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Silent Fear, An Hour with Gone Home

gonehome_1280x800I try my best to avoid spoilers here, but if you haven’t touched Gone Home and plan on doing so, please do not read this.  I am telling you, play/experience it.  No matter what, you will have an opinion and I have heard the gambit of them since listening to other podcasts as of late, feel free to share it with any of us on twitter, email or the comments below.

Have you ever walked into a dark room and had a feeling, one that you cannot describe, but it makes your skin crawl?  That was how I felt up until the end of Gone Home.  It will play with you, both positively and negatively, especially if you ever had a fear of the dark.

Darkness is something that none of us like, unless you have night vision goggles on (I am looking at you @Gadgetman007).  A feeling of the unknown, what you cannot see can always force you into places that you do not wish to be.  Regardless of what you know about Gone Home, I can tell you during my hour and a half to play through it, I was scared.  I jumped several times even knowing that the game has no combat at all.  Fullbright Company has created something I myself always fear.  An empty house and a mystery to be uncovered.

The house you explore in Gone Home is both empty and full at the same time, objects to grope, read and even laugh at throughout.  Forcing the player to turn on every light switch is brilliant, not knowing what is behind each door both compels you to keep playing and sends your imagination to all the wrong places.  Games throughout this generation have shown us terrible things and you cannot help yourself from assuming those tropes would be visited in Gone Home.

A flash, then thunder directly afters show you things you didn’t see yourself, or thought you saw out of the corner of your eye. The lightning always seemed perfectly timed to scare the living piss out of me.  I am not the type of player that likes to be scared, but I had to push through, I wanted some type of resolution, I was too curious.  Curiosity is theme throughout the house and you must have it, but it could also allow you to skip important parts of the story.  That is the genius of Gone Home.

The only sounds you hear are your footsteps as you explore.  The story is told through audio logs, and that is the only time I felt comfort.  Knowing I was progressing and learning why I had Gone Home was the only solace I had in the early stages.  I just did not know how long it would take to figure out the mystery.  I wish I had spent more time in the house.

By the time the credits rolled, my fear had subsided, but I think my journey was more moving than the result.  The ending did elicit an emotional response, but the fear that lead to it changed my view on games.  Do not take that notion lightly, I think Gone Home has to be experienced, no matter your view on “artsy” games or indie gaming.  Fullbright Company has my attention and they should have yours.  I have so much more I wish to share, but out of respect I will share it at a later date.  Maybe I can convince the co-hosts to join me on a spoiler-cast coming soon.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts below, try and stay away from spoilers as best you can.

 

 
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