Though some like to undermine the medium of video games and pretend it does not have the emotional heaviness of some other mediums like film or literature, I can plainly say they are wrong. While a death in a movie may hit you in the feels, a death in a game is very different. Often times, in a movie you spend 90 minutes with those people. But sometimes, in gaming, you spend countless hours with these people, getting to know them and adore them, and then they get killed on you. That is a very palpable sense of loss you do not feel when knowing a character for only 90 minutes. In that sense, I would say video games have surpassed film in the way they can muster true emotions from us. Like crying, for example. Here are 5 depressing video games that made us look like we were cutting onions during the final cut scene. Also, warning, SPOILERS AHEAD.
John’s Death: Red Dead Redemption
You can’t talk about depressing video games and not bring up the brilliant Red Dead Redemption. Though you had a sense this thing was not going to end well, it still made that final moment no easier to witness. I will be honest, I actually replayed it twice back-to-back in complete denial, because you do go bullet time for a second, which gives you the false hope that you might stand a chance.
Nope. You don’t. It’s kinda the point of the story and title. Still though, had me weeping like a school girl. I wept even harder when I then went on to play as his pansy-ass son, because that kid sucked.
Everything That Happens To Dom in Gears of War Series
So what is worse. When Dom finds his half dead wife being used as a husk in Gears of War 2, or when Dom essentially makes all grown men ever cry by sacrificing himself for the team in part 3? It really doesn’t matter, TBH. Dom was a truly tragic character from the first frame to his fitting final moments.
But man, both those moments in the Gears of War series got some eyes wet.
Shadow of Colossus Big Reveal
Oh man, are you serious, game? I just murdered the last remaining creatures of a now extinct race, and did so under false pretenses? I had a nagging feeling during those encounters that I was in the wrong, but when you reach the actual ending to this stellar game, it was hard not to be somewhat devastated by the outcome.
Granted, they allude at a somewhat more hopeful ending with that horned baby, but still, the game punched us in the emotional dick.
Heavy Rain: Terrible Father Ending
Heavy Rain is a heavy game. You pretty much feel like shit through the entire game, but it is so enthralling you cannot pull yourself away from the mystery. While some of us solved it and saved our sons, some of us didn’t. We were then sent to jail, framed for said murders, and the game ends with you hanging yourself in your cell and terrible man walking free on the streets.
Yay, I played through hours and hours of depressing QTE’s just to suicide myself in a cell. Man, things have changed a LOT since Mario Bros. Make no mistakes, though, I love this game.
Walking Dead Season One: Lee’s Death
Though the Telltale Walking Dead games have been chock full of depressing video game moments that made us sob, few had the impact like the final moments in season one when you had to choose if you were going to let poor little Clementine kill Lee, or was that too much to make a little girl do, and were you just gonna let him turn and live the (after)life of a walker? Either way, you were walking out of that room in tears. I like to think everyone did the RIGHT thing, though, which was to put Lee down. That man (you playing AS that man) does everything he can to save her throughout the whole game. Though it’s tough, the respectful thing to do is put him down.
But, in a word, it sucks.
You sob, but therein lay the true power of video games. Not only do they want to make us feel powerful and destructive, they want to make us feel emotions, too. And man, these five games did just that and then some.