Before we dive into this game, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the fact that this game touches on serious concepts. Suicide is never the answer to your problems. If you ever feel these kinds of dark thoughts, please know that there are people out there who are willing and able to listen. If you feel like you’re in distress please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-833-456-4566 .
I love horror movies, games, podcasts, you name it. If it’s spooky or horror related chances are good that I need to give it a go. Enter The Suicide of Rachel Foster. I was itching for something that sent shivers up my spine and I’m happy to say that Rachel Foster’s story did exactly that.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster tells the story of Nicole, who as a teenager, left the family hotel with her mother after the discovery of her father having an affair and impregnating Rachel(a classmate of Nicole’s) who eventually commits suicide. Now that both of Nicole’s parent’s have passed, her mothers last wishes are for Nicole to sell the family hotel and make peace with the family’s past. Nicole makes her way back to the hotel and is forced to stay longer than she had anticipated thanks in part to a huge storm. Now she’s stuck there with nobody but the ghosts of her past and a FEMA agent named Irving who she speaks to via one of the early day cell phones.
To put it simply, The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a narrative driven walking game and feels reminiscent of other classics in this genre like Gone Home and What Remains of Edith Finch. These comparisons are not by any means a slight against Rachel Foster. In fact, this is a growing subgenre that I love more and more. It’s not a fast paced game by any stretch so if you’re looking for that, you won’t find it here. What you will get is a pretty game that’s much slower in pace but it tells a compelling story coupled with some incredible sound direction.
The hotel is the perfect location. The attention to detail and the layout feels like they spent a great deal of time planning and laying everything out. From newspaper clippings all the way to the books strewn throughout and the furnishings they really created a fantastic setting that only adds to the atmosphere. And this is where the game really shines. The tension is thick and while there really weren’t any jump scares that you may be accustomed to in games like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, but the unsettling quiet and the dark corners have you continually on edge. The sound direction is some of the best around and you really need to make sure you have yourself a great headset. There were moments that I was wandering around aimlessly and BOOM! something crashed behind me and I’m not going to lie to you – My head snapped back thinking that something had fallen in my own house. The feeling of dread as you walk through this game is thrilling.
Not everything was all black roses though. I’ve had a hell of a time with bugs in this game. One of which was early on when I walked into the freezer, it blew up my Xbox Series X by making the fan spin up like an airline and then shutting the machine down. I couldn’t move forward in the game because of this. Then I copied the game to my S console and miraculously it worked. No big deal but the loading times were painful. I ran into another game breaking bug. I woke up one day and was in an unfamiliar place and unable to do anything. I thought I was missing something so I checked out a walkthrough online and I should have been able to interact with objects. Copied the game back to my X and low and behold it worked. Another bug had my game load into a new day and Irving was discussing the clues that I hadn’t even had a chance to seek out
Finally I managed to finish the game and while I didn’t hate the ending, I didn’t love it either. I was a bit let down but I wasn’t particularly surprised. I still think that The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a fantastic game to play this October especially. Admittedly, the game’s pacing feels slow but I feel that was absolutely deliberate by the devs. It’s designed that way to really put you in Nicole’s shoes as she wanders this big empty building all alone with the ghosts of her families past.
Atmospheric setting – the attention toi detail in the hotel is fantastic
Audio direction is simply outstanding and sure to please anyone with a great headset
Slower paced game felt right at home for this story
The bugs were brutal
Ending felt a bit anti-climatic