The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was released for the PC in 2014 and was re-released for the PS4 on July 15th, 2015. It was developed and published by The Astronauts and is currently available on the PlayStation Network for $19.99. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter takes you into a dark and surreal story based in 1972 taking the role of an occult detective named Paul Prospero. Receiving numerous distressing pieces of fan-mail from a 12-year-old boy prompts Paul to venture into the beautiful and mystifying countryside of Red Creek Valley to investigate.
The game dwells heavily and entirely on narrative as opposed to an extensive and combative experience. Upon starting the game the player is warned about the absence of “hand-holding” (tutorials) as the game invites you to explore within its wonderfully designed environments. Before progressing through the game, admiration for the scenery is the first thing that had to be done as the visual graphics made the autumn forest and the overlooking view of the lake appear as if they were straight from a fairy tale story.
Your job as Prospero is to investigate the story of Ethan Carter and figure out the paranormal circumstance that has befallen him and his family by inspecting different crime scenes. When completed players are then rewarded with more background information to fully understand the main story. Despite having a really interesting plot completing the crime scenes without any notification on the amount of clues that are required to be found can prove to be difficult. You may be entirely oblivious to certain evidence if they’re not the type to observe their surroundings thoroughly. My first play through was done almost entirely by ignoring the crime scenes since the game’s lack of tutorials doesn’t necessarily prompt you to the potential narrative experience that’s been missing.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a piece of graphic art that deserves to be admired. It has a story that will surprise you along with its unique blend of morbidity and graceful delivery. Despite the absence of any kind of tutorial that would have proved essential to some, this experience leaves gamers dwelling on their experience even hours after it’s completion. It’s definitely highly recommended to experience a great story and unique gameplay.
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