Just when I thought that I knew video games, Gone Home was brought to my attention. I’m not sure if it was my friend (Mir) who introduced me to the game or I introduced Mir to the game, but in the end it hardly seems to matter. The game is beautiful and touching. It is so different from the other games that I’ve loved this year (AKA BioShock Infinite) and yet through its simplicity it draws you in so well that I was crying by the end of the game.
The game is simple. Compared to your modern shoot-em up, it’s going to feel a little bit nostalgic and it just seems to fit that the game is set in 1995. You’re playing as Katie, the eldest daughter of a family that is slowly falling apart at the seams. It was originally intended as a mod for a horror game and that had me thinking that ghosts were going to rain down from the sky until I cried out of fear. Instead there was a moving and beautiful story and an atmosphere that had me completely on edge.
There was no huge dramatic moment, not really, but the game didn’t need that. Instead it gave us a window into a family’s life and we could see the flaws, the little nitpicks, the love that they had for each other and their inability to connect the way they would want to. We saw that there were issues there that were trying to be looked at and the issues that no one wanted to talk about or sweep under the rug.
It was beautiful.
I didn’t want the game to end and yet at the same time it was a good length for a game like this. It was close to two hours of gameplay for me yet those hours flew by. I am really looking forward to what comes next from this game company.
Reading up on them, they suffered some backlash (as well as a heaping of praise) for refusing to showcase their game at PAX. They have their reasons and I can’t blame them for not doing so. That kind of integrity makes me more interested in their company, but the loyalty that they’ve engendered is not because of their social policies and convictions, but for the truly beautiful game that they’ve created.
This is not a game for the close minded. For those who think that women shouldn’t be in the spot light of video gaming or who can’t handle any hint of LGBTQ themes in their game unless it’s a derogatory joke. Still, I would recommend Gone Home to almost everyone because it’s simply that beautiful.
You owe this experience to yourself.