#1 Posted by jillsandwich (760 posts) -

After all this Mass Effect 3 hubbub, I've started to think about the topic of endings in games in general.

Honestly, I think I could count on one hand all of the games I've played in the last five years(I've played quite a few games) with endings that have actually been satisfying. Most games have endings with a lot deliberately left open for sequels(and sometimes those games don't even get made, for business reasons), and a lot of games with different endings you can choose just result in half-assed FMV cut scenes with very few differences between them, that also don't provide much insight on what your choice did to the world at large(Mass Effect 3, Deus Ex: HR).

I guess I didn't mind stuff like that much when I played those games, but I'm really bothered by these things in retrospect. How do you guys feel about recent endings, what's the right way to end a game, and what are some of your favorite endings in games(use spoiler tags when necesarry)?

#2 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4858 posts) -

I cried at the end of Okami.

#3 Posted by OneManX (1693 posts) -

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

#4 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

How else could LA Noire ended?

#5 Posted by jillsandwich (760 posts) -

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

I hated the Gears 3 ending, it left WAY too much open.

I loved the Red Dead ending, as well as the L.A. Noire ending. It was only fitting for that story to end as fucked up as it did. The Red Dead ending was better though, but maybe they're not fit for comparison.

#6 Posted by bvilleneuve (266 posts) -

Portal 2 has one of the best endings I've seen in a video game.

#7 Posted by Yummylee (22538 posts) -

@scarace360 said:

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

How else could LA Noire ended?

Without all of the shooting gameplay and plot contrivances. To be fair, the entire overarching plot of L.A Noire wasn't all that great to begin with; it was the smaller stories within the stand-alones case that were most memorable. For as repetitive as it was, the Homicide department was the high note for me.

#8 Edited by Little_Socrates (5711 posts) -

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

Other than the fact that the ending to Red Dead Redemption is awesome, I couldn't disagree more. Even the idea that people don't like the ending to Red Dead is crazy; that's probably the most revered ending to a video game since, like, Metal Gear Solid 3. I agree with that L.A. Noire's ending, other than the number of dudes you have to shoot, was practically written the moment that story started.

In the last five years, I've really loved the endings to Journey, Saints Row The Third, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Bastion, Batman: Arkham City, Deadly Premonition, Red Dead Redemption, LIMBO, Assassin's Creed II, Dragon Age: Origins (may be the only thing I like about that game!), Persona 4, Persona 3, CoD 4: Modern Warfare, and the original Mass Effect. I bolded the ones that I think are kind of undeniably good, too. Also, I really liked the endings to The Darkness 2 and Portal.

#9 Posted by zombie2011 (5048 posts) -

@jillsandwich said:

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

I hated the Gears 3 ending, it left WAY too much open.

What things did Gears 3 leave open, i'm pretty sure it closed everything important about that universe that was in the games.

#10 Posted by Daiphyer (1351 posts) -

@zombie2011: WHY IS SHE HUMAN

#11 Posted by Draxyle (1895 posts) -

@GunslingerPanda said:

I cried at the end of Okami.

That was pretty damn beautiful. Okami is really surprising on so many levels.

As far as this gen though.. I probably haven't played enough newer games this gen but I can't think of many well executed endings. Most of these games seem to run out of budget at the last minute and churn out a half-assed ending (FFXIII is the most painful example I can think of).

I'm looking at my PS3 collection and I'm not seeing much that wasn't a complete disappointment on that front. Maybe Valkyria Chronicles, that had a really nice ending and epilogue to it (besides the completely illogical actions of one individual and the last boss, urgh). Portal 2 is a given though, probably the best one of this gen.

#12 Posted by spankingaddict (2736 posts) -

@GunslingerPanda said:

I cried at the end of Okami.

Man , now that was an ending !

#13 Posted by jillsandwich (760 posts) -

@zombie2011 said:

@jillsandwich said:

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

I hated the Gears 3 ending, it left WAY too much open.

What things did Gears 3 leave open, i'm pretty sure it closed everything important about that universe that was in the games.

Okay, maybe it wasn't IMPORTANT, but I played through Gears 2 and couldn't wait for everything about the Queen and the Locust horde to be revealed, but none of it was.

I just found it really disappointing, wasn't bad, but I just hated how certain characters like Baird were asking questions about E-Day and Myrrah's relationship with Marcus's dad, that weren't even answered by the game. Adam even gave Marcus a disc near the end saying something to the effect of "this will explain everything", and nothing of that disc was seen later on. It just seemed really sloppy, and the process of wiping out Adam, the Locusts and the Lambent seemed like a great way to not have to explain all the plot holes left over.

#14 Posted by WarlordPayne (705 posts) -

Videogame endings have always been pretty underwhelming, but I agree that developers wanting to leave an opening for a sequel, or outright planning for a trilogy from the start, has been a big problem lately.

