Polygon's 2013 Game of the Year: Gone Home

Sober

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If I knew the plot twist before going into the game, I know I wouldn't have enjoyed it even half as much as I did.
Then what about something like a show like Breaking Bad? I feel like people are too concerned with shocking reveals that nearly any narrative without some insane could-not-see-it-coming shocking twist fall flat even if it's carefully and intricately crafted and sticks to the landing.
 

sclpls

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Well earned. It was great to see Fullbright and Arkane Studios carry the immersive sims torch in 2013.
 

Stumpokapow

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Ehhh just an average experience. Games like Brothers, Gone Home and Journey, in my opinion, still need to be much better to have an emotional impact. I still think movies and tv shows are ahead when it comes to that. Its hard to have any kind of sympathy to a character when those games last 2-3 hours... and its 30 minutes of story and 2 hours of running around.
Okay. So compare them to TV and movies this year. I watch everything I can get my hands on.

I can't think of a single TV show or film this year that matched the quiet contemplation of Journey, the loneliness, or even the visuals. Or the payoff of the slow-walk through the frozen wastes, as the game's limited mechanics slowly overtake you and you realize what's going to happen. Actually, Gravity maybe speaks to the latter point. Confusion, dread, powerlessness over the environment.

Brothers was written and directed by a film director and it shows from its filmic quality. What better fairy tale appeared on screens this year? I can't think of any. Visually, Oz is probably the closest match and it's a terrible bore. Maybe the Hobbit in terms of trying to "explore new lands". Jack the Giant Slayer? I think Brothers does more with less than any of those films. Death was explored in a lot of films and shows this year, but family and fraternity not so much. I actually can't think of many at all that did it well. Parenthood continues to probably be the best depiction of the complexities of family on television but I don't think it really expressed the feelings that Brothers did either. I think the wonderful integration of the mechanics of the game with the story that's playing out, particularly in the ending, elevates the game and provides an opportunity that another medium could not do.

Gone Home compares very favourably to the films that dealt with coming of age this year (The Spectacular Now, The Kings of Summer). I'd also add that within the confines of what it sets out to do, within the scope of what it does, and taking into account differences in setting, it compares well to Blue is the Warmest Colour which is probably the most notable film that explores a young gay woman discovering herself. But yes, absolutely, if there was a film about a young girl exploring her family's house and reflecting on what she finds, I'd watch that. I bet Steve Gaynor could write one, no problem.

And fuck it, The Last of Us is better written and more exciting a story than Thor or World War Z or GI Joe 2 or whatever I'm supposed to be comparing it to.
 

antitrop

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Then what about something like a show like Breaking Bad? I feel like people are too concerned with shocking reveals that nearly any narrative without some insane could-not-see-it-coming shocking twist fall flat even if it's carefully and intricately crafted and sticks to the landing.
Gone Home was effective to me, because it accomplished what I think the developers were going for: Subverting expectations.
The game, for me, completely hinged on that. I like being surprised, precious few games can actually surprise me these days.

I think without all of that, Gone Home is entirely unremarkable. I'm glad that I was able to pick up the game before hearing almost anything about it at all.

If one already knows the plot-twist going into the game, I think the overall experience of the game is ruined because the player will be trying to figure out how every clue they discover fits into the conclusion they're already aware of. To me, the game really isn't very much without that, and I understand why so many didn't have the same experience with the game that I did. Maybe some people had it spoiled for them ahead of time, maybe some were smarter than I was and figured out the twist long before I did, maybe some weren't able to relate to the material, and maybe some just didn't feel that the narrative was particularly well delivered.

What I really appreciated about Gone Home was how I figured the plot was going one way, and then it went the other. That's why I think it's pretty "neat".

Neat ain't no Game of the Year, though. I expect a little more than that for the absolute pinnacle of 365 days of gaming experiences.
 

border

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If you don't think that Gone Home in any way plays into the expectations of
horror
, you likely missed entire large swaths of the experience
(ominous hints about the house being haunted in the first act, the lightbulb, the soundtrack, the occult room in the back, etc.).
Steve Gaynor also went on the Idle Thumbs podcast pre-release and emphatically stated that "There are no ghosts in Gone Home." He genuinely seemed a little frustrated by the misconception. I think they liked to have fun with the horror tropes, but I don't think the idea was to keep you fooled for very long. After the hair dye fake-out it should have been pretty clear that the developers are playing around, especially given the amount of mundane material you are given to read.

