Desensitization and fear. (Spoilers, only enter if you finished the main game.)
I just finished the game, and I have a question:
What were your reactions early in the game compared to your reactions late in the game?
For me, this was my first true horror game. I'd never played something labeled explicitly as a horror game before, so I mean that in a literal sense rather than a figurative sense. For me the beginning was the most intense, when I didn't know what was going on or what to expect. At the beginning, it took several minutes to make a small amount of progress, and my breath was constantly shallow, coupled with a quick and powerful heartbeat that I could easily feel in my chest. As the game progressed, and I became more acclimated to the environment, I started taking more risks, and acting more boldly.
The physical manifestations of fear were almost completely gone after getting about halfway through the game. My breathing and heart-rate were normal, although I still moved slowly and carefully. Later still, as I began to figure out and understand the workings behind some of the more hard to understand things, the fear further left me. As an example, I began to exploit game mechanics, such as the "sanity meter" not depleting in darkness if you were experiencing one of the moments where your character hallucinates voices and things.
In the late game, there was no fear whatsoever, and I focused on enjoying the puzzles, and progressing to further reveal the story. Although the fear had left, the game was still very enjoyable, right up to the end, as revalations were made about the characters, their intentions, the acts they had done, and were planning on doing.
Altogether I found that it was one of the best games I had ever played, even as my perspective towards it changed as I continued playing it. I am now wondering, and would like to ask you all a question: As you played, did your reactions to things decrease? If so, how much? As a somewhat relevant note, what environment did you play in? I don't view myself as a person that is easily scared, so I made sure to only play alone, late at night, when in a dark, silent room, while wearing headphones, with the screen gamma properly adjusted. Sometimes I even quit because I got a message through steam which broke the immersion and caused the intensity to evaporate completely.
Also, what is this about people screaming and such while they are playing? Do some people really have that low of a fear tolerance or are they just acting and exaggerating so their youtube channels will get more views?