Gone Home - Analysis

Author: Jaume Esteve
Date: 2020-07-31 00:20:52
One of the most gratifying moments of Gone Home, and of any work of fiction like that, comes when you are able to reconstruct a bunch of pieces that are a priori unrelated and that shape a familiar object when they are in order. I had this feeling within a few hours of walking around the Greenbriar's house, the moment my light bulb went on as I gathered information through notes on the fridge, pocket books about to go in the trash and salad dressings.

The first game from The Fullbright Company is set in the Greenbriar home . And, perhaps more importantly, that house looks like the one I lived in when I was little. Every time I inspected a detail, however small, I would return to my parents' house. Whether it was an empty bottle of alcohol , which could well indicate that some family member is an alcoholic, or a work on the female reproductive system that lets us glimpse how brilliant the girl who wrote it is.

The plot of Gone Home leads us to explore, in first person, a house designed with very good taste and where we have to examine all the artifacts that are found in it. But it is a house, above all, cozy. The kitchen is as messy as my mother's and the study is full of interesting books and records, not to mention that bar cabinet always ready for someone to storm it. Sometimes I have the feeling that I have sneaked into a museum and I can touch everything that is prohibited. The Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite have been able to create highly defined environments, but on Gome Home they are real. Point.

The game gives off a certain bad feeling when you play it. There are lights that blink sporadically, a storm that shakes the exterior and, generally speaking, the house cannot be detached from a certain halo of sadness. But there is nothing to fear at Gone Home . The only skeletons you can find in the game are figurative and you will run into them throughout the title.

Because, as you delve into the bowels of the Greenbriar residence, you will find the pieces that help you light up the darkest corners of its inhabitants. The script work or the voices are some of the best I have come across in a video game. It is not a matter of class or exaggeration: they are real . The strength of the Gone Home script lies in uncovering your teenage sister's story as she gets older, your parents' marriage issues, or the reasons you left home. And I don't want to go into details because much of the emotional impact you suffer playing it lies in the surprises you discover when you put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

The design of the objects and the script itself are so good that they forced me to explore any object that was at my fingertips. If you turn a pot of soup you find its corresponding label and if you dive through the VHS tape collection you will find several classics. Finding yourself with a pile of worn out board games in a closet is further proof that the Greenbriar house is alive.

The exploration is not there for its own sake. If we do, we can unlock new storylines. For example, when I was snooping around in Father's study I stumbled across a box full of copies of his second novel. A novel that was a commercial failure. When I emptied the box, I couldn't help but see that, under the books, was a collection of erotic comics. It is a moment halfway between the comic and the dramatic, one of many that I lived during the three hours that I have walked around the house.

The only problem I find with all the objects that populate that house is that, at the end of the game, you find yourself examining a lot of the same objects. Examining identical tissue boxes in each room would take me out of the game at times, like a déjà vu in the Matrix . The first time I came across my father's novel I was fascinated by it. The second already knew why it had been a failure. By the fifth, I didn't really care much anymore. But despite these repetitions, which are not very frequent, Gone Home always knew how to beat me for its impeccable use of music.

Their mix of traditional soundtrack coupled with cult themes from bands from the Riot Grrrl movement may seem out of place, but inside the game they know how to mix to give Gone Home that exact point of adolescent rage coupled with a few drops of mystery.

Gone Home is a game that talks about melancholy while exploring the roots, secrets and objects of a family that is as real as mine. Entering the Greenbriar house and discovering all that they have left behind is a very powerful experience. The game itself in an achievement and the fact of being able to solve the story is a moment that will live with me forever.

Adapted by Jaume Esteve , Indie editor at IGN Spain.