Review: Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4)


I got my hands on the hotly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront reboot, a multiplayer-only title that not only aims to deliver a perfect experience for Star Wars fans, but to live up to what has made Battlefront a beloved franchise. Did it deliver? Come closer and relax a bit, I think you’ll need to sit down for this one. When it was announced that the studio DICE would be in charge of rebooting the Battlefront franchise for the next generation, it seemed like a fitting choice thanks to their work on the Battlefield games. Star Wars Battlefront focuses on the original trilogy and lets players participate in epic battles on known and beloved Star Wars locations.

Jumping in, everything felt perfect – the immersion of being in a Star Wars battle was there. The blaster sounds, the John Williams music, even fearing the possibility of Darth Vader approaching in a narrow corridor. I had a big smile on my face as I played, confirming that my inner Star Wars fan was happy. I have to quickly commend DICE for pulling this off because the presentation was finely executed. Performance-wise, there were no FPS drops or bugs/technical issues that ruined the immersion during my time with the game. The details on each map and vehicle are such a treat, showcasing DICE’s commitment to this project. This is probably the best-looking game this year. Definitely a polished product.

Going through a couple of battles, I found satisfaction picking up those power-up cards found on the map that allow you to pilot an X-Wing to provide air support, or helm, say, an AT-ST or AT-AT to push the advance. If you’re lucky, you might just grab the Hero power-up, become one of the three heroes or villains on the map, and make a difference on the battlefield. The powerful heroes allow for a variety of epic scenarios that make for great stories to tell your friends as well as fun .gifs.

As I continue to play more of the game, though, I'm feeling a disturbance in the Force. I find myself experiencing the same things over and over. The magic is wearing off.

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The true essence of Star Wars Battlefront can be found in two modes: Supremacy and Walker Assault. These modes allow for 20vs20 matches with vehicles and heroes enabled. It’s chaotic fun, and they are easily the preferred game modes among the nine available. The one big issue is the lack of maps available for them. Among the 13 maps found in the base game, there are only 4 big maps catered to these modes. They are quite large, but it's just not enough, since the sense of the Battlefront's gameplay being repetitive was present early on, which is quite a surprise after just one night with it. To change things up, I explored the smaller modes with player counts of 10v10 or 6v6, and found them more appealing thanks to their unique game modes. Yes, the common modes like Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are present, but a couple of the unique game modes turned out to be fun. I personally like Droid Run, which tasks you with having your team take control of three wandering droids on the map. If you want to play around with the heroes and villains in the game, there are two modes for that. Dogfights with TIE Fighters and X-Wings? There’s a mode just for that, too.

It was pretty exciting to be actually piloting the beloved X-Wing ship, blasting away incoming TIE Fighters, but after a couple of matches, the mode went stale fast thanks to its basic gameplay. Once you get a lock on someone, you simply hold down the fire button and watch your opponent wither away. You only have one chance to avoid a lock-on too, so there’s only so much you can do once an opponent is on your tail. The outcomes can be dependent on which skills are available as well. Since I can only pick what ship to spawn as with no way to customize their loadouts, this mode is an act of fan service more than anything. Since aiming at tiny ground units is tough, aerial combat is best enjoyed during Supremacy or Walker Assault, where you can potentially contribute to the overall job.

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The developers provide a lot of variety for the players, but most of it feels like fodder in the end, modes to prepare you for what I consider are the main course of Battlefront – Supremacy and Walker Assault.

Probably after five hours with the game, I noticed a more troubling issue – progression. It’s simply lacking. There are no classes in this take of Battlefront. Instead, you can bring two equipment cards (grenades, jetpacks), one ability card (reduced cooling ability, explosive shot), and one trait card (a Passive ability which improves through kill streaks). As I unlocked more cards and tried different combinations, I noticed that my play style hadn’t changed at all. The only time it felt different was when I first unlocked the jetpack, giving me access to new areas in the map to take advantage of. Equipment cards can be upgraded at a hefty cost, but the only change to this equipment is a reduced cooldown.

