Unresolved Game Endings

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gmintyfresh
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Unresolved Game Endings

Post by gmintyfresh » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:29 am

I’m going to use this thread to talk about a subject that's annoyed me for a long time, namely ambiguous endings to some video games.

It seems to be a growing trend with some modern games to have what appears to be an ending sequence on completion of the game just for something to happen in the last few seconds of the sequence to hint that actually the story isn't over.

These ending sequences can be broken down like this:

1. The Conspiracy - You fight right to the end of the game and kill the boss that's been taunting you throughout the whole game only to discover that he wasn't really the true boss and there is a shadowy figure presumably more powerful controlling everything. Setting up a sequel to beat this new foe perfectly.

2. Offspring/Siblings - You destroy the last boss only to discover that the job has only just begun as the boss was one of many children, species, or the parent of children that will attack you in sequels.

3. The Boss Isn't Really Dead - Again you destroy the main bad guy, the world is put right, only to discover that the dead character’s hand twitches, eyes open, etc. right at the end just before the fade to black

4. The Character Isn't really dead - Your character dies in a blaze of glory selflessly making sure that everyone else lives. For example piloting that ship into a supernova or taking on that suicide mission, clearly implying death in the end sequence. The last frame or sound effect in the ending sequence implies that there may be a hope that the character survived by some miracle.

These endings are clearly becoming a clichéd and are cheap tricks inherited from the film industry. In some of these endings I'm starting to feel cheated, like all my work was for nothing and I'm starting to pine for a gripping story with some kind of resolution. Now with a three game story line I'm more forgiving a game like Mass Effect essentially had an end that composed of clichéd components but the game was scripted so well that you got the feeling it was the end of a chapter in the main characters life and the beginning of another - I anticipated a further game.

I loved the original Bioshock because of the finality of the ending (and to a lesser degree the sequel) I cared about the character and I lived his story form the beginning to the end.

I am aware that the game industry is built on creating a successful franchise at the moment and first game is always an experiment to see if consumers will be impressed enough with your product to come back and buy into a series of your successful game by the bucket load. So I guess giving customers a game with a story that seems to end but leaves options open for money spinning sequel is in the publisher’s best interests.

I think there is a danger they are creating slightly predictable and formulaic games.

What do you think? Any examples (apart from Halo 3!).

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Freestyler
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by Freestyler » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:16 am

I was going to mention Halo! :lol:

The first time I finished Final Fantasy VII I was very disappointed by the ending. I felt that I took that enormous journey for it to end so stupidly?!? What the hell?! What's with the grown over grass and censored? What the censored?! :evil:
It took me a while to get to grips with what they were trying to say, even if (in my opinion) they screwed the presentation of that up.

Half-Life. Especially 2 and beyond. I know the latter parts are episodic, but it's just taking the censored! "Ta Gordon. I'll wake you up for HL3. Night!"
Where's the brilliance of the ending of Half Life 1? Instead we get some half-arsed "You have to buy the later Episodes to see the proper endings, jerkoff! Suck me for Half-Life 3!!"

What's more annoying are the games that force you to play them some completely arbitrary way just to get the "right" ending. Playing the game normally usually gives what I call the Paupers Ending. FInish it on Ultra-Hard while only using a Spanner and walking backwards to get the true ending! :|
Last edited by Freestyler on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by Smurph » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:17 am

XIII. I need that resolved!!

On the whole though, I'm not too bothered by it if it means a sequel to a game I love. I was well narked by the ending to Soul Reaver on the PS1/DC, but the story continued very nicely for me (if a little complicated in SR2).
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by Lorfarius » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:22 am

Haven on the PS2. Surprisingly for an average platformer with average driving bits it had a pretty decent storyline, King Arthur type tale trying to bring back some king etc Only just as you are about to achieve this the bad guy steps in and stops it all from happening, leaving you powerless, on you rown and stranded hell of an ending for sure. Yet the game never got a sequel so we never got to see what happened for shame :(
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by killbot » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:25 am

he new Alone In The Dark on the Wii had a pretty weird cliffhanger ending. Alas, the game was so diabolically awful that I can't imagine anyone buying the sequel to find out what happens.
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Fred83
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by Fred83 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:32 am

i never seen the ending to rockstar ate my hamster!..

