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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter review | GamersInBeta.com

The above video does contain spoilers for the first two puzzles in the game.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was released on September 25, 2014 and was developed by The Astronauts.
A review code was provided for review purposes. Review originally posted on GamersInBeta.com

TVoEC_ScreenShot_02Upon booting up The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by The Astronauts, I knew I was in for a treat, of sorts. The very first thing you’ll be greeted with is a nice, matter of fact, message which essentially says this is a open-exploration, story driven game and therefore there will be no hand holding. Gulp. Well that is certainly one way to catch your attention. The Astronauts are made up of developers who used to work at People Can Fly, whom you’ll remember from delivering the under-appreciated Bulletstorm and mediocre Gears of War: Judgement. Although to be fair, Adrian and company left the studio before Judgement was completed.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a beautifully crafted story where the player takes on the role of Paul Prospero, a psychic detective. He shows up in Red Creek Valley, a sleepy mining town in Wisconsin to figure out what events happened which caused Ethan to disappear. Upon entering this world, a few things will jump out at you immediately. First, the level of detail the developers have put into the landscapes are unreal. There are so many places to wander off to and explore that at times it can feel daunting to stay focused and locate clues. Secondly, the ambiance of the world is so thick and palpable there is a constant sense of tension as to what awaits you next. It should be noted that there are no physical encounters in this game and in fact, you’ll be alone for a good majority of the game. Lurking around looking for clues while being the alone in this world is intense. Your senses are heightened and you’re on edge waiting for an inevitable encounter, which never comes.

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