10 HUGE Video Game Cliffhangers That Meant NOTHING

Joker's death meant nothing.

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The cliffhanger is an ancient storytelling tool to keep people so invested in a plot point, they'll be urged to stick out to learn how things get resolved. This "To Be Continued" technique has been used in books like 1001 Arabian Nights, tv shows like Prison Break, and films like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But another medium that regularly uses this plot device is video games. Many popular titles finish with a last-minute twist, a character's death, or a mind-blowing revelation to entice players to check out future instalments.

Although this is a great idea to ensure gamers rush back for more, it's irritating when there is no resolution. More often that not, this happens because the follow-up is cancelled.

But there are times where the cliffhanger is acknowledged in the sequel, but it has little effect on the plot. Other times, the cliffhanger is ignored in the follow-up, making you wonder why the developers bothered with it in the first place. Even though these cliffhangers got our heart pumping, it's unlikely we will be seeing any sort of pay-off in the future.

10. John's Identity - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

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In Assassin's Creed IV, you play as an analyst at Abstergo Entertainment in the modern world. Using the Animus device, you relive moments in the life of a pirate called Edward Kenway. As Edward explores uncharted waters and hunts for treasure, he finds himself in conflict with an captain called Bartholomew Roberts.

Every now and again, your missions in the past are interrupted by an unseen IT worker called John, who orders you to perform illegal activities in the Abstergo facility without the higher-ups' knowledge.

Even though Edward defeats Bartholomew in the climax, the wicked captain has one last trick up his sleeve. In the final sequence, John poisons you so he can prepare your body for his diabolical plan. When you come to, you immediately see John is the reincarnation of Bartholomew. He then explains how he belongs to an ancient alien race and has been reincarnating in human form for centuries to reunite with his lover.

Although this is a lot of information to swallow, John is shot dead 90 seconds later by a security guard, saturating his big reveal. The character has only been mentioned fleetingly in follow-ups, making this revelation redundant in hindsight.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85