Many different kinds of stories have been told in the video game world. Yet, most of them share one thing in common, and that's you ending the game victorious. This may mean that you kill the main villain, save the planet, or simply survive. Whatever it is, the conclusion to your story is typically a happy one.
It makes sense, as after putting hours into a game, you expect your effort to be worthwhile. However, not every developer believes a worthwhile conclusion has to include a triumph. There are several games where you actually fail in your final moments. These are some of the most notable examples.
6 Far Cry 5
The story of Far Cry 5 revolves around you stopping a doomsday cult and apprehending its charismatic leader, Joseph Seed. When you come face-to-face with the guy toward the end of the game, you can choose to either fight the man or walk away. Neither option leads to a successful ending for the protagonist.
By walking away, you never get the chance to stop the cult – you get a similar result if you refuse to arrest Joseph at the beginning of the adventure. In contrast, the fighting option does lead to you arresting Joseph. Yet, it turns out the doomsday the cult always talks about isn't entirely nonsense, as nuclear bombs start detonating in the distance. In all the commotion, your allies die in a car crash, and you get knocked out. When you wake, you see that Joseph has dragged you to a nearby bunker. So, the main villain remains alive, all your friends are dead, and the world is in a nuclear war.
Partway through the original Portal, you discover that the hilarious AI guiding you through all the puzzles isn't exactly on your side. You are merely a test subject to her, and she intends to get rid of you at the end of the experiment. When you learn this, your objective becomes escaping the dangerous Aperture Science facility before she can burn you alive and kill you with nerve gas.
In the end, you create a massive hole in the ceiling and float through it. You end up on the ground in the Aperture Science Facility parking lot. In the original version of the game, this is where your adventure ended. Yet, when Portal 2 was announced, the conclusion was slightly altered. Now, while lying in the parking lot, you start getting physically dragged back towards the facility, meaning you don't successfully escape.
4 Saints Row
The original 2006 Saints Row sees your created protagonist join the street gang known as The Third Street Saints. Then the crew attempts to increase their status in the fictional city of Stilwater by damaging the criminal syndicates that run the place. This mission ends up being a success, as the Saints take over the entire city. Yet, the game doesn't end there.
Afterward, the main character gets roped into helping the soon-to-be Stilwater Mayor. Then when he meets the politician on their private yacht, the entire thing explodes. At the time, it isn't clear who caused the explosion, as it's left as a cliffhanger. But future games prove that the attempt on the protagonist's life was made by one of their closest allies and mentors, Julius.
3 Halo: Reach
Halo: Reach serves as a prequel to the events of the main Halo games. Therefore, Master Chief isn't around. Instead, Noble Six is the main protagonist, as they join a group of powerful Spartans called Noble Team in the battle against the Covenant. Throughout the game, the aliens are attacking and trying to take over an important human colony known as Reach.
It's a bloody conflict that leads to many deaths, including every member of Noble Team. At the end of the game, Noble Six is the last remaining member as they fight for their life. But they eventually fall, as the Covenant succeed in their mission to conquer the colony. The protagonist's actions allow humanity to be victorious in future games, but they lose in this one.
2 Call Of Duty: Ghosts
In this Call Of Duty game, you play as a member of the special ops team known as Ghosts. They're directly fighting with a group called the Federation that seeks to bring down the United States. One of their members is a former Ghosts operative known as Rorke. Partway through the game, he kills one of his former allies, which happens to be the playable character's father.
So along with stopping the Federation, your mission turns into a revenge one against the antagonist. However, in the final moments of the story, you fail in your objective. While you help bring down the Federation, Rorke survives your attempts to kill him. And the game ends with him dragging you away.
1 Red Dead Redemption
At the start of Red Dead Redemption, it's revealed that agents working for the American government are forcing John Marston to track down his former outlaw allies and bring them to justice. Only when he does that will he get to see his family again. So, as John, you spend the game hunting down your old friends. Once you get them all, you get to reunite with your wife and son.
Yet, the situation is too good to be true. After a short time of peace, the government agents return to John's property, intending to tie up the last loose end. And they do so as they ruthlessly gun the protagonist down. His son, Jack, gains vengeance in the epilogue, but he does so by becoming a talented gunslinger and outlaw in his own right, which is something John never wanted for his son.
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