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.