I just beat the game today and found the ending really moving. Throughout the game the cutscenes highlight the feelings associated with death. The cutscenes handle those emotions well enough. But throughout the game what sold those messages were the events you controlled as the player. The moment when you could cut down the rope that man was using to hang himself due to being so overwhelmed with his home burning down with his family inside was a good example of this.
But at the end, when I came to the water with little brother I had thought that the cutscene prior to him seeing the water would have given him the ability to simply swim across the water. So I kept running in to the water, hitting RT, and nothing happened. Then I tried hitting LT and there he was swimming across the water and I instantly smiled and was saddened all at once. It was such a powerful moment for such a small action. Then using LT to pull the switch and to jump up to the cliff. It was really amazing.
It put forward that idea, that was highlighted throughout the game, that though people are no longer with us that doesn't mean that they are gone forever. We don't have to have the person next to us to have them influence us. As I thought about this through the credits I thought about Ryan. I still get a weird feeling when I think about the fact that Ryan is no longer with us because it just doesn't seem real. It's like I need to remind myself. Whenever I do I get sad but it doesn't really bring me down too low. But with this game I thought about Ryan and some of my other friends who have passed away through my life and I got that feeling I got when I first hit LT by the water; happy and sad. Because those friends are still with me and Ryan is still with this site and its staff.
The game had it's problems gameplay-wise and was bit glitchy for me. But for it to leave such an impact on me I couldn't help but come away really, really impressed by it. It almost reminded me of when I finished The Walking Dead and The Last of Us. It's something that is going to stick with me. What did the rest of you think?