Draugen feels like the opposite of Firewatch. Both games capture the imagination with a fascinating premise told against the backdrop of a stunning location, but instead of remaining rooted in reality, the Red Thread developed title gives way to lunacy at the first time of asking. It makes for an unsatisfying walking simulator which can only consider its visuals a saving grace.
Thoroughly unlikeable protagonist Edward is invited to stay with the Fretland family in the small, beautiful village of Graavik as he searches for his long lost sister named Betty. However, once he and companion Lissie reach its shores, they quickly learn that the place is completely deserted. What follows is a thorough search of the houses and buildings left behind, as well as the unveiling of the mystery behind the sibling's disappearance.
Draugen is an exploration of mental illness, but it doesn't have the chops to pull it off. The game's twists are clearly telegraphed ahead of time, its narrative becomes less interesting the more you play, and gameplay fails to pick up the pieces. Exploring the gorgeous Norwegian countryside is a pleasure, but it's just about the only thing the title has going for it in terms of interaction. Edward can analyse and pick up certain objects, select dialogue options which have no effect on the story, and hold the R1 button to learn of where he should be heading next. That is quite literally all there is to it.
Again, admiring its quaint, quiet beauty might be enough to convince those enthusiastic about its premise to give the game a shot, although what awaits them leads to disappointment. Draugen wildly fails to reach the bar set by the likes of Gone Home and What Remains of Edith Finch.