The past cannot always be simply left behind. Sometimes you have to take courage and face it, especially if it concerns your loved ones closely. This is only part of the moral that One-O-One he wants to teach us with his latest title, a morality that with the passing of the hours you could share… or not. The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a narrative thriller adventure, a story made of research and memories, but also of doubts and anguish. The message is strong, and the team immediately believed in the project, as well as the same Daedalic Entertainment who took care of the publishing. The game deals with extremely delicate themes, and certainly not suitable for all types of users. After being intrigued with our proof of the title in 2018, we were finally able to get our hands on the final version of the game, and here's what we think.
The incipit of the game is explained to us through a letter that our protagonist Nicole he will read after his mother's death. With those words, she encourages her daughter to sell the old and now abandoned family hotel, a place that bears the mark of a past too heavy to forget, a place that after the untimely death of little Rachel contains only pain and ugliness remember. The desire to return within those walls is not much for Nicole Wilson, who in any case will have to go there to resolve some bureaucratic issues. However, the snowstorm outside is raging, and will keep the young woman locked inside the facility. What, however, had promised to be an uncomfortable one forced stay, slowly reveals itself a voluntary bath of memories and investigations, with the resolve to dig deep and understand how things went years ago, when the little Rachel Foster, daughter of the Shepherd, committed suicide. The living room also becomes a sort of symbiotic relationship, given that for the entire time of our research we will enjoy the company, albeit only by telephone, of Irving, a young FEMA agent.
Being an exploratory and narrative game, we will avoid anticipating the plot more than that, but know that your sleep inside the Timberline Mountain hotel, in the heart of the Helena National Forest, will be anything but peaceful. The adventure settles on decidedly thriller tones, but with a speed of execution that is not too exaggerated. In any case, the atmosphere recalls a slight sense of claustrophobia even in large spaces, also approaching almost horror themes without ever really ending up there. There will be twists, even if a couple of them could be "guessed".
During the four / five hours of play necessary to complete the story, we will basically be led to walk and explore, but also to deduce: taking up the genre of titles already seen as Gone Home, in The Suicide of Rachel Foster the narrative sector is closely linked to the place explored, and the details will make the difference. The objects that we can use are only 3, and clearly contextualized to certain parts of the game, but again, we will not anticipate anything.
During the adventure there are many topics that, in detail but also in depth, are treated, but be aware that some of these they could upset the most sensitive people or with attitudes similar to those described (it is no coincidence that the advice for using this product is clear even before it starts). Heartbreaking. Intimate. This strong emotional charge will find its outlet during our chats with Irving, to which we will almost always be able to respond as we see fit.
All roads lead home ...
Narratively we are therefore faced with a game that uses charisma as its main weapon, despite sinning for a couple of dynamics. For example, of our Nicole, apart from some old photos from when she was a child, we will never see anything other than her hands, and with the classic trick of obscuring - or removing - there is not a single mirror or reflective wall where his image can be seen. A real shame, if we also take into consideration the very good technical quality of the game, which boasts really suggestive light and shadow effects and a graphic detail that goes beyond the limit of the simple "pleasant".
On the other hand, the work done in the audio sector is commendable, undoubtedly the best of the whole production hand in hand with the narration. Binaural audio, which makes the game perfect with a pair of headphones in your ears, a very expressive dubbing (but only available in English), and a series of music tracks that have a heart themselves. The effects, the sounds, the noises, everything creates that strong atmosphere, but above all indispensable for some of the phases that we will experience in the game. One last thing… you decide how the story will end.