What Remains of Edith Finch is a collection of strange tales about a family in Washington state. As Edith, you’ll explore the colossal Finch house, searching for stories as she explores her family history and tries to figure out why she's the last one in her family left alive. Each story you find lets you experience the life of a new family member on the day of their death, with stories ranging from the distant past to the present day.
The gameplay and tone of the stories are as varied as the Finches themselves. The only constants are that each is played from a first-person perspective and that each story ends with that family member's death. Ultimately, it's a game about what it feels like to be humbled and astonished by the vast and unknowable world around us.
There is so much more I want to say about What Remains of Edith Finch. So many thoughts I have about every single character, every single lovingly crafted room in the dusty, abandoned halls of the Finch house. Every single feeling it evoked in me that I didn’t expect to feel, and every thought I have about being made to feel these things so strongly after such a long time.
What Remains of Edith Finch reminded me why I love video games. For the past few months, I’ve been in a bit of a slump and haven’t enjoyed too many games. Nothing really clicked with me. What Remains of Edith Finch changed that. I love video games because they have the ability to tell stories no other medium can tell, at least not in the way What Remains of Edith Finch does. I could see this game as a book but I truly don’t believe it would carry the same emotional resonance that it would in that form. The stories are told in such unique ways, and even though this particular title falls into the genre of a “walking simulator”, it manages to be one of the best video games I’ve played in a very long time.
What Remains of Edith Finch may not be a very challenging game, but the story it tells is one which will undoubtedly resonate with players in ways they may not expect. If anything, it proves yet again that video games can be used to tell some truly immersive and thought-provoking stories, ones which stick with us long after we put down the controller.
It could be the roundest narrative game of the year.
Though it only took me just under two hours to complete, the second the credits stopped rolling I immediately restarted What Remains of Edith Finch. Each of the vignettes is so distinct and surprising that I didn’t have enough time to absorb and dissect what I had just played before being whisked away to the next one. But after fully piecing together the threads of the family and sifting through the allegories of their final moments, I was left with a beautiful, heartbreaking mosaic that exudes life, even when mired in death.
This is probably the most impressive, inventive story about a family curse. And one of the best interactive dramas I've played.
The game tells intriguing stories and leaves room for interpretation but is short, linear and devoid of true tension. [07/2017, p.60]
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