Just finished this game last night which was included in the PS Plus monthly games. This game will be meh if you do not soak in the details and explore methodically. But if you do, you will be rewarded with a game that creeps you out while caring strongly about the fates of its inhabitants...and yours.
This isnt an adventure point and click game, its far simpler than that, its purely exploration, no puzzle solving whatsoever.
This is about experience. The ambience. Oh boy is it about ambience. The storm raging outside, the constant pitter pater of rain. The creaking of boards and doors, the sounds of "presence"....
But its also about narrative and the way you explore dictates how you experience the narrative. I think this is what has mostly divided the playing community (on metacritics, critic ratings averaged 80-90% but playing community rated an astoundingly contrasting 43%).
I loved the journey, the unravelling and wrong footing narrative experience. But i can imagine if players paid twenty quid or more for this, many would be feeling justifiably cheated as this is way too short of a game to be charging such a premium. Its way shorter than say a Mass Effect single player DLC. If the price is typical story campaign dlc price then that would be justified.
Word of warning, its possible to finish the game way way prematurely by discovering a secret panel and it looks like a lot of folks did...if you do discover it, ignore it until it is prompted with further exploration of the house items. This is a huge flaw of the game and can ruin the impact of the narrative. I think that might be part reason for the low user ratings...only part reason, though.
I see no reason why this game could not have included puzzle solving but then again perhaps the developers wanted fluent pacing.
What it comes down to is how much you appreciate a story focussed game. I am a gamer that absolutely wants an engaging story so this game satisfied my needs. But i also cared and it all felt very intimate thanks to the developers attention to details and nuances.
Its not the greatest story or the most innovative indie game, despite its reputation as such. But depending on how much you care, it can be emotional. "Her Story" is a far better indie achievement in narrative, innovative gameplay, clever structuring and graphical simplicity. So was Cognition, Blackwell series, Lost Echo...all small low budget indie games that unravel great stories with more structured gameplay.
Im guessing most of you have this for free, so play it and decide for yourself, at most, I estimate this to be a 4 hour experience if you absorb every detail and explore carefully making sure you have unlocked everything.
I give this a 7.5/10. It is very memorable but not up there amongst my best narrative or innovative indie game experiences.