Over the past 20 years video games have begun to become much more cinematic in their approach to storytelling, with characters and plot becoming just as important as actual gameplay. This has lead to some fantastic stories being told through the medium, with an added benefit being player interactivity. Watching your favourite character die in a film is sad, but watching helplessly as your teammate/friend is killed in a game is just tragic.
Tragic, yet incredibly effective for storytelling. Because of the heightened level of immersion character deaths have become a staple of modern video games, raising the stakes of the story and making players even more invested as they feel they need to protect their favourite members of the cast.
But sometimes a character has to die for the story, and there isn't a single thing the player can do to prevent that.
As sad as they are, these character deaths do achieve what they're meant to. Despite having released years ago, people still discuss certain characters' demises years later, clearly showing that the developers and writers achieved what they set out to do. But some deaths stand out a lot more than others.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for: Borderlands 2, Half-Life 2, Half-Life: Alyx, Fallout 3, Final Fantasy VII, Mass Effect 3, Marvel's Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption, The Last Of Us 2, Modern Warfare 2, and The Walking Dead.
10. Roland - Borderlands 2
You might not expect a game like Borderlands to have many emotional scenes in it. After all, it's advertised as a crazy arcade-like shooter that's more focused on laughs and ridiculously overpowered guns.
But every so often the series does slow things down to develop the plot, and sometimes that can mean bad news for some of your favourite characters.
In Borderlands 2 you get the choice of four new vault hunters to play as, but don't worry, the original four from the first game do appear as NPCs that assist you on your missions and provide you with quests. This honestly should have been a red flag from day one. There was no way that everyone was going to make it through alive.
Sadly, this was true. During the events of Borderlands 2, Roland is shot through the chest by Handsome Jack. Not only is this devastating for the players as they likely fought alongside him in the first game, or possibly even as him, but it's Lilith's reaction that really makes the death sad. At least by the end of the game you've avenged him.