It also seems to me that, as with other things that carry this aspect ratio, you're best looking at it as a case of being able to see more to the sides than the top and bottom being carved off.
Except that's patently untrue because this is a VIDEO GAME. Black bars in film is because there's no way to fill in those black bars with more information, you're seeing literally what they filmed.
In video games, they can just render where the black bars would be, there's no excuse to ever have them there aside from performance or bullshit "artistic intent."
This is 100% proven by the fact that when you use Flawless Widescreen... You see just as much on the sides AND more on the top and bottom. It fills the entire frame and you get more useful information.
Also, I don't accept the FoV argument, the FoV is so zoomed in it's uncomfortable and nausea-inducing even for a lot of people not normally affected by it. The black bars only add to that sensation. It's unpleasant, and not in a way that enhances the experience. Also, since it's not a horror game in even the vaguest sense of the word, the entire argument about it adding to scaring you is total fucking nonsense.
I agree with all of this. Even if I didn't agree, it's a matter of fact that can't be denied.
If they weren't bullshitting us, the developer would've promoted getting a 21:9 display for the "true" experience. If they weren't bullshitting us and framed the game correctly, they could've clipped the sides to get a 16:9 view back and would've saved more hardware resources.