Customization for your character is probably the worst I’ve seen in a multiplayer game. I stared at the screen for a few seconds when I found out that I have to spend 1,700 of my hard-earned credits to unlock a bearded Rebel character, or unlock a Stormtrooper without his helmet. You can play as an alien if you really want to, but those require a higher rank of around 45. There are also emotes to unlock, if you’re into that. This was quite disappointing considering the deep progression found in DICE’s past games, leaving me worried about this game’s staying power.

There is no campaign in Star Wars Battlefront. But if you want to take a break from multiplayer, you can opt for the missions that can be played with split-screen co-op or online co-op. These, again, are fodder content at best. Four survival missions pit two players against 15 waves of AI enemies. Battle missions are simple tasks that require you to earn points by killing the opposing NPC team. There are also battle missions where you can play as a hero or a villain. Doing these missions once for the sake of trying them is all you need, really. The rewards for full completion or even attempting them on a higher difficulties are not enough to inspire another run.  There are training missions to learn the different game mechanics, but I found no purpose in them, since everything I needed to know I learned by simply playing multiplayer.

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I had a lot of fun with Star Wars: Battlefront, I can’t deny that. It might be one of the best Star Wars games I’ve played, since it captures that universe (or to be more specific, galaxy) perfectly. But the content provided in the base game leaves me scratching my head. The maps and progression system are too lacking for a competitive FPS player to get truly invested in, so what more for the casual player? I got my fill in just a couple of days and am finding it hard to justify continuing to jump in with me currently at rank 25. DICE should be proud of what they’ve created, but I won’t be surprised if players have moved on after just a couple of days. Star Wars fans will enjoy this after warping in for the first time, but once the excitement of being in an epic Star Wars skirmish wears off, there’s nothing left to hold on to.


+ Perfect execution with the Star Wars world + One of the best-looking games this year + Supremacy and Walker Assault are chaotic fun - Lacks deep player progression and customization - Repetition kicks in really early - Air battles are shallow at best - Only 4 maps to the best modes in the game - Co-op Missions feels like fodder

Post Content

EA and DICE announced a season pass for Star Wars Battlefront priced at $50, giving you access to 4 expansion packs for the game. The DLC pass will provide over 20 new pieces of weapons, vehicles, and Star Cards for both sides. Four more heroes and villains, 16 additional multiplayer maps, four new game modes, two-week early access to each expansion pack, and an exclusive “shoot first” emote. No date was given for when the first expansion will hit. A free map called “Battle of Jakku” was announced and will be available for all players on December 8. Those who pre-ordered the game will get early access to the map as early as December 1. A new 20v20 game mode called Turning Point will come for free with the Battle of Jakku map.

Developer: DICE Publisher: Electronic Arts Reviewed By: Carlos Hernandez

Review: If My Heart Had Wings


If My Heart Had Wings Review If My Heart Had Wings was a difficult game for me to start playing. But I’m glad I did. I’m no stranger to visual novels, and for the most part, I can’t say that I’m a fan of the genre. I generally tend to prefer stronger gameplay elements in my games. Occasionally however, one comes along with such an excellent story that you don’t mind the minimal gameplay elements, just because you want to see what happens in the end. If My Heart Had Wings is such a case, where a strong, well-written storyline overcomes the genre shortcomings and can appeal even to non-fans of the genre.

If My Heart Had Wings is a romantic visual novel. Quite a popular genre in Japan, not so much in the West. The gameplay is limited to clicking through dialog with accompanying scenes, with choices scattered about here and there. Ultimately, your choices do end up taking you on a specific “route” which leads to different endings. It’s very similar to the old Choose Your Own Adventure series of children’s books from the 80’s.If My Heart Had Wings Review 02

Since the gameplay tends to be so limited, Story takes precedence, and the game relies on its writing and visuals to suck you in. If My Heart Had Wings shines for the most part, and I found myself engaged for a majority of the game. The story centers around Aoi, a young man recently returned to his home town, and his participation with the Soaring Club, a high school club where club members make gliders to fly. Along the way, you meet various young women with whom you can choose to engage in romance with each girl leading you down to a separate ending, giving the game some level of replay ability.

