You are not off base Flotsam, and by the way, nice review and I agree its a great game. I have played the game 3 times, not by choice but because my first game was erased by the update that was administered wrong by the inexperienced developer and I was in the middle of the 4th world (Desert of Naar) and had start over. I was sitting at about 18 hours at that time and since I now know the game keeps going I am estimating that the first time play through would have been 20 to 25 hours for me and that is with no help and doing, like you, what all adventure players do and thats to enjoy and explore the surroundings.
My second play through was stopped at a rare glitch in the 6th area, The Steps of Akasha, where one raised monolith would not save properly and without it one could not continue. This has since been corrected. But since this game was made by only 3 youngsters (to me) only one of them was taking care of any fixes and I couldn't wait and so I started a third game figuring I could get back to the point of the faulty monolith before a fix was made and I completed the game. I would say the last play through was under 9 hours and that was because I knew almost everything, what to look for and what to expect. All in all Steam says I had 51 hours into all my plays together and I don't regret any of it. Normally I don't replay a game for years but I loved this one so much it wasn't a burden to start over....twice. I don't know if there are differences in playing in VR and I don't consider myself a slouch playing these games but I can't see how anyone can get through the game that fast collecting every Rune and listening to every Poem without help, you are a wizard and a much better player than I, Kudos....just saying. I must also say that I played without the aid of the jump assist which probably added some time as I missed jumps a lot and had to re-jump. They didn't add the jump assist until the middle of my play through and I didn't want to change mid stream so I ploughed through.
"Don't Hate Me Because I Am Beautiful...There Are Many Other Reasons!"