It honestly boggles my mind that people played Gone Home up until the end thinking it was going to be a horror game. Most horror games cannot let you play for 5 minutes without showing you something definitely and obviously supernatural. Horror games are not known for having a slow build-up. They generally just drop you right into the nightmare. Somebody really played 90-120 minutes of this game and thought "Oh this is obviously just a very long prologue sequence where you read letters from stereo magazines and memorandums from park rangers - a ghost's gonna pop out any second now!"??

It seems to me that those people must be really fucking thick. That's just my take though, and perhaps it's unfair of me since I had both the
no ghosts and LGBT issues
bits spoiled for me prior to the game being released. Maybe I would have been more drawn into the ruse had I not known those things.
 

jroc74

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Everybody has opinions: reviews, critics, etc. I get that.

But 3D World got robbed....especially looking at the #3 game. Not saying it should won, but it definitely coulda been higher on that list.

Its a wild list for sure.
 

Stumpokapow

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Ehhh. To be fair I did have that aspect of the plot spoiled for me before I played it. Expectations going in blind are probably a big part of the experience. Still, that plot point seems to be what fans and critics latch on to when they talk about the game's "progressive" nature--don't really see many people mentioning the
parents' troubled marriage
plot, for example.
I guess I'll just spoiler bar this whole thing or whatever

It's not a secret that she is a lesbian, it's a story about how she came to terms with herself. Her younger times spent with her boy/friend, how it never quite worked and she always kept him at a distance, meeting an interesting person, discovering herself, getting into zine and riot grrl culture (which teaches her that she can let down her prim and proper upbringing and feel the way she does and act the way she wants to and really push to change the world), a blossoming companionship, awakening feelings, that fated moment, wait what is this, is this who I am? As with many works exploring a lesbian relationship, one person is confidently a lesbian while another is maybe self-questioning but knows she feels for her partner. And then the endless summer ends, because surprise surprise life gets in the way. Trouble at school, parents who haven't come to grasp with their kid being gay (note: this is 1995. Something like half of all young homeless people in America are LBGT and they're homeless because their parents kicked them out. Times have changed majorly since then, but Sam's parents actually took it /better/ than most). Even quackery about conversion therapy.

And finally, Lonnie. Lonnie loves Sam, but she has a path in life. It's as much a part of who she is as being gay. Totally ignoring the political climate of the time, pre-DADT, but that element weighs in too. The relationship has to end so that Lonnie can go be who she needs to be. It's hard when a relationship ends, that's why breakups hurt. You cling to the good moments. Why does she have to go? Fuck her. But I love her. All the times we had together. But she ditches me. Who is she? Who am I?

Sam was putting herself on hold for Lonnie, being less fully committed to the summer program than she would have been if she was alone. But Lonnie wouldn't do the same thing for Sam. This is in fact the EXACT same plot as in Blue is the Warmest Colour, so it's astounding to me that people claim films are running circles around video games at expressing this stuff.

Then in the end, we see Sam and Lonnie make a totally brash and stupid choice to give up the things they're working for just to make it work. Sam takes off hastily. Typical teenager. Suicide would have also been typical, just a rash, spur-of-the-moment, anything-for-love, Romeo and Juliet approach. The idea that fate brought them together. Totally unrealistic. They'll breakup. But not yet.

Edit: I'm told the game is set slightly post-DADT and that I should have known from the contents of the X-Files VHSes. Another remarkable testament to the game's construction of a specific time and place, but I missed it. Edit 2: Some debate about whether or not DADT is explicitly mentioned. Not important to my overall thrust, which is the contextual knowledge that adds to the game's construction of everything.

