REVIEW: Gone Home
You come home at 1:15 AM after a year away to a new family house you do not recognize. Of the three family members you expect to see, you find none. Doors are closed and lights are off. You begin your cautious search of this alien place. Among your first pieces of evidence are journal entries from your sister: apparently, your family has moved into this town’s “psycho house.” Your mind races to dark fantasies of poltergeists and serial killers. All of the clichés apply; it is a dark and stormy night.
Gone Home gives us constant hints that, at any time, it’s going to lay it on thick. However, The Fullbright Company’s inaugural game is more interested in dismantling and repurposing these horror tropes than reveling in them. We expect a “video game,” broad and sensational; what we get is an emotional drama, affecting, sensitive, and satisfying – not to mention quietly ground-breaking for the medium of video games.
Nestled within a familiar framework of extreme fiction is an intimate story focused instead on the dramatic of the everyday. You are Kaitlin Greenbriar, coming home from a year abroad to a house you find unfamiliar. Your family isn’t there. Gone Home will have you asking, in the most common yet resonant sense, if they are OK.