The Current Trend of The Anticlimax in Video Games

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The Current Trend of The Anticlimax in Video Games

Many of today's video games leave so many loose ends by the time you finish the game that the whole playthrough ends up being anticlimactic. Why?

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Completely agree, too much sequalitis and franchise building. I really dont understand why either, if you build an interesting world and populate it with interesting characters people will come back to it. You dont NEED a worthless cliffhanger.

Some TV-series seem to get it as well. I just finished watching Season 2 of House of Cards...it was simply brilliant. I wont spoil it for anyone, but it was just great. It was not in any way a cliffhanger, and the series might have ended right there. But there was room for more, and I wanted more, so I will come back. Cliffhangers are a poor mans storytelling.

I loved for example Witcher 1 for this reason. The story was wrapped up, but the world was simply much bigger than that, and there were enough side-story to fill more games. Perfect. The ending of witcher 1 is one of the most satisfying things I've played since Baldurs Gate 2 ToB.

The Order 1886 smells of unfinished game and studio meddling. The game literally ends on gunshot fade to black, which is top 2 in worst ending to a story possible (along with "It was all a dream"). Which makes it seem like they threw it together because they were ordered to tie into a sequel at all costs.

Or the writers really, really didn't know what they were doing.

Sequel? Pfftt! Why bother with a whole sequel when you can sell a satisfying ending (or two) as DLC? In fact, let's help publishers kill two birds with one stone: "Pre-order now at Gamestop to receive the special 'renegade' game conclusion DLC (for just an additional $9.99)! Pre-order at Target instead for the 'paragon' ending DLC at the same low price!"

And this is why cliffhangers are bullshit, basically. Not necessarily making the story on the whole ruined, but definitely stealing us from it. Then you get varying degrees of cliffhangers, and the second The Hobbit film definitely deserves incinerating for it.

Edit: The mentioning of looking back over six month's worth of episodes has given me quite the realisation of just how many new games Yahtzee plays. Holy crap.

Not just sequels, I think it's gotten much worse since DLC became a mandatory thing. How do we get them to buy the DLC? Leave lots of stuff hanging in the main game then make them cough up for some resolution. Anything still left is for the sequels.

I think my first ever real, deadpan ending, was the first Crysis. Fight the giant spaceship on an aircraft carrier, sweet! Flying back to the island to finish those squidy aliens, Im gonna show then to freeze all our North Korean tropical paradises! .....Credits.....

But I just hit the turning point of the story....Where's the rest? I dont think we ever hear about the character we play again.

But yes, this whole trend is something thats been gnawing at me for a while now.

Some cliffhangers are well done (a perfect example is Best of Both Worlds from Star Trek Next Generation) but more often then not it's just annoying. Especially when continuation is not assured. A perfect example of this recently is Agent of Shield. I love the show to death, and the ending of season one was good for the most part. Then the last 30 seconds was made a part of it and, though it did work out as a hook for the first half of season two, it was quite possible that the series wouldn't be renewed, and if that had happened we would have seen it end without knowing what the ending meant because the story would never be expanded upon.

Agent Carter also had this problem, since the series ended with a major end left loose, and it seems unlikely to have a second season made given how things turned out.

And in video games, even good ones, we see this problem. Just look at Supreme Commander. The second one (Forged Alliance, not the abomination that is 2) ended with one of the antagonists which had been defeated in the game coming back to life (it makes sense in context and isn't really an ass-pull given what the character is). The way the game ended implied he would be the antagonist in the third game that was never made, as Supreme Commander 2 ended up being a completely different story that gives only token lip service to the previous games and has the new villains just be random assholes instead of people with motives, and the twist ending shows us that one of the protagonists from a previous game was behind it all for no reason, while also setting him up as the antagonist proper for another sequel (which never happened due to Supreme Commander 2 being so bad it killed the franchise). The ending in the first Supreme Commander worked because 1) it was a teaser trailer for a standalone expansion that was already in development, and 2) in the original the story is self contained.

