When The Unfinished Swan came to the PlayStation 3 store, the videogame industry had just undergone a paradigm shift. Perhaps ‘suffering’ is a wrong word,
not the second: the indies were taking a run and it was no longer necessary for a large studio to dedicate millions of euros to a production so that it would have guaranteed quality. Titles such as Braid, Limbo or Bastion had opened a gap in a conservative sector, and that was only the beginning.
Gone Home, another of those indies from nothing, changed everything.
Abandoned the condition of video game on many occasions to tell a story in a literary format, interactive but without taking advantage of 100% of the benefits offered by the medium, a controversial but not wrong, accepting its extraordinary quality and its ability to generate a conversation around him.
That little project, one of those that made the term ‘walking simulator’ to designate narrative video games in which 90% of the time is spent while reading text without putting the player’s skill to the test, was a seed of something much older
The Unfinished Swan came out in the middle of this whole revolution, although it still accepted its origin and raised a series of puzzles or situations to solve.
The narrative part was decisive, a kind of adventure with magical realism integrated in which a small story came alive to leave the player wanting to enter more and more into his world. His studio, Giant Sparrow, has not stopped working since then and in 2012 he began
laying the foundations of his next project. This week has been released on PS4, PC and we are in luck. Because not only is it superior to its first title, but it also enters fully into the group of the best in the genre.
If last year we had Firewatch to remind us how to tell a story taking advantage of the minimum and exploiting it to the fullest, and in 2015 it was The Beginner’s Guide that reminded us that The Stanley Parable was not a simple stroke of luck, What Remains of
Edith Finch comes to save the waking simulator and the saturation and wear and tear that has been suffered because of innocuous proposals and unable to understand the rules not only of video games, but of the narrative itself, without a worthy category.
The premise puts us under the control of Edith Finch of the title, a woman who returns to her family home seven years after a tragedy to rediscover her memories. Once inside, you will explore different rooms and discover, through genealogical tree,
the secrets of each one of your ancestors, both direct – brothers, parents – as far away – great grandparents, etc -. The premise we have seen, and yes, Gone Home has a lot to say in relation to how the points are connected. But it goes another way.
Gone Home was, in my opinion, a literary bet. The interaction was limited in almost all cases to move around a house and read documents, but
What Remains of Edith Finch is a video game aware of being. If The Beginner’s Guide used this to their advantage to tell us about the sector from a
goal point of view, Edith Finch is a much more naked bet. Its function is to use the tools available to sublimate, and to correct, the evils in which the genre had fallen, devoting space and providing inventiveness to each of the stories it tells.