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The visuals, music and voice acting are crisp, clean, and expressive. The text, for the most part, is edited and reads well, although I did find the initial exposition of all the characters to be somewhat dragging, with lots of internal monologues that seemed just a little overdone at times. Thankfully, the game really picks up after a point, and it’s worth muscling through some of the earlier dialogue to get to it.

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One small caveat was that there were also times where the writing simply didn’t match what is happening on screen. This was likely due to localization issues, as when originally released in Japan, the game contained several hardcore sex scenes which were edited out for the Western release. In a lot of cases, this seems to be where the irregularities tend to occur. For example, reading the text describing a girl’s eyes, when the camera and spoken Japanese are clearly focused on her breasts. However these parts are rare and few between, and actually had I not known that this was originally an eroge game I probably wouldn’t have noticed these areas.

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As far as the girls go, they tend to follow typical anime tropes, and the selection of potential romances are all textbook waifu material. The childhood friend, the older senpai, the disabled tsundere. Thankfully the writing is strong enough to carry these tropes throughout the game, and there’s a lot more to the girls than their initial appearance. To be perfectly honest, I’m not generally one who enjoys romance stories, and I ended up squirming at some parts, but thankfully it’s that extra story behind these characters makes it palatable. Even if I was not romancing a particular girl, it was interesting to discover more about each of them, their motivations and lives, dreams and desires. And when you do decide to romance a particular girl, the characterization goes even deeper.

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The story is a character driven one, and it’s the high point of If My Heart Had Wings. The central theme of the game, that of loss and the coping and recovery that follows, is a very strong one that I think just about anyone can relate to at some level. Each of the characters in the game have lost something, be it physical or emotional. The game explores a lot of the changes and dilemmas that those losses can inflict upon a person, ranging from simple things like having to give up something you love doing, or perhaps in just trying to act like a regular normal teenager. It’s insightful and empathic and makes you really care about the characters and relate to what they are going through.

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The binding aspect that brings these characters really together is the Soaring Club, and the dream of flight. As a fan of aircraft myself, I was very happy to see how the game is able to capture the simple beauty and wonder of flying, and the game does a wonderful job of showcasing the sheer anticipative joy of the idea. For most of the characters, the Soaring Club acts as their way of coping with their respective losses, all for different, but all valid reasons. Admittedly, the game doesn’t do a very good job at actually explaining how flight works, and the game’s explanation of the physics of flight are all wrong, but again, I was willing to overlook that just because the story itself was so compelling.

If My Heart Had Wings Review 02 The game is reasonable in length, it took me about 9 hours to get through my first play through. Thankfully, the game features a forward feature, so my subsequent play through to view the other paths and try other romances went on for about half of that each. Overall, If My Heart Had Wings is a great coming of age story that doesn’t do anything particularly new or different for the genre, but what it does, it does well. This isn’t a story epic in scope, but it is a very personal one that speaks to all of us in a little way. Highly recommended.

Score: 8/10

Reviewed by: Willem Den Toom Platform: PC


- Strong and Heart-warming slice of life story - Great visuals and sounds - Easy to understand interface


- Doesn't do anything really new for the genre - Some odd translations / scenes due to localization - Can sometimes get draggy with exposition and internal monologue


P.S. This game also features a duck with a top hat. You can’t go wrong with that.


