The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a first-person narrative adventure game. It is due for release on 19th February 2020 and will be available to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. The game has been developed by ONE-O-ONE Games and published by Daedalic Entertainment.
Daedalic Entertainment focus on engaging narratives and compelling characters. They got their name from Daedalus, who was a Greek artist, inventor and architect. Their philosophy is to perfect the art and craft of game design. ONE-O-ONE Games are eager to create a lasting mark within the gaming community. They have previously worked on PC, console and mobile phone games and take pride in all of those, but they are especially proud of their games created for virtual reality.
At the beginning of The Suicide of Rachel Foster, there is a disclaimer presented on the screen. This reads as follows:
“The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a fictional game containing sensitive subjects. If you are struggling with personal issues, our dev team strongly recommends you refrain from playing without supervision, and heartily urges you to reach out to a friend, or call a helpline. You don’t need to face your troubles alone. riprachel.com”
After playing the game, I think it is important that this disclaimer is recognised. The game does definitely touch on some very sensitive subjects. If you or somebody you know is struggling with any of the issues raised within this game, it may be best not to play, so please reach out and speak to somebody.
Rachel Foster’s Story
The story of this game, as I have mentioned, touches on some sensitive subjects. It is extremely dark and quite disturbing. When you begin the game, you learn straight away that the main character is a woman named Nicole. Because her father has recently passed away, she inherits the family business, which is a hotel called The Timberline. It is located way up in the mountains, and the game is set during winter. As Nicole, you head up there to meet with a lawyer where you can survey the hotel and make plans to sell it.
When you get to the hotel, the lawyer isn’t there. You quickly learn that the winter weather has taken a bad turn, and that the lawyer cant get to you. The only company you have is a man named Irving who contacts you through one of the first radio telephones ever built. Irving works for FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and he is your support whilst you explore the vast, empty, abandoned hotel.
The more you explore the hotel, the more you learn that something is not right. Rachel Foster was a young girl that committed suicide, and at the time, Nicole was also very young. It is up to you to face the ghosts of Nicole’s past. You need to learn what really happened within the walls of the hotel because this will uncover what really happened to Rachel Foster. The greatest thing about this game is the story. The meaning behind it and the subjects that it covers are very important. I was anxious to find out what happened to Rachel Foster.
Moving Around the Hotel
The Suicide of Rachel Foster offers players a creepy and intense story. The hotel itself is extremely creepy because everything creeks, and there are so many unexplained noises. Being stuck all alone in an abandoned hotel is like a horrifying nightmare for a lot of people.
I played the game through Steam on PC. Because of this, there were the typical keys used for movement. You use W,A,S and D to move forward, backwards and side-to-side. The mouse can be used to pick up and put down items, and the scroll on the mouse can be used for zooming in and selecting dialogue options. You can also use the mouse for camera movement.
As you play the game, you will pick up items you can use. These items come in really handy and can be accessed using the number keys. Another button I got a lot of use out of was the button used to run, which is Shift. I found that when I got scared, I would use this a lot.
I was happy to find that the movement and gameplay overall is extremely smooth. There are glitching issues, but when these aren’t happening, it is quite easy to navigate through the game.
Loading and Glitching
Unfortunately, The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a host to all sorts of technical issues. The loading times between days in the hotel seem to take forever, which is really frustrating. Sometimes, when it finally loads, everything has glitched, and you are unable to use any of the items in the game. You will be unable to progress when this happens, so this can only be fixed by closing the game and restarting it.
The game auto-saves but mainly when it is the beginning of a new day, so if any issues are presented partway through a day in the hotel, you will most likely need to start that day again when you have restarted the game. The glitching issues were also presented when speaking to Irving. Sometimes they would have two different conversations at once, so I would hear both characters speaking at the same time about completely different things or repeating stuff they have already spoken about.
Other times, the conversations would end suddenly, and Nicole would put the phone down and then instantly get another call, and the conversation would continue. I found all of these issues extremely irritating, and even though they were easily fixed by restarting the game, they happened way too often to ignore.
Short and Simple
Another issue that I found when playing The Suicide of Rachel Foster lies with the length of the game. It is extremely short, and when I just started to get into it, it ended suddenly. I felt like it wasn’t long enough to make as big of an impact as I wanted it to. The game is also extremely simple. There aren’t any puzzles to solve, and there aren’t any huge defining moments until the end of the game, so it doesn’t really feel like there is much going on. In all honesty, it feels like there is a beginning and one heck of an ending to the game, but the issue is that there is no worthwhile middle part.
Edgy and Creepy
As I have mentioned, the game can be quite creepy and even scary at times. I found myself looking away from the screen every now and then, and I was on the edge of my seat because I was expecting something to happen. The problem is, nothing did happen. There was a huge amount of build-up for something terrifying to happen, but the part that makes you jump or get properly scared never came. This, along with the game’s extremely short length and simplicity, was quite a big let down. I was really enjoying it until I finished it and said to my husband, “Is that it?”.
I definitely don’t want to give away any spoilers, and the ending is good, don’t get me wrong. But I was disappointed with the feeling that I wanted more. Right at the end of the game, after all the pieces come together, there is a scene that doesn’t make much sense, and I felt extremely deflated.
Developer: ONE-O-ONE Games
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: 19th February 2020