Persona 3, Darksiders, and Assassin's Creed 2 all had endings that I enjoyed. P3 wasn't in a mad rush to end after the last boss fight like most games are, it took its time and concluded, to me at least, in a very powerful way. Darksiders' ending was badass. When I realized what just went down and what that meant I could not have been more pumped for the next game...then I found out that the next game doesn't pick up there and was totally deflated. Assassin's Creed 2's ending, despite being a cliffhanger to set up the next game, came from so far out of left field that it blew my mind. I just kinda sat there with my mouth hanging open, and feeling really bad for Ezio, while it all played out. Hell, on the Bombcast they kept talking about how crazy the ending was so I figured it'd end up being disappointing once I finally saw it, but no, it was god damned crazy.

#15 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

Other than the fact that the ending to Red Dead Redemption is awesome, I couldn't disagree more. Even the idea that people don't like the ending to Red Dead is crazy; that's probably the most revered ending to a video game since, like, Metal Gear Solid 3. I agree with that L.A. Noire's ending, other than the number of dudes you have to shoot, was practically written the moment that story started.

In the last five years, I've really loved the endings to Journey, Saints Row The Third, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Bastion, Batman: Arkham City, Deadly Premonition, Red Dead Redemption, LIMBO, Assassin's Creed II, Dragon Age: Origins (may be the only thing I like about that game!), Persona 4, Persona 3, CoD 4: Modern Warfare, and the original Mass Effect. I bolded the ones that I think are kind of undeniably good, too. Also, I really liked the endings to The Darkness 2 and Portal.

Ya i didnt like how you had to shoot a ton of people but really how else could it have ended without changing anything because i cant see any other ending working.

#16 Posted by Vorbis (2750 posts) -
#17 Posted by upwarDBound (654 posts) -

Some are done really well, others poorly or even terribly. I'm never angered by a game's ending just disappointed sometimes.

#18 Posted by BrockNRolla (1694 posts) -

@jillsandwich said:

@zombie2011 said:

@jillsandwich said:

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

I hated the Gears 3 ending, it left WAY too much open.

What things did Gears 3 leave open, i'm pretty sure it closed everything important about that universe that was in the games.

Okay, maybe it wasn't IMPORTANT, but I played through Gears 2 and couldn't wait for everything about the Queen and the Locust horde to be revealed, but none of it was.

I just found it really disappointing, wasn't bad, but I just hated how certain characters like Baird were asking questions about E-Day and Myrrah's relationship with Marcus's dad, that weren't even answered by the game. Adam even gave Marcus a disc near the end saying something to the effect of "this will explain everything", and nothing of that disc was seen later on. It just seemed really sloppy, and the process of wiping out Adam, the Locusts and the Lambent seemed like a great way to not have to explain all the plot holes left over.

That was important. You are right to have been disappointed by that lack of reveal regarding the locust.

That being said, the ending for Marcus and his comrades was quite good. Surprising in how emotive it was.

#19 Posted by BrockNRolla (1694 posts) -

Ending are difficult regardless of the medium. Games unfortunately have an additional hurdle.

Unfortunately, building technology for games makes it difficult for a studio who creates something new to get their investment back without attempting to use the technology and assets in a new game. Ergo, we end up with a lot of games that are open to a sequel because it is simply the most economically sensible thing to do. That hampers a lot of games and I think sometimes the best endings are from the games that are only intended to be one-off experiences.

An odd game that comes to mind is Sword & Sworcery. I was surprised at how powerful the ending was, even though it becomes very clear at some point during the story what the conclusion will be. I think if a creator knows what they are doing doesn't necessarily warrant a sequel, they tend to do a much better job wrapping things up in a cohesive package, and those endings tend to be the most satisfying.

#20 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

No ending can be worse than Chaser's ending

#21 Posted by Turambar (6890 posts) -
@Little_Socrates: I have somewhat see-sawed opinions on the endings for Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins.  I personally find both of them empty, but one thing I'll say about ME's ending is that you feel as if you've changed the world in some way at the end of the game while DA fails to do that.  There's on specific reason for that: ME gives you a sense of what the status quo and thus there is something to juxtapose against the ending.  Every situation you come across in DA however seems to stem from the norm having already blown up, and its ending loses impact as a result.
#22 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Oh god, I forgot how terrible Deus Ex: HR's endings were. Thanks for reminding me. >.<

#23 Posted by Little_Socrates (5711 posts) -

@Turambar: I definitely agree with your statement about the Mass Effect ending, and that's why I loved it. Well, also because I really loved Saren as a bad guy. As for Dragon Age: Origins, you have absolutely zero efficacy in its conclusion, but the stuff that happens between Alistair and Loghain is so interesting that I've never really minded.

#24 Posted by Wraith1 (576 posts) -

Persona 3's ending still brings tears to my eyes

#25 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@jillsandwich said:

I hated the Gears 3 ending, it left WAY too much open.

