2017 05 20 What Remains Of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch Video Game Review

Written by Ryan Noble

Developed and released by Giant Sparrow


Game released on 25 April 2017
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4

What Remains Of Edith Finch Header

Review:

What Remains of Edith Finch, developed by Giant Sparrow (the studio behind The Unfinished Swan), is special. That's probably not how I should start a full review – it gives too much away – but I'm enchanted. You can pick up a copy on PlayStation 4 and Steam. Before long, you'll be under its spell, too.

Now, onto what I hope is a spoiler-free review, since the story, or stories, are what holds most of the game's power.

What Remains Of Edith Finch 02What Remains Of Edith Finch 01

Click images to enlarge

What Remains of Edith Finch is an intimate experience. You don't so much play through it as it plays through you, whispering its secrets and tragedies into your ear as you explore. Part of this is due to the nature of the story being told, but it comes in equal parts from the gentle, believable voice acting from Valerie Rose Lohman as Edith Finch, the incredible detail of the homely environment, and the sound design, which is at its finest.

Walking through the woods around the house, which looked to me like a realistic version of the tree-house from Adventure Time, you'll hear chirping birds, croaking frogs, and wind rustling through the trees. You hear, and feel, every single sound as if you're there.

After stepping into the house, I felt the exact same way about each and every room. The Finch's house feels lived in. Not only is it still filled with all of the junk that a family home inevitably builds up over time, but Edith narrates as you're walking through, giving character and backstory to the rooms and the people that once lived in them.

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And that's the kicker; lived in them. No-one lives there anymore. She's the only Finch left. One by one, each Finch meets a tragic and often surreal ending. You experience them all, and this is what makes up the majority of the game. Each person's tragedy is told in a different format, whether that be a letter, a poem, a comic book, old photographs, or even one last note to a loved one on signed divorce papers.

These flashbacks are unique, tense – since you always know how they end – and occasionally creepy. For example, Barbara Finch, a child-star, has a tragedy befitting a Scream Queen, overlaid with John Carpenter's Halloween theme music. After that, the house, which seemed so warm before, seemed to have taken on a darker tone and I couldn't help but explore with a little more hesitance. The atmosphere was palpable, and that's something that What Remains of Edith Finch delivers by the bucket-load, right up to its last moment.

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Click images to enlarge

Honestly, I'm scared to say too much more. I don't want to spoil a single poignant second of the game. What Remains of Edith Finch is 2017's Gone Home, and deserves all the praise it has been receiving since release. Tragic, touching stories are wrapped up in the detailed world of a family home, great sound design, and perfectly cast voice-acting. I may have finished the game in two sittings, but I'd spend more time in the home of The Finches if I could.

You can experience these tiny tragedies for yourself on PlayStation 4 and PC, and I implore you to do so. There are secrets waiting to be found.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars What Remains Of Edith Finch Small
Buy Steam
What Remains Of Edith Finch Small
Buy Playstation
Graphics: Fivestars
Gameplay: Fourstars
Sound: Fivestars
Replayability: Threestars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

 

 

About The Author
Ryan Noble
Staff Reviewer
If Ryan isn't watching, reading or playing some form of horror, he's probably writing about it. He used to be an Editor at Indie Game Magazine so he has a soft spot for independent creators, especially when they're creating fear. Whether you're one such creator, or a fellow horror fan, let's speak about spooks on Twitter or email.
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