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Old 08-23-2014, 03:14 AM   #1
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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Anyone else anticipating this game? It looks like it may have some creepy atmosphere, plot and story. Its also open sandbox style, which should be fun exploring if the atmosphere is creepy.
Its only a month off.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:20 AM   #2
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Re: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

I've started playing this game and enjoying it so far. The graphics are very nice, sort of a cross between Oblivion and Alan Wake in many ways. (I'm always expecting to find a paint horse standing around somewhere).

Its first person and feels like a typical adventure game; which means lots of stuff to explore and a lone peaceful (although suspenseful) experience.
Its oozing atmosphere too, with a sense of foreboding and trouble coupled with a mystery to solve.

I'm only an hour in and I've mostly explored everywhere that I've been to and collecting as many clues as I can. I have a feeling that the game world is large although that remains to be discovered. My character has some supernatural abilities which take a while to understand, but its mostly been about exploration.

As the game states when you first begin it does not hold your hand. True to its word there is very little to go on except for the opening cut scene when starting a new game. That's quite a simple video with some voice over so pay attention! I have very deliberately stayed away from any reviews and posts because I'm sure everything will be a spoiler and so have no clue about myself or what its all about. It is a little disorienting because I don't know what my own abilities are and things happen that seem very unusual for the average detective!

I haven't decided if the music is contributing in a good way to the overall atmosphere or not, but I have turned it down quite low so I can hear the environment better.
Video is smooth on this rig although occasionally I get a slight stutter. Doesn't happen often and its not intrusive. It must be the game engine doing it or it may be CPU throttling because its very hot in this room today.

Will post my feelings about the game as I progress further.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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Re: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

This game is very clever in how it works. (I wont post any spoilers, so its a little difficult to describe).

The main plot unfolds as progress is made but its shrouded in supernatural mystery. Even information about my character is revealed only slowly as I go.
There are references to other characters that I've yet to learn anything about.

Useful background information to the story is available but you have to work to find it. The story itself unfolds as the player discovers and solves a series of murders but events are not revealed in the correct sequence so its necessary to keep a mental track of the dependencies.

Progress is made by solving puzzles. The puzzles are not too difficult but interestingly they not only require a bit of thought and imagination but also require negotiation of the 3D world from the first person perspective. Information that is collected along the way assists in understanding the main story, characters and plot as well as our own character.

It has a very traditional adventure game feel to it, but its all from the first person perspective and fully integrated into the 3D world. Other adventure game examples such as Zork or Myst were more 2D. I remember playing Real Myst and it was also first person 3D, but if you recall it still relied on point and click when zoomed in on static scenes and puzzles. This game integrates the first person 3D world seamlessly with the exploration activity. This game feels much more alive and dynamic than those previous games.

I'm enjoying it so far and it makes a nice change from all the shooters because it needs a bit of thought and imagination rather than just the hind brain reacting to sudden threats...

The other component I should talk to is the detective activity. This is like a series of mini-puzzles between the larger murder puzzles. In fact the game seems to have 3 distinct levels of puzzle, so puzzles within puzzles. I suspect my own character may be the ultimate puzzle, but that remains to be seen.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:09 AM   #4
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Re: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Thanks for the mini review, really seems different...I'll keep a eye on this thread for feature updates.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:31 AM   #5
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Re: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Some of the puzzles in the game are more difficult than others, in an enjoyable way. The story is unfolding dramatically too and I'm interested in seeing it through to the end.

I have to stress that this game is a very clever design in how the clues are presented and how the story is progressed. Very immersive and seamless.

Btw, when I write "puzzles" dont think Myst or Zork. Its more like a detective game crossed with an RPG in how they work.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:05 AM   #6
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Re: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Finished this and found the ending to be as interesting as the game itself.
This is a beautiful game with a picturesque environment, (rendered very nicely by the Unreal engine). Its the sort of game you can walk around in just to enjoy the scenery. Its also a spooky environment and a little foreboding.

Well, the ending has a twist and wraps it up very nicely. I feel it has some replayability too, just to see if I can shortcut the puzzles now that I know where they are and how to solve them.

The story is quite weird and a little disturbing. Although the ending is neat, it doesn't really help me to understand the "why" of it. Will have to look for someone online who may have done some sort of analysis of it.

I strongly recommend you don't read anything online about this game if you intend to play it. Everything and anything would be a spoiler.
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