The Ten Worst VNs of 2017
2) VOID (Vfth Floor/Sekai Project)
VOID wanted to be so many things and failed at all of them. It wanted to be a dark, espionage thriller, but then gave up on it thirty minutes into the game when it presumably realized that meant actually having to think about its characters. Then, it wanted to be a high-octane action story with an anti-hero protagonist; THEN gave up on that because it didn’t realize that the wish-fulfillment archetype the protagonist is supposed to embody is currently the mockery of international fiction and media. Finally, it wanted to try and build a drama around a character coming to terms with the loss of a loved one and finding peace from the pain of their death. And that, my friends, is where VOID REALLY screwed the pooch.
I can rant about Arthur’s absurd turn into a hired assassin after the murder of his girlfriend, but its there because anime protagonist these days are unstoppable angsty badasses. The two female leads exist more to be drawn into his orbit rather than to have a fully-fleshed out storyline independent of him. To be fair, the developers do try. However, it gets cut off at the end of the first act, when the protagonist makes peace with the death of his girlfriend and the game becomes a Slice-of-Life romance that also falls apart because of the terrible cliches the game has to sink to try and write any of these characters in a convince romantic relationship. Whatever agency the characters had before that comes to a crashing, bloody halt after the fact and the game never recovers: ending all attempts at being a thriller and becoming a soap opera-style drama.
Which would be fine, if it was any good at it.
Just like the failure of the thriller elements, the drama of the third act collapses and becomes cringe-worthy to read: culminating with the protagonist and his girl (or girls…because of course there is a harem option here) literally celebrating their new lease on life on top of the dead girlfriend’s grave. There is just nothing redeemable here and it shows from the basic construct of the game all the way to its execution. It’s below the bottom of the barrel and only abject disgust keeps it from being the worst of the year.