10 Most Disappointing Video Game Endings

A winner is...not us!

Veteran screenwriting guru Robert McKee has a lot of opinions about what makes a good story, but perhaps the most important is making sure you've got a strong third act. In his non-fiction tome Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, essential text for all aspiring screenwriters and adapted from McKee's own lecture series, he makes the point that you can have a film that's strong all the way through, but if the ending sucks? That's going to be people's lasting impression of the film. The last part was crummy, so their most recent feelings towards the film are negative. Video games and films have a lot in common, and increasingly the big budget storylines are pretty much identical between AAA titles and blockbuster movies. Sure you get to control the protagonist from time to time, but the actual structure of the plot is entirely guided by scripted cut scenes that are pretty much identical from your average box office botherer. With lower-res actors. Which means that, increasingly, our lasting impressions of video games are coloured by how they end. It's not like gamers really need much to kick off about - remember when people were calling for the head of the reviewer who dared give Grand Theft Auto V a 9.5 rather than a perfect 10? - but this new era of weighted expectation on video game climaxes is giving us plenty more to get upset about. There are endings that don't feel earned, endings that take characters to places we didn't want, endings that weren't endings - these are the ten most disappointing in video game history.
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Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/