Review: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Link Between Worlds Review If there’s one thing Nintendo’s been consistent with over the years, it’s in the quality of its handheld Zelda games. Every one has been a joy to play, and with stylus play, the two most recent ones (Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) have experimented with the formula in fun ways. Interesting, then, that Nintendo decided to take a page from their back catalog and develop a remake of A Link to the Past. It was to our great fortune that halfway through its development Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto were reportedly so pleased with the project that it ended up becoming more than a mere remake – A Link Between Worlds is a classic Zelda in its own right, and while it does recall that timeless game in many ways, it also brings a touch of its own with its unique wall-shifting mechanic, which lends itself well to mind-bending puzzles and tricky boss fights.


Though the dual overworld, various enemies, and locations of some secrets are very familiar to the SNES classic, the story, dungeons, puzzles, hidden challenges, most bosses (returning ones have slight twists), and collectibles are all totally new. This isn’t just a nostalgia trip or an attempt to improve on what is widely considered to be a perfect game. It’s a beast all its own.

The story appears to take place several generations after A Link to the Past. With Ganon long defeated, evil eclipses the land in the form of Yuga, a creepy sorcerer who swaggers about Hyrule turning people into paintings, notably the descendants of the Seven Sages. Link, a lazy blacksmith’s apprentice, gets tangled up in this mess, and must track Yuga to the parallel dimension of Lorule, which was once a beautiful land like Hyrule until its Triforce was destroyed. Here, Princess Hilda works with Link to halt Yuga’s attempted revival of Ganon, pleading for him to save her land as well as his. The story and writing, while not complex, are actually better than I expected for such a straightforward game, and the ending is surprisingly satisfying.

A Link Between Worlds’ defining mechanic, the ability to shift onto two-dimensional planes and traverse walls, is seamlessly woven through the experience, opening up a whole new plane for players to engage in. Though Link still moves in two dimensions across the top-down game world, you’ll be constantly scanning and sliding across every surface, as well as mentally picturing the dungeons in three-dimensional space. Very often the solution to a puzzle lies just beyond an overlooked corner.


If it sounds overwhelming or complicated, I’m doing the product a disservice. The simplicity and old-school nature of this offering is very welcome. Actually, the most refreshing thing about A Link Between Worlds is that the developers don't hold your hand through any of it or waste time with tutorials. In fact, within ten minutes of playtime, you are already armed with a sword and making your way through the first of many challenges. The dual-screen presentation is boss, with easy inventory and map access on the lower screen. Hot-swapping items has never been easier than with the Quick Equip menu. Helpful witches will teleport you across the map and brew up potions made from certain drops, saving time on the go. In true Nintendo fashion, there is a constant evolution in the way the player tackles the game’s challenges.

Similarly to A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, you’ll be tackling ten main dungeons – three early ones, and seven later ones, with two additional dungeons early on. It should be no surprise that these areas are the real meat of the game, where the player is tested in terms of skill and mettle. The Ice Ruins, Dark Palace, and Tower of Hera are standouts, but nearly every one ranks among the best Zelda dungeons in recent memory. The 3D effect is put to great use especially in the more vertical dungeons where having it at least slightly up is all but necessary. Unlike my play-through of Ocarina of Time 3DS, I thankfully experienced no issues going back and forth between the 2D and 3D screens.

As for the puzzles, they are not in any way limited to the dungeons. Taking a page from the best Zelda titles, oftentimes getting to the dungeons will prove to be just as challenging as besting them. While no trick room was enough to stump me for long (I think the longest I spent in one room was fifteen minutes), I did find each obstacle very enjoyable to tackle. I was honestly very impressed that Nintendo had it in them to make a game that matches A Link to the Past in terms of challenge and quality and even surpasses it in imagination and level design.


One much talked-about feature in this game is in the way items are acquired. From early on, every major item can be either rented or bought from Ravio, a shopkeeper who sets his wares up in Link’s house. Rented items will be lost upon death, whereas bought items are kept forever. This system allows the player to tackle the dungeons and overworld challenges in just about any order, which gives a sort of illusion of freedom. The downsides of this are that you miss the feeling of accomplishment upon discovering new items within dungeons, and that racking up a full set is no real challenge, since Rupees are not exactly hard to come by, and death becomes much less common the more one progresses in the game, due to the Zelda tradition of giving out Heart Containers like candy.

