The Suicide of Rachel Foster Review (PC)

Another captivating adventure game from Daedalic Entertainment, The Suicide of Rachel Foster employs beautifully written dialogue, great level design, and solid voice acting. Throughout our review of The Suicide of Rachel Foster, the game constantly reminded us of one undeniable truth: video games are a powerful storytelling medium.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster Review - Funeral

The Suicide of Rachel Foster is an adventure game published by Daedalic Entertainment (The Pillars of the EarthState of Mind) and developed by One O One Games. The game manages to tell an enticing and powerful story through simple gameplay mechanics and brilliant dialogue. Throughout our review of The Suicide of Rachel Foster, we were shown how video games have become a powerful storytelling medium. The mystery of a young girl’s apparent suicide comes to light in this short and bittersweet game, taking anywhere between 4 to 8 hours to complete. If you like story-driven games like Gone Home, Tacoma, or Life is Strange, then this is the game for you.  

The Suicide of Rachel Foster is available on Steam.
NOTE: This game was reviewed on the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 Laptop.

Story

With a beautifully-crafted and powerful prologue, the story will grab your interest and keep you hooked from beginning to end.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster is about a young woman named Nicole who inherits her family hotel after the death of both her mother and father. Nicole’s parents divorced during her teen years, after her father was accused of impregnating a girl around Nicole’s age. The girl’s name was Rachel Foster. Shortly after that scandal hit, Rachel committed suicide. Needless to say, the hotel is filled with painful memories that Nicole wishes to forget.

The Letter - SORF

The Letter – SORF

With the help of a lawyer, she prepares to sell the hotel. However, when she arrives to do an inspection of the premises, a strong snow storm hits the area and she becomes trapped inside until the storm passes. Akin to The Shining, the hotel comes alive with strange occurrences, eerie phone calls, and most of all, the truth of what really happened to Rachel Foster. 

However, I regret to say that there are a few small plot holes that can’t be ignored. I won’t spoil the story by revealing them here, but they are similar to the plot holes in horror films where you ask yourself how characters would not question the weird things happening around them. With that said, they don’t hinder the game at all. Like most adventure games, The Suicide of Rachel Foster is all about the story. If you enjoy a good mystery, then you won’t be disappointed.

Red Rum Bathroom

An Eerie Blood Red Bathroom

Gameplay

The Suicide of Rachel Foster employs simple adventure game mechanics that complement the riveting plot. Throughout the game, you wander through the abandoned Timberline Hotel looking for items and exploring various rooms. After finding the necessary items, discovering secret paths, and unlocking hidden rooms, the mystery of Rachel Foster’s death is slowly and horrifically revealed to you. 

It is important to note that there is no save function. The game saves automatically at the end of each “day” or chapter in the game. Luckily, most chapters in the game are very short, some taking upwards of 20 – 30 minutes to complete and others can be as short as 5 – 10 minutes. To help you travel through the hotel, there is an easy-to-follow map and guidance system that will tell you where you need to go and what you need to do.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster Review -What Happened to Rachel?

Rachel Foster’s Suicide – The Clues

Similar to Gone Home and Tacoma, people have referred to games like this as “walking simulators”. However, that is a gross simplification. While there is nothing groundbreaking going on here in terms of gameplay, there doesn’t need to be. Sure, you do a lot of walking through the game. But you are not simply walking through a building. You are walking through the past, reliving the horrors that happened at the Timberline Hotel. Like a torch of hope, you are carrying the dark truth of that past into the future, hoping that by unraveling the mystery some closure can come from this terrible thing that happened. 

But like most important things in life, justice won’t come so easily. 

Graphics

You are able to choose from four quality settings to match the computer the game is being played on. Despite being developed by a smaller company, the lighting and reflections in the game are incredibly detailed. The room designs and details are both realistic and thorough. You also have the ability to zoom in to look at objects or locations in greater detail.
 
The Attic - Suicide of Rachel Foster

The Projector in the Attic

Screen Tears and Hitching

One very big bug we encountered was unbearable screen tears and hitching. Whenever we paused the game or minimized the game and returned it would hitch constantly and we’d experience screen tears regardless of the quality settings.  So if you are playing this on PC and want to check your email or look something up in the middle of a game session, be warned that this bug may happen to you as well. Hopefully, it will be eventually patched. In the meantime, play to the end of a chapter before deciding to minimize the game. 

Soundtrack & Audio

One of the finer details of the game is the location-based audio. For example, in the beginning of the game there is a phone ringing in the office. If you walk toward it, the sound gets louder. If you stand outside and close the door to the office, the sound becomes muffled (as if you were hearing a phone ringing through a closed door). While this sounds commonplace in Triple-A titles today, it is great to see smaller development companies go the extra mile.
 

Voice Acting

In games where the story is told almost completely through dialogue, voice acting can make or break the game. Luckily, the voice acting in The Suicide of Rachel Foster is superb and keeps you engaged throughout the entire experience. 

Soundtrack

The soundtrack is simple, yet sets the mood well in every chapter of the game. However, sometimes the soundtrack would cut out at random. Sometimes this happened when plugging and unplugging headphones. Other times it seemed to happen when you entered different areas of the hotel. However, it didn’t occur often enough to hinder the overall experience of the game.
Summary
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is another great example of how video games are a powerful storytelling medium. With a strong mystery at the heart of the game, the plot alone is enough to keep you playing to the end. It's simple and straightforward gameplay mechanics help complement the story. A relatively short game, The Suicide of Rachel Foster can be completed in 4 - 8 hours.While we experienced some minor bugs during our playthrough, this is a must-play for adventure game fans.
Good
  • Beautiful graphics, lighting, and level design
  • Well-written mystery story
  • Simple gameplay mechanics help tell the story
  • Superb voice acting
Bad
  • Some visual and audio bugs
  • Few minor plot holes
  • No manual save
8
Great

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