I wrote this on the steam review but my ego and narcissism had me believe that my opinion was very important so here i am: "I love this game dearly and heard that its only made by a team of 45 people or so.
that's fairly incredible for a team of a scale like this but i want to see a few improvements in the next one if you have the money (ranked by importance) :
facial animations (proper facial shape keys or something like that)
THIS IS A BIG ONE. the character modeling and lighting are second to none but the animation just breaks the whole immersion. and i am disconnected from the characters because their face all stay the same
the brow moves only ever so slightly that the characters look dead half of the time. theres no wrinkles when the character frown or smile. please if you ever made good money with this one. spend it on facial animators on the next one it is VERY IMPORTANT
facial animations during playthroughs :
this again too breaks the immersion. especially in big moments like when Amicia was walking in her dreams and those people she killed taunts her as she desperately want Hugo by her side. Now, that is a BIG moment. But the whole thing is kind of ruin by the fact that her character model just moves the mouth as she said that, dead and like a robot (amazing performance by the voice actor in this scene btw). You just have to animate the scenes that is fairly important, i understand it is expensive to animate the whole game. also might be nice to add some idle facial animation. (look at the last of us 2 for examples)
3.maybe a personal preference but for me the story kind went downhill? (spoilers)
(1). well i was under the impression that this was gonna be a plague documentary of some sort. until hugo started using his magic powers, which is fine. but it kinda pull me out of the story at the end when the old guy started building rats towers, which is too magical for me. i hope the second game doesnt take the magical elements too far and balance it with realistic plague narrative.
(2). I care about amicia and hugo very much but some narrative arent done well. I was kind of into the bond between them two. you know. i was into the ideas that they were almost strangers though having the same parent and they have to bond throughout the adventures. but there werent enough moments to see the characters thoughts (which you need good facial animations to do that so please get on that that should be your number one priority since you are making a story driven game). Secondly, the other character we dont get to know so much. when the strong male guy died i dont care very much because we dont really know him other than his father died due to the religious group or something. but that doesnt mean you have to make a whole flashback sequence or anything too deep just scenes like the one when amicia was dreaming and a voice told her it was her fault because she was jealous. That was such a good build up that had good foreshadowing from the start. (like when she said "at least you get to see mom"). the player connected the dots together that moment and it was good writing. and simple stuff like that adds a lot to the characters.
- the gameplay is sometimes kind of dull? (most of them arent, unlike most said)
i especially refer to the part of the boat in the cave part. i would like it if your character was just sitting in the boat as npc's row it, you dont have to force a puzzle at this part. but other than things like this, the whole gameplay i really adore, it feels really free for a linear game like this. i mean the ways to approach a puzzles. it seems like there are so many ways to get through it and it is fantastic unlike most game critics say about it.
i'm only saying these because i really care about the game so i really hope you can make some of these changes."