Good zinger at the end, certainly a satisfying ending.

The film version of Fellowship of The Ring does a good job even within a planned trilogy of having a satisfying conclusion. The 'story' of the fellowship ends, the baddie they setup for the film (Lurtz) is dealt with, and Boromir's death provides the film with a significant emotional payoff as well.
It's worth noting that despite having similar intentions, the first Hobbit movie doesn't achieve any of these similar endings and feels anticlimactic as a result.

Even when they do actually manage to crank out a sequel, they often seem to ditch the original plot entirely to start 'fresh', resolving nothing of the previous unfinished story and over-complicating their universe until a reboot is required to salvage the wreckage.

Same problem as Too Human (well, one of many).

Going into a "series" without making sure the first one is as good and satisfying as it can possibly be is putting the cart so far in front of the horse, the horse has to run a marathon to catch up.

Almost all the best series have "self-contained" installments, that stand on their own two legs and are satisfying on their own merits. You don't NEED to see Raiders of the Lost Ark to see the sequel The Last Crusade, Terminator 2 can stand on its own, Aliens is brilliant all on its own, and none of these diminish what came before them (which also stood on their own).

Nobody like a story missing the equivalent of a third-act. You can't just end it on the second and then say "pay another $60 for the resolution... maybe". This isn't a serialized TV show; you did not film a whole season in advance. You may not get a second game, so ensure the first one is satisfying. When/If it is, THEN focus on fleshing out the world more and upping the ante in the sequels.

This is a cancer that at this point has successfully carried across film, literature and gaming: telling stories with no head and no feet that go on and on and on and thrive solely on the promise of paying tenfold by the end. It all feels very speculatory. Like you're supposed to invest on them becoming more interesting than what they already are. And half-baked goods is what they are.

There's something very comic-bookish about the scheme. It goes like this: geek culture becomes a majority thanks to the internet, and the devs and the execs of the world realize they can now produce books, movies and games in "comic-book speak" - do half the work but earn twice as much so long as you promise you're not selling a story but an event. And the peoples will fucking love them for it.

Zontar:
Some cliffhangers are well done (a perfect example is Best of Both Worlds from Star Trek Next Generation) but more often then not it's just annoying. Especially when continuation is not assured. A perfect example of this recently is Agent of Shield. I love the show to death, and the ending of season one was good for the most part. Then the last 30 seconds was made a part of it and, though it did work out as a hook for the first half of season two, it was quite possible that the series wouldn't be renewed, and if that had happened we would have seen it end without knowing what the ending meant because the story would never be expanded upon.

Agent Carter also had this problem, since the series ended with a major end left loose, and it seems unlikely to have a second season made given how things turned out.

And in video games, even good ones, we see this problem. Just look at Supreme Commander. The second one (Forged Alliance, not the abomination that is 2) ended with one of the antagonists which had been defeated in the game coming back to life (it makes sense in context and isn't really an ass-pull given what the character is). The way the game ended implied he would be the antagonist in the third game that was never made, as Supreme Commander 2 ended up being a completely different story that gives only token lip service to the previous games and has the new villains just be random assholes instead of people with motives, and the twist ending shows us that one of the protagonists from a previous game was behind it all for no reason, while also setting him up as the antagonist proper for another sequel (which never happened due to Supreme Commander 2 being so bad it killed the franchise). The ending in the first Supreme Commander worked because 1) it was a teaser trailer for a standalone expansion that was already in development, and 2) in the original the story is self contained.

Well you have remember the history. Cliffhangers originated as a device for television shows, and that's really the only medium they work in, for several reasons.

Television shows need to keep viewers interested in the series so they tune in week after week, year after year. But television shows are also low investment - they're free (traditionally), so they only demand a short amount of your time. And the next part of the story will show up next week, or at maximum in a year if that was the season finale.