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SpeedBreaker
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by SpeedBreaker » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:01 pm

Hitman: Blood Money. The ending is just a brief set up for the next game.

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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by thevulture » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:29 pm

Dead Space-Isaac`s missus then....Ending suggested she had become a necromorph, 1st letter of title of each level spelt out N.I.C.O.L.E.I.S.D.E.A.D. Myself just left thinking wtf?

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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by flying_delorean81 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:36 pm

The ending of Resistance 2 on PS3 is a bit weird... the protagonist gets infected with evil, uses his power against the aliens, pretty much saves the day then gets shot in the head by a colleague. If they don't make a sequel, that's the worst ending ever!
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by SpiffierRabbit » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:42 pm

SpeedBreaker wrote:Hitman: Blood Money. The ending is just a brief set up for the next game.
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by ToxieDogg » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:03 pm

flying_delorean81 wrote:The ending of Resistance 2 on PS3 is a bit weird... the protagonist gets infected with evil, uses his power against the aliens, pretty much saves the day then gets shot in the head by a colleague. If they don't make a sequel, that's the worst ending ever!
That reminds me of why I didn't paticularly enjoy the storyline in Modern Warfare 2....you'd do a level or two as a character....get used to him, get immeresed in the story, only for him to be killed in some half-assed twist at the end of the level, then you move onto controlling someone else. It made the whole game feel disjointed (in a bad way) to me.
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thevulture
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by thevulture » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:15 am

flying_delorean81 wrote:The ending of Resistance 2 on PS3 is a bit weird... the protagonist gets infected with evil, uses his power against the aliens, pretty much saves the day then gets shot in the head by a colleague. If they don't make a sequel, that's the worst ending ever!
Ahhh, but had`nt he been infected since the 1st game and taking drugs to slow spread of infection?-Also he did`nt really save the day, as the aliens opened the portal or what ever as you see 2 wierd moons? in the sky at the games ending, plus yer fellow marine buddy said he`d put a bullet in your head the moment you turned. Resistance 3 is coming, supposed to be shown later this year.

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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by ShadowMan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:26 am

ToxieDogg wrote: That reminds me of why I didn't paticularly enjoy the storyline in Modern Warfare 2....you'd do a level or two as a character....get used to him, get immeresed in the story, only for him to be killed in some half-assed twist at the end of the level, then you move onto controlling someone else. It made the whole game feel disjointed (in a bad way) to me.
I still don't completely understand MW2's story, seems pretty vague and tacked on in my opinion. Great set pieces though.

Unresolved game endings... Well Shenmue II springs instantly to mind. Wouldn't have bothered me so much if it didn't take several turns for the weird in the last couple of minutes just to finish without explanation!

The Legacy of Kain series has unfortunately been left in limbo. The story had just turned a corner in Defiance and then the next game was cancelled seemingly killing the whole series (as Crystal Dynamics have been lumbered with Tomb Raider ever since)
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by SoupDragon » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:34 am

Aye will the Shenmue shennanigans ever be resolved? Its getting cold in that cave :(
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Re: Unresolved Game Endings

Post by flying_delorean81 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:53 am

thevulture wrote:
flying_delorean81 wrote:The ending of Resistance 2 on PS3 is a bit weird... the protagonist gets infected with evil, uses his power against the aliens, pretty much saves the day then gets shot in the head by a colleague. If they don't make a sequel, that's the worst ending ever!
Ahhh, but had`nt he been infected since the 1st game and taking drugs to slow spread of infection?-Also he did`nt really save the day, as the aliens opened the portal or what ever as you see 2 wierd moons? in the sky at the games ending, plus yer fellow marine buddy said he`d put a bullet in your head the moment you turned. Resistance 3 is coming, supposed to be shown later this year.
Cheers for filling the details, it's been awhile since I played it! My point was just that the guy who you've just battled through countless hordes of attacking aliens with comes to an abrupt end by a single bullet. Which was a tad annoying!

But if Resistance 3 is coming then that's ok! :D
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