10 Video Games You Should Turn Off Before The End
Video game endings don’t need to be flashy to make an impact, as many classics have proven. Plumber defies societal norms and bags a princess. Notoriously nocturnal mammal beats a supposedly genius robo-scientist. Little purple dragon defeats evil an gets enough dragon eggs to make a mountain sized omelette. There's nothing like a nice, simple payoff to see an adventure play out to leave you all warm and fuzzy.
Rewarding endings make the time invested feel worth it - but what about when all those hours sunk into a game are paid off with little more than a digital slap in the face? What then!?
A truly disastrous ending can undo everything you've done in the entire game, which becomes a terrifying thought considering just how mammoth playtimes are in recent years. Oftentimes, there was a far more conclusive feeling way before those closing moments, and if you'd only turned the game off then, the experience wouldn't be ruined. So let me warn you of the perils that lie in wait...
I am the unhappy ending of Ash from WhatCulture, and these are 10 Video Games You Should Turn Off Before The End...
10. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a brilliant game. It has a riveting story, a massive and immersive world, as well as a great protagonist in Arthur Morgan and his redemption story. Clue was in the name on that part though, really. But what it didn't need was ten more hours tacked onto the end, after we pass the mantle to John Marston.
RDR2 is the story of Morgan and his experience with the Van der Linde gang. Sure, it may also be a prequel to the first Red Dead Redemption, which sets the scene perfectly. But we didn't need to play that much as John... because we did that the first time around.
A cutscene or short epilogue to transition between the two would have been enough. Doing arbitrary farm work was just too boring. Granted, it does give us the how's and why's of where Mr. Marston ends up, and that's all well and good for establishing the series link.
But can anyone honestly say they enjoyed hammering in fence posts, when we could have skipped all that business and just went on the hunt for Micah and Dutch far sooner?
9. Final Fantasy IX
Criticising an RPG for having too much dialogue would be like criticising a first person shooter for having too many gunshots. However, FFIX is here largely in part for its surprise "No really, this was the bad guy all along" battle with Necron. It's like the end of a Scooby Doo episode, but after the mask reveal, you have to fight another evil funfair owner.
So, you've trekked across four discs (or whatever platform of choice equivalent), made it to the Tree, bore witness to Kuja surpassing Garland and put a stop to him in the Crystal World, saving the universe. That should be it, right? That's like, Final Fantasy 101.
You think you've saved the day… and then Necron shows up. He's a force of death, apparently, though no one discusses him after the fact. It's not so much a secret boss as it is an exercise in exhaustion after you think you've beaten the game. In reality, just call it quits after fighting Kuja. That's it, story arc over.
8. Days Gone
When a story takes a while to get into, it's normally referred to as a "slow burn". This indicates that it starts sedately, but then really gets going. Days Gone holds the special privilege of having a slow burn at the start and the end.
Don't get me wrong, there are things to like about Days Gone. It can be great fun taking hordes of zomb-- sorry, "Freakers" out and pootling about the land on the not-Harley Davidson. The little twist at the end that the virus is inevitable - what with O'Brian being proof of that - was pretty neat. That it's loosely linked to the Syphon Filter games is also an equally nifty caveat.
But the getting there bit is just too boring. The third act with the Militia and the back and forth between the warring camps grew tiring very, very quickly. The most fun was had exploring the world and taking Hordes out. Leave the monotony of saving the day to someone else.
7. L.A. Noire
Time has been unkind to LA Noire. Once heralded for its impressive advancements in realism now looking quite janky and weird by today's standards, it hasn't aged well.
What also didn't help was the massive deviation in character change for the third act of the game, shifting the tone. Instead of playing out the rise and somewhat shoehorned-in downfall of our shouty detective, Cole Phelps, we're instead put in the gumshoes of someone else.
That someone is Jack Kelso, Phelps' former "rival" during the war. After Phelps is rumbled and demoted for his out-of-place affair, the action shifts to Kelso finishing off the last cases and story part of the game. This tonal shift also has us taking World War II-era flamethrowers to Mickey Cohen's mobsters in some sewers, before we're briefly reunited with Phelps... who abruptly dies.
It wasn't what anyone asked for, and it was a shame to see Phelps' character go out a disgraced detective, before being swept under the rug. A Red Dead-level redemption arc, this ain't.
6. Mass Effect 3
Instead of wrongly harping about how awful Mass Effect 3 was after such a climactic saga, you could just... try and pretend it didn't happen instead?
Imagine you've invested all that time, across three massive games, to play out the immersive space opera that is the life of Commander Shepard. The choices you've made, the alliances and friendships gained along the way, the adversities and triumphs experienced in preparing yourself for the impending Reaper threat. Not to mention, you've burned up in space and been resurrected, too.