Uh, no. 
 
The only thing it left open is the Locust Queen, (or well, the only thing that's left open that actually matters). 
 
I choked up at the end of The Darkness II, and I didn't play the original game.
#26 Posted by Ramone (2976 posts) -

Journey, RDR, Gears 3 (except for that fucking last line), Halo: Reach, Bastion, Saints Row 3 and Shadows of the Damned stand out to me as games with pretty good endings. Also fuck everyone, I thought Killzone 3 had a good ending. There I said it.

#27 Posted by NegativeCero (3039 posts) -

@spankingaddict said:

@GunslingerPanda said:

I cried at the end of Okami.

Man , now that was an ending !

Now I feel bad about not remembering what happened in it now other than

Amaterasu going back to the equivalent of heaven on the giant ark

But I normally finish games and forget the endings not long after because it's always a stupid cliffhanger.

#28 Posted by Jimbo (9984 posts) -

Satisfying game endings are rarer than hen's teeth.  Often because they're so focussed on the next game.

#29 Edited by Jeust (10857 posts) -

I loved the endings of: 
 

  • Deadly Premonition
  • Uncharted 1, 2 and 3
  • Nier
  • Heavenly Sword
  • Catherine
  • Alan Wake
  • Fable 3
  • Shadows of the Damned
I love endigs that are well structured, and with poignancy concerning the plot.
#30 Posted by Kidavenger (3628 posts) -

Just watched the ending to FF-X on youtube and I almost started crying, haven't played the game since it came out.

Kingdom Hearts also had me going back when it came out.

#31 Posted by hermes (1606 posts) -

I loved the ending of Final Fantasy X. Out of this generation, I think the ending of Portal 2 is the best I have seen (so far)

#32 Posted by sawtooth (457 posts) -

I just finished Persona 3, that had a pretty good ending.

#33 Edited by Rebel_Scum (769 posts) -

RDR's ending is great. The worst I can think of though it ain't that recent is Tomb Raider on PS1. Such a great lengthy game only to have a 5 second ending. What a gip.

#34 Posted by OneManX (1693 posts) -

It wasn't so much the ending of RDR, but the last plot twist, that got shitted on pretty hardcore by people. ( i could of phrased that one better) As for LA Noire, the ending just fell flat. Like when the moment happened, I was left going, "Okay... so that's it?" Maybe b/c the overall story was weak, but the cases were just so much more focused and thought out. The main story felt like it jumped around too much for me.

@Little_Socrates said:

@OneManX said:

Gears 3. Really wrapped up that series.

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of Red Dead Redemption, but I loved it. But if we wanna talk about bad ending LA Noire, takes the crown...

Other than the fact that the ending to Red Dead Redemption is awesome, I couldn't disagree more. Even the idea that people don't like the ending to Red Dead is crazy; that's probably the most revered ending to a video game since, like, Metal Gear Solid 3. I agree with that L.A. Noire's ending, other than the number of dudes you have to shoot, was practically written the moment that story started.

#35 Posted by Trapsummers (11 posts) -

As someone who has just finished writing the story for a game, I can totally understand how some endings can turn out so unappealing. I just started making my game, and already the translation from storyboard to in-game has become rather stilted or distant in some areas. Translating what you have on paper into something that makes sense in the context of a game is very difficult.

There are many games that I felt ended in a way that made sense in the context of the story; let’s use Darksiders as an example.

Warning! Spoilers ahead! You might be thinking, “What, Darksiders? That game’s ending defined cliffhanger.” Let me elaborate. I feel like Darksiders was never about War, it was always about “The Four Horsemen.” So, introducing Death at the end of Darksiders was not setting up an expansion to War’s story, it was setting up a chance for a new story to be told within the existing story-arch.

#36 Edited by Fozimuth (168 posts) -

The entire ending section of Human Revolution was bad, not just the ending cinematics.  Could it have been ANY more obvious Darrow was the villain?  It feels like they made half of a Deus Ex prequel story, then decided telling the whole story would be too long,  tossed in a half-baked climax and saved the rest for later.
 
Bulletstorm had an utterly terrible ending.  You think impaling a guy in the midsection is going to kill him?  Your best friend has half his brain replaced with a computer, ffs.  Just shoot him in the head.  What a horrible sequel-bait setup, and the game didn't even satirize or make any indication that it was self-aware of how bad that ending was either.
 
 CoD4 ending was actually pretty good.  Then the sequels tried to ruin it.  Ignore them.
 
I liked Reach's ending until the Halsey monologue.  Should have just cut to a black screen when the Elites jump 6, then credits.  Maybe the shot of the Spartan helmet on a grassy plain could make it in there somewhere, but that monologue was so cheesy and pointless. 
 
The best I can think of are Portal 2 and Bastion.  Both are ambiguous and not exceptionally happy, but it feels like the worst is over.