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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter





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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter





The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person story-driven mystery game that focuses entirely on exploration and discovery. It contains no combat or explosions of any kind. If our game leaves any scars, we hope you won’t be able to see them.

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Game description

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person story-driven mystery game that focuses entirely on exploration and discovery. It contains no combat or explosions of any kind. If our game leaves any scars, we hope you won’t be able to see them.

You play the game as Paul Prospero, an occult-minded detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter. Realizing the boy is in grave danger, Paul arrives at Ethan’s home of Red Creek Valley, where things turn out to be even worse than he imagined. Ethan has vanished in the wake of a brutal murder, which Paul quickly discerns might not be the only local murder worth looking into.

Inspired by the weird fiction (and other tales of the macabre) from the early twentieth century, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter aims to significantly evolve immersive storytelling in games. While it features a private detective and quite a few mental challenges, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is not an especially puzzle-ridden game. Our focus is on atmosphere, mood, and the essential humanity of our characters.

Still, the discoveries won’t happen on their own, or without your help. Using both Paul’s supernatural skill of being able to communicate with the dead, and your own powers of observation, you will discover the mystery behind a trail of corpses, the roots of a dark ancient force lurking in Red Creek Valley, and the fate of a missing boy.

Key Features:

  • Explore and interact with the beautiful yet ominous world of Red Creek Valley, which was created with the use of revolutionary photogrammetry technology that allows for nearly photorealistic environments.

  • Communicate with the dead and see how they died in order to gather clues that help you piece together the truth behind Ethan’s disappearance -- and the fate of his family.

  • Experience, in non-linear fashion, a story that combines the pleasures of pulp, private eye, and horror fiction, all of it inspired by writers such as Raymond Chandler, Algernon Blackwood, Stefan Grabinski, and H. P. Lovecraft.

  • Conduct the investigation on your own terms and at your own pace. Although there are a few scary bits in the game, players will have no need for sedatives. Our game is less about terror and more about clammy unease.

Game info

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THQ Nordic
The Astronauts
Indie, Adventure
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Digital PC Download
Customer notes
Minimum Requirements
  • OS: WindowsXP SP3 or higher
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo or equivalent AMD
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX9c compliant card with 512MB of VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 9 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX9c compliant
Recommended Requirements

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Reviews for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

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Creepy, in a good way if that's possible


In this game, you play as a noir detective, who has psychic powers. Kinda like Lance Henriksen's character from Millennium. Your mission, is to walk up to strange blurs in the landscape, keep your vision in the middle, watch what happens, and move forward. The story is very engaging, and the graphics are also nice, plus the main characters voice work is stellar, but as stated above, if you don't like interactive stories, this game can't offer you much. If finding your keys isn't your idea of a fun challenge, this game isn't fun for you, and if are not an english speaker, you miss out on a lot. For fans of this Genre, this is one of the better ones. I enjoyed it almost as much as Gone Home. If you liked that, this one is certainly a must have.

If you're into interactive stories


There is not a lot of gameplay in this game. You walk around and do puzzles, and hear exposition about the story. And that's OK. A game doesn't have to be for everyone, but if you're a fan of this sort of stuff it is one of the essentials to try! Not to mention it is absolutely beautiful to look at!

First of a walking simulators.


Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game that promoted the genre of a walking simulator, and only for that should be praised. The game offers great audiovisual presentation but sadly it lacks in terms of a gameplay. It's a walking simulator after all. The game is rather short but after all its small flaws I'd say it must be experienced. Once because it is a one shot experience.

The vanishing of gameplay


This game had potential to be good. Graphics and soundtrack are simply breathtaking, especially he redux version based on Unreal Engine 4, but the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. While there are couple of puzzles to be solved, those are only puzzles, because the game doesn't actually explain its own basics. I get it they didn't want handholding to be here, but they failed hard to be edgy with not explaining what is what in this game and the beginning can be truly confusing. But when you get it, you find out that for a game and designers bragging about no handholding, the puzzles are incredibly simple. What is also bad in this game is identity crisis - it is obvious they wanted to be other Dear Esther or whatever this game is called, but they also wanted to do Amnesia, but they didn't have the idea how to design the whole game around it, so they made only one laughably bad stage around it. The game is a one off and incredibly short, around 3 to 4 hours, with story so wretched it's mindblowing. Don't get me wrong, the beginning and solving the crime are awesome, but the ending makes it all worthless and leaves bad taste in the mouth. Overall, if you really have to, grab it on sale, but I can't recommend this game. Grab Myst or any other game instead.

A First Attempt at the Potential for Games as Storytelling


The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is not much of a game at all. It's a gorgeous open world primed for exploration with a few not-very-difficult puzzles thrown in. Nominally the narrative is to solve the mystery of what happened to Ethan Carter, and the player moves from area to area to piece together that narrative. This largely works, with the narrative fitting the feel of the environment as well as creating a visual experience. Where the game is somewhat limited is in how contrived interaction with the world is. The puzzles feel like they exist to put at least some semblance of a game, rather than adding to the narrative itself. The simplistic nature of the puzzles prevented the game from getting bogged down, but it felt like a missed opportunity. More than anything, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter feels like an attempt at a direction games should be exploring - to use the medium as an immersive narrative vehicle. It's not perfect, but is rich enough to demand some attention be paid to it.

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