The-Vanishing-of-Ethan-Carter-Review The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Review

   26/01/2018 at 16:39       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - Xbox One, Xbox One X, Walking, Ethan, Carter

As The Vanishing of Ethan Carter opens, you find yourself in the shoes of detective Paul Prospero, standing on some rusty, broken down train tracks that lead into an atmospheric, beautifully realised forest. You are also in possession of a letter written by Ethan himself, and now it's up to you to find him. To spend any more time explaining the story would do the game a disservice, you really need to experience this for yourself.

Developed by The Astronauts who were responsible for Painkiller and Bulletstorm, this is quite the change of pace, being a walking simulator at heart. As soon as you hit the start button the game warns you that there is no hand holding, and boy do they mean it. It's possible to reach the end of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter without solving any of the puzzles or reading any of the texts that flesh out the intriguing and well told story, of course you won't see the ending and will have to head back and see what you can find to witness that elusive narrative money shot.

The graphics in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter are really something else, some of the best I've seen. Using a technique called photogrammetry The Astronauts have created a beautiful landscape for the game, from forests, rivers, mines and old houses, it really is breathtaking. New to this Xbox One version reviewed is some excellent graphics options, if you are lucky enough to own an Xbox One X you can bump it all the way up to a full 4K, choose half that or just run regular 1080p, you can also adjust the field of view and choose whether to lock the frame rate at 30fps or leave it uncapped. All brilliant options which I'd hope to see more of in future. Lucky Xbox owners also get a free roam mode, so you can just go and have pretend picnics without all that gaming rubbish getting in the way of things.

So, back to the actual gameplay, other than exploring the lush environments, what is there to do? Well scattered over the landscape are a bunch of puzzles, some involve looking for memories, searching for and then ordering them correctly leading up to a usually grim conclusion, or you may just find yourself chasing something for a while, I won't spoil what it is, because it was a wonderful off the wall surprise. If you know what you are doing the game would be over in a few hours, but playing blind without touching dreaded guides is the way to go with this one. The feeling of satisfaction when you finally crack something is immense.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter isn't game for everyone, but if, like me, you always run in the opposite direction of a HUD destination marker, your curiosity and desire to explore will be more than fulfilled here, I found it to be a very affecting experience and I wholeheartedly recommend it, but it's not for you corridor shooter fans. You know who you are.

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