The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Back to Summary

Percentile Rank

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is ranked in the 81st percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 88 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

80

Top Critic Average

72%

Critics Recommend

Based on 88 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

VGChartz
Unscored
Unscored
Jan 12, 2018

By focusing on the unique story-delivery mechanisms of video games and providing a sufficient level of interactivity, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter side-steps many of the pitfalls associated with narrative-driven adventure games, even as it struggles to escape the sub-genre's orbit.

Read full review

Birth. Movies. Death.
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 7, 2014

It's all too rare that we get games like this, where the mysteries are genuinely intriguing and can be played at one's own pace. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is weird and macabre in delicious and often surprising ways. Its tales of madness intensify an already-oppressive atmosphere of decay, telling a compelling story of a town gone mad and a kid trying to make sense of it all. It's just that those stories are so well-hidden behind invisible game mechanics that players themselves may go mad in the process.

Read full review

Gamers FTW
Unscored
Gamers FTW

Top Critic

Unscored
Sep 30, 2014

I've tried to temper my enthusiasm for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but it's difficult to remain objective when writing about something you've genuinely enjoyed. If you hate puzzles, you won't like this game. If you only want fast-paced, explosive action then you won't like this game. If you want nothing but to be scared senseless, then you probably won't like this game. If any of the above apply then you really should look elsewhere, but if you want a well-crafted (and at times totally insane) adventure through a twisted, but beautiful world that's driven by a compelling plot then The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is very much your kind of game. It's on steam now, at only £14.99.

Read full review

Kotaku
Yes
Yes
Oct 1, 2014

An intriguing (though flawed) tale that hits on some powerful themes games rarely explore.

Read full review

Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Unscored
Unscored
Sep 29, 2014

It is, however, probably the most aesthetically beautiful game I've seen, and I can genuinely recommend it on that basis alone. The rest of the game, it's sombre tale, is well worth hearing, and some of the puzzles are really splendid. But every time you walk out of a door and see the vista spread before you, it's an effort not to gasp.

Read full review

ACG
Buy
ACG

Top Critic

Buy
Sep 25, 2014
null video thumbnail

Scored Reviews

Post Arcade (National Post)
10 / 10.0
10 / 10.0
Nov 12, 2014

Nothing is so simply put in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but to put it simply, this game is absolutely worth the $20 price tag

Read full review

Twinfinite
5 / 5.0
5 / 5.0
Oct 5, 2014

I believe The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an incredible game that shouldn't be missed. Of course it won't be everyone's cup of tea and it's massively story-centered, but if you don't mind this, you will enjoy what is a real jewel of a game and a title from which the gaming industry can learn a lot.

Read full review

GameSkinny
GameSkinny
TiquorSJ

Top Critic

Oct 4, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a finely crafted cigar box. It is art, it has a purpose, and its contents will bring you enjoyment.

Read full review

ActionTrip
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Sep 21, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a splendid narrative experience that is not to be missed. If this one is sitting in your Steam library, your wishlist, or your mental wishlist, just pull the trigger and find out what happened to Ethan Carter. It's a story unlike any other.

Read full review

Windows Central
Jan 23, 2018

If you're looking for a gorgeous game with a strong story between those heavy-hitters this month, then be sure to check out The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Aside from its performance issues, the game is in many ways a masterpiece which every Xbox One owner should consider.

Read full review

Softpedia
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 4, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is perhaps the best walking simulator I have ever played, dabbling in the occult without being a cheesy ghost story where weird stuff just happens for no reason other than the call of Cthulhu.

Read full review

USgamer
Oct 14, 2014

Do you have a PC? Is it reasonably up-to-date? Well, if you haven't played The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you're missing out on one of the best games of the year. Developer The Astronauts has crafted a masterful mystery in an unbelievably beautiful and atmospheric setting, and raised the bar for what this kind of an experience can be. And, for an extremely reasonable price of admission, you, too, can find yourself never wanting to leave its well-crafted world.

