Maybe I've played through too many of these things, seen too many twists, but I had the story wrong. I thought it was pretty apparent that Senua was from our setting, picturing herself in the Celtic/Norse setting. Dillion looked and sounded so normal/modern, and I could have sworn he was in a t-shirt. But no, I watched the thingy, and the way they describe it, she and her family are what she says they are.
There were like, ten combat encounters, Awoo feels there were way too many, and I have to agree!
I know this is contradictory, but throughout the game, when THINKING about it, I felt that combat was bland and repetitive and tacked on, with astonishingly little variety. When ENGAGED in it though, when playing Mike Tyson's Punch Out with those suckers, I kinda dug it. It was never fair and I was getting hit in the back every three seconds, but it was visceral and kinda satisfying. You're not just whipping something until orbs pop out of it; you're all up IN IT.
I agree, no health bars, no HUD at all actually, was a pretty obvious choice, but I'm glad they made it.
Yes, I also loved the final battle's clamor demurring to the musical score, like that John Woo stuff I'm a sucker for. It worked on me.
Like I said, I'm not the biggest puzzle nut, but yeah, those were annoying, tedious, homework. AGAIN, surprisingly little variation. In a game about the protagonist's tenuous relationship with the objective world, they showed so little creativity with the number of puzzle types. Even Pneuma has more world-altering puzzle solutions. Even Limbo. Even Rememoried. This puzzle variety would feel more at home in Need For Speed: Payback.
I would forgive bland puzzles if the game were really about combat; I would forgive bland combat if the game were really about puzzles. It's neither. It's a walking simulator, a pretty good one, with both the other things crammed in.
I've heard good things about the Enslaved in my backlog and am looking forward to it.