The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
A tense and spooky stroll through a gorgeous world, some fun supernatural detective work, and an efficient script with sparse dialogue.
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.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter's story is powerful, and its world is one of the most beautiful I've ever played through.
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.
Still a fascinating and darkly magical murder mystery, despite its occasionally unclear signposting.
Freeform exploration can be tedious, but the tense moments will have your heart racing
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a beautiful adventure that slowly unravels its superficial veneer to reveal a touching and personal story.
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.
An intriguing (though flawed) tale that hits on some powerful themes games rarely explore.
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.