When the Vanishing of Ethan Carter finally got announced for the Xbox One, I just knew I had to get my hands on it. The game has already been around since 2014, first on PC then last year it arrived on the PS4 before finally joining the Xbox last week.
When you begin the game it’s quick to let you know that your hand will not be held and it doesn’t lie. You are left to your own devices and it’s a bit frustrating at first but as time goes on you’ll feel much more comfortable exploring Red Creek valley. You play as Paul Prospero, who is trying to locate Ethan Carter, it’s not long before you discover your first mystery.
Paul is able to use special abilities that lets him communicate with the dead, allowing him to see what has happened in the past. Uncovering clues generates a stronger picture of what went on. When you find all of the clues you transport into the memories of what happened, but you’ll need to put the sequence of events into the right order before it all plays out in front of your eyes. It reminds me a lot of Murdered: Soul Suspect when playing through these puzzle sequences, they were my favourite parts of the game.
There is plenty of trial and error with the puzzles and there are certainly some tough puzzles to solve, but with persistence you’ll get through the game in around three hours. What I liked about the game is the fact you can explore the valley without having to solve any mysteries initially, at the end of the game you discover parts of the valley you may have missed which gives you the impetus to go back and do some more exploring.
It’s hard not to notice just how good the game looks, not only has the game been ported from Unreal Engine 3 to 4, but it’s also had a 4k texture pack added so that the game is enhanced on Xbox One X. Heading into the options gives the player a chance to customise their experience further, with the ability to change resolution, FOV or even the frame rate. The game almost looks photo realistic in parts. There is the odd glitch in the graphics such as some textures taking longer to load than others but certainly nothing to ruin my experience.
Despite its short length it’s most definitely a game that you need to experience, it’s graphically a treat, the puzzles are interesting the story is full of twists and turns to keep you entertained.