Check out our review on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter a gorgeous first-person exploration game that focuses on storytelling, freedom and atmosphere rather combat.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Review
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter a gorgeous first-person exploration game that focuses on storytelling, freedom and atmosphere rather combat.
A boy with a mysterious power has gone missing in rural Wisconsin and, as detective Paul Prospero, you are tasked with finding him. However, what sets you apart from the rabble is your ability to look into the past and piece together memory fragments. This is where the games puzzles come into play and solving them rewards you with bits of backstory that make the game that little bit more immersive.
The core part of the game is simply based around exploration. It won’t be too long until you come across the first grisly aftermath of a violent crime scene and it is that this point that you’ll have to find and follow clues to piece together what happened. Upon finding clues you’ll receive brief glimpses of the events that took place eventually leading to the murder. You’ll witness everything from arguments and suspicious conversations to the actual events themselves. Once you determine the chronology of events you’ll be treated to an extra scene that subtly prods you towards your next destination.
The puzzles make a nice diversion from what is essentially otherwise a first-person wandering simulator and are all different and unique in their design. The games lack of hand-holding however can become an issue at times as some of the puzzles are devilishly hard to get your head around easily and you will find a pen and paper handy to take notes simply to keep track of what’s going on.
All these glimpses into the past form together and change the game from a simple treasure-hunt into a rich and immersive excersize in storytelling. While, at first, “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter” seems to be simply about the Carter families descent into darkness it soon starts hinting about more sinister events weaved together by something lurking just out of sight. You will encounter and be forced to confront sometimes disturbing subjects during your journey but you’ll feel all the better for it once its all over.
Apart from being a simply beautiful game to explore and experience there is a powerful, deep and cleverly told story waiting for you should you choose to invest in “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter“. You’ll probably even want to play it all over again once you are done just so can pick up on all the hints and foreshadowing you missed during your first play-through, which will take you approximately 5 hours.