On Endings

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I find that another contributor to "the satisfying ending" is the coolness factor. For example, Onimusha: Warlords had a fantastic ending, especially for its time, and it isn't because of its engrossing story finally reaching a conclusion. In fact, the story was not engrossing. It was essentially Super Mario in feudal Japan. Granted, it wasn't bad by any stretch, but it wasn't all that memorable. The ending was so great because it was so damned cool.

Tetris had a bloody disappointing ending...

Half Life Episodes had a fantastic ending, oh- wait . . .

Hallowed Lady:
Well, the endings in the Oddworld series were pretty good, with bad endings that were a little lacking but darkly funny and realy ones with humour and a lighter note.

"Is the water... free?"

I often feel these days that alot of games go for the "TO BE CONTINUED" more often than they should...I know they want to build a francise, but, no closure = no fun

Torment was quite good and satisfying.

Stand by for a fan boy suggestion!
Okay going to say I'm a Devil May Cry fan boy.
Now some of you can slate me all you want but when a game gives me as much joy and happiness and over all entertainment (which is the reason for an entertainment media) I don't care what you think =3
Now with that out of the way, Devil May Cry 3 in my eyes had a nice ending. Yeah wasn't all flashy like you expect a lot of games to have, but it summed up the events of the game and left you with a "ooo that's the outfit Dante wears in the first game =3" moment and you finish as you did at the beginning of the game with the phone ringing. Now a sort of common feature in a lot of texts (City of God and La Haine being a good film reference)

Now I will admit that some games have a better ending but there are a lot more disappointing endings out there such as MW2 being a prime example!

But yeah even "secret" ending that appears if you kill enough enemies in the credits, has a good feel to it as if you've played the first game you'll understand. If not it makes you want to see what happens.

Singularity FTW!!! Buy it! Play Multiplayer! Its awesome. I love you Yahtzee.

Electrogecko:
Yea endings are important to the story, but, in my opinion, the story isn't all that important to the game. Most people play games to have fun and.....play a game. When's the last time you turned on a game and said "Oh my god I can't wait to find out what happened to so and so at the thingy majig?" (I don't think I've ever had such a reason to start playing) Even in games that have amazing stories start to finish, the story is second to the gameplay. I'd much rather have an insanely epic and challengeing final boss fight followed by credits and a game over screen than a nice neat literary ending.

Actually, I do. I go for the campaigns that have a decent or compelling narrative. I'm always open to a new story, and games can be a good source of experiencing one.

Going back to Yahtzee's point, I do agree that game endings just end with annoying abruptness. The game just suddenly stops as if there's another cutscene or another piece of gameplay, but instead we just get the credits roll. I was actually enjoying Mafia II for what it was up until the end, when it just the leaves the player hanging with this half-assed conclusion that manages to bring about nothing. Since the game is all about the narrative, one would think that we would at least get a satisfying end to Vito's tale. Nope. If games and their stories want to be taken more seriosusly, then developers should focus on creating a cohesive and, more importantly, complete story. Once they get over that hump, then we start seeing some real interesting stories.

Weren't there three endings to Mafia II? They cut two of them, IIRC, saying that the test audience (or whoever) only really liked one. Anyone know what the other two were like?

did he purposely make his ending shitty

yes.. yes he did.

BloodSquirrel:

oranger:

Who the fuck gives away their best work for a multimillion dollar earning project,
while being paid 40 k a year?

Somebody who hopes that penning a really good story will help them make it big. Writers, in general, do not make a lot of money. Writing is a lot like acting: tons of people want to do it, and are willing to work a day job while they try to make it. Most of them will never be able to make a living off of it. The ones who do know that there is a horde of people willing to take their spot if they don't work hard enough to keep it.

Well either they're "working hard to keep their job" and a lot of them are morons or there's an upper limit on what terrible pay will produce. And you can't "make it big" as a game writer, because the industry deliberately attaches little value to it. Its why game writers are so poorly paid in the first place, and thus why game writing is usually really bad.

oranger:

Atmos Duality:

Yahtzee Croshaw:

snip

(Excerpt from the article. Naturally.)

Reminds me heavily of Deus Ex's ending(s). Proof that Warren Spector actually did know what the hell he was doing.

Warren Spector didn't write them, did he? I heard he designed the game, and hadn't written it.

Based on interviews. He did, and the rest of his design team needed to drag him away from the keyboard in order to get him to scale down some of the intended set-pieces into something manageable.

oranger:

Well either they're "working hard to keep their job" and a lot of them are morons or there's an upper limit on what terrible pay will produce. And you can't "make it big" as a game writer, because the industry deliberately attaches little value to it. Its why game writers are so poorly paid in the first place, and thus why game writing is usually really bad.

