The Suicide of Rachel Foster tells the story of a young woman, Nicole, who returns to her father’s hotel after his death in order to meet with a lawyer in order to finalize the sale. Unfortunately, Nicole is stuck in the hotel as a nasty snowstorm is making this impossible for anyone to leave or arrive. As she inspects the various areas of the hotel and reminisces about the past, she will uncover a terrible secret.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a walking sim across an abandoned hotel. As Nicole, players will need to walk around the mountain lodge to explore every nook and cranny in order to find clues about the surrounding mystery. Nicole has a special cellphone that allows her to communicate with a FEMA agent named Irving. He will provide support and hints so Nicole can find the truth and also keep her company.
Some conversations with Irving will require players to make conversational choices; if you don’t select an answer within the allotted time, the game will make the decision for you. Players can choose from two different options; sometimes they’ll either let you dig further or brush it off. Other times, it’ll be the same choices expressed differently.
To find your way in the mountain lodge, you’re given a map that covers all of the hotel’s levels allowing you to have an idea of where to go after Irving provides a few hints. The little problem with the map is the lack of “You are Here” marker for Nicole; while I understand the why (especially if they were going for a realistic experience), it can be a headache to find your way especially in the basement. You’ll also find a polaroid and a flashlight to help you on your way.
The game’s main problem is the pacing. Early chapters are very short, straight forward with not much mandatory exploration as Irving provides enough clues to easily find out what to do next. The only exploration at this point is that you can get easily confused trying to find your way, especially in the basement area. While the last two chapters are almost as long as the first 7 chapters/days.
The other annoyance is that one of the chapter mid-game requires players to communicate with Irving to review clues found throughout the first half of the game. With all the clues laid in front of you, you have to call Irving at every clue instead of calling him once and being able to select the clue to discuss. It feels like a cheap way to add length to the game.
Another big problem with the game, especially for Achievement hunters, is that all achievements are broken. I’d figure that the achievements would unlock once the game was completed so nothing could be spoiled as you progress, but a quick search on Google shows that everyone is reporting the problem. Users have attempted to contact the game’s developer only to be ignored. This is a poor way to treat people who spend their hard-earned money on their products.
The game looks great overall; the spooky lodge setting gives off vibes from the Shining and Silent Hill 2’s Hotel level. It’s a tense atmosphere always wondering what could happen. Kosher Engler who voices Nicole does a decent job overall, but some her delivery makes her comes off as a bitch even if the conversation with Irving doesn’t call for it. Her joke delivery falls flat; perhaps this was the desired effect. Christopher Ragland, who voices Irving, does a great job providing support and his tone accentuates the spooky atmosphere with tension in his voice. Soundwise, the game overall delivers. As you walk around the hotel, you’ll hear creaks and cracking throughout your indoor expedition; enhanced with headphones. Some of the game has a few tracks which are counter-intuitive to the game’s premise.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is one of the most enjoyable and tension-filled walking simulators I’ve had the privileged of reviewing. The game doesn’t necessarily rely on scares at every corner, but rather builds tension with what-ifs could happen around the corner. While the pacing isn’t ideal and makes the game feels rushed earlier on, it makes up for it in the latter parts of the game. With Halloween coming soon, this is the perfect time for this gem.
- Great at building tension
- Questionable pacing
- All achievements are broken
- Running is barely walking