The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: A beautiful supernatural thriller

Paul Prospero is a gravel-voiced detective straight out of a film noir. A mysterious letter from a boy named Ethan Carter leads him to Red Creek Valley, a picturesque stretch of sun-dappled forests and valleys. But this place isn’t as idyllic as it first appears…

Red Creek Valley is a beautiful setting for this sedate adventure. Developer The Astronauts used ‘photogrammetry’ tech to create it, which uses photos to build realistic 3D models. The results are remarkable, with dense foliage that blows in the wind and charming vistas that stretch for miles.

The game is built around the idea of never holding your hand. There are no objective markers nor anything resembling a clear critical path. You choose the pace at which you explore the world, and as you do so, you come across puzzles and crimes that you can solve using Prospero’s strange telepathic powers.

Early in the game, Prospero finds a pair of severed legs on a railway track, and the rest of the body nearby. By hunting down pieces of evidence scattered around the scene, he paints a mental picture of the crime so he can replay it. It’s Murdered: Soul Suspect, then, only with fewer ghosties and the creators of OPM fave Bulletstorm at the helm.