Many writers base their stories off the well-established “Hero’s Journey” structure, seeing their main character go on an adventure, overcome dramatic odds to defeat evil and find themselves a changed person.
But some try to subvert this structure, showing us what happens when the good side loses despite their best efforts and evil triumphs.
It’s not a new idea by any means, but gaming’s interactive nature makes it more personal and instead of watching it unfold like you would in a film, your actions can be instrumental to evil’s success.
This comes in several forms, be it a deliberate effort on the protagonist’s part, a major deception by the big bad or unconsciously assisting them in other means. Prequels often see this occur, finding themselves constrained by established history.
There might be a pre-determined outcome but it doesn’t stop developers choosing to depict a tragic event to expand franchise lore.
Many games provide bad endings, usually as a non-canon game over scenario or alternative ending, but some games see evil winning regardless of your actions and here are some of these titles.
Note: Spoilers within