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What Remains of Edith Finch is Worth an Afternoon or Morning it will take to Finish

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What Remains of Edith Finch is considered a member of the walking sim genre and I remember being mildly interested in it after release since I enjoyed Dear Ester and The Stanley Parable so much. I marked it down and picked it up at a 75% mark down during one of steam’s seasonal promotions and left it in my backlog. Two years and a global pandemic later and I've put some serious time into my backlog but nothing has come close to being as emotionally impactful as WRoEF.

The game is set in your ancestral family home and invites you to explore the surreal house with its gravity defying architecture while going through your family history (which may be cursed) . This is done primarily through walking around the house and light puzzles which lead to distinct mini games. The graphics and design inside the house have held up well for a 3 year game and I was stunned the designers made the house feel so lived in through distinct clutter and little home alterations for each of the home's former occupants. You may find little details that are reminiscent of your own childhood home or that of a family members, one of the rooms had a loft bed accessible only through a small rock climbing wall and having grown up with something similar for a few years it was a nostalgic detail I personally connected with and there are hundreds of similar little details throughout the house others may do the same.

Beyond the house design itself the way WRoEF lays out it's multi-generational narrative of trials and hardship that ultimately leave the house abandoned until you return to explore it is much more emotionally powerful than I thought it would be. As a newer parent, two of the scenes that involve children legitimately had me tearing up . The pain of what was lost to this family and what legacy that leaves for the player character is exceptionally laid out for you to put together yourself as the game progresses. Nothing is directly told to you, only implied here and there as the story goes slowly building up as a little ball of concern that if this is what came before you what does that imply for what's to come for the Player Character?

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I played through WRoEF in about one 3 hour sitting and I'd recommend anyone who plays it do the same. For me at least the game reinforces my love of a really well done "walking sim," short little stories big emotional hits like this allow for something so radically different than standards set in other genres. Maybe WRoEF just found me at the right time, the last thing I played was Devil May Cry 5 who's plot basically boils down to "lets retcon our way out of the last game and not let one of our cool characters stay dead while butchering innumerable waves of demons for a dozenish hours" and experience of going through one families house and history was just so different and refreshing it feels like comparing a a blockbuster action movie to poetry. So if my bias is showing maybe I just needed a good palate cleanser.

Did anyone else have similar experience with WRoEF or something else the pandemic has forced you to find in your backlog?


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