Anyone who played all that and said "so the point is she's gay??? so??? it's 2013" wasn't paying very close attention or has absolutely no personal context for any of this stuff. It's not the destination, it's the journey, and the feelings and the depth and the construction of this believable and painful character and life. I'm not a gay woman, I'm a straight man, but I found plenty of stuff to empathize with. I had relationships where I would have done dumb stuff. I met people who made me discover myself. I gave up opportunities for people because I was short-sighted. I wanted more from people than they would give to me.
 

Mzo

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I don't think the game's effectiveness is in its "twist". I don't think the Fullbright Company believes that either. They spoiled the game before it was even released. When they boycotted PAX they basically said "Gone Home
deals with LGBT issues
so we don't want to be associated with that bigot that runs Penny Arcade."
They could still be
LGBT
ghosts.
 

Ryaaan14

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This is one of the very few games that I hated so much it left me angry. I still am angry actually.

I really don't know if I should blame the "game" itself, the hype surrounding it, or the fact that it's even considered a game at all.

Story revealing spoilers explaining why I hated it:

The entire time I was playing I was dumb enough to actually expect something to happen. Not that I'd be reading notes and listening to tapes in a house for two hours. That is not my idea of fun. Although for a moment I thought my character might be a ghost which would have been decent, but that didn't even happen.

So yeah fuck this game.
 

border

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Ehhh. To be fair I did have that aspect of the plot spoiled for me before I played it. Expectations going in blind are probably a big part of the experience. Still, that plot point seems to be what fans and critics latch on to when they talk about the game's "progressive" nature--don't really see many people mentioning the
parents' troubled marriage
plot, for example.
I read at least a couple columns discussing the narrative arc of Terry (the father) and Oscar (the uncle).....which I think is every bit as interesting as Sam's story, but addressed in a far more subtle, nuanced way. And obviously their relationship has a very heavy impact on how Terry reacts to Sam and Lonnie being together.
 

antitrop

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I read at least a couple columns discussing the narrative arc of Terry (the father) and Oscar (the uncle).....which I think is every bit as interesting as Sam's story, but addressed in a far more subtle, nuanced way. And obviously their relationship has a very heavy impact on how Terry reacts to Sam and Lonnie being together.
I see what you're getting at, but there's a Bible literally in the first room of the house that you go into. I think that has more to do with the way Sam's parents react to the relationship than what happened between Terry and Oscar.

I think much of the subtleness of the family's interaction is thrown out the window when it can be boiled down to
"Christian parents don't accept daughter's lesbian relationship".
 

akidnamededdy

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I guess I'll just spoiler bar this whole thing or whatever

words
It's like you said yourself: "As with many other works...", "This is in fact the EXACT same plot as..."

It's a story that's been done before, a lot. It's new to the medium, so yay for that, but I look for more in games than this (I wasn't a fan of Dear Esthar either, but I played To The Moon and TWD to completion, because there was at least a LITTLE more to them).

It's not that I can't empathize with relationship drama, it's that this game didn't do that for me. It's cool that you were able to get that out of your experience, though.

I read at least a couple columns discussing the narrative arc of Terry (the father) and Oscar (the uncle).....which I think is every bit as interesting as Sam's story, but addressed in a far more subtle, nuanced way. And obviously their relationship has a very heavy impact on how Terry reacts to Sam and Lonnie being together.
I would be interested in these if you can find them for me, maybe I missed some stuff but those arcs didn't feel particularly fleshed-out to me.
 

Higgins113

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I find it extremely hard to believe that a group of people who I assume have been playing games their whole life, who love gaming so much that it's their profession could all sit around and come to a consensus that Gone Home is the best game of the year. It means most do not value gameplay at all. It means they rather be told a story of a topic not covered in gaming than actual enjoy a great gaming experience.

Can people enjoy Gone Home, yes. But if it's chosen as a GOTY it means your priorities in what you want out of a game has changed, and if all you want is an interesting story that is fine but I want more than that from any site I visit.
Sums up exactly how I feel.
 

