The Suicide of Rachel Foster Review
I’m not one to turn away from more complicated, complex storylines. The heart of the story in The Suicide of Rachel Foster, however, is pretty tough to swallow. I don’t mean this in a “yikes this is scary” way. Overall, it’s more of a “why tell this sort of story?” way. Suicide is obviously a huge issue, as are the other themes of this game’s narrative. Do they deserve this sort of pedestal with which to investigate their morals and prevalence in our society? How effective is that really in addressing whatever sort of end these means intend to portray? Let’s dive into this The Suicide of Rachel Foster review for some clarity.
A Controversial Story
Image Credit: Daedalic Entertainment
TW: Suicide, Sexual Assault, Rape, and Death
The core narrative behind The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a review of a young girl’s tragedy. Overall, you play as Nicole, the daugther of the hotel’s manager. Your friend, Rachel Foster, killed herself and you want to know why. The game is strictly a walking simulator with point and click elements. Unlike popular narrative-driven games like Coffee Talk (which we have a great review on), this one is pretty bare bones in its offerings. The real sticking point is the goal of finding out more about what happened to her. To address the heinous nature of the story, I’m going to spoil some big plot points below. Stop reading if you don’t want to read about what happens.
Image Credit: Daedalic Entertainment
Rachel kills herself while pregnant with your character’s father’s child. Trying to work out the ages in your head? Well, when Rachel was 16, your father was in his 40s. That’s disgusting by all accounts and when they refer to it in the game as an affair, they’re not really calling it what it is. That’s coercive assault, despite the game’s setting of Montana not having a law for statutory rape that would cover a 16 year old. As her tutor, your father takes advantage of a girl with few friends and a rough self-esteem. It’s pretty sick, but games touch on this stuff all the time. The question is whether or not they should.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster Review Score
I review games on a scale of 1-10; The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a 5 for me. I hate the treatment of your father’s character as somehow in love with a child. I also don’t care much for the sympathetic view of a grown man who would do this to a child. It’s just not a good sell for me, nor is the gameplay interesting enough to warrant hearing this sort of story. I think with these sort of narrative-driven games, you need to have a story you can lose yourself in. I just didn’t want to lose myself in this twisted tale.
In short, things like this do happen in real life, and I don’t think the game’s developer is wrong in telling a story about sexual coercion. I just don’t like the emotional implications of a man having some argument for his actions with a child. It’s not for me, nor do I think many will be pleased with the character’s treatment. When difficult topics are discussed, they need proactive and careful discourse. I just didn’t care for this presentation of such difficult subject matter.
I reviewed this game on Xbox One. Thanks to the publisher for a digital copy of the game for review.
Featured Image Credit: Daedalic Entertainment
Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Shepherds. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.