The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

8.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 10/10
Sound: 9/10

Gorgeous Game | Well Acted | Suspenseful Soundtrack

Game Breaking Bug | Light on the Action

Game Info

GAME NAME: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

DEVELOPER(S): The Astronauts

PUBLISHER(S): The Astronauts

PLATFORM(S): PlayStation 4

GENRE(S): First-Person Narrative

RELEASE DATE(S): July 15th, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a difficult game to review.  On one hand you have a beautifully sculptured world that rivals the likes of CD Projekt Red’s smash hit The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.  On the other hand you have a game that features not much of any gameplay and is a complete narrative adventure along the lines of Myst.  As the developer The Astronauts reminds you as you launch the title, there will be no hand holding so let this be your warning, you will be dropped into this gorgeous world with not one clue what you are doing.


You play the title completely in the first person view and you assume the role of private (and paranormal) investigator Paul Prospero who as received a mysterious letter from a young boy Ethan Carter.  The letter is enough to inspire your character to venture to Red Creek Valley, Pennsylvania, a town that has been abandoned for years after a mine incident tanked it’s local economy.  The Carter family has awaken an evil spirit called The Sleeper and everyone’s gone a little mad. I will be extremely vague from this point on in my review because as the title is a narrative, anymore that I would say regarding the story may ruin the title.


The controls will feel like your average first-person affair.  The world is very huge so you will make use of the run button very often.  At first when you begin the title you will feel absolutely clueless but then after the first area you will sort of get a grasp for what the game is about.  The main areas of the game will have you following spirits to different main plot points in a murder that has happened and you must place the actions in chronological order based on what you think is the correct timeline.  These are some really cool puzzles.  Also there is some really great sequences where you relive some of the crazy stories that came from the creative mind of the young lad Ethan Carter.  If you are looking for action turn else where but if you are a fan of the Telltale games, then The Vanishing of Ethan Carter will be for you.

I did experience a game breaking glitch through my first play through of the title which has since been fixed.  It halted my progress at a certain point and unfortunately I had to restart the title from the very beginning.  The was a real bummer as I was about half way through the game and it really took the wind out of my sail.  That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed my second playthrough and now that it has been fixed no one else will have to experience the bug.

The graphics are easily the best thing about the title.  The game rivals anything else I have seen on the PlayStation 4 yet and sometimes you will catch yourself just daydreaming and gazing around the well detailed town of Red Creek Valley.  The soundtrack serves it’s purpose of giving you a paranormal feel with well composed orchestrated scores.  The voice acting is also top notch, again giving all of the appeal of the telltale games but with more playability.

The Recommendation

Again, this was a tough title for me to review because it is almost more like an interactive movie then a complete action game.  The story is very well done which is why I kept the details very vague as to not ruin the any of the plot twists or big plot points.  If you are a fan of cinematic experiences, look no further as one of the best has arrived.



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Author: Anthony DeVirgilis View all posts by
Managing Partner / Editor for Sony/Nintendo I prefer Indies to AAA titles... unless it's Nintendo or Sony Google+ Author