My thoughts on the LiS endings: the game’s narrative have always been building up to those two endings and it was never going to be a happy ending at all. To me, this is the main difference with the ME3 endings in which the Task Manager’s presence was never even foreshadowed in the first place (which is the main reason why the ending for that game sucked hard for me).
LiS never had a fix what went wrong vibe to it and in fact there were lots of instances where Max’s actions cause things to go way worse. The first instance of photo time travel is the most obvious one, but there’s also the reason why Victoria was kidnapped by Jefferson in the first place. Because you warned her about Nathan’s potential involvement and she ran off to Jefferson’s arms.
There is a sense that while some things can be made better by time traveling, there is also a sense that a lot of things cannot simply be bandaged up by reversing time and choosing something else. We choose things based on the information presented to us at the time and hope for the best because it’s all we can do, which feels like the game’s general message to begin with.
That being said, I do have some things that might improve the game’s endings. Firstly, elaborate a little more on the save Chloe. Who died? Did they leave immediately after the tornado ended or did some time passed? A kiss during their drive away from town would be inappropriate but a kiss before making this decision would have helped and Max could confirm that she would never leave Chloe again, that sort of thing.
Secondly, add a third ending: Max sacrifices herself when she photo travels to prevent Chloe from dying. Since the troubles of the game came about due to Max’s time traveling shenanigans, this would also have been a good way to end the tornado, saving the bae and the bay at the expense of her own life. What? Were you expecting a happy ending from me after what I just said?