The Suicide of Rachel Foster review: Squandered horror potential


The Suicide of Rachel Foster has the environmental and graphical potential to be an incredible horror game but squanders the opportunity.

Title: The Suicide of Rachel Foster
Developer: One O One Games, Reddoll Games
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platforms: Windows, PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One
Release Date: February 19th/September 9th, 2020

TRIGGER WARNING: The Suicide of Rachel Foster contains themes of suicide, self-harm and murder. If those bother you, please be aware before reading.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster… we need to talk. This review is a complicated one and I had to think a lot about how I wanted to approach it and I am still on the fence. I may never officially decide on how I feel about this game.

Before I talk about that, let me give some game information first. The Suicide of Rachel Foster was first released at the beginning of 2020 on Steam. It was developed by One O One Games and Reddoll Games and published by Daedelic Entertainment. After a slight push back of the console release date, it was released on PS4 and Xbox One at the beginning of September.

In this first-person, narrative walking simulator, you play as Nicole. Her mother passed away years before and her estranged father has just died. Now, she must head to the hotel she inherited to inspect the building to sell it. She hasn’t spoken to her father for ten years after he had an “affair”  with his daughter’s classmate, a 16-year-old girl named Rachel. Nicole and her mother, Claire, left the hotel after Rachel committed suicide at 9-weeks pregnant.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster review

Now, visiting the hotel reminds Nicole of her past which she had tried to forget. She only plans to be at the hotel with the lawyer long enough to inspect the building and then head back home, but a dangerous blizzard has other plans. With only the company of FEMA agent, Irving, over a new-fangled cell phone (it’s the 90’s), she must face her past and all the ghosts of The Timberline Hotel.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster has a lot of potential for a truly spooky horror experience. There’s a Shining-esque large and empty hotel in the snowy mountains of Montana. Nicole is alone but as strange things begin to happen and things begin to move in the hotel, she isn’t sure how alone she is anymore.

Her past keeps getting dropped directly in her face, forcing her to remember things she had long forgotten and learn some things about Rachel’s story that she never knew, With a retro, 90’s style (you can’t imaging how much I hate saying that 90’s tech is “retro”), it makes it seem creepier as you don’t have the modern technology to keep you company. Even the ghost hunting equipment seems ancient which helps in the environment.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster review

What I feel is just really glossed over is the relationship between a 16-year-old and a 46-year-old man. The legal age for consent in Montana is 16, so no actual law was broken by the two involved in the affair but it doesn’t take away the fact that a grown man impregnated a teenager and then that teenager is dead due to those actions. It glorified the relationship, making the father seem like a victim just as much as Rachel and I have a problem with that. Maybe she did consent (and the story makes it seem like she did), but making Leonard (the father) just as much of a victim as Rachel is the worst part of all of this.

A girl died due to these choices and it irritates me to see Leonard labeled as a victim. We also don’t know how long this affair was going on, making me wonder if this went on while she was still a child. This is a small mountain community, so he must have seen her grow up alongside his daughter and it makes the whole thing worse.

I know there will be people who disagree with my opinion and that’s fine. There are a lot of opinions on large age gap relationships and the fine line between consensual and abuse, especially with one of them being barely legal but, I will end my opinion on that here and actually look at the gameplay.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster looks really good. The environmental graphics are gorgeous and really create an atmosphere of tension and the anxiety of not knowing what may be just around the corner. You don’t get too many character graphics as you only ever see Nicole’s hands but even then the movements are smooth and realistic. The runtime for the game is about 3.5-4 hours and the first part of the game has a ton of potential. It feels like it has the opportunity to be a truly scary experience and it just never really gets there. I wish they would have gone in a direction of a haunting mystery instead of the story it went with.

There were two endings to the game and neither one of them I liked. It felt slapped on and didn’t really make a lot of sense. The Suicide of Rachel Foster feels like an opportunity lost. The voice acting is wonderful and you get to choose dialogue options but sometimes there is only one to choose from, which made me ask why I had to choose at all. The choices don’t affect the ending, making them just dialogue options with no real consequence or impact. Overall, this game wasn’t bad but it could have been a lot better, no matter what you think of the whole relationship aspect.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster is available now for $20 on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One.

. The Suicide of Rachel Foster. 5.5. While <em>The Suicide of Rachel Foster</em> has the environmental and graphical potential to be an incredibly spooky and mysterious horror game, it becomes a frustrating and uncomfortable story that never really gives a cathartic ending and therefore squanders its narrative and horror potential.. One O One Games, Reddoll Games

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.