We all love love stories, right?

Gaming isn’t really known for quality story-telling, let alone for having decent romantic subplots (or as a main plot). Thus I thought it would be nice to have a look back over the games that were released in this generation of gaming and commend those that did a fairly good job of stringing together a believable love story.

Why just this current-gen? Mainly to provide previews of what gaming is like nowadays in terms of story, to hopefully see what the future can bring. Another reason being that there are quite a number of decent choices throughout gaming history, so narrowing the time frame down allows us to appreciate games that might be overlooked otherwise. In keeping with that reasoning, only one romance subplot will be taken from any game: the best from that particular game.

This list may contain SPOILERS.

10. Dominic & Maria Santiago (Gears of War Series)

So you always have me with you. – Maria

The Gears of War series is mostly known for its action. Rightly so, for its single-player and multiplayer components are some of the best in gaming. Whilst the game’s story is mostly meant to connect gameplay sections, there are a couple of genuinely good moments in the game. One of those being the romance subplot of Dom and Maria Santiago.

Being Marcus’ trusty companion, Dom is definitely one of the more colourful characters in the Gears of War series. Throughout the games he speaks fondly of his love for his wife Maria, and remains hopeful to one day find her again. It’s part of why he fights. It’s a sad story, where Maria vanished one day after losing her children when the Locust attacked them.

Having lost his children, and then losing Maria, Dom still manages to keep it together. Mostly in hope of finding Maria. He eventually does, only to find that she has become emaciated, tortured and traumatized. A shell of her former self after being abducted by the Locust. Dom ends up having only one option: euthanization.

It’s a heart-wrenching end to their romance and a reminder that even the most adrenaline focused games can be poignant.

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This article was first posted on July 19, 2012