10 Video Game Levels You KNEW Were Going To End Terribly

I've got a bad feeling about this...

red dead redemption 2

There’s no shortage of devastating moments in video games. From earth-shattering revelations to heartbreaking deaths, these instances are guaranteed to leave an impression on whoever experiences them.

Often coming at pivotal points in a game’s plot, these unforgettable bombshells are designed to deliver the biggest emotional impact possible. One of the most common ways that developers achieve this is by catching players by surprise with jaw-dropping twists that they could never have predicted, with BioShock’s “Would you kindly” reveal being one of the most famous examples. While the shock value of these scenes is a big part of what makes them so effective, sometimes plot beats can be just as, if not more, powerful when players already know that things are going to end terribly.

Whether it's through clever foreshadowing or a player’s prior experience with a franchise, the knowledge that something is going to go wrong creates a sense of dread. Like how suspense works in a horror film, the anticipation that something bad is about to happen is often more provocative than the moment itself.

Despite it being clear that things were going to end disastrously for these characters, it didn’t stop these moments from hitting hard. 


*Spoilers for the games mentioned**

10. Freeing The Tree Spirit - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

red dead redemption 2
CD Projekt RED

Throughout The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, players will have to make numerous tough decisions, with one of the most difficult moral dilemmas being posed during the side quest The Whispering Hillock.

Whilst searching for his surrogate daughter in the war-torn lands of Velen, Geralt's quest takes him to the village of Downwarren where the locals are being terrorised by a menacing presence. Further investigation reveals the source of the village's woes to be an ancient spirit trapped underneath an old tree. After talking to the entity, players are then given the choice to either free or destroy it.

With the spirit promising to save innocent orphans from the clutches of the devious Crones Of Crookback Bog, freeing it seems like the correct option. However, nothing about the interaction has given the impression that the spirit can be trusted. The only thing that's clear at this point is that nothing good can come from this quest.

If freed, the spirit will keep its word and save the orphans. However, it will also massacre the villagers. But if the spirit is destroyed, the villagers will be saved, but the Crones will devour the children.

Killing monsters is easier than making some of these moral decisions.

Posted On: 

Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Masters degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.