Community Review: Gone Home

I'm reluctant to say too much about Gone Home for a couple of reasons, actually three.

To begin with I feel like, if you haven't played Gone Home, it's best to go into the game with zero expectations and zero knowledge really. A lot of what's incredible about Gone Home is the discovery, and the mystery. It's best to preserve that going in.

Secondly, I'm pretty certain I want to write something a little more substantial about the game which, for me and so many others, is really resonating and hitting certain cultural markers brilliantly. I'd like to talk about that at some point.

And lastly, despite the fact that Gone Home is a relatively short game, I haven't finished it yet. I don't really want to engage and talk back and forth about this game because, guys, spoilers.

But still, I wanted to provide a space for you all to discuss this really intriguing video game. Have at it!


Comments

    Loved this game.

    Some of the best writing I've seen for a while. They do an incredible job with the characters and I love the way the story unfolds through exploration.

    It's also the rare type of game that lets you figure most of the story out on your own, rather than constantly beating you over the head with it. Working out each character's little plot requires joining the dots on clues that you find throughout the game, and some of it may still be unclear at the end if you haven't found everything.

      Yeah, the way the fragments all connected made it so damn compelling. Knowing that you could get these clues in different order too made this extremely well done.

    I thought this game was incredibly good. So much atmosphere and attention to detail. The '90s setting conjured up some memories too, felt so damn authentic. Reminded me of Dear Esther with more interactivity. Played in one sitting just because I was so damn hooked.

      I wonder if the fact that I was a teenager in the 90s hits extra levels that younger people might not be be able to appreciate. Ah, mixtapes and SNES, those where the days!

    I really enjoyed it.

    That said, that may have been the two bottles of wine talking, and I feel like I may have missed a lot of the more subtle elements. Only took me 77 minutes to finish, too...

    I feel like I should replay it, but I know that I probably never will. Really good though.

      I spent three hours on the game. Often I'd run back to a previous room to compare the dates on two letters or something to get a better sense of timeline and all that. XD

    I played Gone Home after midnight, while it was raining and I was alone at home, and finished it by about 4 am. I think I managed to accidentally get maximum immersion.

    Over the course of those few hours I experienced many emotions. I started with curiosity, then fear, and repeatedly came back to dread. Joy and pleasure came with various points of closure, and overall it was a highly recommendable experience.

    My pal @sughly made this comic the other day. Perfectly sums up how I explored the place. XD

    Last edited 19/08/13 12:55 pm

    I loved this game. As I was playing through it I started to get so invested in the family, I caught myself thinking "Oh (dad/mum/Sam), I hope you're okay" and feeling genuine emotions and empathy for the characters. That's so rare for me.

    It's getting a bit of hate from some ignorant people, based on the subject matter, their expectations of a different type of game, and the price vs short playtime, but it was everything I hoped it would be personally.

    Also, for anybody that's finished it but possibly not picked up on this aspect (possible SPOILER...but not really... but really yes, it's a game you shouldn't read about first): The personal psychological significance of your Dad's novels. Wowser.

    Worthwhile experience. There were feelings involved, and I wish more games did that.

    Last edited 19/08/13 1:36 pm

      Funny thing with the family for me...

      edit: ARGH sorry took that out as soon as the spoiler tags didnt work. Y no work tags?

      Last edited 19/08/13 1:32 pm

        I don't know - I can't get spoiler tags to work either..

        SPOILER TAG TEST (MASSIVE SPOILER, DON'T READ): Man, when you first see the ghost with the chainsaw in Sam's room I almost shat my pants! Hint: You can only hurt it with a divine weapon.

        Bold tag seems to work :?

        Last edited 19/08/13 1:40 pm

    Y'all should play this game, caus it's really rad. End review.

    There are things that I loved about the game and there were things I hated. What I loved was the design. What I hated was the story. In terms of gameplay; I'm not sure I've been as immersed from a moment to moment basis as I was with Gone Home. Nearly everything from a gameplay perspective is done with just the right amount of subtlety for you to notice and come to conclusions yourself while still maintaining a brisk pace. For me, the design was perfect, I adored every moment I played the game.

    SPOILERS

    The story however, confused me to no end. Maybe I should be specific... Certain characters confused me to no end. I mean is anyone getting annoyed with the younger character that is wise and righteous beyond their years? I kind of am. I found her romanticism and self indulgence endlessly irritating. I saw a marriage and a life crumbling around a little girl who's dealing with her own identity problems at school and in life. That's the story I mistakenly hoped for, what I got was Juno telling me how awesome girls were whilst ignoring everything else that was going on.

    I was doubly confused by the ending and what role the parents played in all of this because Juno was quite happy to run away on a whim into the cold of night - abandoning her family in troubled times - never to be seen again. I was wondering if perhaps she was persecuted by her family or people but besides a few acts of bullying because of the creepy house, I wasn't exactly sure why she felt as if she couldn't turn to her family. They were preoccupied of course, but her readiness to punish people close to her (who haven't done anything wrong) and the righteous tone she's enveloped with made me feel like I was being pandered to. Like I was given a situation and a character design to tickle my sensibilities.

    END SPOILERS

    The writing wasn't great in any sense of the word, I found it to be rather manipulative whereas I would have been much happier if it were just written as a story as opposed to a statement. The fact that we HAVE a game about this isn't enough for me, I want a game like this that truly provides some insight with well-rounded characters who all have flaws, not just the people who aren't the hero. A bold and interesting first attempt that feels more like Heavy Rain than The Walking Dead or the ending of Star Trek Into Darkness instead of the ending to The Wrath of Kahn, perhaps with better intentions, though. Still, there's no way I wouldn't recommend Gone Home, the manipulative and thematically confusing story SPOILERS (if you feel insecure, push everyone away and run off with your girlfriend?) END SPOILERS is merely a speedbump along the ride. It's still better than finding a monster in the attic or setting a soul to rest and the addictive quality of uncovering more personal secrets and motivations behind the characters begins to feel like something truly unique. Despite some minor inconsistencies, the game is a joy to play, even if it feels like you were pandered to worse than The Newsroom in the end.

      SPOILERS

      "I mean is anyone getting annoyed with the younger character that is wise and righteous beyond their years? I kind of am. I found her romanticism and self indulgence endlessly irritating."

      That felt like a pretty accurate portrayal of a teenager to me, especially one going through their "first love" - intense, dramatic and completely self-absorbed. :)

      Good critique. Though not sure I agree with all your points, I enjoyed the experience too much to notice it's faults. I would have loved to find out more about the other characters, but overall it worked for me - I connected with Sam and became very invested in her happiness.

      Last edited 19/08/13 4:01 pm

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