It was the surprise hit of 2013, and helped paved the way for the success of slow narrative games; now the Gone Home console release is nearly upon us.
Gone Home wasn’t the first of its kind, a style of game often pejoratively called ‘walking simulators’ by those who struggle to grasp the slower pace and narrative-driven focus, but it was arguably the breakthrough success that allowed the genre to flourish. Sunset, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and the upcoming Firewatch all owe a debt of gratitude to Gone Home and its near-650,000 sales on Steam; now the Gone Home console versions will allow an even wider audience to experience it.
It’s been almost two-and-a-half years since Gone Home’s PC release in August 2013, and for a time the Gone Home console ports were actually cancelled due to the breakdown of relationship with then publisher Majesco; so what’s been going on since then?
Aside from developer Fullbright working on their next major release Tacoma, another narrative-driven adventure set in a deserted space station that looks like a cross between Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and System Shock, they’ve intermittently been working on the Gone Home console ports for PS4 and Xbox One. This has included an engine update from Unity 4 to Unity 5, which should help the game’s visuals feel fresh and prevent the Gone Home console versions feeling like a poor relation to the oft-graphically superior PC platform.
They’ve also been working hard on some console-specific features and control schemes, to make sure the Gone Home console port feels as good to play from your sofa on a big screen as it did when it first surprised us all on PC. Oh, and there’s a 90-minute director’s commentary, if you’re into that sort of thing.