Until Psycho-Pass Mandatory Happiness washed up on the Pure PlayStation shores, I had no idea visual novel video games existed. The concept didn’t seem intriguing to me as I could just go down the road and buy a graphic novel or manga chapters at my leisure. However, there was a certain sense of pleasure just sitting back and watching mostly still art with revolving backgrounds. Now I didn’t complete Mandatory Happiness as I felt it was unnecessary compared to the great anime series. Still I wasn’t entirely put off by the genre. That’s why I was more than excited to take on Our World is Ended by Red Entertainment. The end result would turn out to be extremely mixed, but I could definitely see a developers’ hard work and pride. Regardless of how creepy and objectifying it may be.
Our World is Ended follows a part-time video game developer, Reiji. He works with a colorful cast of characters at Judgement 7, the video game development team itself. The company is more on the smaller side and unfortunately has a mostly negative reception to their slew of creations. There’s even a scene where we find out the team bumps its own posts on the internet and pretends to be normal gamers hyping up the group. Naturally, they want to go bigger and better with the next title to impress. The solution is an augmented and virtual reality game that requires specialized helmets. Not quite Sword Art Online style, but close.
During one of the tests, the seven man and woman team experience an unexpected glitch where everything goes black. When they come to Judgement 7 discovers, down the line, that they somehow entered a virtual reality that’s an exact replica of their home city. As they search for answers and bounce back and forth between realities, they realize this new world isn’t a coincidence and has real world consequences that could literally destroy everything.
Being a visual novel title Our World is Ended obviously needs to have more than an interesting sci-fi tale. The characters and their interactions carry the plot and the whole experience. From a character development standpoint this game succeeds. Our group of protagonists are interesting to a point and have their own little eccentricities. There is enough diversity in personalities that everyone has a role and no character is the same. For this and a plot twist filled, mysterious, intriguing story, I applaud Our World is Ended.
There’s just the problem that it’s all infused with unnecessary focus on the female form. Such as the “mammary weapons” and desire to see them naked. Hell, you have to decide if a twelve-year-old in a bathing suit is sexy or not. And this isn’t coming from what some call a “SJW” or “white knight” perspective. Nearly every other scene includes Reiji’s desire to either see or think about breasts and other sexual things. Even in the middle of a tense moment, there will be a paragraph of text about feeling one of the women’s chest up against him. There’s very little humor in it after the umpteenth time and easily falls into creep territory. There is well over thirty hours of content and nearly all of it is filled with some poorly conceived male fantasy adventure.
Gameplay is as basic as you can probably picture it. Static backgrounds, characters appearing on-screen and skipping when they talk or perform a vigorous action, and a text box to describe it all. Now there are a few interaction possibilities in which you can make Reiji say or do what you want. Either several choices will appear on the screen for you to select or scrolling text will fly through the scene that you can choose if you’re quick enough. Unfortunately, compared to the game’s length this interactivity isn’t very prevalent. I mean they play a part in Our World is Ended’s eight endings I’m sure, but this feature is really far and few between. There is also the ability to skip entire chunks of the title and to the next choice or decision. You can complete the game within thirty minutes this way. Other than that there’s an auto function that will keep the dialogue moving on it’s own and for you to find a comfortable viewing position.
On the audio front everything is pretty great. The voice actors take their role seriously for such a game in the visual novel genre and deliver lines with the utmost believability. Kudos to whomever voiced Iruka. Feelings coming to light, dramatic moments, and dialect changes were all handled incredibly well. The sound effects and soundtrack too. They were catchy, played at the right moment, and laid out a scene effectively. Yet again if only these could have been savored without the near constant presence of wanting to see breasts and women in swimsuits. Which all female characters inexplicably seem to want you so apparently the creepiness doesn’t matter.
Our World is Ended PS4 Review
Our World is Ended isn’t quite the masterpiece it has advertised itself in a few places, but there is an interesting enough and original sci-fi tale here. It’s just buried with an ocean’s worth of creepy male fantasies that ruin the experience. One scene even focuses on a character’s cleavage and just their cleavage as they jump up and down. I truly can’t express enough how badly weird this game’s tone is because of this. If and when you get past the glaring problem, the voice actors and artists did an amazing job. They do a great job holding your attention for a very long visual novel game.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using a PS4 Pro.