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PS4 Game Review

The Suicide of Rachel Foster


Format: PS4
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Developer: One-O-One Games
RRP: £15.99
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Age Restrictions: 16+
Release Date: 09 September 2020

Set in 1993, The Suicide of Rachel Foster opens with Nicole returning to the family hotel, which has been derelict for almost five years. Ten years ago Nicole and her mother left the family hotel after discovering her father Leonard's affair with, and pregnancy of Rachel, a girl the same age as Rachel, who eventually committed suicide. Now that both of her parents have passed, Nicole hopes to fulfill her mother’s last will to sell the hotel and make amends to Rachel's relatives. With the will and determination to put that chapter behind her, she returns to the hotel with the family’s lawyer to audit the decaying structure. As the weather unexpectedly turns for the worst, Nicole has no way to leave the large mountain lodge, and finds support in Irving, a young FEMA agent, using one of the first radio telephones ever built. With his help, Nicole starts to investigate a mystery far deeper than what people in the valley thought. A story of love and death, where melancholy and nostalgia melt into a thrilling ghost tale...

Review imageThe Suicide of Rachel Foster is a fairly short game, which you'll be able to complete in an afternoon, but the unraveling story is engaging enough that once you start you'll find it almost impossible to put down until you've completed it.

You play as Nicole, a young woman who has just inherited the family hotel. Both her mother and father have recently died and her mother has included a note with her will that advises her to sell the long derelict hotel.

Nicole has fond memories from her childhood and wants to make one final visit there before putting it up for sale. Unfortunately she picks the wrong time to visit, as the hotel is in the middle of a huge national park, and a heavy snow storm has just started. Luckily Nicole just makes it to the hotel before she is completely cut off by the snow. However, she's now unable to make it back to civilisation until the snow thaws.

Review imageNicole's parents split up many years ago when it was discovered that her father was having an affair with a 16 year old classmate of Nicole's, called Rachel Foster. Rachel committed suicide when their relationship became public knowledge. The scandal was made worse when it was discovered she was pregnant when she took her own life.

Looking through her father's belongings, Nicole happens across newspaper articles and scientific papers that allude to the possibility that Rachel is somehow still alive.

The solicitor has left all the paperwork for Nicole in the hotel, along with a radio telephone (the phone lines have long since been cut off at the hotel and mobile phones didn't exist yet). Given the recent weather, the solicitor has passed his radio telephone over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so that they can contact Nicole and advise her on whether it's safe to travel.

The first FEMA operator that talks to her, Irving, ends up being her only contact with the organisation, as he too starts to get wrapped up in the mystery of Rachel's death.

It's an intriguing creepy mystery adventure and in the early stages I was unsure what to make of the game. I seemed to spend most of the time trying to navigate the map as I headed from one side of the hotel to the other, and back again. But, eventually I got the lie of the land, which made everything much smoother. Also Nicole seemed to be contacting Irving for every little thing, which seemed a little unbelievable.

Review imageThere's a sci-fi element here which mixes mild horror with supernatural elements. Is Rachel's ghost haunting the hotel? The books that Nicole's father was reading seem to indicate that he was looking into the possibility of life existing after death.

I did happen across a few bugs which will hopefully be fixed with future patches. Firstly I had a problem with the audio dialogue not appearing on one of the days (the game is split into days). I tried restarting that day and it seemed to play fine, so hopefully it's not a bug that will be an issue for everyone.

Also, one of the days started with Nicole unearthing her father's newspaper cuttings on Rachel's suicide and displaying them on the wall like a murder investigation. And Irvine seemed to go along with it a little too quickly. In fact, I was convinced I'd skipped a day, somehow, because we'd moved from being concerned about the weather to suddenly being interested in this young woman's suicide.

There were also a few instances were Nicole and Irvine were talking when something else was going on that they should have been more interested in. One occasion a random hotel phone started ringing, but neither Nicole nor Irvine mentioned it, despite the fact I was standing right next to it. I had to wait for the current dialogue ended before I could answer the phone and contact Irving and tell him about it.

I'm not sure how much replayability value there is, as once you've played the game once and uncovered the mystery there's little to go back and rediscover. I did like the little touch of the butterfly in the game and what it actually represents.

Review imageThere were a few too many instances of the developers showing their hand too early. Quite a lot of the twists I worked out well in advance, mainly because these were clearly signposted and only someone who was willing to believe everything at face value wouldn't have seen some of the twists coming.

It's atmospheric and very creepy without relying on cheap jump scares. A good, immersive game that will entertain you for its duration.


Darren Rea

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