a better price.

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Other reviews for Gone Home (Steam) (PC)

    A Disappointingly Shallow Experience 0

    Gone Home is a thorough and well-designed experience that absolutely squanders itself on a lack-luster main story. In a game that touts itself as a narrative tour-de-force, it is absolutely tragic that it inevitably falls into the tropes of fairy-tale fantasy of yore, and not in the warm fuzzy nostalgic fashion one might expect.Incredibly ironic in fact, as it makes an excellent representation domestic living in it's time period. A lot of care and love went into designing the house that players ...

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