Before I start complaining I must say that this is a very good game right up until the ending. It has a surprisingly deep, dark and complex story and the main character is excellent, voice acting included.
But I could have done without the silliness. Not humour, that is important, in small amounts, in such a dark story. But I can’t think of a single story which mixes silliness and tragedy successfully, and this is no exception.
And now a rant about endings ...
I REALLY MEAN IT – THERE ARE SOME HUGE ONES HERE! YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ENJOY THE GAME IF YOU READ THIS FIRST.
... where this game sadly and disappointingly took the easy way out.
Earlier in the game Anna is warned by a wizard that if she cannot convince Winfriede to stop what she is doing, she will have to destroy her. This is something Anna says she is not willing to do, even to someone so (seemingly) purely evil who has caused her and her loved one nothing but pain and suffering. So the game is preparing us for this classic moral dilemma. And in the last chapter we get a brilliant flashback to Winfriedes childhood where we learn what made her what she is and why she is doing what she’s doing. This is my favourite part of the game and it does a very good job of explaining the main villain, who up to this point has seemed 100% to-the-core bad.
Then at the very end, after Winfriede has declined Anna’s offer of redemption and attacks her, we get the cheapest of all cop-outs, known from many stories and movies: The Accidental Death of the Villain. Problem solved, Moral Dilemma conveniently sidestepped and everything is OK. I mean what is the point of creating such a deep, dark and complex story, complete with the villains nuanced back story, to in the end just have her die in an accident, independent of anything that has happened earlier in the story. Sure the accident happens because she attacks the hero, but the accident itself is still purely by chance and clearly not intended by the hero.
So yes, it would have been more honest if Anna had to kill the villain. Or let her live, putting herself and probably everyone else in danger (she would go to prison first obviously, but it’s doubtful if that would have been much of a hindrance to such a powerful witch). Or preferably come up with a surprising solution that both avoids murder and makes the world a better place. All of these are better than the non-solution chosen here.
So to all stories and movies who use this cheap trick to spare their hero from having to make a tough decision: Please stop doing this, it really undermines the rest of the story.
Time Played: 10-20 hours