GameSpot GamePlay Special Edition Spoilercast: Gone Home

Kevin VanOrd sits down with Carolyn Petit and Chris Watters to discuss the impact the very special Gone Home had on them.

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GameSpot GamePlay Special Edition Spoilercast: Gone Home

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Kevin, Caro, and Chris were eager to share their thoughts on the marvelous Gone Home. Caution: This spoilercast has, well, spoilers in it! It's right in the name, after all. But if you have not yet played Gone Home (which you totally should) but intend to, you should wait to listen/watch until you have.

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Avatar image for cpfast

Asking 20 bucks for this, to me, is just ridiculous, almost every book is much cheaper than this and plenty offer great stories and feel much more immersive than this game.

The story was pretty uninteresting and mundane, really disappointing.

Im glad you guys enjoyed it though

Avatar image for mucking_foron

@cpfast LMAO look at all the perfect scores on metacritic. That's the best reason one could have not to trust anything they write.

Avatar image for 4le_breVVer

If you give Gone Home anything higher than a 5/10 you clearly have no taste in games. Horror is my favorite genre in books but I call say with certainty that this story isn't good at all. The entirety of the game is unbelievable. notes and printed material is scattered about the house and the note on the front door reads don't try and find out what happened to me. This game is for stupid people. And 20$ for this indie effort is a slap in the face!

Avatar image for MasterTazo

I loved this game. Living in the 90s was worth it just to see X Files.

Avatar image for MaximumPorkchop

Having played the game, I almost totally disagree with all the praise this game is getting. This game is an interesting experiment in environmental storytelling, and I commend the devs for doing such a good job fleshing out the character of Sam just through inspection of her belongings, but to call it one of this generation's best games is nuts. The game is badly programmed, taking up more RAM than disk space; I found they totally bungled the character of Lonnie through her terrible voice acting (I cringed at the fake crying on the answering machine); The soundtrack, featuring Lonnie's voice actor, is putrid; the story is only notable for it's portrayal of a lesbian relationship and features some glaring continuity errors. Worst of all, despite it's short length, the game manages to drag around the 2nd hour of playtime thanks to it's monotonous game design.

Gone home does some things very right, and others very, very wrong. Not deserving of the rave reviews.

Avatar image for Pro-Aktivity

@MaximumPorkchop To be fair the game is filled with high res textures, since you're expected to read a lot. So it might be a bit premature to call it badly programmed

Avatar image for lo_crow98

There were so many ways this game could've made me satisfied with it.

1. You could've found Sam dead from suicide up in the attic

2. The crazy uncle ghost could've been more than just a red herring

3. Creepy Daniel could've been holed up with the family hostage in the basement, etc.

So much potential...

Avatar image for Jasondoreen

You gave GTA 4 10, So there for Gone home at 9.5 I should expect a game pretty close to GTA 4? Your basically saying gone home was almost just as good as GTA 4. Stop rating games with your FEELINGS, and rate games for there value and the work that has been put into them!!!. This Game was STUPID and had very little value, This hardly constitutes for a game and should be considered a interactive STORY BOOK!!!! So for 20 bucks you get 2 hours of entertainment and no replay value at all. On a good note the game was different and did waste 2 hours of my life...Also YOUR RATING SYSTEM SUCKS AND IS OUT DATED!!!! You think I give a shit whether Wal-Mart cares about its products If you want to rate games with your feelings DO IT, but don't score it.

If you like Big fish games, and low caliber games, you will LOVE this game.. If your a hard core gamer I doubt you will find value in this game.

I used to come here and buy games because of your ratings/opinions/good & bad section. But now when you give a game I think is GREAT a shitty score, and a game that I think is not so good, a Great score. So I have learned over the past year. That your reviews are BIASED to the point that I cannot go by your recommendation any more.

A great review reveals facts, good things about the game, and bad things about the game.. That's it that's all!! Why your trying to push this game is beyond me. (of course I should not have to say this, but this is all just my opinion)

This game does not come close to Dark souls, Super meat boy, dragon age, Crisis, The orange box, World of War craft plus the many more you gave 9.5. When you rate this game 9.5 you put this game gone home in the same category as all of these other 9.5 games, Gone Home does not deserve to sit with these other titles.

