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What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4, XB1, PC) and The Unfinished Swan (PS3, PS4)

Posted: February 5th, 2018, 1:50 am
by Retro STrife
Just finished What Remains of Edith Finch, on PS4. I won't spoil anything, but here's a few thoughts...

This is a first-person adventure game that focuses on a young woman (Edith Finch) returning to her abandoned family home as she recalls or discovers the stories behind the deaths of her past family members stretching back a few generations, many of whom died prematurely. I was really interested to try this game. A few things drew me to it.. (1) I'm a big fan of good stories in games, so I liked that it was story-driven and was said to have a good story; (2) I'm tired of long games, so I liked that it was really short (most people say it takes around 3 hours, though I'm very slow and probably took 4 hours or so); and (3) I liked that it was leisurely, with no combat and no dying (I wouldn't want that in every game, but thought it would be interesting to try here).

I played it over the course of the past week. In many ways, I think it's really well done and worth experiencing, due to its unique form of gameplay and storytelling. At the same time, I was a bit disappointed by the story... the stories about the family members are interesting and they keep you wanting to move forward.. the problem, though, is that there is a lot of build-up, but no real payoff at the end. I was underwhelmed with how it all wrapped up. Still, the game will stick with me for awhile, so I give it credit for that. I think it's worth trying for anyone interested in story-driven games and this new genre of interactive stories that indie developers are making.

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Re: What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4, XB1, PC)

Posted: February 18th, 2018, 12:59 am
by Retro STrife
I just completed The Unfinished Swan, which is loosely related to Edith Finch, so I figured I'd add that to this topic. Unfinished Swan is a download-only title that came out for PS3 in 2012, and re-released for PS4 in 2014.

Why did I buy the game? Three reasons. (1) I saw it on sale for $3 in the Playstation Store, reduced from the usual $15 price. (2) It got pretty good reviews, averaging in the 80 to 85% range. (3) But the real selling point? I read the review on Gamespot, which heaped this massive praise on the game's first chapter: "What follows is a first person game unlike anything else: An abstract, Jackson Pollock work of art of the player's making, where objects only take shape after you've splashed black paint all over the canvas, giving shape to each object, making the objects and paths stand out by contrast with the paint alone. ... After traversing the landscape awhile, you reach higher ground and are able to look back over your creation. This sight might be one of the most transcendent, fascinating moments in any game..." So for $3, I had to try that out.

So how is this game linked to the Edith Finch game? While they look completely different, they are both made by the same company. And, as it turns out, one of the dead family members in Edith Finch happens to also be a character in Unfinished Swan. So to see his full story, you have to play both games.

My thoughts? Unfinished Swan is really unlike anything else. The art style is pretty amazing.. while the graphics are simple, it's still one of the most visually impressive games I've played, due to the artistic nature of it all; and that's the strongest point of the game. The story is told like a children's book, and I liked that part too. As for the story itself, I didn't find it all that interesting. And I found the gameplay very tedious.. to be honest, despite the pleasant 3 hour length, I was ready for the game to be over. Only the connection to Edith Finch kept me going to see the end. And that first chapter that Gamespot raved about? It was a cool concept for a tech demo, but I didn't find it all that fun, nor a "transcendent, fascinating moment". I could have survived in life if I never tried it. All in all, the art style is the only thing worth seeing here - I'd say it's around a C- / D+ game.

Anyone else play either of these and agree/disagree?

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Re: What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4, XB1, PC) and The Unfinished Swan (PS3, PS4)

Posted: February 22nd, 2018, 4:24 pm
by ActRaiser
Funny, but I had a similar experience with the Unfinished Swan. It was on sale, looked interesting, and I tried it. I played the first or maybe second level splattering ink everywhere. It was interesting, but not interesting or compelling enough for me to keep going with it.