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An emotional shred of philosophy, April 20, 2010
There is something surreal about this game – something that kept me reading (and sometimes rereading) every line of text. I will say right away that this game is not for those looking for a puzzle or an adventure. In The End doesn’t have a sophisticated conversation system, a complicated puzzle, or deeply interactive NPCs. What it does have, however, is a deep philosophical edge that will really get you thinking.
In The End starts out at the funeral of your friend, as you think upon death and life and where you fit into it all. From there, you must simply do what feels right. The endings which you can reach vary only slightly on the surface, but the feeling you get from them are vastly different. Proceeding through the game is easy and at some point, becomes instinctive.
In The End creates the illusion of a greater world beyond the parameters of the game. When in reality, there is very little depth to the actual environment and few descriptions for examinable objects.
One other thing that I found really interesting: Upon trying to save the game or undo a move, I was presented with “Life doesn’t work that way.” That single phrase adds to the realism of the PC’s situation. He is caught in a moment of life where walking away from the computer screen isn’t an option.
If I was rating this game purely on its emotional impact and philosophical spin, I would give it the full five stars. Rating it as a regular IF game, I would give it three. But, keeping in mind that In The End is really not quite one, nor the other, I will settle for a four.
So, if you have five minutes to play a short, meaningful game, then open up In The End.