Regardless if you want to know what the game is like buy it for yourself. Don't let any video game website convince you a game is good or a game is bad.

Avatar image for Kevin-V

@Jasondoreen "Stop rating games with your FEELINGS, and rate games for there value and the work that has been put into them."

There's so much wrong in that statement alone that I don't know where to even begin. "Value" is more than the number of hours you get compared to the money you spent, firstly. Vanquish is one of the greatest games I have played in years, but it is short even by shooter standards and has no multiplayer component, yet I would recommend it over almost any shooter that provides twice the length and multiple online modes. I would recommend Journey 8 days a week over a bad 30-hour game. If you believe that value only amounts to the number of hours you got out of the money you spent, then you are probably spending a lot of time with mediocre games.

You say Gone Home has no replay value, yet I have played it twice now, looking for clues I missed and insight into the secondary story threads. In any case, how often do you return to single-player games when you have finished them? People often seem worried about replay value, yet I don't know many people who actually replay them. I would sooner play something that had great emotional impact than a bland experience that plays like every single other.

Beyond that, we do not review games based on "the amount of work" put into them. Many poor games have been the result of many years worth of work by hundreds of developers. Resident Evil 6 was created by an enormous team putting many hours into their project, but it does not get a pass because people worked hard. Are you saying that the people that made Gone Home did not work hard? Would you prefer us to rate games based on total number of man hours spent versus length of game? Tell me what the proper equation is and I will plug it into our review supercomputer.

Furthermore, I don't think you know what "bias" means. "Bias" doesn't mean that we reviewed a game based on our personal experience with it. In fact, reading a review based on the player's personal experience with it is *exactly* what you should expect. If we had critiqued Gone Home based on our feelings about the people that made it, or because we were promised gifts, or because we had friends that made it and promised them a good review, then yes--that is bias. Evaluating a game based on its impact and qualities is not bias; it's criticism.

In any case, the reader has a personal responsibility. If you read the review and saw that this game was a 2-hour interactive story--which it would have told you--and knew that that is not the type of game that you want, then you should have moved on. If we gave a 9.5 to an RPG and you hate RPGs, then you would move right along. In this case, we gave a 9.5 to an interactive story-based adventure, which we described in detail in the review. If you don't like short, interactive stories, it's beyond we why you are complaining.

Regarding "A great review reveals facts, good things about the game, and bad things about the game," well, that's what the review did. Again, if there are features in this game that are deal-breakers for you, it is your responsibility to avoid it. Beyond that, in the real world, even if something is amazing, some people will hate it, and when something is awful, some people will love it. We write reviews based on our experiences with the games we play. We don't write reviews based on what we think " @Jasondoreen " will think. We're not mind readers. And as you can tell from this comments section, there are a lot of people that love Gone Home. Are you suggesting that writing for Jasondoreen should be our goal? But what about MillionBones? If we told you what you wanted to hear, we wouldn't have told MillionBones what she wanted to hear.

Our role as critics isn't to guess whether Jasondoreen will like a game, but to express the impact a game had on us by describing its qualities. I am sorry that some of those qualities did not speak to you, but no critic can guess what random Internet guy will think of something.

Avatar image for Jasondoreen

@Kevin-V I decided to give your "book" a chance since you took the time to write it..

I agree with the value, but your not going to put in 30 hours into a game you don't like. if its a 30 hour game and you put 2.. yeah its clear you did not like the game.

I am sorry you had to play 2 times to find everything. that's how serious I took this game. I went from room to room, and did not leave till I searched all walls shelves, closets.. Searching areas for stuff is pretty much what games are about for a long time, this is not new.

Everyone said RE 6 sucked.. EVERYONE.. People did not work hard on that game. It clearly shows. Just cause you pay everyone to work hard, does not mean they do. Every work place has there slackers. I remember reading about how they treated there employees (rumor) but look at the turn out of the game.

I do know what biased means. If a highly popular staff members family member made a game. You would stand behind that person.. This is a fact of life.. EVERYONE is biased. opinions are like asshole and they all stink like shit (yes even mine!!!!). Another fact.

As a reader I have no personal responsibility's.. Carolyn did not mention the game would take 2 hours to complete in her video review(sorry I don't read reviews there are to many video reviews out there), I am a open minded person, but I refuse to spend money on crap. Someone else said. not everyone is like me... They are right.. Most people that don't like something. Will walk away and bitch and complain behind the back of whatever the situation and not come back.

