The Real World Reflected In The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter

Video games often strive to appear "realistic" in one way or another, but the new indie horror game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter took things a step further verisimilitude-wise: creating many of its levels by pulling from real-world photographs.

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Using a nifty technique known as "photogrammetry," Ethan Carter developer The Astronauts built the game's spooky (and scenic) locales from real-world counterparts using countless photographs that captured their every nook and cranny. Rebuilding meatspace soundings sounds neat—especially for a horror game. But how did the photogrammetry work out at the end of the day? Well, the Polish gaming site CTSG was thoughtful enough to do a couple one-to-one comparisons.

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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em

Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Real world:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Video game:

Illustration for article titled The Real World Reflected In emThe Vanishing Of Ethan Carter/em
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Neat, right?

Read our review of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter here. Spoiler alert: we liked it!

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To contact the author of this post, write to yannick.lejacq@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq.

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DISCUSSION

Ethan Carter is, perhaps, the most beautiful game I've ever played. I was trying to describe it to my brother over the weekend, and the best I could come up with was that it looked the way we all feel the real world should.