The growing ease of the experience (a time-tested Zelda problem) is actually my only real complaint – even if you pick up just the Containers dropped by every boss without seeking Heart Pieces, you’ll have thirteen Heart Containers by the time you reach the last dungeon – enough that even without a supply of potions, the challenge afforded by enemies and even bosses is thoroughly gimped. My initial thought was that this could have been avoided by forcing the player to tackle dungeons in a particular order and adjusting the difficulties of the enemies and bosses accordingly, but honestly, once you’ve got at least ten Containers, you can likely count your remaining in-game deaths on your fingers. Some may not have this problem, but I consider it a real issue. Thankfully we do have Hero Mode, which ups the challenge significantly as enemies deal four times the damage. I’m navigating it right now and it sure isn’t easy.

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There’s so much A Link Between Worlds gets right. Whether it’s the incredible soundtrack, featuring beautiful renditions of both old and new tunes as a happy fusion of MIDI and real instruments, the fantastic dungeons, which are both challenging and intuitive, the slick presentation, or the plethora of things to do in the overworld, I doubt even someone seriously jaded with Zelda will find much to dislike, even if the winning formula still hasn’t changed. I even welcomed a return to the old ‘90s art style. From the moment you boot up the cartridge to the final notes of the end credits, A Link Between Worlds will keep you captivated. I don’t think I had my 3DS off or played another game in the time I spent in Hyrule/Lorule. This Zelda has ‘classic’ written all over it.

SCORE: 8/10

Reviewed by: Joseph Choi Platform: Nintendo 3DS XL


-       Old-school Zelda goodness

-       Top-notch dungeon designs and bosses

-       Simple in theory but well-utilized wall-shifting mechanic

-       Fantastic presentation and soundtrack


-       Several moments and the layout of the world map will remind you strongly of A Link to the Past (not necessarily a bad thing, but at times this robs the game of its own identity)

-       Lacking in relative difficulty until Hero Mode is unlocked

Review: Strider [PC]


Strider_Front It took awhile, but Strider was brought back to the spotlight thanks to studio Double Helix (Killer Instinct) and oh, did they do a great job at staying true to the original content. A fast-paced download only game that keeps you hooked with non-stop action and level design that we think should be used more often in future platformers. Flailing a sword around at blazing speeds never felt this satisfying.

Quick - that is the best way to describe this action-adventure platformer. You play as the famous Strider Hiryu, a ninja with one simple task -- take down the evil Grandmaster Meio in the heavily fortified metropolis of Kazakh City. Right off the bat, with not much of an introduction about anything, you find Hiryu gliding into the city along with the first wave of enemies ready to warm your blade. There’s never a dull moment in Strider. Every room is filled with enemies to engage, and based on the level of your performance, you may clear even the most challenging areas in just seconds. The better you understand your enemies, the faster the game gets. Strider is all about the action; it doesn’t bother giving much explanation or character progression at all. No backstory of Strider Hiryu’s past or why he wants to take down Grandmaster Meio. That’s just how it is, and this game works well that way. The cheesy lines are already bad enough, but once the short dialogue in between boss fights and new locations end, the fun continues.

The most appealing part of the game is its level design. It greatly reminded me of the old Metroid games on SNES, as well as the best Castlevania game in history – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (well, that’s my opinion). It’s played as an open world side-scroller with upgrades and unlockables tucked away around this huge map waiting to be explored. Every locale in Kazakh City has its own unique visual and technical appeal. From the sewers to the military compound, each area you come across has its own personality, providing different ways to tackle the area. Some might be heavier on enemies, while some require you to watch where you jump. From combat to platforming, this game keeps on changing gears, preventing any repetitive tension.


