What Remains of Edith Finch (Switch): COMPLETED!

It’s two years since I played this on the PS4, and having picked it up for just One United States Pound for the Switch, I thought it was high time I played it again.

Most of the story I’d remembered, but the detail I’d forgotten. There was a lot of “oh yeah! I remember that!” while I played. And it’s still good, there are still great toilets, and it’s still the same game it always was.

What I did expect was a graphical downgrade, especially since I played it handheld. And it appeared that was what I got – it just wasn’t as impressive as I remembered. What I didn’t expect was for this to be mostly faulty memory! I’d taken screenshots of the PS4 game at the time and comparing these to what I’ve just played, there’s very little in it. In fact, the only really difference was that on the Switch, everything was just a bit too dark, even with the game’s brightness setting up full. Maybe that was intentional for performance reasons (although bright scenes were still bright, so probably not), or perhaps it’s because it was in handheld mode, who knows.

Oh, and somehow I totally missed Gus’ story so had to replay that bit at the end. I didn’t even realise that was possible!

What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4): COMPLETED!

Spoiler free bit:

Firstly, there are some great toilets in the game. I feel that needs to be said because although there was an inevitability I’d buy the game anyway, I was tipped off about them and it just made me want it more. One of them even features in a most unusual way. More of this sort of thing.

What Remains of Edith Finch tells the story of Edith Finch, returning to a really quirky house where she used to live, after the death of her mother prompts her to discover “family secrets”. The main one being the open secret that the entire Finch clan seems to be cursed and everyone died in unusual circumstances, leaving Edith the last of the line.

It plays out as a narrative discovery experience, and feels a lot like Gone Home and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. There’s no actual paranormal stuff, like in Ethan Carter, but there’s more mystery than the story and house in Gone Home, so it fits somewhere between the two.

As you explore the house that you’d lived in for years but was never able to freely roam (as relatives died, their rooms were sealed off), how each person died is revealed and some of the mystery surrounding them explained. Edith discovers the conflict between Edie (her great-grandmother, Finch matriarch and oldest surviving member of the family) wishing to embrace the family “curse”, and her mother wanting to hide it from Edith and leave the house which she believed would save them.

Gameplay is sparse as you’d expect from this genre of game, with little more than operating handles and latches. As you read messages left by your relatives before they died, or letters, poems or even comics written about them, parts of their stories play out. It’s here where more control is given, such as chasing a bird, swimming in a bath, or flying a kite.

It’s only a couple of hours long, but Edith Finch is interesting. I didn’t get answers to every question (and seem to have missed how Sanjay died completely), but perhaps that’s not the point.

Spoilery bit:

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