The game itself might not have been perfect at release, especially the save system, but the patches released shortly afterwards took care of that and several other glitches.
The game experience is unique and rewarding for those who pay attention. There is a handful of key locations and scenes in the open world that give away tidbids of the story. Some are associated with a puzzle, some are not. The game is quite minimalistic in game mechanics but the gorgeous environment and music make up for that aplenty.
On the other hand, you might get stuck a couple of times as it is not always apparent what to do next. I take that as a positive though. I knew in advance the game is of the short variety so I didn’t take the speedrun approach and explored the heck out of the beautiful photogrammetrized world. When I finally got stuck towards the end, I had already spent over 5 hours in the game.
The originality of the authors to take the FP engine, normally associated with mindless action, and merge it with adventure elements and a genuine mystery plot, must be commended. I agree with the authors that this is the future of gaming, or at least one of them.
Bottomline, with the patches available now, I recommend The Vanishing of Ethan Carter to any player willing to try something new.
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Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right