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Why Gone Home is a Horror Game

Max Level: I won’t lie; when I first started the game, I had no idea what I was walking into; no clue as to the genre of the game, what it was about, nothing. I was just handed the game and told to “have fun!” I was hesitant – the opening scenes were a bit too unsettling for my tastes, especially since I still had haunting thoughts about Outlast. But after cursing for a bit and psyching myself out over thoughts that the evening and rain setting were signals for a horror title, I became engulfed in the story that was unraveling before me.

I soon came to realize that this wasn’t one of those room escape games that I find myself playing in the middle of the night or even one where spooky naked prisoners try to kill me; no, it was something more, something unexpected, and has left me thinking about it since I finished the indie-title.

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SpiralTear2183d ago

I dunno. It definitely focuses on some potent subject matter, but calling this game horror seems like a big stretch. From what I could gather from the article, it's less about the game's content itself and more about what the writer was considering as a potential alternative interpretation of that content.

Under those conditions, anything can be horror if you want it to be, and I find that hard to believe.

yamelmegames2183d ago (Edited 2183d ago )

I think what our writer is getting at is the fact that reality can oftentimes be the scariest thing at all. Let's be honest -- it's an LGTBQ themed game, and an LGBTQ themed response. I believe the reason why she's considering the game to be horror-themed is the simple fact that for members of the LGBTQ community, life is often scary. Our protagonists sister basically had her entire world ripped away because no one was accepting of her lifestyle; because life made it so she couldn't be with the one she 'loved'. Life was, in the 90's, a scary place for gay, lesbian, and queer-identifying individuals (heck, it's still a scary place).

Our writer identified the game as horror because she realized that these events are true, and they are happening. If that's not terrifying, I don't know what is.

Regardless of my thoughts, your comment is as valid as mine. Thank you for the observation!

SpiralTear2183d ago

Well, even if I don't quite agree with the article, it does present an alternative view, one that's definitely interesting to hear.

Different people fear different things, and I still stand by my comment that it feels a bit too subjective of this breed of "horror" for me to understand that viewpoint completely.

Nevertheless, it was an interesting read and I'm glad this article was submitted.

pandehz2183d ago

ANd I thought it was a rom com

curtis922183d ago

Spoilers...kinda
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The whole game I kept waiting for something scary to happen. I was definitely creeped out walking around that house at night with a thunderstorm happening. Just felt like stuff was about to hit the fan at any second. Never did. And it didn't need to, that creepy feeling was enough. I felt like a kid again the first time your parents let you stay home alone and you kept thinking you were gonna see something.

OhMyGandhi2183d ago

I completely agree.
there was a palpable sense of dread, and because thunderstorms and the like are often used to set a mood, I felt that something ominous was about to happen.

The sounds of the creaking floorboards, in particular, and the fact that the whole house seemed frozen in time. The TVs showing nothing but static.

It really made me think. Alien abduction? afterlife? terrorist attack? or did the family have some insane external event occur to them?

There were so many different pathways that could of have followed, that could have made the game an infinitely more compelling experience.

I was actually really let down by the lack of imagination with the "overarching" story when so much time and energy was spent on telling individual stories. Every crumpled piece of paper, favorite poster, and VHS collection breathed into unseen characters. The deliberate arrangement of each room felt authentic, and really gave me a great snapshot of each person's personality; their fears and desires, hopes and dreams.

But as it stands, the game's short playtime just about destroyed what could have been a potentially breathtaking, unforgettable game experience.

choujij2183d ago

I was horrified once it ended and I realized I'll never get those 3 hours back.