Fun fact: A lot of history's greatest artists barely made ends meet for most of or the entirety of their lives. Many creators did their best work while they were still struggling to make a name for themselves. To claim that good writing can't come from somebody being paid 40k a year is to ignore objective reality.

Well...I do have seen that many games nowadays have kind of crappy endings. Especially Mafia 2 as Yahtze mentioned. I want endings that really feels satisfaying and gives closeure.

This reminds me of the first time I played Golden Sun. I was having a blast until all of a sudden the credits rolled at what felt like the halfway point of the game. It sets you up like, okay, we're going out to do this thing next, and then all of a sudden CREDITS?! WTF IS THIS?! Man I was pissed off.

Of course by the time I had played it, the second game was already out, and once I found out about that and how stuff carried over I was quite a bit happier, but man was I cheesed off the first time those credits rolled.

BloodSquirrel:

oranger:

Well either they're "working hard to keep their job" and a lot of them are morons or there's an upper limit on what terrible pay will produce. And you can't "make it big" as a game writer, because the industry deliberately attaches little value to it. Its why game writers are so poorly paid in the first place, and thus why game writing is usually really bad.

Fun fact: A lot of history's greatest artists barely made ends meet for most of or the entirety of their lives. Many creators did their best work while they were still struggling to make a name for themselves. To claim that good writing can't come from somebody being paid 40k a year is to ignore objective reality.

When I said "you can't make it big..." I meant there is and will be no great game writers until something in the field changes. As it is, a potential Van Gogh level writer will simply have his "paintings" thrown out instead of being passed from gallery to gallery until they achieve acclaim,
because there is no interest in a writer becoming great. That won't line the pockets of the corporations and trends that currently control the industry.
That's objective reality.

I wholeheartedly agree with the Kane and Lynch ending.

It's arguably the same problem that occurs in any medium that involves storytelling (so, all of them, really).

It's been argued in the past that the reason why it's so difficult to come up with a decent ending to any story is because life doesn't have nice, clean cut endings. Cancer doesn't care about whether you've resolved the issues with your parents. You rarely get the guy/girl of your dreams right before you get hit by that bus. From this perspective, the ending of the Godfather trilogy could be argued as the most realistic end to a story ever, but I digress.

A lot of endings are pants because there aren't that many terrific examples in life. Not that this is a decent excuse for a fictional narrative, but it's an excuse nevertheless.

I hate endings. They make me sad. I actually prefer cliffhangers, because then you know that something else is going to happen afterwards.

For all this talk about endings, I felt like this article didn't have one. You talk about only one game whose ending you liked and cut it off. What? Can you never write more than 2 pages about anything?

Oh well. I'm just QQ

Alongside this, I think its important (and no this isnt an opinion its FACT:) that ANY ending that has the "Its up to the viewer/player/audience" thing is absolute bullsh*t. ((Im not talking about player decides the ending, I'm talking about endings or overall themes which are left unexplained and fates left without conclusion)

The "Leaving it up to the audience" shinnanigan is just the writers/directors lazy and cowardly way of being too chickensh*t to think of a suitable resolution that will please everyone so they just leave it open. Its slack, lazy and downright retarded, any director/writer with the nerve to make that kind of ending is a tosser.

Even a whole scenario/game/movie/book/script/etc. which is metaphorical and has the "up to the audience to decide what it means / the fate of the characters" is downright f*cking dumb, its once again just the writer being too much of a lazy scared sh*thead to conclude it themselves.

EDITT: Note I'm not talking about ingame choices you gamernerds, I'm talking about the loose ends
An example in game terms would be Braid, there have been many theories for it and the re*ard director is just like "LOL i dunno it cud be nething".

Bonus points for mentioning Singularity's endings. They truly were a pleasant suprise at the end of a decent (but forgettable) romp. The game would likely leak out of my mind in its entirety inside a month as another FPS were it not for the endings.

I'm not a big fan of Multiple endings because if you play Silent Hill:Homecoming you get these 20 second endings that don't resolve anything. Even worst I got all the collectibles items to get the extra good ending and that was shit as well.

Alone in the dark was a Okay game but both endings suck dick. Too Human a really bad game actually had a good "to be continue" ending. It makes want a sequel to that game so badly. A game that really needs a sequel is "Advent Rising" because it leaves off on a huge cliff hanger.

What about The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, Where your character gets bored of adventuring, and decides to go into retirement?

Well, that's kind of what the ending is... =P

I heartily agree with this. A proper ending not only adds significantly to the story, but for me actually pulls me along through the entire story behind the game.

