What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative-driven experience that does its best to tell the POV story in a way that can only be told in this medium. Sure, movies and books can tell a story from the character’s point of view or tell/show a character’s flight of fancy, but when the experience involves you, the consumer, making choices that are in the present in the moment, but also in the past, making it a non-choice, you really start to think about the situation.
That is where Edith Finch really shines. I was astounded by the game’s ability to tell a linear story while steering the player in a natural way that leaves you to intuitively move the narrative forward. Even the one time I felt “lost,” I felt it was more of “I missed something” rather than “I don’t know what to do next.” The game also does a spectacular job of mixing up the story beats. Between being an animal, flying a kite, and working your job, Edith Finch stays engaging throughout the entire process. These experiences are accentuated by the multitude of different areas of the grounds you visit, evoking different emotions as you encounter each story. The art direction is top notch.
As you expect from a narrative experience like this, the game is not particularly long. I finished in two and a half hours or so. While I did it in one sitting, you may enjoy it better in 2 sittings. My only other real complaint is that in the game’s desire to natively help you along the path, sometimes it just doesn’t tell you anything at all, leaving you to sit there wondering if you should be doing something. Though in defense of What Remains of Edith Finch, I suppose I prefer for the game to err on the conservative side and force me to think it through.
Final thoughts on What Remains of Edith Finch:
Overall, What Remains of Edith Finch is a beautiful, narrative-driven game. I definitely recommend this to those who have a proclivity for these experiences as well as those looking to find out “what these games are all about.” The developers (Giant Sparrow) truly captured and executed these short stories in a way that can only be done in video games and have capitalized on that.