It’s hard to be a Finch
A boat that reaches an island on a windy day, soft music that accompanies the player on the horizon, an uncertain narrative voice that barely conceals the anxiety, and a huge house, battered, which rises sheer to the sea: So What Remains of Edith Finch begins , and so, gently and without too many preambles, we glide in the role of the homonymous protagonist, the last representative of the most unlucky family who has ever shot video games.
Finch I have always been a handful of eccentric people, haunted by a sort of curse ever since, after leaving the shores of Norway, their home country, have moved overseas, only to see the ship on which they had escaped shipwreck a few hundred meters from the coast.
Odin Finch, the parent, did not lose heart, and began building a new home right near the site of the shipwreck, and just inside this magician, widening over time over the years, it will take place almost entirely of the adventure, which will take away two and a half hours also to the most reflexive players.
The latest work by Giant Sparrow is difficult subjects that the videogame medium has begun to take into consideration only in recent times, often with a view from the coarse points, and does so with incredible delicacy, halfway between awareness and resignation.
The ineluctable, death, family value, mourning, and drug consumption are just a few of the themes dealt with in a movie title title, masterfully exploiting the expense of environmental narrative by immersing the player soon to the inside of the troubled family dynamics of Finch.
What remains of Edith Finch is not the first title that reaches incredible levels of empathy and empathy but is the only one (along with the already mentioned Gone Home) who can do so in such a short time and regardless of age and social excitement of those who play it: I never cried before a video game and I did not do it this time, but I struggled a lot to contain the tears on a given scene, closely related to the fact that she had just become a father.
But if I had played this masterpiece a few years ago, striking me would be another scene, because the Finch family tree is dotted with very different figures, including teenagers, elderly people, middle-aged men, newborns, only united by a tremendous fate.
The impact of certain regressive choices, the depth of dialogue and the degree of immersion in loving family affairs can not depend on the individual’s sensitivity and the vital history of each one, but the sadness, humanity, and the painful poetry of the family, Californian team work goes beyond labels and standardizations.
If I am generic, it is because entering the details would constitute a crime comparable to stabbing our readers behind. I just say that anyone who sees the video gaming medium as a work of art and not just as a pastime should sit and leave this trip .
The only other thing to know before embarking on that boat is that, at the end of the trip, the questions will surpass (and far) the answers: I do not mean the narrative arc, which closes in a clear way and incontrovertible, but to the most profound questions, to the questions that anxiety mankind from the night of the times.
What is the meaning of life? Are there more or less useful, or dignified? Can you escape your own destiny?
In first person
Talking about gameplay in similar titles, as we mentioned in the opening of the review, leaves a while the time it finds.
Yet, Giant Sparrow does not pay to have written a memorable story, he tried to get rid of the cards on the table, even in terms of gaming mechanics, even within the limits of a structure that is still very limited compared to the more interactive titles .
While playing mainly in the role of Edith, a teenager and heiress of the big family home, the player will experience the most revered memories of the deceased members of the Finch family in person, and each of them will try to try out different minigames that are always different the tone of the tale and the specific stories of the protagonists.
Far from revealing any detail, I will only mention the two stories that most affected me: that of Barbara Finch, early talent trapped in her role as a prodigal child, and Lewis Finch, a teenager from the imagination a bit too fervent, forced to come to terms with the raw everyday reality.