You wrote "We write reviews based on our experiences with the games we play."

Scroll down to the Philosophy and just read that please.. Again I don't care what you felt playing the game. I just want to know if I should buy it or not.

The Reviewer, after listening to the review again, she did not mention anything bad about this game at all. Under the written section of the Good and the BAD, there is nothing bad about this game... would it been to hard to write.. This game might not be for everyone?.

I don't want people to write reviews to make me happy.. I want fair reviews so when I go out and buy the game, I am not disappointed..

As Well, no where on the site does it stat it rates AAA and INDIE games different.. There all in the same Category.. Heck in the TOP 10 GAMES on the first page. It has 6.0, 7.0 games, how are these top 10 games? By traffic? ?But there not really the top 10 games right now are they? Heck Maybe make a INDIE SECTION, and a AAA section. Cause as a indie game it was good. but as AAA Game it SUCKED ASS.

No where in the guidelines does it stat

"Our role as critics isn't to guess whether Jasondoreen will like a game, but to express the impact a game had on us by describing its qualities."

It does say

Avatar image for Jasondoreen


(sorry got cut off )

How ever It does say

We Cater to the Discriminating Game Player

Our reviews are written with the prospective customer in mind--someone who's naturally interested in playing a new game and has a limited amount of time and money to spend. Our editors approach each review strictly from that perspective. In turn, our reviews are not intended to validate or support the beliefs of hardcore fans, nor are they intended to provide feedback to developers or publishers about how a given game could have been improved. Our reviews are only designed to tell you, the game player, to what extent a game is worth your while.

THE MONEY POV< THIS GAME IS NOT WORTH 20 BUCK so there for its not worth my while... I already expected to be BULLIED over my opinion. I am prepared for any backlash. I am not going to change my POV.

You guys suck at taking opinions, although you give your opinions about games all day long. You even made feedbackula.. Even though I love it and its funny as hell.. it shows you can dish it out but you cant take it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for mucking_foron

@Kevin-V "We write reviews based on our experiences with the games we play. We don't write reviews based on what we think " @Jasondoreen " will think. "

With due respect, the reviewer does write in a way that seems to suggest that she knows me. She wrote 'you feel', 'you will feel', 'you immediately care for...' and the like, additionally, as a good point she infers that this game respects my intelligence. And she knows this how? Suggesting the opposite is true.

Avatar image for Jasondoreen

@mucking_foron Well people like me used to come here and buy games on these recommendations and scores. (for 17 years) yep, There are many more of me, but not as vocal. You can moan and bitch and Stand up for this game all you want. It don't change my mind that this game sucks, not worth the money, and this is nothing more, then a 3d point and click adventure.. that you walk around in!!!. The amount of people that are standing up and supporting this game is VER"Y little. Reviews from all over the internet are MIXED. Which does not make this game GOOD. Or worth the money. Most people are saying.. great game... BUT..... The point I was trying to make, is that I will no longer shell out money because Gamespot, gives a game 9.5......I respect that's what they want to give the game, But am I going to take there recommendations anymore... HELL....NO..... See the thing is, I want to separate from Gamespot, but I cant...They don't even have a Cancel Account option...Please tell me how Once people stop commenting under me...I am GONE.. So the sooner the people that are in love with game **** off the sooner I am gone, and not to look back.

Avatar image for Jasondoreen

@Kevin-V If I wanted to READ A BOOK!!!! I would of bought one!!!!!

Avatar image for manicm82

@Jasondoreen @Kevin-V Somehow I think you'd love 'The Catcher in the Rye'.

Avatar image for Jasondoreen

@Kevin-V Game still sucks.

Avatar image for lee1823

@Jasondoreen The rating is respective of the type of game (AAA / indie), and the cost... in this case a low budget indie offering that I personally enjoyed immensely. I also enjoyed Dear Esther, which had a similar vibe and longevity. I do agree that such brevity should herald a lower price tag, but it's such a breath of fresh air, in my opinion, to play something like this when we all live in sequelsville.

I Love some AAA games, but I also love playing big fish games with my wife...... as it's fun and we can play them together.

Whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion, it's horses for courses matey and not everyone thinks the same as you. There is nothing wrong with this score as it's based on different factors to the likes of GTA 4.

Avatar image for LeviN59

@lee1823 Couldn't agree more. Well put!

Avatar image for Prats1993

Im really suprised they didnt mention that crucifix moment.

Avatar image for advocacy

Great game? Perhaps.

Worth $20? Hell no.

Avatar image for MillionBones

This game was beautiful and unique. I loved every moment of it. It touched me deeply (that's what she said). Thank you Carolyn, Chris, and Kevin, excellent spoilercaster. Carolyn did an amazing job in her review which is the reason I picked up the game. Keep it up Gamespot.

Avatar image for LeviN59

I was playing Gone Home with my girlfriend yesterday, and she gave off this faint shriek when she saw the red-stained bathtub!

There is a feeling of slight darkness that lingers throughout this game, but nothing that induces unnecessary fear. Because of this, you feel you can comfortably go through the house to uncover the mysteries of the family and their situations, without concerning yourself about what things may be lurking around the corner. It's an incredible interactive experience that you can't fully grasp until you completely sell yourself in the world of the game and it's inhabitants (or lack thereof).
We completed the game earlier today; it was amazing to piece together the various stories and gather satisfying conclusions about many things, including the parents, the work of Terry's books, the inclusion of 'another man' in the mother's life, the strange stories about Oscar Masan, and of course the Lonnie and Sam (L+S) situation. I, with my girlfriend, managed to breath a sigh of relief when we got to hear that final journal entry in the attic! So much depth in a relatively short game. There's so much about this game that I've yet to mention, which should be proof of how much effort has been put into this game. This is truly a masterpiece, which I recommend to anybody who enjoys a strong, powerful and emotional narrative.

Avatar image for Kevin-V

@AggrandizedUser Man. I remember when I had hair. Those were good times.

Avatar image for Driscoal

@Ilikeapples45 Excellent summary. Entirely explains the whole game. No need to play it now, really.

Avatar image for markosasav

I love this.. I wish your reviews are more like this, more personal, instead of them being so authoritative..

Avatar image for max-hit

@Ilikeapples45 Did you have any help finding out about that?

Avatar image for Pelezinho777

@Ilikeapples45 Wait, really?

Avatar image for punksterdaddy

@Ilikeapples45 @punksterdaddy

lol what?

Thanks for that. ;)

Avatar image for punksterdaddy

Damn I so want to watch this Spoilercast but I also want to get the game.

I'll come back later on then.

Is this game really that good, I mean I don't to want buy it and end up regretting it immediately!? It isn't just a load of hype surrounding a good game, but in no way way brilliant.

If anyone can provide me with some spoiler free info, I'd very much appreciate it?

Thank you ;)

Avatar image for Guest1001

@punksterdaddy It's not good at all. The interaction with the environment is good but the story itself is really shallow. Plus, the game will last you two hours at the most and they're selling it for $20.

Avatar image for punksterdaddy

@Guest1001 @punksterdaddy

Thanks for your reply. I agree with you.

I just read another post in the game's review page and discovered the two hours, which put me off of it.

I maybe will get it, after it has been reduced.

Avatar image for bmad91

@punksterdaddy It's a good game where you can pretty much touch and feel everything Shenmue style but the FPS view is done better. Still the game lacks gameplay variety in my opinion, they could have done a few more things with the set up to involve the player into the story instead of just reading. Still for an indie game it's pretty dam good. The people that made this game will be big.

Avatar image for punksterdaddy

@bmad91 @punksterdaddy

Thank you. I'm truly grateful for your reply.

I've decided to wait a while. I just read another post from someone who loved the game, but gave it a 4/10, simply because it was a mere two hours long.

That is crazy short for $20, which is a damn shame when I wanted so much to support this.

I like games with this sort of feel but a two hour game? Nah, I'll pass... for now.

Thanks again.

Avatar image for Manatassix

Gone Home is just spectacular. Its one of those experiences the more I think about it the more I realise how well designed and executed it really is. Such a simple yet powerful concept I really hope that the buzz Gone Home has generated and with the launch of tech like the Occulus Rift this genre could get really interesting.

