‘Gone Home’ is a Video Game Adventure Story that Revolves around Family Secrets
As a first person, role playing game, ‘Gone Home’ deviates from the norm by basing its premise on an adventure than unravels at its own pace in the form of a story about the family members of “The Psycho House”. However, this deviation hasn’t reduced anything from the game, if the great critic reviews about the game is anything to go by. If anything, this video game purports the importance and power of a great story line in a video game, and also shows that it isn’t only blood, gore and shooting that rules the show in the gaming world.
Family Secrets Revealed through Solitary Exploration
The game starts with Kaitlin, a twenty-one year old woman who has been traveling abroad the past year, finally arriving back home on a stormy night. However, as she enters the family manor that her family had recently moved into, she finds it empty. And thus begins Kaitlin’s exploration of her home in order to find out about where her family members might be.
She finds a note and a journal (with letters to Kaitlin) from her sister Samantha that explains that she doesn’t want Kaitlin to look for her because she has run away from home to be with her girlfriend, Lonnie. Samantha apologizes in the journal letters for not meeting and telling Kaitlin about her reasons and relationship in person, but ends by saying that she loved her and would see her again someday.
And as Kaitlin explores the house and finds more objects, even more information about her house and family is revealed – some information which she knew, and some which she didn’t.
We, along with Kaitlin, learn that their family manner is known as the “Psycho House” among the locals, after Oscar, the one who owned the house before them. This man, Oscar, is in fact, Kaitlin and Samantha’s father’s uncle. And on his death, he had written their father, Terrance (also known as “Terry”), as the sole heir to everything that he’d ever owned. Newspaper clippings found in the house reveal that Oscar had died in the manor. And it is kind of implied that his ghost may even be haunting the manor. (At that piece of information, one wonders whether the ghost hunting sessions that Lonnie and Samantha had organized for fun had more to it than one thought.)
Kaitlin, when examining through some of her parents’ things, also finds old novels that her father, Terry, had once written and published. However, when two of his books had poor sales, his publishing company dropped his series altogether. The disappointment pulled him down and he gave up writing altogether, on the reason that he had a constant (and maybe chronic) case of writer’s block. However, Kaitlin also learns (along with the player) that her father had received an offer letter from a new publishing firm that offered to publish his dropped books and poorly sold books under a new cover. Terry was overjoyed to accept and hopes that they will publish his new books as well – although at present, they only offered to republish his old books.
Kaitlin and the layer additionally find the reason for her parents’ absence: They are on a vacation trip for their anniversary and will return home the next day. However, a brochure for a “Couples Counseling” retreat that is dated to occur at the same time as her parents’ anniversary indicate that not all might be well. Plus, there are also suggestive hints around that Kaitlin and Samantha’s mother might be having romantic relations with a co-worker.
There are objects around the house that even hint at and provide proof (perhaps) about a relationship between Terrance and Oscar. Evidence that Terrance’s mother, Oscar’s sister, shunned Oscar for some horrible offense against her and Oscar also exists. It all suggested that Oscar might have sexually abused Terrance.
All in all, this game, with all its twists and turns and secrets, will definitely keep you hooked!