[PS4 Review] The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

by Tracey

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a narrative-driven game that refuses to hold your hand, which means you have to think outside the box and explore your surroundings in order to figure out the solution to the mystery. There is no tutorial, no help with controls… a big fat nothing! But, as you will soon discover, this is all part of the fun.

You play as Paul Prospero, a paranormal investigator ho has set out on a journey to Red Creek Valley, the home of one of his fans… a little boy called Ethan Carter. Paul says Ethan regularly sent him fan mail, and he treated the letters as such until Ethan started to mention things that were not quite normal. So Paul decides to go to Red Creek Valley and search for Ethan Carter, fearing he might probably be too late.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a paranormal murder/mystery game with a MYST vibe to it. You are free to explore the open world and solve the puzzles and mysteries found within in this gorgeous setting.

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In the first area, you arrive at the end of the tunnel onto the train tracks in the middle of the forest. After a short narrative by Paul explaining why he was there and what he was going to do next, you start to walk along the tracks until you accidentally set off a trap that then gives you the “SENSE” ability. Finding a trap gives you a piece of a location, much like a jigsaw puzzle, and finding all traps will give you all five pieces of a location which you will be automatically transported to, and where there will be something for you to find.

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When you start your first murder and find your first murder clue you will be given the “TOUCH” ability. Once you have found all murder clues you can touch the victim and then a tag message will pop up asking you to correctly tag each scene you think took place in chronological order, then you are given the “VISUALISE” option that can be used to see the whole scene play out as it happened.

This is how the entire game plays out, so take your time and thoroughly search the area you are in as this is very important – you will need to solve all ten scenes in order to complete the game. The puzzles are a bit tricky and you may feel a little lost and unsure of how to proceed, but since I love this type of games, all that was needed was some patience until I figured things out.

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The graphics are absolutely mesmerizing and so life-like. It is clear the team behind The Vnishing of Ethan Carter poured their heart and soul into creating this wonderful title, and their hard work really does show. The scenery is beautiful, and some spots are just breathtaking. The attention to detail is pretty spectacular. The puzzle design is extremely clever, and you will definitely get a workout for your brain! With some puzzles you may end up thinking they are impossible, but I can tell you that I managed to 100% the game with some head scratching along the way but a ton of fun during my time with this title.

Due to the fact that first person games are on the increase, a lot of motion sickness sufferers have found out they can’t play this type of games. The developers have acknowledged this by adding a message to the options menu informing players they can turn off head-bob and change FOV down to minimum and turn on the display for a dot cross-hair. I hope players find this helpful and can play this wonderful game without getting sick.

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This fantastic title has 14 trophies to earn. Most of them are story related, except for three which are missable but will only take you around 10 minutes or less to obtain after the game’s completion. A very worthwhile 100%, which I hope you enjoy!

The story and writing are very deep and emotional, making it easy to get lost in each scene that plays out. I definitely recommend that you download and play The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter. The game deserves all the support and exposure it can get!

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