The Suicide of Rachel Foster review: If these walls could talk

by MaddOx
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I love playing games where I get to kill stuff. Whether that be randoms in Apex Legends or AI-controlled zombies in 7 Days to Die. But every so often, I do love to delve into something with a gripping story that stimulates the imagination, a game that couldn’t be more different. Something like The Suicide of Rachel Foster.

Following the story of Nicole, who left her family home with her mother many years ago, it’s time for her to return following the death of her parents. But this is no ordinary home, it’s a hotel, The Timberland. A hotel that Nicole’s mother requests her to inspect and sell as her dying wish. However, The Timberland is no normal holiday escape, it’s a place where secrets are buried in the walls and the ghosts of Nicole’s past haunt the corridors.

It was meant to be a quick trip, to inspect the building with the family lawyer, in order to sell the place and put her past behind her. But as a storm comes in, she’s stranded alone in the old decaying building where she grew up. Albeit with the company of a FEMA Agent called Irving who keeps Nicole company, and alive, over one of the first-ever radio telephones ever built. This is what smartphones used to be like for you young ‘uns.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster screenshot with You are HERE on model map

From firing up the furnace to powering the generator, and trying to find food in a building that has been abandoned for years. Nicole and Irving work together to help ensure Nicole is safe and well during the heavy winter conditions. But, as she re-finds her way around the old family home, the remnants of her past come back to haunt her, following clues her father pieced together around the event that would lead to the collapse of her family all those years ago. The Suicide of Rachel Foster.

Developer ONE-O-ONE GAMES really have created a compelling and intriguing story with The Suicide of Rachel Foster, that takes you on a journey of discovery. Without being a traditional horror, the elements are there where you feel like something could be lurking around every corner. Suspense builds the more you unravel, and you’re often left bewildered at what is going on and wondering if you’ll ever truly reveal what happened. But Nicole is determined and strongwilled, and she’ll stop at nothing uncover the truth.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster, personally, is best played with a headset, as it’s been developed using binaural audio. A method of recording sound using two microphones to create a 3D surround sound effect. This means as you walk down the long corridors, the noises you hear are directional, and you can pinpoint where everything is coming from. Adding layers to the game that help keep building the tense atmosphere the game creates so well.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster - Attic room with lights dangling from he ceiling and a bed made up at the end of the room with a window letting in a glimmer of light

You’ll take each day as it comes, using your map to navigate The Timberland in The Suicide of Rachel Foster. And as events occur, you’ll be given tasks to complete to take you through to the next day, until the mystery is solved. You’ll relay your information with Irving who assists you along the way, and almost certainly helps keep you sane. In fact, quite the relationship begins to build between them and despite not meeting, they become very close. Closer than you’d think.

The one thing about The Suicide of Rachel Foster’s gameplay that is quite annoying, is there are so many objects you can pick up and inspect. And whether I’m missing something, I’m not sure, but much of it seems pointless. Books on astrophysics, cleaning products and cigarette packets. But at no time did anything really come of use with these. I thought with the number of packets of cigarettes lying around, maybe this was a clue. But in the end, I don’t think it really helped piece anything together. But maybe it’s all there to throw you off the scent and add an additional layer of confusion to the story.

Another thing that may cause a gripe with some players though, is the narration of The Suicide of Rachel Foster. Personally I didn’t mind it as it worked well, but a lot of the game is conversation, and whilst you have choices to respond to Irving. You can often be left at times unable to perform an action because you’re waiting for a conversation to end. And on some occasions, like when you’re discussing clues. You get a list of things to talk about, but rather than being able to contiue the conversation onto the next clue, the conversation ends nd you have to start it again to discuss the next one.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster makeshift living accomodation in an abandoned wing of the hotel

The only thing left to really talk about in The Suicide of Rachel Foster is the graphics. Whilst it’s not one of these 4K AAA games you’re going to find on the launch day of the PS5 or Series X, the game is beautifully made with environments that really generate the perfect atmosphere. With just enough detail and realism, you find yourself immersed in the world the developers created. A nice touch is for some actions, you get small cut scenes that see Nicole like unscrewing brackets, and opening service panels to crawl spaces behind the walls. It’s nothing major, but a good way of breaking up the game.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster overall thoughts

I really enjoyed The Suicide of Rachel Foster. Whilst the game title may be a little grim, it was an intriguing story, that was quite touching and emotional at times. It felt to me like a cross between Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch? The way ONE-O-ONE GAMES have gone about creating the world you immerse yourself in, from the dark decaying corridors to the directional audio that has you hearing noises coming from all around, it truly is captivating. If you’re into your storytelling games, then it’s definitely one to add to your game library.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster is developed by ONE-O-ONE GAMES and published by Daedalic Entertainment. It is available to play now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. You can find more info on the game on the official website HERE. And more of our game reviews on our site HERE.

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