Last night with the knowledge that it was in its final few hours of being free for PS Plus users, I decided to jump back into the world of Gone Home. What I discovered was just how quickly, wonderfully, and magically the game reset me back to the world and time of my first play through of Gone Home.
Gone Home is such a weird and special game. Playing through it again only reinforced this for me. I knew what was going to happen, I knew there was never going to be a ghost, or any monster, or anything scary around the corner, yet the game still managed to fill me with a sense of dread and tension. The game is just designed in such a brilliant way to provoke those feelings even in those who already know its final destination.
More then this though was the joy of going back into this world, both with the knowledge of what already happens, while at the same time losing track of the events of the game and just letting myself fall into the story again. Sam and Lonni's story and relationship is just as heart-warming, sad, emotional, and tragic as it was before. Yet, playing through it again I was stunned to see just how rich and deep their tale is, how engrossing Katie and Sam's fathers struggles with both his past, and his writing career are. How deeply relatable their mothers slow drift towards loneliness and an affair is.
As Katie, the sister removed by way of a year long European adventure, we are given the perfect proxy for the events of the game. We are watching in both horror, exhilaration, and shock as we witness the growth of Sam into a young women and the destruction of the family as a cohesive unit. Playing through this game for my second time, I was surprised at how much I found myself affected by this game. I was left smiling and laughing at moments and left heart-broken and full of sadness and sorrow at others. Gone Home is a game meant to take you on a journey and in this, it more then succeeds.
I suppose in the end what I am saying is simply that Gone Home is one of those special games that stands up to the ages. It is a game unashamedly full of and about emotions. Indeed, it serves as a powerful tale of the potential harm that can come from hiding away your emotions and feelings. Most of all though, Gone Home is just a welcoming and moving tale of young love, self-discovery, and the highs and lows of family life and video games would be better off with more games like it.