Stumpokapow

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It's like you said yourself: "As with many other works...", "This is in fact the EXACT same plot as..."
I put that in there to strengthen the game's claims versus people who claimed that TV or film is light-years ahead of gaming, not to weaken the game's claims of originality. I think there's a lot about the particular setting, characters, and execution that is completely original while still being relatably human.
 

border

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I see what you're getting at, but there's a Bible literally in the first room of the house that you go into. I think that has more to do with the way Sam's parents react to the relationship than what happened between Terry and Oscar.
You don't think that
being molested by an older, gay man might shape how you react to your daughter being seduced by a (slightly) older gay woman
? That angle is kinda what keeps the story interesting -- it's so much more dull if their prejudice is just rooted in tradition rather than experience. Terry has trouble because he believes Sam's experience is at least somewhat analogous to his own.
 

antitrop

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You don't think that
being molested by an older, gay man might shape how you react to your daughter being seduced by a (slightly) older gay woman
? That angle is kinda what keeps the story interesting -- it's so much more dull if their prejudice is just rooted in tradition rather than experience.
I think the inclusion of the Christian element actually takes away from potentially interesting nuances by making it incredibly black and white. In a way, it doesn't even matter what happened between the other two characters, because OF COURSE Sam's parents would be against her relationship, even if that other stuff never even happened.
 

Sulik2

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This is one of the very few games that I hated so much it left me angry. I still am angry actually.

I really don't know if I should blame the "game" itself, the hype surrounding it, or the fact that it's even considered a game at all.

Story revealing spoilers explaining why I hated it:

The entire time I was playing I was dumb enough to actually expect something to happen. Not that I'd be reading notes and listening to tapes in a house for two hours. That is not my idea of fun. Although for a moment I thought my character might be a ghost which would have been decent, but that didn't even happen.

So yeah fuck this game.
Brofist. I had to hide the game in a category in my steam list so I didn't angry everytime I saw it polluting my list of games. Its a visual novel of a lifetime movie. Its tells a terrible story and has no puzzles. Its garbage.
 

border

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I would be interested in these if you can find them for me, maybe I missed some stuff but those arcs didn't feel particularly fleshed-out to me.
Those story objects can be missed on a single playthrough.
The long and the short of it is that Terry has fallen on hard times, and is stuck living in the house of his dead uncle Oscar. Oscar (probably but not definitively) molested Terry in November 1963, so understandably he's a little upset over living in the house of some dude that ruined him as a child. That's also why he writes books involving time traveling to prevent the Kennedy assassination, since that is another awful thing that happened in November 1963 and he's trying to work through that with literature. That's also at least part of why he does not like the idea of Sam having a lesbian relationship with an older girl at school.
 

CraZed

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Gone Home was a game that I very much enjoyed, but this just seems like they're trying to make a statement based on the "progressiveness" of the game and it's willingness to tackle complex subject matter not typically seen in games.

I respect and appreciate what the game was going for, but GOTY that does not make.
The insightfulness of this post cannot be understated.
 

captainnapalm

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I guess I'll just spoiler bar this whole thing or whatever

It's not a secret that she is a lesbian, it's a story about how she came to terms with herself. Her younger times spent with her boy/friend, how it never quite worked and she always kept him at a distance, meeting an interesting person, discovering herself, getting into zine and riot grrl culture (which teaches her that she can let down her prim and proper upbringing and feel the way she does and act the way she wants to and really push to change the world), a blossoming companionship, awakening feelings, that fated moment, wait what is this, is this who I am? As with many works exploring a lesbian relationship, one person is confidently a lesbian while another is maybe self-questioning but knows she feels for her partner. And then the endless summer ends, because surprise surprise life gets in the way. Trouble at school, parents who haven't come to grasp with their kid being gay (note: this is 1995. Something like half of all young homeless people in America are LBGT and they're homeless because their parents kicked them out. Times have changed majorly since then, but Sam's parents actually took it /better/ than most). Even quackery about conversion therapy.

And finally, Lonnie. Lonnie loves Sam, but she has a path in life. It's as much a part of who she is as being gay. Totally ignoring the political climate of the time, pre-DADT, but that element weighs in too. The relationship has to end so that Lonnie can go be who she needs to be. It's hard when a relationship ends, that's why breakups hurt. You cling to the good moments. Why does she have to go? Fuck her. But I love her. All the times we had together. But she ditches me. Who is she? Who am I?