Objectives are given to move forward in the game, but thanks to its Metroid style of level design, you get that feeling of wanting to just explore. As you progress, new weapons and skills are unlocked, which also serve as keys to certain locations in the city. You will find doors requiring a specific upgrade, and once you get it, you can’t help but backtrack to see what’s behind that door you couldn’t access. Controls are easy to grasp from the get-go, but they soon evolve as you get more abilities to use. There are some enemies that can only be defeated with specific abilities, but this doesn’t hinder the freedom of play, only adding to the fun and creative methods with which you can dispose of Grandmaster Meio’s henchmen.


You will eventually come across different flavors for Strider Hiryu’s preferred weapon – the plasma sword Cypher – which provide different properties depending which one you equip. One gives you the ability to deflect incoming projectiles, while another freezes enemies with a single touch. These are color-coded and can be switched anytime during play via the directional pad. This gives more depth to the combat, and at the end you’ll find yourself constantly switching Cyphers based on the current situation. From summoning mechanical animals to throwing kunai to extra movements like the addicting dash, gameplay evolves constantly throughout this 4-6 hour experience, keeping the combat from ever going dull.

Sadly, the game isn’t so difficult. So don’t come in expecting a challenge, even on its hardest difficulty.  Every enemy has a pattern and once you learn how to exploit these patterns, you find yourself going through them, no sweat. This also applies to the bosses in the game, which have great mechanics I haven’t seen in a long time. Every boss I’ve experienced in Strider is memorable, especially that last fight which doesn’t make any sense at all (you’ll understand once you get there). You’re always left at the edge of your seat after every fight. Yes, it’s easy, but the combat is so satisfying that the lack of challenge didn’t rear itself as a problem for me. I find enjoyment in disposing of enemies in the fastest possible ways. Oh, and let’s not forget the soundtrack, which not only gives you a bit of nostalgia, but supports the gameplay very well in keeping you invested.

In between all the slashing, this is also a platforming game, with Strider Hiryu jumping, dashing, and climbing walls and roofs to reach the next area. Hiryu still moves just like he did back in the classic games. I consider it a big plus that Double Helix kept our hero true to the original. The classic cartwheel jump returns, as well as the upward slash you might see in previous games as well as in Marvel VS Capcom 2 or 3. Animations aside, the platforming elements aren’t a tedious feat thanks to the solid controls. You won’t find yourself fighting against how Strider moves, making the platforming aspect of the game a fun break from all the combat. You are always in control, so when things go the wrong way, it’s hard to fault the game’s design.


I’ve already mentioned that exploration is greatly encouraged, but the rewards you receive once you find new areas are very underwhelming. Some do give you upgrades like increased kunai range or increased life, but don’t quite give a good boost in the overall gameplay, making them something that can be ignored. You can also find a variety of concept art (which I believe should not be a reward for exploring), challenge maps, and trial maps that you can access in the main menu. Don’t be surprised with these maps though, since they provide little meat to the game. It’s a decent 5-minute experience of you either taking down waves of enemies or you reaching a certain spot in the world map the fastest way possible. You can also find new costumes for Strider Hiryu, which isn’t much of a plus, since they’re just different colors of the same outfit.

These additions may add to the replay value, but there’s no option to explore further once you enter the last part of the game. Once you finish it, you can’t reload and revisit places you haven’t explored. Instead, you lose your save, and you’ll have to replay the whole experience again. So, before entering the last part, make sure you’ve explored everything that interests you.

For a $15 download-only title, it’s definitely worth diving into a series we haven’t seen in years. The combat is satisfying, even if it tends to hurt the fingers with the constant need to swing your sword for hours. The visuals are colorful and look amazing in 60 FPS. Specific design touches like Strider Hiryu’s scarf and the returning bosses from previous games are well appreciated, making Strider a nice benchmark for developers looking to reboot a franchise. It stays true to the original content and exports it to a more modern look and feel. Whether you’re a fan of the series or have never tried Strider, you’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have as Strider Hiryu.

