What Remains of Edith Finch makes you feel things that you aren’t expecting to feel while playing a video game… This title bases its entire narrative between a magical world and the realism of death and tells the incredibly tragic story of the Finch family and its multiple generations, in a peculiar and surprising way. 5 years after its launch, here I am, one day after I finished it, still thinking about all its experience.
I was caught completely off guard after venturing into creating a list where I allowed myself to order a good portion of my backlog. In this way, I found What Remains of Edith Finch, acquired in some promotion and I only regret not having played it earlier, or perhaps this was the right moment. During the two hours it took me to finish, the fascination behind a tragic story, told in the first person, left me on the verge of an unprecedented choke of emotions. In an instant, I was laughing because of the motor experience of clicking the buttons to print certain movements, the next moment the perception of the finite moment to which the story was leading me, left me completely devastated.
The player is guided through the stunning home of the Finch Family, built to give the illusion of a labyrinth. In part, it reminded me of the Disney movie “Encanto” where each member of the family was entitled to a room with a door alluding to their taste/power/dream. The same thing happens here, but the door will often not be the entry point to the character’s story, thus leaving it up to the player to find the entry point, usually through secret passages presented by the charm. and imagination of a book that unfolds into figures and small challenges. While exploring the house, the last member of the Finch family, Edith, tells the little stories of the house and her family and how amazing all her experiences were until they finally came to an end. All worlds are portrayed differently, with mini-games/challenges tied to the circumstances, which continually surpassed my expectations and which ultimately engage the player in such a way that it doesn’t take much to feel completely immersed in the experience.
It’s difficult to point a game genre to this title, for the reasons I presented earlier, but perhaps the most accurate one will be the Atmospheric Walking Simulator. Even so, the fact that one moment you have the experience of controlling an animal and the next moment you have the double experience of controlling a character with your left hand while cutting fish with the simple movement of the mouse with the other hand leaves any kind of game genre tags completely open.
Unfortunately, its end leaves many questions open. I was expecting to get punched in the stomach and start crying like the winter rains, but that wasn’t the case. Still, it doesn’t invalidate all the time spent learning more about each element of this family, even the protagonist, Edith.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game for Steam acquired by me]