The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jan 19, 2018

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

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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.

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8 / 10.0
Oct 2, 2014

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

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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.

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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.

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Yes
Oct 1, 2014

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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8 / 10
Oct 7, 2014

A beautiful, if somewhat frustrating, adventure game.

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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.

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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

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