I came at this from Destructoid.com (yes, them too), so I already guessed that it was an arthouse affair. I lost fast but wasn't surprised. I thought it was a little trite until I loaded it up again. I was not expecting that and it really made everything else work. My mouth is agape at all the people who keep saying that the persistence is "a nice touch" or whatever. Like you say, its pretty much the whole damn point!
It did seem a bit oversimplistic that the result was labeled "win/lose". I don't think you can say that this game doesn't have a message when there is a definite value judgement attached to those two outcomes. I suppose "You lost" could be considered an ambiguous statement. For instance, it could simply refer to the loss of a human life, which is definitely what happens if you shoot the prisoner. On the other hand, if you say that winning doesn't carry a value judgement... well then, at the very least, you're making a pretty radical statement about the nature of winning! One could argue, as many have, that losing this particular life would qualify as a win for the rest of humanity.
In any event, I can't think of any other way that it could work. You kinda have to say something and just saying "He Lived!" or "He's Dead" just seems dumb. In any event you aren't doing anything that every other violent videogame maker does. I'm not sure why people insist on getting upset about it, especially since most of them have probably played games that will happily call them losers for trying to play as a pacifist!
Edited by MrFalcon, 27 May 2008 - 02:24 AM.