Picture this: you’ve just spent fifteen hours sludging through a story, hoping that whatever lurks around the final corner ultimately ties everything together into one neatly pressed knot. You slay the final boss and leap over the last hurdle, preparing for one almighty cinematic that slots everything into place. But then, without explanation, the wheel stops turning. The cogs refuse to align — and the credits begin to slide. Congratulations, you’ve just been trolled. Endings can suck, right?
It takes a lot to construct a satisfactory ending to a video game. And while most would say drawing one up tends to come naturally, a certain few have been about as believable as a sandpaper napkin, causing us to stare into our own reflection as we feel the cold hard slap from those who bewildered us. And believe me when I say — these five are still burning red in our cheeks.
5. Fable 2
One could quite easily argue that Fable 2, as a game, was a masterpiece for its time, crammed full of whimsical personalities and visually stunning landmarks. Even Lucien, the bad guy that you spend the whole game trying to knock from the podium (or spire, in this case). Some would even go as far as saying the overall plotline weaved together remarkably well. But come on, that ending? Ouch. Talk about anticlimactic.
After carving your hero or villain (depending on how you interact with Albion and its twinkly-eyed citizens), you find yourself confronting Lucien, the power-hungry overlord with an appetite for the home-brewed concoction of strength, skill and will powers. Only, as you ascend the incredibly bleak Spire en route to facing him, you’re basically given a free pass from anything remotely challenging. There’s no boss battle, or anything to even stress about. You just pull out a music box and play him a lullaby. Lo and behold — Albion is saved, and you’re booted out of the door, left to do collect your jaw that hit the earth two minutes prior. Nice one.
4. Dead Rising
On the tin, Dead Rising was the perfect combination of mindless fun and replayability. Buried within that case, however, was a botched narrative and a pretty lame excuse for a conclusion. Even with multiple endings to boot, each one still felt just as anticlimactic and as mediocre as the next. Leading up to that lukewarm finale, on the other hand, was perhaps one of the most enjoyable joyrides we’ve ever taken.
With 72 hours on the clock until extraction and an entire shopping complex flooded with zombies, you’re basically left to bide your time in any way you see fit. Uncover the mystery behind the outbreak, assist and escort other survivors back to safety — or just hide in a toy store and try on various types of helmets. Whatever your call, no ending really amounts to much. Sure it’s a fun ride, but it’s certainly no Oscar nominee.
3. Mass Effect 3
Despite the fact that Mass Effect spent 99% of its time relying on our actions to progress the story, that remaining 1% in which we didn’t call the shots just so happened to be during the most crucial moment. The end. Regardless of the choices you made leading up to the showdown after a lengthy trilogy of planet hopping, the ending really didn’t do the rest of the journey justice. If anything, it spoiled everything you worked so hard for by giving you a watered down climax with one of four half-hearted endings.
Mass Effect is undeniably one of the greatest sci-fi series of all time, as well as BioWare’s crowning achievement on a hefty portfolio of outstanding works. But with that said, the Mass Effect 3 ending really did hurt the franchise and BioWare’s global reputation. Even today, both gamers and critics return to the 2012 chapter to revive the hatred surrounding its unfortunate conclusion. So, not a great ending to an otherwise excellent journey.
While Borderlands probably wasn’t the most story heavy game in the market back in 2009, it sure was a sight for sore eyes in the shooter-looter community. And that’s pretty much where Gearbox found their niche and cashed in on the idea, effectively punching the green light for two further sequels plus spin-offs. But as for the endings, mainly for the first game — now that was an embarrassment.
After touring Pandora on a wild goose chase in search of the infamous Vault, grinding and looting every tiny object that wasn’t tied down, we finally found ourselves at the foot of the awe-inspiring Vault, which we were forever led to believe would contain riches beyond belief. And yet, rather than piling up with lumps of glitz and glamour, we were instead gift wrapped a boss. That’s right, a boss. No treasures or even so much as a pat on the back. Just a boss, and a good old fashioned boot out the door. Thanks for playing.
1. Far Cry 5
Other than the cliché silent protagonists and overused gameplay formula, Far Cry 5 really isn’t all that bad. Sure it uses a lot of the same material as the previous four games and spin-offs, but overall, it was perhaps one of Ubisoft’s finest creations. That is, until you recall the ending to it, in which you suddenly remember why it garnered so much hate to begin with.
Like every other entry that came before, your only priority in Far Cry 5 was to dethrone a scheming sociopath and accompanying kin, working alongside a rebellion in order to return peace to the corrupt lands. However, Joseph Seed, the leader of the tainted cult, was slightly different to the other villains in the barrel. Different because, well — he was unbeatable. Even after spending dozens of hours reclaiming the lands and wedging a foot in the final stronghold, Seed still managed to have the last laugh, giving us one of two endings in which we both lose the war. So, not quite the outcome one would expect after sinking twenty hours into edging towards it.