We had already met him during our interview with Milan Games Week 2018 and, after several ups and downs related to the development of this title, as complex as the theme it addresses in its plot, finally sees the light The Suicide of Rachel Foster, the video game published by Daedalic Entertainment and developed by ONE-O-ONE GAMES, outgoing the February 19 on Steam. This interactive casual adventure in which we come across goes to dissect many intimate and profound facets linked to the history of a family now destroyed and dissolved by human errors and the physiological transience of life, leaving Nicole Wilson alone, the sole heir of Leonard McGrath's legacy. Let's discover together this strong and delicate journey, the stages of which are all characterized by a notable emotional significance and pregnancy.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster review - Heavy Legacy
After reading the letter our mother wrote to us in anticipation of her imminent death, we find ourselves in Montana, USA, on a cold winter day, precisely the December 22 1993. Nicole is recognized as the only owner of the hotel Timberline. After ten years of trying to forget the past, the latter then forcefully returns to her life, forcing her to remember annoying and sad family events due to bureaucratic matters. But what for Nicole seemed the greatest of problems, will become a reason for rediscovery and resurfacing of distant memories, hidden between the walls and the objects still preserved inside that mysterious hotel.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster takes full advantage of first-person exploration, leaving aside the horror and paranormal drifts to focus on a growing state of anguish and tension, immediately dictated by the nagging ringing of the phone that haunts us until we find it and answer it. We are not talking about the rooms now destroyed and abandoned, jarring with the color and order of the bedrooms that remained identical to the last time their owner crossed the door.
Discovering lost memories
We have to admit that exploration is not always easy and engaging, both for technical and narrative reasons: there are points along the route where boredom is physiological and one cannot do otherwise, getting lost in the exploration of the hotel, being composed of several floors that we can know in advance thanks to the map of which we have from the menu. Being paper-based, it consequently does not allow us to identify our position as we move, making things more complicated, but at the same time realistic.
We notice a little less realism in the rendering of vehicle movements and in the definition of environments and objects, which peek out on the screen between slightly rounded corners and sometimes quite artifact-looking. We admit, however, that, on the whole, it is a good job, to bear the signature of Daedalic Entertainment, a publisher who often left us with a bad taste in the mouth for its graphic and technical flaws, especially about the game engine, another specifies that passes the exam with a good grade. In all this, we have not yet focused on what the gaming experience actually is like by stepping into the role of the protagonist.
It is primarily a title in first person, where, as soon as we take control of Nicole, we hardly notice her physical presence, except in some sporadic moment where the protagonist's corporeality is dictated by the lacquered nails of the hands that we glimpse from time to time, from the beginning, when we read the revealing letter of the past which is difficult to accept even after years of the narrated incident. Small note: pay attention to stains on the paper of shed tears from her mother while she was writing the letter; a decidedly hyper-realistic moment of pure poetry.
Download QR-Code The Suicide of Rachel Foster Developer: ONE-O-ONE GAMES Price: 2,54 €
From a technical point of view, it will not always be easy to be able to control our movements between mouse and keyboard, where the first is used to move the camera lens, while the second to move us on the screen in a fairly rigid way and necessarily assisted by the use of the mouse. However, there is another really critical trait that we need to pay attention to: we have found several times no small difficulty in saving the game. Even after just a couple of hours of play, the progress has practically disappeared, making us return to the hotel entrance, as if we had just played the introduction to the story. A particularly bitter bite to swallow, if it weren't for the fact that the game, in and of itself, won't cost us several hours of gameplay and complexity.
On the other hand, we appreciated being able to set the screen graphics according to our needs (but also according to the possibilities dictated by the specifications of the PC we play on), as well as the immediacy of the commands and their simplicity. The input can be given both by mouse and keyboard, and by controller, allowing us a fair freedom of choice, as well as the settings allow us to have subtitles, which we recommend to better fix the indications that are given to us and the dialogues in general.
In conclusion, The Suicide of Rachel Foster seemed to us a good product on paper, promising "serious" emotions and a plot worthy of being told, but we were not particularly surprised by the final result in terms of gameplay, from this production that we were so curious a year and a half ago. However, we must appreciate the multiplicity of meanings which is imbued with the whole story, which cannot be compared merely to any walking simulator, although games of this type always risk falling into the trap of this categorization. The story is heartfelt and close to our sensitivity, it is a story worthy of being understood, appreciated and enjoyed in its pauses and its expansions linked to exploration and the act of digging into memory and soul.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster
- History with profound psychological implications
- Well-finished audio and graphics above the average of the Daedalic editions
- Autosave problems
- Woody displacements in the environment