SQ3: Going, Going, Gone (Home)!

As I liveblog Going Home, I’m referencing the instructions for the post here. I’m starting the game now, and instantly love the color’s being used. I need to squint, turn up my brightness and lean in for most of the room, yet the colorful “outside” is vivid, live and interesting. I can’t look at the glare for longer than a few seconds without scouring my eyes or tearing up.

Well I just got through the door and it was frustrating. Despite one of the first things I checked was the duck, I didn’t check under it and instead inspected the duck profusely. After deciding there wasn’t anything of importance, I spent a long time around the rest of the room. I spent an embarrassing amount of time inspecting the nutrition information on a fictional soda can before re-checking the drawer.

I really enjoy the expanse of space and ability to alter the perception through lights. I’m not sure if it’s my computer or the game’s intention, but my walking rate is painfully slow. Eventually, I decide the downstairs isn’t too interesting and head upstairs.

I want to note the importance of the score and sounds in this game. The sudden crackling of thunder builds up tension and makes me feel like a jump scare is coming.

The song that Sam has in her drawer besides the cassette player is pretty horrible, I might add. It reminds me of a teenager rebelling against their parents for having to mow the lawn on a Sunday morning. I’m not criticizing; trust me, I’ve been there plus some.

Trying to figure out combinations for Sam’s locker. Trying stuff related to the 1990’s because she seems to be into it. Maybe something to do with Aliens due to her posters; Area 51? 0051 doesn’t work.

I can’t get in and the slowness of movement is killing me.

Moving through the hallways and bathrooms upstairs. I’m really enjoying how difficult it is to parse out what’s important. When I inspect an element I have to go through the process of deciding whether or not it hold’s some unknown information. Some of the items seem to be in clear sight while other’s are hidden. As not all important items are hidden I can’t skip over anything. This feels very boring however. I wonder if that’s the point.

I’ve stopped playing the game after about an hour and a half. I finished by making my way back downstairs and inspecting more elements carefully. Not too helpful I don’t understand the point. For a while I was super engaged but after a while I just felt disengaged.

The opening sequence is very interesting. In particular, I felt like the lack of exposition dumping enables the player to feel connected to the protagonist. Both are in the unknown and the information I garnered brought me closer and feel more involved. I loved the little details like the boarding pass, name-tag on the luggage, and creaking of the floor. The game establishes itself through the player’s curiosity rather than through a traditional method of narration or storytelling. In fact, the nonlinear nature of Gone Home seems to challenge the all-action games. Gone Home seems to push back on the popular wave of games, movies, and books–modern entertainment, more generally–being action packed and lacking a distinct connection to reality. The build your own story aspects to Gone Home make each time a person plays the game unique to the individual. In a time where media is catered to the population, I appreciate Gone Home’s sentiment; I just wish it wasn’t as much of a slog to get through.

As far as predictions for where Gone Home will end; I feel like similar to Depression Quest, there’s no true end. Rather, you find yourself completely immersed in a world where there are never any true answers. You won’t know where the family went, but you might know each family members ambitions, secrets, and affairs.

#sq3 #gonehome #liveblog

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