How the console version of Gone Home could be better than the original
Gone Home is heading to consoles, which, on paper at least, should be pretty exciting. Still, something's keeping me from pumping my fist in the air. Maybe it's that I'm not sure I want to pay for Gone Home all over again. Maybe I'm worried that the console version won't add anything new. Whatever the case, something needs to change to make the new version worth buying.
Gone Home doesn't need to go through a dramatic transformation, but the console version could definitely use some new content. Here are a few ways the new version of Gone Home could improve upon the original.
Give People a Reason to Replay
There's no getting around it--Gone Home is very, very short. Even if you're the type of person who explores every nook and cranny, you'll probably finish the game in less than three hours. While the short length isn't a problem on its own, it's a little frustrating when you add in its limited replay value.
The new version of Gone Home needs to give players a compelling reason to play through the game more than once. It doesn't matter if there's additional story content, collectibles, or an extra ending. As long as I have a good reason to spend more time with the game, I'll be happy.
Make Sam's Voice Overs Optional
While Sam's voice overs help flesh out Gone Home, they're not essential to the story. You can piece together what happened based on items alone, and players should be given the chance to do just that.
In fact, the game would arguably be stronger as a whole if voice overs weren't available during your first playthrough. You could piece together everything you could on your own, then play again and let the voice overs fill in the blanks. There's some masterful storytelling in Gone Home, and it would be great to see how it stands on its own.
Add More Items
Every letter, book, and post-it adds to the Gone Home experience. Investigating your home is what makes Gone Home so interesting, and when you leave a room, you can't help but wish there were a few more things to examine.
The new game should let players explore a little more. A few more cards to pick up or notebooks to rifle through would add a lot to the game. Even if they don't have much of an impact on the game's plot, they'll help flesh out its characters, and that always makes things more interesting.
Expand on Oscar's Story
One of the most intriguing parts of Gone Home was the legacy of the house itself. Oscar Masan spent many tortured years confined within its walls, and while you can piece together why, it's never spelled out explicitly. Items pertaining to Oscar can be easily missed, and many players made it through the game without ever seeing them.
The console edition of Gone Home should spend more time looking at Oscar, Terry, and what happened in 1963. It's a dark, sad, story, but it's a tale worth telling. Hopefully, the console version will ensure that portion of the story gets the attention it deserves.
Gone Home may be controversial, but it's a great game, and its console version could be even better. Here's hoping the new version gives players a few good reasons to explore the house all over again.