Few things can be as potentially shocking, devastating and emotionally resonant as death in a great book, movie, TV show or, yes, even a video game.
Death can be used to move other characters on story-wise be they hero or villain, subvert expectations of a franchise, or just go for the jugular and try to wring as many tears from audiences as possible.
In 2016, these 12 games served up unforgettable death scenes for a multitude of reasons, regardless of each game's overall quality, such that audiences were left gob-smacked, sad, and maybe even a little bit angry.
2017's already off to a solid start in this regard with some of the gnarly deaths from Resident Evil 7, but over the last 12-or-so months, here are the 12 most shocking video game deaths of 2016...
12. Frank West - Dead Rising 4
The very end of Dead Rising 4 sees the shocking demise of protagonist Frank West, as he attempts to board a departing chopper but is attacked by zombies, and lets himself go in order that Brad and Vick can escape.
Though we see Frank being snacked on as the scene ends, it's true that we never actually see his life end on-screen, and it remains to be seen whether or not the upcoming Frank Rising DLC, which sees Frank desperately searching for a cure before he becomes a zombie, is canon, or just a fun "what if" for those who aren't quite ready to accept the hero's death.
Either way, few expected the franchise's iconic hero to die so suddenly in the final seconds of the game. Just don't be surprised if this is totally reversed in time for Dead Rising 5.