The Vanishing of Ethan Carter “probably” getting Free Roam mode on PC

A peaceful free-roaming mode mmmight be coming to pretty walk-o-puzzler The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, or might not. Developers The Astronauts today announced they’re adding Free Roam mode to the game as they bring it to the Xbox One, see, but they won’t necessarily bring it over to PC too. The feature “needs” to be exclusive to Xbone for a while, for starters, then there would be “some serious work” involved in porting it over. For now, they’re saying they “probably” will bring Free Roam mode to Ethan Carter PC – as long as there’s sufficient demand. Hello there, I am interested in such a mode.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter’s Free Roam mode removes all locked doors, puzzles, UI prompts, and whatnot so players can potter freely, while also clearing up all those bodies and blood and bits that would make it a grim walk. Red Creek Valley is a pretty place–as John’s Ethan Carter review and Mitch Bowman’s envir-o-peak have discussed before–so freedom and tranquillity sound grand.

“The mode was not easy to make. We never anticipated it happening, so it took a while to clean up the place. But we believe it was worth it,” game director Adrian Chmielarz said in today’s announcement. “Turn down the music, leaving only sound effects on, and it’s like you’re really there.”

Will it come to PC? Well! Chmielarz explains that the Xbone version uses “the absolutely latest version” of Unreal Engine–newer even than the one Ethan Carter’s Redux updated to–and that the conversion took “quite a rewrite of some portions of the game”. They can’t simply copy it over. But do they want to? Seems so!

“For now, we’ll just wait and see if there’s any demand for the feature to come to PS4 and PC one day,” Chmielarz explained in the blog post. “It does seem like it, since this section of the post exists exactly because you are already asking. So we will probably do it, but the ‘probably’ is a key word here. We cannot guarantee the feature happening 100%, because, again, it’s not as easy as we are sure some people believe it is.”

Fingers crossed. I always knew there was a nice walking simulator lurking inside this.


  1. caff says:

    Maybe I’ve missed something, but in my opinion the original game was a strictly on-rails linear story experience that wasn’t well designed (I missed crucial plot and progression links, and had to backtrack) and in my memory’s eye I can only perceive this being a fuddled mess.

    • sharpmath says:

      How is an open world on rails? Unless you mean that train at the start where I didn’t get it and quit. That was on rails.

      • Sardonic says:

        He probably means like how the astronaut chase puzzle sequence is off to the side out of the way and easy to miss. I know I had to go back and do that one when I reached the end of the game and saw I had missed something.

        I definitely liked the game a lot but I do feel there were some missteps, like how far away the bird object thing in the church/cemetery is from the puzzle area.

  2. Ben King says:

    I feel like it’s already got a good deal of walk around and enjoy the sights as it is- from what I recall i never felt rushed or pushed along in such a way that I felt i was missing the chance to see something grand. Except for maybe the zombie mine thing…

  3. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Ooooo, this sounds nice. More fingers crossed.

  4. Neurotic says:

    I am sufficiently demanding this.

  5. racccoon says:

    I wish devs would learn to create game releases for multi platforms in 2018 onward
    PC of course being that great multi platform :)
    ..The game looks great

  6. Ejia says:

    Argh, because of their walking simulator-adjacentness and the similar “person wot is gone” titles I keep confusing this and What Remains of Edith Finch.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Can we try calling them stroll-em-ups instead of walking simulators?
      Just for a week maybe, see how it sounds.

  7. emertonom says:

    Does the VR version work like this? Because that would make me a lot more interested in it. I liked this game’s photogrammetry-based environment, but not so much the game itself.