I played through this recent release yesterday. What Remains of Edith Finch is the latest game from Giant Sparrow who created the Playstation exclusive The Unfinished Swan (my thoughts). There’s actually a link between the two games, but they are seperate stories, and thematically quite different, so you can play one without playing the other. But if you play The Unfinished Swan first you’ll get some of the references in Edith Finch a bit more.
For Giant Sparrow’s latest game Sony is no longer the publisher, meaning that What Remains of Edith Finch could also be released on PC and Xbox One. It’s the PC version that I played through, which came to a total of three hours of playtime. Like The Unfinished Swan, What Remains of Edith Finch features a variety of gameplay styles, more so in fact, so it in that three hours it doesn’t get boring. It’s much for linear though, and falls into the Walking Simulator genre more so than The Unfinished Swan which was more of a puzzle/exploration game. But before you close this topic at the mention of “walking simulator”, let me just say that this one of the best in genre, and moves the genre forward in a few ways.
You see, What Remains of Edith Finch isn’t just one character’s story - it’s the story of the Finch family, and the game is divided up into short stories that focus on members of the family, each with unique gameplay features that reflect what the character is doing and much as what’s going through their mind. The stories are mostly quite creative and the gameplay is usually quite story driven, seemingly there for the story but also there to help us imagine what being in a certain state of mind is like. We’re left with multiple ways of interpreting the events that take place at the end, so depending on how concrete you like your game stories to be, you may or may not like this one.
Overall, I consider What Remains of Edith Finch to be one of the best in the genre, up there with Firewatch. It’s a different style of game to The Unfinished Swan - there’s less “game” to it - and I probably like the former title a bit more, but I think it’s one that shouldn’t be passed up.
What I’ve read regarding the game sounds interesting enough, although I imagine it’s really a game you need to play to understand. But given it’s over so quickly, I don’t see myself paying full price for it.
I don’t mind paying US$20 for a game like this, given how much work went into it. It means I’m more likely to actually finish the game too. It’s not too much more expensive than a movie ticket. There will inevitably be a sale at some point if you don’t mind not playing it while it’s new.
Now available on GOG and with a launch discount:
I don’t know why they didn’t release this on GOG at the same time as Steam. It has been out for mere months, so they can’t claim it’s because the game is now old. Most people who were really interested in this would have already bought the Steam version, and they’re the ones who lose here. It’s tempting to wait a year before purchasing any indie games in the future…
I ended up buying the game and completed it in under 2 hours. It’s interesting enough, and it deserves credit for how different the individual stories play out. While things are left open for interpretation, I can tolerate it in this case because the writers clearly had a number of answers in mind. And I think there’s bound to be at least one story in this game that will resonate with the player. Personally, I found Dawn’s story to be one of the more interesting, as she desperately tried to stop Edi from influencing her kids..
To be honest, I feel like I read a book more so than I played a game. Regardless, it’s an interesting story.
It’s always a good sign when I’m still thinking about a game’s storyline a few days after I finished playing it. Looking back, one of the main questions that I’m left with is whether or not Edith would have survived had she been able to read the one book about the old house that Edi wanted her to read. Edi lived a long life, and this may hint that she knew something that the others didn’t. Dawn didn’t want Edith to read the book because she feared that this is exactly what made them believe in the “curse”, leading to their deaths. Yet what if the “curse” was indeed real, and it was actually a power that allowed the Finch family to dream things into reality, understanding how to use it would allow them to avoid disaster. This is one of the major questions that the game presents, and it lets the viewer make up their own mind.. What’s interesting is that this is just one way to look at the story. In fact, it would seem the majority of people who really like the game aren’t interested in trying to solve the mystery behind the Finch family. Instead, they value how the game explores life, death, and those left behind.
I’ve played a few other walking simulators (Gone Home, Firewatch and Stanley’s Parable), and What Remains of Edit Finch is the best one I’ve played yet. I personally enjoyed Firewatch the least out of the four to be honest.
Most walking simulators are more like tours than games. Although in this case, the ability to experience that tour as a variety of animal forms and gameplay modes adds quite a bit to the experience. I particularly liked the section on the swing; although the outcome is ultimately the same, I’ve never come across that kind of experience in a game before.
I’m glad you left enjoyed What Remains of Edith Finch. You might want to check out The Unfinished Swan (PlayStation exclusive) which is set in the same universe, although it is an entirely different kind of game.
Since I really enjoyed Lone Wolf, and FMV The Bunker, I realize narrative games can be my thing.
And I realize they are especially good to vary your games after a big open world for instance.
I am about to finish Far Cry 5 and I wanna try this game Edith Finch (before I jump to God of War), which I heard so much about. It won BAFTA’s best game.
One thing: is there no physical release?!
EDIT: ok I found out 8bit offer a physycal edition for 30$ but if I add shipment fees on top, it triples the price of the digital game… and this is still the cheapest shipment method with no insurance, 8bit will provide no replacement if it’s lost or damaged so it will be digital this time.