Matthew Sawrey

a portfolio of videogame writings

Gone Home

gonehome

Open a closet door in the Greenbriar household and amongst the stacks of storage boxes and shelves of dusty books, you’re likely to find a nugget of character development. A hotel matchbook, perhaps, with a suggestive invitation scribbled on the inside fold. Or maybe a mix tape of ‘90s grunge, covered in the teenage doodles of high school boredom. Few of these individual items are interesting in and of themselves, but each object – purposefully detailed and deliberately placed by independent developers The Fullbright Company – adds another brush stroke to the Greenbriar family portrait. And the picture they eventually paint in Gone Home’s short, movie-like length is more intimate and relatable than the most realistic of character models or the deepest of dialogue trees.

You assume the perspective of the eldest Greenbriar daughter, Kaitlin, who, on returning to that home after a year spent travelling around Europe, finds a locked front door with a troubling note taped to its glass. Your father, mother and sister are conspicuously absent and there’s no obvious indication as to why. Piecing together the answer to this puzzle is a matter of rifling through their possessions and examining each jigsaw piece LA Noire-style for clues about the past year’s events.

Those clues are strewn throughout the detritus of the Greenbriar’s everyday life. There are no enemies, no weapons, nor levels to speak of here, only the coffee mugs, desk fans and light switches of an authentically crafted abode, bottlenecked by a few locked doors for the sake of pacing.

Read on over at Thunderbolt.

 

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2013 by in Review and tagged , , , , , .
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