I eagerly played Deus Ex and both Mass Effect games because I was so interested in what the ending would turn out to reveal, and all of them were tremendously satisfying.

So much so with Mass Effect that I can not wait for the third installment to wrap up the larger story arc. But each of the first two games had excellent endings of their own as well, not a worthless, "Continued" place marker. Very well done and very satisfying to me.

Buckett:
AC2 had a shitty ending that tried to connect the time you spent as Ezio to Desmond and the future. I get that they had to somehow tie everything to Desmond, but how did that shit make any sense and left me pissed off. The game was good but the ending left me staring at the screen for an hour thinking "really, thats how you want to go out?" Seriously though, how is Desmond supposed to solve this problem. How can he and his scientist buddies restore Earths magnetic field or whatever it was? No amount of stabbing Templars in cool ways is going to fix that (unless the universe had a specific stabbing quota that Desmond must meet before it decides not to destroy the planet).

I've played World of Darkness tabletop games for over a decade now, so I guess I'm kind of used to duelling globe-spanning ancient conspiracies that every important historical figure was secretly a member of, even if I still usually find them ridiculous. AC2's duelling conspiracies are no exception, but I was willing to handwave that. It's not a bad framing device for historical stories otherwise separated by centuries. In this case, I'm sure some sort of alien deus ex machina will be involved.

What bothered me more about the ending to AC2 was that I spent 20 hours playing as Ezio, one of my favourite video game characters of the last few years, only for that bait-and-switch ending where Ezio's pushed aside and perennial loser Desmond gets all the attention. I know the game was leading up to that point, but it still annoyed me. Still, clearly Ubisoft understands this, with AC2 getting a direct sequel and all.

foxtrot3100:
For all this talk about endings, I felt like this article didn't have one. You talk about only one game whose ending you liked and cut it off. What? Can you never write more than 2 pages about anything?

Oh well. I'm just QQ

I think that was the point.

I felt all three of the Jak games for the PS2 had really good endings. Even though it was a trilogy like so many other franchises, each one of them had closure and told it's own story. Naugthydog is pretty good at that.
I'd mention both the Uncharted games too, but I think we're all clear where Yatzee stands with those games.

oranger:

When I said "you can't make it big..." I meant there is and will be no great game writers until something in the field changes. As it is, a potential Van Gogh level writer will simply have his "paintings" thrown out instead of being passed from gallery to gallery until they achieve acclaim,
because there is no interest in a writer becoming great. That won't line the pockets of the corporations and trends that currently control the industry.
That's objective reality.

No it isn't. Van Gogh didn't "line the pockets of the corporations" either, yet, somehow, his work got by.

Art having to work within such a system is not new. You know Shakespeare, the OMG greatest write of all time? His plays were considered popular entertainment in his day. They were written for the crowds.

Great writing in video games exists. It has managed to sell. It has even managed to sell well enough to get people to buy suplimental fiction.

If I was a writer, I think I would feel the same about writing as Yatzee.
You know what else had a good ending? Killer7. Yes, it was a mindfuck but when it came down to a final moral choice, none of the endings feel like the appropriate one.

Perfect ending - Warcraft 3. *cough cough cough* *runs away*

Bioshock's end BATTLE is stupid. But the ending cinematic - for Good Endings - is one of the most effective endings to an story I've seen in a long long time. It is also one of the three things in video games that makes me cry every single time.

Now, if I had a bunch of money and the rights to Bioshock, I'd redo the ending of the game to make it fall more in line with the awesome movie end. Basically, the entire final conflict is a really interesting one: Free will versus conditioning, good versus evil, father versus son...so after removing your control for one of the most effective subversions of the FPS concept I've ever seen, the final battle should not be against Big Daddies or Splicers or a cartoonish supervillain, but rather against your own mind.

I have no idea how to make a cerebral action game sequence, but I think a trippy 'in your mind' final boss battle as you overcome your mind control would be very very effective. Also, using metaphor in video games is awesome - see SH2 and...well, most of Bioshock.

Now, the EVIL ending would require a LOT of retooling to make effective.

I think the whole moral choice system could have been chucked from Bioshock without negatively impacting the story or gameplay in anyway.

Hmm... well, your book came in the mail today, so after reading this, I expect it will have an amazing ending... or... well... ehh...

Oh, and as for amazing endings, two words: Crisis Core.

I agree. Shitty ending literally left me infuriated because the entire production is stellar only to fuck me up in the ending. It's sometimes powerful enough to negate the entire game into shit. Call it irrational, it happened.

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