The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a slow-paced walking sim. You play as Nicole, a woman coming back to her old home after her and her mother left a decade ago. Her father and mother split up because of infidelity on the father’s part, with a ‘not of legal age’ teenager named Rachel. After this came to light Rachel committed suicide, though the body was never found. Both the parents have since died, upon the father’s death a lawyer contacts Nicole with the last bit of her mother’s will, which is really just some information and a request. Her mother hired a lawyer to help Nicole sell the hotel their family owned, their old home, and she wants Nicole to sell it, give some money to Rachel’s family, and use the rest to live a happier life than her mother did. The reason this bit arrived after her father’s death instead of her mother’s is because the mother knew the father would bequeath the hotel to Nicole on his death. Because of this turn of events, Nicole is forced to head down to the hotel because she has to inspect the hotel in order to sell it, as local law dictates in-game. She ends up getting trapped in the house due to a severe winter storm though. This is Nicole’s story about reconnecting with her dead father, with her old home, and trying to figure out what happened the day Rachel committed suicide.
The game consists of just doing a small handful of things for ten days. What you do varies based on the day, but it’s all fairly straight forward. You have the blueprints of the house, which isn’t always useful, but usually is. Along with the blueprints you also have a sticky note telling you what your current objective is. The hotel has some freaky shit happening in it, things moving around, noises that are made, however you have a cell phone which is always connected with a FEMA agent named Irving who keeps you company. The more strange shit that occurs the more Nicole needs to figure out the truth about the night Rachel killed herself.
The game can take a while to finish simply because the building is rather sizeable, but it’s not actually a long game. If you cut out all the time you’re trying to find your way around this fucking giant four story building with more twists and turns than the fabled labyrinth of the Minotaur, then the game takes only maybe two or three hours. You can find areas around the building each day that are off the beaten path where you can talk with Irving about things, but that’s it. It’s mostly just, “Go here, do this, and now it’s the next day”.
There are some negatives about the game. One of the primary annoyances in the game is that you move like a fucking snail even when running. When you run it’s more like a proper walk, and when you walk it feels like the character is just shuffling her feet in like quarter steps. You’re playing someone who’s in her twenties, yet you move like you’re a geriatrics patient. It makes moving around really boring when you’re not talking with Irving or when Nicole’s not talking to herself. Would be heavily improved just by speeding up the walking speed by like three times and the speed for running by maybe double, then maybe it’d feel like we were walking and running, instead of shuffling and walking. The other issue is at least for anyone playing this on the Xbox, is that literally none of achievement works on this game, not a single one will pop. And, sadly it seems that Daedalic has no interest in fixing it, similar to Felix the Reaper. The games have either worked or have received patches to make them work properly on other systems, but not on the Xbox. If you don’t plan to get it on the Xbox or you don’t mind a zero out of eleven achievements and zero out of one thousand gamerscore, then rock on. However, if that matters to you, well… tough shit I guess, cause the Daedalic just doesn’t really seem to care for reasons I can’t comprehend. At this point I personally won’t be buying or reviewing anymore Xbox games published by Daedalic, achievements matter to me and I don’t trust the company to put out a game on the system that works one hundred percent, and I don’t trust them to patch them to work one hundred percent either, which is a shame cause I’ve always loved the company, just lately they’ve been dropping the ball and don’t seem to care about that fact.
There are good things about the game though, the story is absolutely fantastic, but I won’t get into it because the game is just too short for me to go too in depth into the story, if I did I’d ruin the game. The atmosphere is absolutely fucking fantastic, creaking, things scampering about on other floors, the sounds of doors moving, the chunking of various metal things around the building, it’s all so great and so, so creepy. It doesn’t hurt that many areas in this game reminds me of “The Shining”. The voice acting is also superb, both the characters were done really well and there’s options when you talk to Irving sometimes which gives you two or, on some occasions, three options of what to respond with. These choices don’t change the overall story but it does change immediate conversation paths, and Irving actually comments on things you’ve said prior which is really nice, you don’t get that in many games of this scope.
Overall, as annoyed as I am with the publisher, that shouldn’t reflect negatively on the devs or the game as a whole. I think this is totally worth playing, I absolutely loved the story, character interactions, and atmosphere. The only issues I had were the console specific one, movement speed, and technically the very ending of the game I didn’t much care for either. I can’t suggest getting this on the Xbox because of the console specific issue, however, it works fine everywhere else, so I suggest buying it on any other platform because it’s fabulous. I just hope that Daedalic starts caring about this stuff and fixing it so that I’ll be super happy with the publisher again.
A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher, Daedalic Entertainment.
darkmikasonfire gives The Suicide of Rachel Foster the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.