'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter' is a first person mystery game focused on exploration and discovery and as the game says from the get go it doesn't hold your hand at all. You play a supernatural detective called Paul Prospero who has received letters from a young boy called Ethan Carter asking for help. Within said letters were statements made about dark things that children should not know about. So Paul decides to investigate arriving on foot from a railway tunnel into the picturesque area of Red Creek Valley, This is where the game starts.

The game world itself has separate puzzles or scenes that are hidden around the map. On my first playthrough I followed the railway tracks along, admiring the beautiful vistas eventually coming across a railway car that had blood across the front of it. This was completely unexpected! Carrying on I then found ropes on the train tracks, and somebodies legs and a blood trail. By following the dragmarks I came across a body and then found out that the main character actually has the ability to communicate with the dead by accessing memories still retained within the body. By following these memories and putting the events into the correct order you establish the chronology of events and get a cut scene of what actually happened.

The game is easily one of the most beautiful games I have ever played and the whole map is open from the get go with no loading screens to ruin the experience. The game rewards exploration with finding more scenes that explain what actually has happened to Ethan and how his relationship with his family has influenced the events.

'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter' has a wonderful Gothic Horror tone that it captures perfectly and the experience reminded me of the classic Gamecube Game 'Eternal Darkness'. The storytelling is impeccable with the puzzles being both simple and enjoyable. The only downside is the length of the game which took me about 4 hours to complete, including all of the time I spent just enjoying the view or looking at the smallest details, The length is not necessarily a bad thing but just as I got myself invested into the character my gaming experience ended.

All in all, I cannot recommend 'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter' enough and I personally can't wait to see other games from the developers 'The Astronauts'.