Read full review

Eurogamer
9 / 10
9 / 10
Sep 29, 2014

As soon as I finished The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, I started it again and was greeted by that same warning. "This game is a narrative experience that does not hold your hand." Originally I thought it was telling me that I was going to be challenged by what followed and that I shouldn't expect any help in figuring it out. And I still think that. But I also suspect The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which rarely uses a word more than it has to, is making a broader point when it says it doesn't intend to hold your hand.

Read full review

We Got This Covered
Oct 6, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is one of this year's most engaging and beautifully crafted narratives that should not be missed by any fan of immersive storytelling.

Read full review

GameSpot
9 / 10
9 / 10
Sep 28, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a beautiful adventure that slowly unravels its superficial veneer to reveal a touching and personal story.

Read full review

GameZone
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jul 17, 2015

A must purchase experience that invokes a feeling of true beauty, reflection and freedom. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter needs to be experienced to truly understand as both a game and self-reflective journey of beauty and warmth

Read full review

Gamers Heroes
9 / 10
Gamers Heroes
Johnny Hurricane

Top Critic

9 / 10
Jul 15, 2015

Personally I can’t recommend this game enough. If you have an evening available and you are looking for a great game then you should give The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter a try!

Read full review

GameGrin
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jul 29, 2015

The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter will have you thinking about it after the credits roll. It's not a perfect package or a long one, but the short time you spend in Red Creek Valley will be mesmerising.

Read full review

Polygon
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 9, 2014

If you have the three or four hours to devote to it and care about the future of games as a storytelling medium, Ethan Carter is must-play.

Read full review

Gaming Nexus
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Aug 13, 2015

When it comes to psychological scares, this whodunit of a ghost story introduces you to your own worst enemy: Being inside your own head. You may anticipate more horror than you'll actually run across, but that's a horrific thought in its own right.

Read full review

Gameplanet
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 3, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a compelling interactive novella that draws players in with its beautifully atmospheric setting. The slow burn narrative doesn't quite land the final emotional punch it's aiming for, but it more than satisfies on every other level.

Read full review

Impulsegamer
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Nov 9, 2014

The Vanishing Ethan Carter is definitely the must play game of the year that successfully creates a gripping and engaging tale without an ounce of input from the game itself. All the clues are right in front of the player and thus it's up to you to put back together this amazing jigsaw puzzle about a young boy and his dark family with some of the best graphics you'll witness on the PC. More importantly, the game definitely deserves another play through due to the cleverly written puzzles and wondrous links to the Carter family.

Read full review

High-Def Digest
Oct 14, 2014

'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter' is not a perfect game. It's an alarmingly creative step in the ongoing trek of telling stories through games. At times, I got lost, and some of the puzzles seem like the output of a developer running out of steam, but the core mechanics at play are always gravitating towards Ethan's trials as a kid struggling with family. Exploring these overgrown environments is a way to step into Ethan's lonesome shoes, solving the crimes show his fears and uncovering his stories meaning passing through the doomed optimism of a young, fertile mind. There's tragedy in the small and big moments alike. The framework for this story has been told before, but never like this, never in a way that only games can tell it. Supernatural indeed.

Read full review

TechRaptor
8.6 / 10.0
8.6 / 10.0
Oct 2, 2014

An average story mixed with some great nuggets to experience, all of which takes place in beautiful backdrops and wonderful accompanying music.

Read full review

The Game Fanatics
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Sep 30, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game you should experience. I just made an ass of myself writing a review like a bad pulp noir because this game really made me feel like an intrepid pulp detective. I was a little disappointed with the short playthrough, but it had such high quality because it was short. Even then, some of it came apart near the end simply because it's hard to keep such high expectations in tact for so long. Buy it, and do your best not to have the answers spoiled for you.

Read full review

Handsome Phantom
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jan 23, 2018

I almost feel this goes without saying, but make sure you see this game through to the end.

