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Submitted by Pozzle 954d ago | opinion piece

Are Video Games Meant to Have Happy Endings?

UM writes: Whenever a game with a “controversial” ending comes out, I almost always see tweets or posts from players lamenting a common thread saying: “they play video games to feel good, not to make them depressed.” I thought about this for a while, and I realized how players have been used to winning or a victorious end goal since the early days of video gaming.

Note: Spoilers for The Last of Us and Mass Effect 3 will be mentioned here. Proceed at your own caution. (Mass Effect 3, PC, PS3, The Last Of Us, Xbox 360)

dboyc310  +   954d ago
I actually prefer a game that has a sad ending. Seems more realistic and it stays with you a lot more since its not a cookie cutter happy ending. However the ending has to make sense for it to be any good whether its happy or tragic.
#1 (Edited 954d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
elhebbo16  +   953d ago
sad endings doesn't always translate to being more realistic.
BosSSyndrome  +   954d ago
Last of Us's ending seemed like it was subject more to opinion. It's your opinion if it was the right thing or not. It makes you think and that's why I liked it.
showtimefolks  +   953d ago
also i was watching ign's video with last of us developers and they said that the team was split on ending till the very end. But they said it made sense to create the ending they did because the ending represents the journey the main characters took

there is suppose to be single player DLC and i love buying single player dlc since i am more o s single player gamer

also LOU will be a series

to each his own but i loved the TLOU ending

and to answer the main question yes when playing games with great single player games we as humans do expect the happy ending, when i was playing red dead redemption i understood the ending but hated the fact the player wasn't given a choice to save himself

in the whole game you are killing people and surviving but than all of the sudden you can't do nothing but get shot, why couldn't he have left with his wife and kid

I understand why but i also want developers to atleast give us a choice
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elhebbo16  +   953d ago
I thought it was a very good ending. after thinking about how complicated it was (without spoiling anything) it kinda made me realize that in a world where everything has gone to shit typical good/bad actions and doing things for the "greater good" mean really little. You only do things that you think are right, even if its morally wrong because surviving is hard as it is. and tbh I completely sympathized with joel.
Magnus  +   953d ago
It depends on the game and how the story plays out. Most endings for games lead to a sequal if anything.
MaleManSam  +   953d ago
*Cough* Heavy Rain *Cough*
MasterChief3624  +   953d ago
I have no idea, but I am wondering if some developers deliberately write in a controversial ending so they can garner the attention necessary for the most profit. Free advertising by social media? What developer -wouldn't- want to take advantage of that?

What I'm saying is that if Person A beats a game and starts yapping about how they hated it or loved it or something, their friend might think, "Huh... I really want to play that to see if I feel the same way!"

And then of course the backlash on social media... causes websites like IGN and Kotaku to talk about it for a while, and perhaps more people will be interested because of that exposure!

Just a thought, though :)
admiralvic  +   953d ago
A lot of games have awful stories, endings and situations that never get any sort of attention. One of my favorites was NeverDead, since that story was so basic you could see the ending after 20 minutes. Thats not to say people wouldn't try it, but historically these things only become big if the thing is that shocking or the developer is that big.
admiralvic  +   953d ago
What kind of stupid question is that?

Video Games are no different than any other story and can have whatever ending the writer wants. With that being said, games probably "are" meant to have happy endings. Considering your objective is to actually accomplish whatever you're doing in the game, it can sometimes seem bothersome if you still fail come the end.


Take Killzone 2 for instance. You get to the end, capture the guy and your partner shoots him making your whole journey a waste of time. I mean, who wants to experience something that you're certain to fail come the end?

*end of spoilers*

Anyway, that's probably why so many games end on a high note or lead into another game.
Galletto3  +   953d ago
Good stories do not necessarily have happy endings. If we want video games as a medium to be taken seriously as potential art, we should not cry foul every time we don't get our way with an ending we want.

Doesn't matter if you "work" for a happy ending, it doesn't mean you deserve one, nor does the story even need one.

Video games have spoiled us with always finding the right castle to save the princess in the end. It is refreshing to see it taken in a new direction that causes you to actually think and feel. It shows you how emotionally involved you have become with not only the characters, but the story as a whole.
The Meerkat  +   953d ago
Happiness is subjective.

Demons to some. Angels to others.
Pain and pleasure are indivisible.
goldwyncq  +   953d ago
Not having a "happy" ending isn't always better than having one. It seems that nowadays, killing off the protagonist has become the new cliché. Thank goodness TLOU avoided that.
DanielForth  +   953d ago
Clicked on this Cause Donna From Twin Peaks
McScroggz  +   953d ago
I like my coffee black and strong. What about you?
Heisenburger  +   952d ago
Hold it.

Now this is, excuse me, a damn fine cup of coffee.
DanielForth  +   952d ago
As Black as a Moonless Night
Heisenburger  +   952d ago
Lol you're not the only one.

Fire. Walk. With. Me.
McScroggz  +   953d ago

I don't mind if a game has a sad ending, or a bittersweet one, as long as I feel like the game laid the foundation for the ending and it all fits together both emotionally and logically. To me, the perfect example of how to do it right is The Last of Us. First of all, it is most certainly not a happy ending, but a bittersweet one. And it is setup by the great character development between Joel and Ellie, including his growing to care about her while she begins to withdraw. I felt like the ending gave me what I needed to believe it.

On the other hand, the ending for Mass Effect 3 is an example of how not to give the audience a bittersweet or sad ending. I fully expected Shepard to die, and probably would have been annoyed had he somehow lived considering how everything played out. But between the Matrix 3 terrible idea of giving the audience more questions than answers in the last five minutes and undermining most of the decisions and moral stances of Shepard I really felt empty at the end. Then, factor in glaring plotholes (not the kind that is present in most works of fiction but hard to miss, frustrating plotholes) and many other things and not only did I feel like the action taken by Shepard didn't match anything he/I had done previously, but overall I just thought it played out pretty terribly.

In conclusion, I find the most emotionally satisfying endings - and ones I remember the most - are those that are able to pull of a sad or bittersweet ending. But it's really hard to do.
Typical-Guy  +   953d ago
It should just have an ending.. You hear me Rage, HAVE AN ENDING.
Roper316  +   953d ago
like any other form of entertainment it all depends on the story being told. So no they don't imo.
Stoppokingme  +   953d ago
The better the story, the bigger the expectations are for the conclusion.

When you get games that have a great story like the TLOU and Bioshock infinite, you're expecting an epic finale. I don't mind if i get a bleak ending or a happy ending, as long as matches the quality of the story being told.

But maybe there could be too much emphasis on the ending, The end of ME3 wasn't great, but I'm not going to complain. I got 100+ hours of kick ass gameplay and that's what's important.
GeisT  +   952d ago
Games don't need to have happy endings, but they do need to have adequate ones.

When it comes to games like ME3 players should be rewarded for sticking with the franchise and spending time getting interested in the characters. When you half ass an ending it is just a big middle finger to the fans and tends to make a lot of people angry.

This is mostly because in movies people just sit there and watch and it doesn't take much effort. For games, people get involved in their characters because they are given control over them. When you give them control for the whole game and then take that away and end the game in a crappy way it is frustrating.
UNGR  +   952d ago
They don't need to be happy or sad, they just need to tie up all of the plot points. Happy or sad and ending can still be amazing, forget to tie up your loose ends and your story is going to flop.

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