I'm not a fan of walking simulators. I haven't finished any walking simulators before because I always get bored within an hour. That is a great homage to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture that I actually finished this game.
There were mainly two things that kept my interest up. First is that the game is absolutely stunning, and it plays with light in a very interesting way.
The other is its atmosphere. One of the premise of the game is that you're in a village where all the inhabitants has gone missing. In some cases it looks like they were packing to leave and in others they have just vanished into thin air.
But as you walk around this village you don't really feel alone. You can hear traces of the villages all over the place. Not only in the messages that the game leaves around, but you can hear footsteps, doors opening and such. This creates a very thick atmosphere that keeps you on edge and it makes it easier to drink in the story.
So, the sound is excellent and the music is excellent and the way that sound, music and light plays a big part into the overall feeling of the game. It is really masterful done.
However there are things that bothers me. The story is not very interesting. While they build narratives for the village inhabitants around the main plot, the main plot itself is quite bleak. It takes no turns and it doesn't provide any brain candy.
The interaction with the world breaks the immersion for me. Like that you can't walk through a 2 ft high bush, or a sheet hanging to dry acts as an impenetrable wall. The light is dancing but it seems like trees and bushes are very static.
What also bothers me are the houses with all the doors, but you can't open any of them. There is a part of me that wants to search through every room on every floor, but I soon discover that the game doesn't want me to look in every corner. It only wants me to follow the main path.
And what is up with the walking speed? I understand that it is a tool to make the player take in the atmosphere and story in a pace the developer decides but there was not one single time that it didn't bother me. I had it in my mind constantly during the whole playthrough. And at times when the developer really wants you to pay attention they make walking speed even slower, feeling like you're moving through liquid.
If they would remake this as a VR game, I think the immersion would be 10x as strong and I don't think you would mind the walking speed just as much - as the game would no longer be in the same format as Call of Duty. I really would like to see VR games/experiences like this in the future.
I liked this game, even though I don't like walking simulators. If you can just try to ignore the walking speed and other immersive breaking things in the world, I think that you could get a really rewarding experience.