James Bishop of TheGameReviews explores how game designers approach epilogues, considering how they apply classical plot structure from other entertainment mediums to the gaming model.
So many games have meaty stories till the climax, and then it all just falls apart. Sometimes the game has the boss battle itself be the epilogue (or the boss' death), and many, as the article states, don't even bother. Then there's the hidden epilogues that have to be unlocked, occur after the credits or beaten a second/third time (see Eternal Darkness). I hate those.
If you have any thoughts like that about different endings (similar premise for next article), feel free to give me a shout, iTZ.
I usually think that the last battle is the true epilogue to the game, with the post-fight cinematic mostly being wrap-up. But even at that, most of them fail to provide worthy closure. Worst ending in recent memory: Alone in the Dark. Holy god.
Bioshock was a bit dissapointing at the end. Almost like the boss battle wasn't really required.
This was my biggest gripe about Arkham Asylum and MGS4, for different reasons. I could have forgiven Batman's lame final boss if the epilogue was good, but it was extremely abrupt and left me shrugging my shoulders thinking, "that's it?" In comparison, MGS4's epilogue went on way too long (over an hour, I believe), where a much beloved character shows up to quite literally talk himself to death for 20 min. Both games left a sour aftertaste in my mouth, even though they were two of the finest games I'd ever played up until that point. They didn't ruin the game per se, but held them back from true greatness, imo.
huh?? I thought it had one of the more satisfying ending in my opinion.
Do you mean the battle with Ultimecia or the epilogue? ;)
I meant after beating the final boss.
Then we agree! At least I think. I find that not a lot of people actually like FFVIII at all and I usually ask them if they've completed the game.
ff8 is a tough one The best imo.. wait no becaus 7 just is even though its not? lol
As an example of various different uses of the epilogue in games. Mg1-Mg2/ The first games has a classic gaming climax to credits with little to no epilogue MGS1/ The initial Solid experience pushed used classic structure but could be said to have a pretty substandard epilogue which tried to be compensated with the ongoing story used by the games to indicate a sequel. A.K.A. The ocelot calls. Mgs2/ The epilogue improved this time around however it was mainly due to the fact that most characters and subplots were concluded at the games convoluted climax however it managed to present a finality in the underlying meme theme of the piece. Mgs3/ This game had one of the best epilogue in my personal gaming history as a standalone game. Thanks to withholding certain plot elements that did not substract to the crescendo of tension created by the story it managed to retain an element of importance to the overall plot, managing it to be overgrossing with emotion as a final realization of the relationships and the actions that took place on the story including some of the consequences of such actions through known history and the previous games lore. MgPo/ Portable ops had a disjointed storyline that used the groundwork of Mgs3 to try and fit the character into his future role. Mgs4/ The whole game acts as an epilogue for the series, and standing alone it could be considered an exageration of an epilogue.
I agree with this article, in that a lot of the games that I have positive feelings about are ones that I haven't actually finished. This is because when I DO finish a game, almost half the time (if not more) I'm disappointed with the ending. Adventure games often did a better job at it since story was their bread and butter, but even they have had their share of WTF endings. (I'm looking at you, Myst.) And cliffhanger endings just tick me off, as was the case in "Heavy Metal: FAKK2" (which I suspect I was the only person to actually bother finishing.)
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