Extremely impressed and quite touched walking away from playing Gone Home :)

Avatar image for lim_ak

OMG I've been waiting for you to do a spoilercast on this :D.

Possible SPOILERS in this comment so go finish the game first.

I turned off all the lights and closed the doors as I went through the house like Caro. It just felt like the thing to be doing to me. I had the opposite reaction to the Attic to you guys, I did get that sense of panic and worry in the bathroom earlier with the dye and I immediately scolded myself for worrying about that. There had been clear signs of Sam just not being in the house, the notes that had clearly been written by Sam on her way out, the clothes that had been hurriedly taken out of mom's drawer. For me the Attic felt more than any part of the house Sam and Lonnie's space. I felt like I was about to intrude in on their private space even though they weren't there. I didn't want to be able to sprint at that point, I just walked in and looked around, trying to take in what that room was to both of them.

Curiously I also didn't immediately enter Sam's room. I walked past it, it wasn't you find Sam's note to use her room that I went inside. I'm not sure that many people played it like that, but I was fairly casual about walking about the house at that point slowly going through everything.

It is such a beautiful game, and I think probably one of the best examples of storytelling in games. It's pretty sad that some people are lashing out at the game and giving it a low score, or yelling at the developers/reviewers.

Avatar image for AjenoMerveilles

Bookmarked (only halfway through the game). What I will say is for a person of my age (33) it felt at times like I was looking back on my own adolescence with the details layered out, the cultural references and the technology. For completely unrelated reasons away from the core narrative, this itself made me quite emotional.

Also, how the narrative unfolds (in conjuncture with "game" unfolding) I found to be up there with some of the prime examples of storytelling this year in all forms of the medium ('Bioshock: Infinite', 'Stoker', 'Hannibal' to mention a few). Although, I am curious about a second play of the game. Do the voice segments appear structurally as part of the narrative? If I took a different route, went into one room before the other, would it mess with the continuity?

I digress. Just nice to have different questions for a game for once. This is something special. That is what the Oculus Rift should be aiming for. If it did, I would buy one without blinking.

Avatar image for AndrewClark1

the game looks nice, i should try it.


payday 2 glitches

Avatar image for Hiddai

@AndrewClark1 indeed

Avatar image for wgerardi

Really loved Gone Home, it really moved me. I think it could possibly be my favorite indie game of all time.

Avatar image for max-hit

Haha it's interesting that Kevin mentioned that he went to the attic thinking that something bad has happened to Sam. So maybe I'm not the only one who ran to the attic with that bottle of pulvules from the safe in my hands.

Avatar image for max-hit

I thought Tom Mcshea would be on this podcast.

This game is a great lesson for those who never shut-up about the number of polygons and expensive motion capture as a necessary element for showing emotions and creating a story.

Avatar image for Fiscaldeal

What I appreciate most about Gone Home is how effortlessly it evokes a relatable sense of unease. There are few emotions more primal than a fear of the dark—something a big, empty house has plenty of once the sun sets.

Avatar image for Zb0y

I for once would love to see Caro's play through, I think that the perception of someone else through an experience such as this can sometimes be more educative and enlightening than my own.

Avatar image for Smokescreened84

I bought the game this past Tuesday, took me about two hours to play all the way through - I'm a fast reader and once the game stopped crashing I got to progress nicely - and I enjoyed every second of the game. I liked the building story and it made more sense as you uncovered move about the sister and the rest of the family.

It left an open ending for a potential sequel as well, if one is done then I hope it's as well written and looks into what happens next

Avatar image for Thegamer16

Thank god for that spoiler warning! phew...

Avatar image for Kevin-V

@Thegamer16 You'd be surprised at how many people whine about spoilers even when we call it a spoilercast and announce that there will be spoilers! I try to make it abundantly clear ;)

Avatar image for Fandango_Letho

I clearly know I don't represent the majority here, but playing through Gone Home, I felt like I wasn't going through a real home, but a fake and staged one. Everything is laid around in a generally obvious way, with so many notes laying around in such a forced way and revealing way too much personal stuff. It just totally broke the immersion for me and it got super predictable, super fast.

Avatar image for Kevin-V

@Fandango_Letho I do get that point of view. In order to create a story path, the developers had to lay things out in certain ways, and to take you through the house with a certain direction. It worked for me, but I get how it could seem contrived.

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