Sam was putting herself on hold for Lonnie, being less fully committed to the summer program than she would have been if she was alone. But Lonnie wouldn't do the same thing for Sam. This is in fact the EXACT same plot as in Blue is the Warmest Colour, so it's astounding to me that people claim films are running circles around video games at expressing this stuff.

Then in the end, we see Sam and Lonnie make a totally brash and stupid choice to give up the things they're working for just to make it work. Sam takes off hastily. Typical teenager. Suicide would have also been typical, just a rash, spur-of-the-moment, anything-for-love, Romeo and Juliet approach. The idea that fate brought them together. Totally unrealistic. They'll breakup. But not yet.

Anyone who played all that and said "so the point is she's gay??? so??? it's 2013" wasn't paying very close attention or has absolutely no personal context for any of this stuff. It's not the destination, it's the journey, and the feelings and the depth and the construction of this believable and painful character and life. I'm not a gay woman, I'm a straight man, but I found plenty of stuff to empathize with. I had relationships where I would have done dumb stuff. I met people who made me discover myself. I gave up opportunities for people because I was short-sighted. I wanted more from people than they would give to me.
The thing is, the various elements of the story you're describing here, while perhaps very true to life in its depiction of teenage angst and self-discovery and all that, do not in and of themselves make for a good work of fiction. This kind of material is often fodder for TV movies of the week or after school specials or YA novels.

It can also form the basis of a very strong film or novel, but again, a film can, for example, use acting, editing, camerawork, and many other elements to craft it into something interesting or arresting. The writing itself, through its dialogue or structure or whatever, can make it into something more fresh and unique.

But Gone Home really just delivers the story through its method of discovering stuff to read, or finding a new place which unlocks a journal entry. It is not really elevating the material at all, just delivering it in a fairly straightforward way.

I actually think where the game shone artistically and creatively, was as a 90s period piece. That felt interesting and original. The teenage coming of age drama, not so much.
 

Resident_UA

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Gone Home is a good game. I was more impressed by Brothers to be honest (if I had to pick a budget title).

Either way I'm surprised by this list. Was Arthur on vacation or something when they were deliberating?! :)
 

jett

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I really enjoyed Gone Home personally and I don't hold it against anyone to declare it their GOTY. It has great emotional impact and atmosphere and that matters to some. As far as "interractive narratives" go, it's definitely one of the best out there.
 

Deadly Cyclone

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A visual novel shouldn't be getting a goty award on gaming related website. It's a sad day to see that only the visual novels getting all the attention like the walking dead, wolf among us or beyond 2 souls, gone home when the rest of the real proper adventure games continue to be ignored.
What.

All of those games are fantastic.
 

Frolow

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A visual novel shouldn't be getting a goty award on gaming related website. It's a sad day to see that only the visual novels getting all the attention like the walking dead, wolf among us or beyond 2 souls, gone home when the rest of the real proper adventure games continue to be ignored.
I don't think you understand the difference between an adventure game and a visual novel.
 

Mononoke

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Gone Home compares very favourably to the films that dealt with coming of age this year (The Spectacular Now, The Kings of Summer). I'd also add that within the confines of what it sets out to do, within the scope of what it does, and taking into account differences in setting, it compares well to Blue is the Warmest Colour which is probably the most notable film that explores a young gay woman discovering herself. But yes, absolutely, if there was a film about a young girl exploring her family's house and reflecting on what she finds, I'd watch that. I bet Steve Gaynor could write one, no problem.

And fuck it, The Last of Us is better written and more exciting a story than Thor or World War Z or GI Joe 2 or whatever I'm supposed to be comparing it to.
Great post. But I still think the issue here is that, ultimately this is supposed to be a "game". And for me, it failed on that level. I just didn't think it was fun to play. I know not every game needs to be fun, in order to be good - but it then needs to be engaging. I walked away from the experience thinking it could have been better (they could have done a better job with the puzzles. The pacing of the story could have been better handled in the back half etc.)

I will say though, I liked the idea of the house being both a sanctuary and prison for the girl. That the house itself held the story of this person. I think on that level, I really appreciated how sections of the house echoed the stories of this girl (and her coming of age). But again, I just did not like how the game had barely any puzzles, and how quickly the story could be found out.

