The only way that this game can be described is impressive to the largest degree. This is hands down the most crafted, perfected, and enjoyable early access experience that has been released in the history of steam's early access system. I have dumped around 17 hours into the game, and I would check in and play a little after every update to see the changes that have been made. Amazingly, the devs have kept up incredibly well with updates, and in the many months that I have owned this title, it has become a very different game, and all for the better. The atmosphere is incredible and haunting right down to the core. This is aided by the fact that your character has a limited cone of view. How so, you might ask? Though you can see things like trees and large rocks outside of the cone, you cannot see things like items, characters, or enemies, meaning that one of the many creative and challenging enemies in the game can still sneak up and attack you if you are careless. The way this is implemented is masterful to say the least.
The game demands that you be conservative with your resources, often making you choose between upgrading your weapon, upgrading your workbench to allow you to create more weapons and items, or fortifying your base to keep the mutated nightmares at bay once the sun goes down. And the night time changes everything in the game. Whereas in the day you can travel in relative safety and strategically kill or avoid most enemies that you come accross, the night turns you into the prey of the creatures that lurk through the forest. Not only will monsters invade your home and attack you at night, but depending on whether or not you have any fuel in your generator, dark shadows will close in on you and kill you, and are a threat that can only be fought off with a light source. While the early game will find you cowering in your home praying for morning light, you will later gather the resources and the courage to venture from your home at night, during which special and unique items and resources may be collected.
Lastly, the sound design: HOLY HELL, the sound design in this game is PERFECT. From the hair raising squeal that grounded objects such as stools and wardrobes make when dragging them accross the floor to the haunting moans and screaches of the night, this game will keep you scared and on your toes, especially at night. Take it from me, when you are cowering in your room with the door baricaded with the wardrobe while not straying more than two feet from your light source, and then you hear the slow creaking of the other doors of your home opening at the will of murderous, rabid invaders, you will feel a fear for your life the likes of which very few games can produce.
If I were to summarize this game in one statement, I would say that this is the most fun I've had from a horror game since Dead Space. At $15, this game is currently an absolute steal, and even more so when the final version is released. If you want a horror experience that is original, extremely well produced, and scary as all hell, do yourself a favor and PICK THIS GAME UP.