From the moment Paul Prospero comes into this world, the Vanishing of Ethan Carter will strike you with its visual beauty and eerie atmosphere. Be it a stain of blood on the ground or a distant sound on the wind, you'll never feel completely safe in Red Creek Valley.
Granted, the game requires a pretty powerful PC to run which is where I think the game has its biggest flaw. The game is decently optimized and I personally was getting solid frame-rates in outdoor areas with most of the settings set to High.
It is a narrative driven experience which focuses on the story and immersing you in the world. It does so very well because it doesn't have guns or well defined gameplay mechanics such as skill trees and weapon upgrades. It will tell you it won't hold your hand and this is quite true.
This approach means you will have to figure out the mechanics for yourself and you have to do so in order to advance the story.
The crime scene investigation mechanic works in such a way that you have to find and restore objects to their original location and then linking a chain of events together by playing them back in the right order. This is where your supernatural powers come into play. My first experience with the crime scene investigation mechanic was for the most part looking around and clicking on objects it will draw your attention to. The way it does that is by hovering texts above the object in question. When you click on said text it shows you a thought process that in turn gives you clues as to what you are looking for.
It is a way of informing you what to do while not ruining the immersion with a HUD notification or by pausing the experience.
If only more game developers would take that approach.
I would love to give more of an example but the story is hard to write about without giving away major (or minor) spoilers. I will say though that the writing is very good, I never had any problems with the dialogue although the voice-acting didn't always fit.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a great addition to my Steam library and while I got it on sale it is in my opinion worth the 19 Euros that it currently costs on Steam.
I want to see more games like this and I want to see what The Astronauts come up with next.
Thanks for reading and have a nice day!