Thing is, I can appreciate interactive narratives (that completely have less gameplay than most games). I'm actually totally okay with "interactive media" or interactive narrative. But even as an interactive narrative, I found Gone Home to be lacking. The whole "finding stuff" to tell the narrative, without having any real challenge was a pretty boring way to tell a story, especially once you find out what the plot is early on. But I do agree with your post overall about how games are easily starting to rival film/tv in terms of stories that resonate and impact us on an emotional level. But most of the examples you gave had really good gameplay to compliment the story. And at least to me, gameplay is what separates the experience from TV/Film - as you start to become more involved in the story itself.

Gone Home for me didn't have enough gameplay to make it a great game. It didn't have enough engaging elements to discovering the plot elements (so it didn't really work for me solely as an interactive narrative). I dunno. Basically, I think the story and the overall concept is pretty powerful. I didn't have fun or enjoy it as much as other games similar to it. And again, that's fine except I also didn't feel as engaged as I thought I could have been either.
 

Sibylus

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A visual novel shouldn't be getting a goty award on gaming related website. It's a sad day to see that only the visual novels getting all the attention like the walking dead, wolf among us or beyond 2 souls, gone home when the rest of the real proper adventure games continue to be ignored.


I can grok this sort of game not being to one's taste, but this should-brandishing knee jerking is kinda ridiculous. I'm sorry that those games you like aren't getting top billing for once, but it was bound to happen with or without a Polygon or a Gone Home.
 

akidnamededdy

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Those story objects can be missed on a single playthrough.
The long and the short of it is that Terry has fallen on hard times, and is stuck living in the house of his dead uncle Oscar. Oscar (probably but not definitively) molested Terry in November 1963, so understandably he's a little upset over living in the house of some dude that ruined him as a child. That's also why he writes books involving time traveling to prevent the Kennedy assassination, since that is another awful thing that happened in November 1963 and he's trying to work through that with literature. That's also at least part of why he does not like the idea of Sam having a lesbian relationship with an older girl at school.
Thanks for the info, interesting stuff. I was admittedly a bit rushed when I played through it so I'm aware my experience is not indicative of the norm.
 

LaserHawk

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I had heard a lot of about this game, so I finally just watched a Let's Play on Youtube. It was a really interesting premise and it was fun to watch the story unfold, but after it was all over I think it's a game I wouldn't have enjoyed playing much. Still, I'll glad games like this get to exist because it's something different. I'm just glad I didn't pay money for it.
 

Xater

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I would say that they're all pretty different beasts. Dear Esther is very conceptual and abstract in part because one of the major themes it's tackling is uncertainty and ambiguity. The authors described it as "the collapse of meaning", which I think fits. It's an audiovisual experience, almost more like a guided museum tour. I think it's mostly, from a player perspective, about sort of quietly contemplating some of the things that come up, the visual symbols, the interpersonal themes. I think it's a lot like a museum in that there's no one meaning, you're sort of supposed to converse with yourself about it. Museum exhibit

The Stanley Parable is a very funny and reflexive commentary on choice and tedium and turning dull rote, repetitive, procedural stuff into a game while also turning gaming into a dull, rote, repetitive, procedural thing. It's very meta-referential, it's very surreal, and there's not really much to follow. It's cheeky, it's got an attitude. It's got tons of endings, it's about replaying and mining the content and in many cases sort of trying to rely on your knowledge of the conventions of games to subvert or break with what you're being asked to do. Game about games

Gone Home is neither in that it's very literal, it's not abstract, but it's mostly character sketches and mise-en-scene stuff. It's about establishing a place and a time and actors. I think it's designed to make you think about the ways in which maybe you connect with the things that are going on (are your parents together? did they have rough patches? do you have siblings? are you the black sheep or are they? what were you doing in the mid-90s?). The object interactivity is obviously the major thing, and to me at least it made me think of my experience sort of entering a new space or returning to a space I've been in before and noticing something different or wondering about the story behind some piece of art or some object or maybe I know the story and I'm replaying it in my head. I think the tone is meant to be sort of offputting and confusing, but it's all explained well. I think it's definitely supposed to be the most human of the three. Feminist, expressive, zine, chapbook culture

