Every family has their secrets, but the Finch clan has more than its fair share. Cursed by various tragedies, Edith was never given the full story.
For the first time in years she's returning to the family home, and it's time to find out everything that was being kept from her.
This is What Remains of Edith Finch, an acclaimed adventure game finally available on Xbox One.
As a narrative game, What Remains of Edith Finch pulls you in immediately with absolutely beautiful graphics. From shimmering natural tones as you walk up to the house, to the way that different stories pull you into different worlds. The art in What Remains of Edith Finch grabs hold of you doesn't let go.
The art direction adds to the atmosphere of the game without ever interfering with the story. The developers also went above and beyond to give each section a distinct feel.
Edith moves through various tales of her family's past, and the game's art shifts to accommodate and elevate each chapter. In Barbara's story you'll essentially play through a comic book, and in Molly's, you see things from an entirely new point of view.
Graphics can honestly make or break a narrative game, and in this case, they only add to the story that is being told to us. You get a real feel for the Finch family home, and as you explore the rooms of its residents, the small minutiae in every corner start to pop out at you. Though, we all know that what we're seeing is just a canvas for the main attraction; the story.
A family cursed with misfortune
Edith Finch is the youngest member of a massive family that hearkens back to when her family immigrated to Washington state. Things started out bad when the family patriarch, Odin Finch was killed during a sea voyage, and things have more or less gone downhill from there,
Death has seemingly haunted the family, stealing away nearly every member of the family long before their time. When Edith first arrives back at the family home, she has only a key and no clue what it opens. Most of the bedrooms in the house were sealed up by her mother years before they left, but the house is still in disarray.
When Edith realizes the key opens a secret passage within the house, she's confronted with stories of her family that she was never told about. The game's narrative revolves around her family and is broken into Edith exploring the house, as well as a story from each limb on the Finch family tree.
A myriad of experiences
While most of the gameplay you'll run into is just walking along, and interacting with objects, this isn't true of everything going on here. When you play through one of the stories from the Finch family, you'll be pulled into a specific game mode. Each one is different, and they vary wildly.
At one point you'll be controlling an owl as it swoops for prey, or taking photos during a camping trip, or heck, even controlling an animated frog toy.
At one point you'll be controlling an owl as it swoops for prey, or taking photos during a camping trip, or heck, even controlling an animated frog toy. No matter what the game itself is having you do though, the controls more or less stay the same, with most interaction being based on your bumpers, controls, and analog sticks.
While it seems strange to have so much going on, it works well in the context of the story being told. Each character gives you an account of what is going on, and what you're doing is directly connected to their experience. Whether you want to believe what you are seeing is up to you of course, but there is never a distinctly confusing moment.
Uncover the mystery
What Remains of Edith Finch is a real gem of a narrative game. It has a compelling story, beautiful graphics, and mechanics that are extremely easy to pick up, even for gamers new to console controllers.
The game doesn't have much replay value, but that's indicative of the genre and at only $19.99 it's definitely not going to break the bank.
- Stunning graphics.
- Fantastic story.
- Easy to pick up controls.
- Game can become too dark to see what you're doing.
- Only a few hours long with low replay value.
If you enjoy a story that pulls you in, then this game is definitely one that should be on your wishlist.
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