Read full review

IGN
8.5 / 10.0
IGN

Top Critic

8.5 / 10.0
Oct 2, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter's story is powerful, and its world is one of the most beautiful I've ever played through.

Read full review

GameTrailers
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 12, 2014

Perhaps where The Vanishing of Ethan Carter succeeds most is in establishing a sense of place. This is the kind of game that you'll want to get lost in. Grab a pair of headphones, listen to the wind rustle through trees, and do your best to get through its four-hour journey in a single sitting. Even something as simple as walking out of the forest into a sunlit glade has impact, and as you follow the twists and turns of its multi-threaded story, you'll be caught up in its unsettling intrigue.

Read full review

ZTGD
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jul 21, 2015

If you love exploration, mystery, even a sense of wonder and awe, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter provides all this and more. For the 4 to 6 hours the game lasts, it's definitely a memorable experience.

Read full review

ThisGenGaming
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jan 17, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter has been a great way to start off the gaming year for me.

Read full review

PlayStation Universe
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jul 21, 2015

A more than competent puzzler that wows with its impressive vistas, excellent sound design and subtle horror-tinged plot. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a thing of dark beauty.

Read full review

Destructoid
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 1, 2014

While some will find the pace far too slow for their liking or the crime-scene puzzles too simplistic, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter holds up well. Having the story told almost out of sequence makes it even more chilling as you see people slowly turn on each other. The melancholy tale is matched with some wonderful visions to make a game that really sticks in the mind.

Read full review

COGconnected
85 / 100
85 / 100
Oct 8, 2014

In the end, 'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter' is a great game to pick up.

Read full review

RPG Fan
85%
85%
Oct 3, 2014

Immerse yourself in the psychology of an American family in autumn country.

Read full review

Pixelophobia
8.3 / 10.0
8.3 / 10.0
Jan 28, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game for connoisseurs of games that are visually stunning and and relay on an idea rather than gameplay mechanics. It lasts a few hours and lacks replayability, but the story is quite good and worth playing. Just like Gone Home.

Review in Polish | Read full review

PC Gamer
82 / 100
82 / 100
Sep 29, 2014

A tense and spooky stroll through a gorgeous world, some fun supernatural detective work, and an efficient script with sparse dialogue.

Read full review

Digital Chumps
8.2 / 10.0
8.2 / 10.0
Sep 27, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an impassioned monument to its prestigious foundations. A product-of-assembly depiction makes for an idle assessment, but it's difficult not to look at Ethan Carter and see narrative guidance from Twain and Vern, Lovecraft's proclivity for the destructive supernatural, and Chandler's pulpy detective fiction. The tale Ethan Carter ultimately aches to tell isn't as complex or natural as its influences, but it finds ample success in directing a curious story through an interactive ensemble.

Read full review

ZTGD
8 / 10.0
Ken McKown

Top Critic

8 / 10.0
Feb 6, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a solid experience that I really enjoyed taking. It could have benefitted from a little more structure and fleshing out the characters a bit more.

Read full review

PlayStation LifeStyle
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jul 16, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter sets out to achieve a very specific goal and despite some slight missteps along the way, it largely succeeds in offering players a sense of spectral wonder through simplistic gameplay and stunning visuals, all wrapped in a well written mystery that leaves its mark. 

Read full review

TrustedReviews
Sep 30, 2014

A richly atmospheric, story-led adventure which makes up for in chills what it lacks in challenge. The puzzles could be tougher and more varied, and at times all the wandering drags, but it's a superb-looking, forward-thinking mystery game that creeps you out without resorting to the usual sudden scares.

Read full review

ZTGD
8 / 10.0
Ken McKown

Top Critic

8 / 10.0
Feb 6, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a solid experience that I really enjoyed taking. It could have benefitted from a little more structure and fleshing out the characters a bit more. Still, it is great to finally have the game come to Xbox, and I am happy to have experienced it.