I guess all of them literally involve just moving a character through space and none have fail states per se and they're all broadly story or adventure games, but they all differ pretty strongly to me. Like, as much as Prince of Persia (Classic) differs from Mario in approach despite them both being platformers. Or the way that cubism and Impressionism are both art movements, or the way that Office Space and Koyanisqaatsi are both films.
For me the interest in putting together everything in Gone Home quickly disappeared. Just looking at objects just wasn't compelling to me, especially not if you have to go through a bunch if crap to find some kind if story tidbit. So the game for me turned into a walking simulator where I had to find the next audio log. For me it was quickly clear what was going on and so the whole thing just didn't end up being compelling in any way. So we end up with a semi interesting narrative combined with uninteresting gameplay that kind of have no reason being together unlike In the Stanley Parable where it is pretty clear that the lack of interaction has a narrative purpose.
 

mik

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If one already knows the plot-twist going into the game, I think the overall experience of the game is ruined because the player will be trying to figure out how every clue they discover fits into the conclusion they're already aware of.
The only plot twist in the game is that there is no plot twist. That's kind of clever. Kind of. But it's mostly a bullshit cop-out. It definitely played with my expectations, though. I tend to expect games to do something.
 

LeleSocho

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Jun 13, 2011
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What a weird reaction to my post...
They just did what i said, they've decided to not pick one of the bunch of games that have multimillionare budgets only for marketing "the usual suspects" if we want to call them like that (because they are Polygon: the new kind of gaming journalism!) but they have yet to get all the clicks of the event.
Now what's better than a game that divides people between "zomg amazing experience twelveouttaten" of hipsters of the eleventh hour and "wtf is this crap, shitfuck this game" of neverdying haters?
In this way the get out with a clean face because shows that they don't consider only the "usual suspects" and money in the pockets because the game is highly controversial and generate lots of clicks.

I'm in no way saying that it should've won TLOU or any other game you've cited but just that this exactly what i expected from them.
 

Duxxy3

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Nov 30, 2007
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Just not a game I have any interest in. Same with the walking dead games.

Edit: And that's ok. Some people love those kind of games. I just prefer games with more gameplay in them.
 

Devilgunman

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Gone Home is just not for me. I'm a fan of old school point&click adventure but I found reading through stuffs in the house extremely boring. Also since I'm not American born, nostalgia didn't work for me either.
 

Zocano

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Aug 25, 2012
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If one already knows the plot-twist going into the game, I think the overall experience of the game is ruined because the player will be trying to figure out how every clue they discover fits into the conclusion they're already aware of. To me, the game really isn't very much without that, and I understand why so many didn't have the same experience with the game that I did. Maybe some people had it spoiled for them ahead of time, maybe some were smarter than I was and figured out the twist long before I did, maybe some weren't able to relate to the material, and maybe some just didn't feel that the narrative was particularly well delivered.
I guess I understand where you are coming from, but I still really enjoyed my time with Gone Home. I played it for the first time just week and a half ago (maybe more like 2 weeks) and had known for quite some time that it was about "lesbians" (I put it in quotes because of how snarky some of my friends act towards it).

I can't say how different of a time I would have had if I went into it blind because that is something I will never know and I see no reason to dwindle on it, but I can say that I still got a lot out of the game.

Even though people talk about it as if it only has story going for it, I feel the game at least offers a lot in terms of navigating a space. Everything felt incredibly natural and Full Bright captured the emotions and fluidity of coming home to a vacant house and fumbling your way through it. Gone Home's "mechanics" are in exploring its space and just because I'm not scoring points or having to do crazy combos or perfect parries doesn't mean I can't enjoy it just as much as Geometry Wars, Bayonetta, or Metal Gear Rising. And its mechanics empower and emphasize the story and experience Gone Home was shooting for. Gone Home resonated well with me and its first person exploration of an environment and I feel there is more to the game than just its bait and switch from a horror game to a touching human tale.