What Remains of Edith Finch is a collection of short stories about a cursed family in Washington State.
Each story offers a chance to experience the life of a different family member with stories ranging from the early 1900s to the present day. The gameplay and tone of the stories are as varied as the family members themselves. The only constants are that each is played from a first-person perspective and that each story ends with that family member's death. It's a game about what it feels like to be humbled and astonished by the vast and unknowable world around us.
You'll follow Edith Finch as she explores the history of her family and tries to figure out why she's the last Finch left alive.
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This review contains spoilers
At the end of the day I was moved, and that's more than I can say most of the time.
But there's some weird tonal stuff here. Some of the deaths are very pulpy, from the buck knocking Sam off a cliff (complete with a camera taking a timed picture of his descent!) to a guy busting out of his bunker only to immediately get run over by a train. But then there was a baby literally drowning in the bathtub????? I actually looked away from the screen for that one. So I experienced a little bit of whiplash there and I'm not sure if that was wholly intentional.
(edit: Actually in retrospect I think this is more about my personal feelings on, say, infant children dying unattended in the tub rather than anything strictly in the text of the game)
So, look. It's an experience. I would recommend this experience with some qualifiers.
It's rare for a game to completly pull me in just from the design of the environment: I love this fantastical family house, as it perfectly reflects the familys history (the bottom floors are the first finches and the once that reach the sky are the last finches) and bizarre nature of them.
The Story of each Finch is intriguing as they are unfortunate. Some are Bizarre, morbid and some just left me speechless by their execution.
Some narrative games could've just been films instead of games - Edith Finch's story works because it uses its medium to create an engaging narrative with. What Remains of Edith Finch can only be best experienced through play.