Read full review

Checkpoint
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jul 23, 2015

I expected more from this game, content-wise mostly, whoever at it's asking price there is more than enough content, i'd love to play this in VR. As most 'walking simulator's this is not a game for everyone, especially if you don't explore much, you can almost make it to the ending skipping most of what there is for you to find. Do read the webcomic at http://www.theastronauts.com/comic/ which acts as a prequel to the game.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Metro GameCentral
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 29, 2014

One of the best story driven games of the year, and one of the prettiest, although you do sometimes wonder if it's focusing on the most interesting aspect of its plot.

Read full review

Nintendo Life
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 5, 2019

As the credits roll on this brief but powerful experience, you'll realise a lot is left open to interpretation. For some, that's to be expected. For others, it'll be infuriating. Prospero rarely seems to be in a hurry – even when he bloody should be – and as such, his plodding pace is very much a gamer's Marmite; you'll either love it or hate it… but good grief is this a mystery worth solving.

Read full review

Digital Spy
Oct 1, 2014

It keeps you on edge just enough to pique your curiosity for what the next mystery will bring, and marries that mystery with an eerily beautiful world worth being curious about.

Read full review

Hardcore Gamer
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Sep 26, 2014

Despite a few issues that prevent the game from being a wholly immersive open-world exploratory experience, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter packs an impressive punch. The four to five hour long game's world is aesthetically perfect, the stories are equal parts fascinating and bizarre and it's a hell of a ride from beginning to end.

Read full review

Game Informer
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Oct 2, 2014

Freeform exploration can be tedious, but the tense moments will have your heart racing

Read full review

VideoGamer
8 / 10
8 / 10
Oct 7, 2014

A beautiful, if somewhat frustrating, adventure game.

Read full review

Guardian
Oct 6, 2014

This beautiful detective story refuses to lead you by the hand – instead providing a rich and mysterious world to explore and experience

Read full review

SelectButton
8 / 10
8 / 10
Oct 14, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a fantastic game. My only true complaints are the short length and lack of replayability, but I can easily stomach that after enjoying it so much. I'd love to see more games in this vein from The Astronauts since the story really grabs the players and pushes them to continue. It is definitely worth playing for those that enjoy a bit of suspense in the middle of supernatural mystery.

Read full review

Press Start
8 / 10
8 / 10
Aug 9, 2015

From beginning to end, most players will breeze through The Vanishing of Ethan Carter in roughly four or so hours.

Read full review

GameSpew
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jul 24, 2015

With its near photorealistic visuals and great voice acting, it's a unique game that I wholeheartedly urge any Playstation 4 owner to experience once

Read full review

Dealspwn
Oct 6, 2014

I'd never have pegged the folks behind Bulletstorm to craft something like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but I'm very glad that they did. It has a few niggling issues, but ultimately this is a brilliantly subtle, imaginative and thoughtful game.

Read full review

Digitally Downloaded
Digitally Downloaded

Top Critic

Aug 12, 2015

But that's another debate for another day. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is one of the most beautiful games ever developed, and backs its aesthetics up with some of the finest Lovecraftian narratives that we've seen in interactive form. It's a compelling argument for games as art, in other words, and not just because it makes for some awesome digital postcards.

Read full review

GameWatcher
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Oct 9, 2014

Ethan Carter is a powerful, entrancing game that'll live with you long after the credits have rolled. Just don't let anyone spoil it for you.

Read full review

Attack of the Fanboy
Jul 23, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter may not be a long journey, but the breathtaking visuals and atmosphere are enough to captivate most anybody on their way to solving a number of mysteries that all play a part in the overall story.

Read full review

TheXboxHub
Jan 23, 2018

Although it may not be the most action-packed adventure out there, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is without a doubt a fantastic game.

