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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Xbox One Review

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Small Villages Hide The Biggest Secrets

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Mike Robles Review The Mommy Gamers

Games like Gone Home and Dear Esther are dubbed “Walking Simulators”. There isn’t much action as players control a character who walks around to solve a mystery, or explore landmarks, or escape whatever island they are on. Reminders of Myst fill the brain as some of the walking simulators feature puzzles. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter originally released on PC at the end of 2014, then on PS4 in 2015. Now in 2018 Xbox One users can finally get their hands on this game and experience this first-person mystery for themselves.

What secrets is Red Creek Valley hiding? Where is young Ethan? Why are there a series of grisly murders? All this and more is answered as you walk along this small mining village.

You play as Paranormal Investigator Paul Prospero. Prospero received a letter from Ethan and realized that Ethan was in grave danger. He quickly sets out to Ethan’s village Red Creek Valley. Upon arriving in Red Creek Valley Prospero begins to have unsettling images and experiences some paranormal phenomena. Interacting with spirits to solve murders, finding out what happened to Ethan, and finding out the truth is just a part of what makes The Vanishing of Ethan Carter an intense experience.

The visuals in Ethan Carter are stunning. The game is Xbox One X Enhanced and the landscape and architecture are vibrant and at times photo-realistic. In fact the game looks so great that the developers (The Astronauts) have included an exclusive mode for the Xbox One version – Free Roam. In this mode players can walk around the whole game and not need to worry about solving any murders, or finding Ethan. They can just simply explore the world and all it’s 4K glory.

The Astronauts have mentioned that if there is a a big enough demand for it, they would consider bringing Free Roam to PC and PS4. I’ll be honest, I spent more time in Free Roam than I thought I would. I thought it would just give a quick look for review purposes, but I ended up spending a good hour or so just wandering and looking at all the wonders of the world. I guess I could have gone outside and looked at my own backyard but it was cold and I was comfy and warm in my bed.

The game isn’t super long and most players can through it if they set aside an afternoon or evening. Which I recommend you do. Starting and stopping this game removes the intensity and suspense. You want to make sure that you have ridden this emotional roller coaster all the way through so that the final moments of the game give you an emotional gut punch that rivals more Disney/Pixar films.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a great looking walking simulator that tells both a thrilling and sad story. Having the addition of Free Roam lets this game become the ultimate walking simulator and is a nice break from all the shooters and fighters that are out in the world right now. Beautiful, scary, and emotional, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter has finally made it’s way to the Xbox One, don’t let this one disappear.

The reviewer was given a digital code of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter on Xbox One for review purposes. 

About Mike Robles


Mike Robles is a former community manager for games like D&D, Magic: The Gathering, Killer Instinct and Minecraft. He's been freelancing for a while now and can be found on Twitter or Xbox Live. He works for a consulting firm and has an amazing wife and beautiful baby boy. He couldn't be happier to be joining The Mommy Gamers, even if he is a dad.