SCORE: 9/10

Reviewer: Carlos Hernandez Strider was reviewed on the Windows PC platform Game completion was at 64% Recorded game time was at 6:25:00


-       Quick combat

-       Vast world map to explore

-       Stays true to original content

-       Memorable boss fights


-       No option to revisit your playthrough after the last part of the game

Review: Gone Home


Gone Home cover Indies have been getting a lot of buzz in 2013, with many games bringing a good amount of fresh experiences you hardly see in big titles priced at $60. Gone Home is one example of such freshness. It's a game that tells a story from your character simply interacting with objects found in this eerie mansion. That may not sound exciting for some players, but believe me when I say I had the same reaction. But once the game was over, I was at the edge of my seat; I've never experienced a game like this. I'm glad I took the risk of purchasing this rare gem and hopefully by the end of this review, you will understand why Gone Home is one of the best games to come out in 2013.

Let's get this out of the way - it's not horror alongside the likes of Amnesia. The amazing sounds and lighting just creates a scary atmosphere. It's the feeling of the unknown, and in this case, the feeling of having no idea what to expect within this empty mansion. You play as Katie, the older sibling that just returned from a long vacation trip. You arrive home to find your house completely empty. The weather is horrible. What happened? Where's the rest of the family? Those are questions that will be raised inside your head, and you are given the freedom to find the answers by simply interacting with the objects found in the house.

That's the gameplay: exploring the house, reading notes, uncovering what happened, and getting a sense of the people that lived in this abandoned dwelling. Putting it this bluntly does sound dull to some, but how it was presented made me curious and constantly looking for more things to help solve the mystery of what happened to this family. As you go through various closets, notes, bills, and diary logs of your little sister (which are presented as a commentary), you get to uncover the state of each family member. It's an interactive story done so well that it made me appreciate the simple gameplay Gone Home has. You can pick up objects, examine them, crouch, and zoom in, and even that's enough to keep you hooked from start to finish.


This is a title that I found hard to explain to people that have not a single clue about it. The best way to understand the game is by simply giving it a chance, but it's hard to do with its surprisingly high price point of $20. But once you find the courage (and the money!) to give Gone Home a try, the overall experience will linger in your head for days, and only great stories can do that. That strong after effect of satisfaction once the credits roll is a rare feat, hardly even seen in acclaimed movies.

With a game that's all about exploration and discovery, visual detail is key. What's amazing is that every bit of the house is detailed. Almost everything in the house can be picked up, and objects like bars of soap or tissue boxes have a product name - some even have tags, making me think that they could be information that might support the overall story. This resulted in me checking every crack or corner in each room. They intentionally hide specific notes or objects that, if found, help the player to understand more about the residents of the house and their relationships with one another.

There's no real difficulty. How curious you are determines how much you get out of this experience. You could focus on the main path that leads to the end of the game, but doing so ruins the point of Gone Home. Everything gets answered: all you have to do is find the trail of breadcrumbs. Once I finished the game, there was one unanswered question I had about a specific character. My curiosity pushed me to backtrack. I went through a couple of rooms, and finally found it. It was hidden nicely and I was thrilled to have my question answered. I could have lived without that knowledge, but the story was so engaging that I had to find out. Everything was still fresh and I wanted the complete experience. The fact that I missed a part of it and made myself go back for the reveal helped me realize how effective this approach is in video game storytelling.


It's an experiment. A  different game on how to present a story to the player. During the start of the game I was curious of what happened. By the last few minutes of the game, I rushed to the last room hoping I had a run button to get there faster. I was anxious about how it will all end, and when it ended, I was satisfied.

If you aren't looking for a great story, then this game isn't for you. The story is the whole meat of this game. But if you are open and interested in trying something completely different with regards to the way a game can tell a story, then I urge you to try this amazing independent title. I understand the praise the game was getting during 2013 and it deserves every bit. Bravo.

Score: 9/10


- A unique way to present a story. -  Each interactable object is well-detailed . - Great atmosphere. - Story hooks you in, keeping you interested and curious.


- A very short experience. Left wanting more.