Read full review

Game Revolution
Oct 5, 2014

The story, the full narrative, is relevant to a lot of children like Ethan Carter and is steeped in sobering realism. For that, I would encourage you to discover it and find him.

Read full review

BaziCenter
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jan 10, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter's too much focus on story telling might prevent it from offering a true adventure experience, but nevertheless the story, atmosphere and world design is so solid that you'll just love it.

Review in Persian | Read full review

GamingBolt
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Sep 29, 2014

Developer The Astronauts has proven that you don't need a AAA budget to create a game that is not only beautiful, but also thought provoking and atmospheric. The game's only pitfall is how short it can be if you are only interested in the main story, but I would say it is worth a second play-through to discover all of the hidden investigations and secrets. If you are into Lovecraft or Poe and appreciate a macabre mystery with heavy atmosphere, you owe it to yourself to dive into the world of Ethan Carter.

Read full review

Push Square
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jul 17, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was already great when it released on the PC in late 2014, and the PS4 version succeeds in re-purposing that same experience for a new audience. While reworking the title in Unreal Engine 4 hasn't brought about a drastic number of changes, it performs adequately barring some framerate hiccups. For the most part, though, this game delivers an intriguing and thought-provoking detective experience that – in its own words – doesn't hold your hand.

Read full review

PCWorld
Oct 11, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is all about the journey, and the journey here is spectacular both visually and narratively. This game is something special.

Read full review

GamingTrend
80 / 100
80 / 100
Oct 4, 2014

Fight through that frustration of wondering where to go when you start The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.  Once you learn the rules of the game, you'll find a deeply satisfying, if short, story within.

Read full review

VGProfessional
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
Feb 2, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a great mix of storytelling and adventure, now available with 4K support on Xbox One X. A definite pick if you missed The Astronauts' debut game on either PC or PlayStation 4.

Read full review

Gamerheadquarters
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Jan 18, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter on Xbox One X was a remarkable time with this being a solid narrative driven experience.

Read full review

IGN Spain
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Jan 20, 2018

An interesting proposal that we've seen twice before it's Xbox release. Although it's one of the most beautiful games that you can find on Xbox One X, but not one of the longest or fastest.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Dragnix
75 / 100
75 / 100
Aug 18, 2015
Ghost Detectives video thumbnail
GaminGuardian
7.3 / 10.0
7.3 / 10.0
Jan 22, 2018

Opposite feelings in a game that, on the one hand, we find a visual delight and an absorbing story and, on the other, a repetitive gameplay.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

GameCrate
7.3 / 10.0
7.3 / 10.0
Sep 29, 2014

I'm happy I spent the past few days playing through Vanishing and I'd recommend it to patient gamers who are fans of mysterious experiences, non-linear storytelling, and games that are heavy on atmosphere.

Read full review

The Game Fanatics
7.2 / 10.0
7.2 / 10.0
Dec 15, 2014

Echoing classic horror stories from authors like H.P. Lovecraft, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a wonderfully unique experience. It's not without its faults, but if you can get past the shallow story and gameplay, you'll be in for an immersive treat.

Read full review

GameGrin
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Oct 12, 2014

The core elements of the game are all very good: story, visuals and gameplay are top notch, but they don't combine particularly well. The lofty ideas of player independence are held back by the need to tell a convincing story and the narrative can conversely be held back by the degree of player agency that does exist. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an enjoyable short game by all accounts, the sum just isn't quite as good as the parts.

Read full review

PCGamesN
7 / 10
7 / 10
Sep 29, 2014

Like the unnerving fiction that inspired it, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a bold and fascinating story. But the story is something that's revealed, not something that's lived through. I was a tourist, a witness, a reader, and that left less room for being a player. Yet I expect the game to stay with me for a good long time, and its grisly, gorgeous world alone makes the trek worthwhile.

