Just played the game for about 9 hours straight... and wanted to share my thoughts. I saw a lot of complaints and warnings about the game being "depressing"... it is. But here's why that shouldn't stop you from playing or buying it...
Many see video games as an escape, and "dating sims" as something heartfelt and wholesome. Some don't want to experience things that are upsetting or where there is no "happy end".
But in life, happy endings are few and fragile, and people are cruel and unpredictable. Some people, as it happens, are headed for "bad endings", or hell bent on their own destruction. Cynical of me to say, maybe. The story this game tells is painful, and for the soft of heart, maybe unbearable. It takes your power away, as a player, because you think that you should be able to "rescue" the characters you are attached to, even though it's unrealistic. No one wants to stomach the ugliest and most unspeakable truth--salvation isn't granted to everyone, and some people you can't help at all.
Even so, it's so beautiful that you'd be making a mistake to pass it up. It takes a special author to write characters so poignantly and passionately real. Incredibly flawed, not heroes or villains. The whole cast is painted in deep grey colors, even the main character. It's almost magic, and I, as a writer, appreciate it all the more. Would there be so many people posting, lamenting how deeply troubled they were by the game, if it were not written with such finesse?
We need more than just happy stories and loving true endings. Sometimes, bitterness and darkness taste sweeter than saccharine fantasies. It just takes the right palate, and the willingness to accept hearing about the dark and shitty sides of humanity that we know exist but want to avoid.