Top Critic Average
Ether One dives into a world of dementia and returns in stylish, if bittersweet, triumph.
An exceptional collection of puzzles bound by narrative which gets a little ahead of itself.
Ether One nails its puzzles, atmosphere, and sound (ambient and voice acting). It also nails its story -- whether or not you decide to fully unravel its world and its mysteries -- culminating in a, well, refreshing, smart finale that will stay on my mind for years to come.
I found the path devoid of puzzles a dubious gaming choice for players. Like any good first-person adventurer, I racked up the hours finding that last clue. If I didn't bother, I'd have blown through the narrative in a few hours.
In many ways, seeing a developer give the player such a large degree of responsibility is forward thinking. It's certainly rare, these days. Unearthing the story at your own pace is wonderful. However, Ether One goes too far in that direction and puzzles become tedious exercises in trying combinations of different items you acquired in a completely different area. There is no shortage of interesting ideas present, but it's hard to look at Ether One and not think it could have been more.
The game is clearly enormously detailed, a real passion piece, and one I fought and fought to enjoy. It didn't work out for me. I suspect it may for others.
There's a sincerity evident in Ether One's DNA that really shows the developer's passion and skill. With an attention-grabbing story premise, clever puzzles, and gorgeous music, this game seeks to tackle mental illness in a profound way. While cracks show in the sound effects, technical issues, and convoluted aspects to the narrative and puzzle solving, there's a charm and respect that you cannot help but feel for the game, which will be sure to remain in the canals of your memory banks for some time.
While I don't know why anyone would want to play without the puzzles, even those who do will find themselves seeking them out for the extra information they provide. Ether One is a sharp, unique game that deals with a tragic subject in an empathetic way, and it's definitely worth checking out.
[G]ive it a download if you like exploration and puzzles but maybe wait until there's an update before you give it a shot.
Ether One is another in a string of successful first-person narrative games, and, while it has its dips here and there, is a completely worthwhile journey. The game explores some dark corners of mental health through its H.G. Wells-like setting and succeeds in delivering a graphically rich, story-driven adventure wholly worth your time.