Read full review

God is a Geek
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Sep 30, 2014

The relatively gratifying story and straightforward puzzles aren't the real reasons to visit Red Creek Valley. The location is a good enough reason itself. More often than not people look to graphics as an indication for this medium's progression and even though that's somewhat of a falsehood, it has to be said that this spirit story's looks are otherworldly.

Read full review

GamesRadar+
Jan 19, 2018

Still a fascinating and darkly magical murder mystery, despite its occasionally unclear signposting.

Read full review

The Escapist
Sep 27, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a good little story with a bleak atmosphere that nonetheless provides some relaxing puzzle solving.

Read full review

Kill Screen
70 / 100
70 / 100
Oct 1, 2014

In the end, Ethan Carter's ratios are just a bit off: maybe a little less hand-holding at certain times, a little more at others. But to pretend that it's not there at all is just a refusal to acknowledge the way in which details and design choices can limit or direct play.

Read full review

TrueAchievements
Jan 22, 2018

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an early narrative adventure game that outdoes some of its later counterparts in ambition.

Read full review

TheSixthAxis
7 / 10
7 / 10
Jul 20, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter might be less involved than a lot of mystery games, but it is by no stretch any less fascinating, beautiful or immersive. Its haunting atmosphere sucks you in with its unsettling vibe, but it's the mystery that keeps you there until the very end. It may not be the longest game, but if the supernatural intrigues you even a little, then this one case worth taking.

Read full review

Game Rant
Jan 20, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter's gorgeous visuals, intimate story in intense mysteries make it an easy recommendation despite some mediocre mechanics and voice acting.

Read full review

New Game Network
67 / 100
67 / 100
Sep 30, 2014

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter uses ambiguity to tell an interesting tale. Unfortunately the lack of direction can mean you spend too much time aimlessly fumbling through a pretty world.

Read full review

CGMagazine
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2014

As superb as the experience of simply exploring [The Vanishing of Ethan Carter's] eerie environments is, unravelling the plot's mystery isn't terribly enjoyable.

Read full review

Daily Mirror
Jan 18, 2018

If you have the patience for a lot of wandering about and backtracking there's an intriguing story to experience here, but the expertly crafted atmosphere isn't always enough to mask the occasional gameplay frustration, getting in the way of the storytelling.

Read full review

The Skinny
Oct 7, 2014

"Atmosphere, not action, is the great desideratum of weird fiction," writes Lovecraft, and in the end it is the game's loyalty to this principle which often makes The Vanishing of Ethan Carter such engrossing experience. And while a bit atmosphere never killed anyone, the subtle macabre of Ethan Carter's world will certainly mess with your head if you let it.

Read full review

Game Debate
6 / 10.0
Game Debate

Top Critic

6 / 10.0
Oct 14, 2014

Despite it all though, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a deeply atmospheric visual treat, that seems as much about just being there as experiencing the tale set within it. What The Astronauts has created here is a believable and immersive world unfortunately backed up by a poor tale and barebones gameplay. I'd be hard-pressed to say it's not worth a go whatsoever, but for a glorified walk in the woods you may be better off waiting until it's on sale.

Read full review

gameranx
5 / 10.0
5 / 10.0
Oct 7, 2014

That's the irony of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter in a nutshell. When you first start up the game, it declares that it "is a narrative experience that does not hold your hand," but that's true only of its mechanics. Narratively it holds your hand so tightly that once it was over I had to wait a few minutes for feeling to return.

Read full review

Cubed3
5 / 10
5 / 10
Oct 3, 2015

The Astronauts made an interesting experiment with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and while the team's attempt to tell some kind of tragic and emotional story is kind of effective, the overall gameplay, which serves as the grubby middleman that glues the whole tapestry together, is just not the hours wandering around in the Wisconsin woods. This probably would have made for a great novel instead of a video game.

Read full review

Slant Magazine
Jul 19, 2015

Creators like Chmielarz need an obvious symbol of false hope to sell (not articulate) their trendy nihilism that, if anything, should vanish.

Read full review