Dunno about most depressing, but the so far the most depressing I've personally played is Nier. The first playthrough was okay, it got depressing over the 2nd and 3rd playthroughs. Giving personalities to the "enemies" you killed really was a unique experience. I once actually let myself be killed during the wolf shade boss fight.
Also, spec ops the line. First game ever to make me put down the controller for a while and feel disgusted with what I did in the game.
Just going through my Steam library here:
The high chaos ending for Dishonored paints a pretty grim picture.
If you really dig into it, Team Fortress 2's meta-story is all about nihilism and soulless consumerism.
There are a few plot threads in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura that are pretty dark, as well.
Digging real far back, Prey's story is pretty dark. Some real messed-up things happen in that game.
The atmosphere in Metro 2033 is real depressing, especially in friendly areas, where it's just a ton of weary, beaten-down survivors going about what has now become their lives inside the dark, grimy, dangerous Russian underground.
And lastly, the end of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is a huge bummer for the main character.
Edit: From Quintin Smith's 'Butchering Pathologic' series.
The point is that Pathologic fearlessly wields desperation, brutality, hopelessness, exhaustion, cruelty, even ignorance and pain, and, if you can stomach it, the result is phenomenal.
Pathologic could not ever be described as fun. Tramping back and forth across town, trying to stem the torrent of deaths while aching to know what’s going on /is not fun./ This is not a game. There isn’t a word for it really, which is probably why the developers, Ice-pick Lodge, call Pathologic “an exercise in decision making” on their translated English website.
But this happened all the time. My favourite was on day 9, some 20 hours into the game, when the same friend started talking about how he couldn’t play on for much longer. He said that if things didn’t resolve themselves soon he’d give up. He was so tired, he said.
The next day my character went to see the Bachelor to discuss some findings, and I found a man overcome with exhaustion. The Bachelor said that if we couldn’t discover the truth about this disease soon he was going to shoot himself rather than let the illness kill him.
This is what Pathologic does. It creates an interesting, desperate situation and brooks no compromise in letting you experience it. And in unflinchingly making you suffer, you identify with these characters you control to the point of becoming them.
Red Dead Redemption was pretty darn depressing.
Yes. In like the best way. That ending (the real ending), and how it reflected Marston's own failure was just pitch-perfect.
Silent Hill 2
Never played 4, but couldn't agree with this more. Though, I also think the "In Water" ending is the one that best fits the tone of the game. Also the most depressing. Fuck. Silent Hill 2 is so good.
I found Max Payne 3 depressing as hell, and not in any kind of a feel good way. Just, nothing about that game made you really feel good. Every now and then, they'd make you feel like a badass, but only because your character has hit this desperate, suicidal point of gunfighting that he'll attempt things no rational human being should.
Missile Command after hearing about the nightmares the developer had, and really thinking about it. That really got me thinking. I can't remember where I first read it, would love it if some one could link to it.
I know it's talked about in this video: http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/narrative-mechanics
Damn...I thought I would be the first to say Shadow of the Colossus. Also, I never played it, but wasn't Ico a pretty depressing game? Also, Gut's Rage comes to mind. I seem to remember that being an intensely grim game. I would have to add, that for some reason I got a little choked up when the metroid hatchling saves Samus in Super Metroid when I played it for the first time. My last entry would have to be Soul Reaver. It's depressing in a sort of badass way. The ruined world just gives off an eerie, depressing vibe.
The Walking Dead Episode 3 for me, dont remember even feeling that bad during a video game.
I swear, I think I downloaded and played a different version of Ep3 then everyone else because that's all I hear people say about it but that one did nothing for me.
As I only ever managed to get to the losing mission path in the original Wing Commander, where everything consistently just gets more fucked and desperate for every mission, that may be the most fitting example I can think of right now, though games are generally pretty bad at disempowering you and making you feel hopeless in that particular way that I would describe as depressing. Really, really want to try out I have no mouth, and I must scream though, have heard lots of excellent things about it over the years, and kinda want to pick up a physical copy of it, but haven't found it yet.
Legavy of Kain Defiance. A lukewarm end to a great series.
The series, the fans, and Raziel deserved more.
Yeah I agree, the voice acting in the Yakuza games are pretty great, I really love 3 & 4(haven't played the first 2).
Yakuza 3, The best acted death scene in a video game - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vE5QQNHqNSY#t=335s
Use your keyboard!
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