Being blind in a videogame is no fun, of course, so the games turns you into Deadpool, giving you the superpower of “seeing” the noises around you. The game displays that in different hues of blue, turning the environment just barely visible whenever you take a step or the wind howls in through a window. You also have a cane which you can tap, giving you a wider radius of “visible” area for a brief amount of time, but here’s the catch: “The Presence” is out to kill you and it can hear you tapping that cane, so don’t do that too often or you’ll find yourself running and hiding from whatever “The Presence” is.
During the game you will interact only with two other humans, Serge - who is probably your fiancee - and Nick, who is a “Friendly Eye”, someone describing a picture you take with your phone and send to him. Spoiler: We will break him.
The atmosphere and voice acting in this game is just spot on. The acoustic in the mansion is fantastic, down to your footsteps making different sounds depending if you step on wood, carpet or bubble wrap (YES, bubble wrap!). The “Presence” is rare enough that you can go through an entire playthrough and only encounter it when the story requires it and scary enough that you really want to rack your brain with remembering the layout of the mansion to not use your cane unnecessarily. In addition, hiding spots are far enough between to not give you a sense of being under constant surveillance by the “Presence” and they are set between cliche (curtains) and nasty (giant insects chrysalis).
During my playthrough I apparently managed to miss some checkpoints, requiring me to re-play about 30-40 minutes of gameplay. That’s annoying, but nothing unexpected of a game literally just days after release.
In addition, it feels like there’s bits of the story missing. The intro describes to you how to use the echolocation in the game and that you flew to the mansion, but it doesn’t really tell you why you go there and how you found out where it is. It just says “Sometimes trust means going on the first flight to Boston to find the mansion from your nightmares.” That’s pretty much all the introduction you get and it leaves me pretty empty. I kinda expected a bit more for going to an empty mansion halfway across the globe, alone, with only your cane and mobile phone for assistence.
As a final item, this game needs a trigger warning. There’s several dead children in the game and some of them died horribly.
One very unexpected thing comes about right at the beginning: You can choose whether you want your character “chatty”, ie saying all her lines, or “silent”, where she only mentions plot-worthy lines. I feel like more games need that.