The striking thing initially was just how well designed it was. How the world seemed so vast, yet I was never lost. The atmosphere on its own is something to behold, but when coupled with the phenomenal use of camera control, the whole thing just becomes transcendent. Otherworldly. This is a game aliens might've invented: it is not like other games.
This might be the best multiplayer game I've ever played. It's so hyperbolic to say, it really is, but I can't get over what this game made me feel. I played through the game in two sessions, and it started at the end of the first session. I had to leave, which meant abandoning my companion. Having no way to communicate my intentions, I stopped walking. After a little ways, he(?) came back and started singing at me. I truly felt bad for leaving him.
Then, at the end of my second session, I became completely overwhelmed. I had seen companions come and go, which is just the nature of life anyway, but this last one had been with me for a long time. We sang a lot. But we got to where the snow caked our clothes and our scarves withered away to the gales. And then all there was left was us. And I couldn't even sing. And as I watched us slow and stumble, I started tearing up. The realization that we were not going to make it and that we never were from the beginning overpowered me. And she fell. And all I could do was stand next to her. I fucking wept. I wept that I'd lost her, I wept that I had just felt that response to a videogame, I wept that I was fucking weeping because I have never fucking wept before.
The afterlife sequence is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen committed to any medium. I have no doubt my feelings on this were heavily influenced by my reaction to the scenes just prior, but it deserves its due. Being reunited with my companion was joyous. Flying, fucking flying, feels amazing. Finally, I thought the last scene was perfect. Normally, I might try to mess up a cut scene by meandering through back towards the camera and stuff. But I wanted to make this one right. So I walked into the light, holding forward on my controller. Forward. Onward. Like so much of this game, and life. This was one of the most beautiful and poetic things I've experienced, and I really just needed to tell somebody.
Disclaimer: I apologize for some shitty writing throughout. Just typing about this game gets me choked up.