So, you're on the third title, team at the ready to take on the mighty Reapers. An all-or-nothing battle ensues, culminating in you emerging triumphant. You've united the galaxy's races under one cause, Reapers are overwhelmed with heavy losses on your side, the Illusive Man goes down, and yes, you still lose long-time friend Admiral Anderson in the struggle.
That could’ve been it. Finish on a worthy high of a triumphant victory, with no "space boy" and his Super Ending 3000. I love this game and I defend it’s ending often, but how easy life would be if I didn’t have to.
5. Prince Of Persia (2008)
It must have been hard to reboot a series after the success of Sands of Time. Regardless of the sequels, it was one of the best self-contained stories ever put to game. So when the reboot was announced, fans waited with slight trepidation about how it would be. And y'know what? It wasn't half bad. Sure, the Prince was a smug stereotype (it was the era when Nolan North voiced everyone) and the "banter" between him and Elika grew stale very quickly.
But as platformer/adventure game, it was pretty good. The story was pretty standard: turn on several McGuffin's to reignite the Tree of Life. Oh, but the catch is Elika ends up dying at the end. Alright, fine, greater good and all that.
Instead, the Prince thinks, "Nuts to this" and undoes everything you've done in the game - and Elika’s own choices - to resurrect her, dooming the world. It was practically insulting. It's like the game said, "Thanks for putting ten hours into this, but it doesn't matter".
4. Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
You know what's worse than not getting a happy ending? Not getting an ending at all. You know what's even worse than not getting an ending at all? Getting all the badass powers in the game, all set for a final showdown of epic proportions, only for the game to pull a Halo 2 on you. What makes it more insulting though, is that Psi Ops, to date, hasn't had a sequel.
It's like someone psyching you up in the corner for your big fight and your opponent doesn't even show up. You've put all that time and effort into effectively saving the day, and the game just rug-pulls it away from you.
The very definition of an anticlimax, it was disappointing to say the least. All that power at the ready only to be met by a "To be continued..." screen was rage-inducing for some.
It takes a lot of balls to assume you're going to get a sequel out of a new IP this brazenly. The less said about this mess, the better.
3. Batman: Arkham Asylum
The Batman Arkham games, as a whole, are pretty damn incredible. Each one a grand adventure in the life of Batman and his rogue's gallery of villains, with well written story arcs running throughout. Well, for a good portion, at least.
Yet what most fans will agree on is the handling of the Joker at the end of the first game, Arkham Asylum. The Joker, despite calling himself an agent of chaos, always has some plan or contingency of sorts for his actions. Sure, it's usually more chaos, but why fix what ain't broke.
So that he resigns himself to "giving up" and shooting himself full of Titan, thus creating a terrible boss fight too, seems so radically out of place even for the Crown Prince of Crime. The denouement should have been Joker atop his throne, offering a more fitting scenario for a boss fight. Gadgets could have been utilised to outwit whatever he throws at you, much like Mr. Freeze in the sequel.
Instead, we got another fight against waves of goons. Shame.
2. Asura's Wrath
If you aren't aware of Asura's Wrath's story progression system, let me fill you in: it plays out in episodes. Not unusual, Telltale games do it all the time. But the difference with Telltale games is you know what you're paying for.
Asura's Wrath, however, hides the game's true ending behind a paid episode. So despite forking out for the full game initially, if you want to see the ending proper, you have to pay more on top of that. Which, putting it politely, is absolute bull.
Now we're all aware of the grim reality of microtransactions in present times, but this takes the p*ss. No game should expect you to fork out for a full title and only bolt on the proper ending if you cough up more money for it.
No, Asura's Wrath should be quit out of before the end on retroactive principle (as it is eight years old now), just to show how stupid a practice this was.
1. Death Stranding
It should be pretty obvious why Death Stranding is here, especially to Metal Gear Solid fans. Whilst a lovely little experimental game, the script doesn’t half desperately need the fat trimming off.
Whether you enjoyed the repetitive nature of the gameplay is another story. It makes no bones about what kind of game it is from the start, so this isn't a criticism of that. What it is, though, is a critique of how unnecessarily long the game is, to just damn well end.
We've figured out what Amelie is, we know that Higgs was under her control (so to speak... but he's also a wild card), and that should have been it. That should be the end, wrap it right there.
Alas no. Instead, we get treated to a few more hours of Die-Hardman waffling on, the look on Sam's face echoing my thoughts: "I do not want to be here either". I mean, the "Princess Beach" bit and all that slow motion running was bad enough. The game should have ended before that. For mercy, Kojima, for mercy.
And that’s our list! What other video games need turning off before the end? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
I’ve been Ash and this has been WhatCulture Gaming, don’t forget to like, share, subscribe, and come back again soon for more lovely gaming content. Thanks for watching!