Huge difference in video games and movies, where pulling a cliffhanger sequel hook demands you often wait YEARS, *and* you have to pay to see it. Video games are the worst medium by far to try and use them because unlike a TV show or movie where you had only invested an hour or two up to that point, in video games it's at least 5 (if you're an awful game like The Order 1886, often it's 10, 20, 50 hours!) hours of previous story investment before you get to the unsatisfying "conclusion" making the viewer even more dissatisfied.

Trilogy movies have started getting more bold in shoving cliffhangery type stuff in their middle installments (or even worse, turning a trilogy into more movies for money, LOOKING AT YOU HUNGER GAMES/HARRY POTTER/TWILIGHT/HOBBIT). But there's a way to do things right, and Yahtzee touched on it. In The Empire Strikes Back they could have ended the movie right after Luke hurls himself into the pit. Wouldn't that have been a great sequel hook? Who knows if he lives or dies! Who knows if the Millenium Falcon is going to get out? But the people making that movie knew that would suck, so they finished the story. Luke is rescued, and they definitively escape their pursuers by fixing the hyperdrive. Plenty of unresolved loose ends, but the story for the movie had an ending and conclusion. It wasn't just cut off.

In summary: keep cliffhanger sequel hook crap in TV shows where they belong.

llubtoille:
Even when they do actually manage to crank out a sequel, they often seem to ditch the original plot entirely to start 'fresh', resolving nothing of the previous unfinished story and over-complicating their universe until a reboot is required to salvage the wreckage.

Well duh, you have to have every single person on the planet able to buy the latest game without having played any earlier games. Asking people to go back and purchase and play through the first game in a series is unacceptable to their sales numbers and ability to market hype their game.

I wonder if the fault isn't in our stars, but in ourselves. We look at The Order as a game. We looked at Sonic Boom as a game. We looked at Sims 4 as a game. And that's the problem. Now of course the publishers sold them to us as games, so they can fuck right off.

But Sonic Boom was never meant to be a stand alone game. Its a feature length commercial for the tv show, nothing more. It was made to sell kids on a show, not feed nostalgia starved mid 20 somethings.

Sims 4 was a micro-transaction vector, not a 'game' per se. And I can respect that to some degree. It's dickish sure, but some people buy things and are happy doing so. So I shrug and say its not for me, but eh. Harmless for what it is.

I wonder what the long term plan for The Order is, because its certainly a cross-media project. Comic books, figurines, maybe a direct to DVD movie or two. A short run anime if they're ambitious. Remember that Silent Hills interactive trailer? PT? The Playable Trailer? That's basically what I see The Order as. Its supposed to sell me on other things. And in that light, I'm not sure it is anticlimatic. I think the climax hasn't happened yet.

P.S. I am in no way excusing the terrible gameplay of any of these games. Merely pointing out the 'game' aspect wasn't central to what the devs were going for.

Zontar:

Agent Carter also had this problem, since the series ended with a major end left loose, and it seems unlikely to have a second season made given how things turned out.

Eh that cliffhanger could go either way. It isn't really one where the show will live or die on it. If you cut that last scene out then it doesn't affect the story that Agent Carter told and it gives it a good reason for a season 2. A better example would be the season finale of Hereos. Something like that demands another season.

Silentpony:
I wonder if the fault isn't in our stars, but in ourselves. We look at The Order as a game. We looked at Sonic Boom as a game. We looked at Sims 4 as a game. And that's the problem. Now of course the publishers sold them to us as games, so they can fuck right off.

But Sonic Boom was never meant to be a stand alone game. Its a feature length commercial for the tv show, nothing more. It was made to sell kids on a show, not feed nostalgia starved mid 20 somethings.

Sims 4 was a micro-transaction vector, not a 'game' per se. And I can respect that to some degree. It's dickish sure, but some people buy things and are happy doing so. So I shrug and say its not for me, but eh. Harmless for what it is.

I wonder what the long term plan for The Order is, because its certainly a cross-media project. Comic books, figurines, maybe a direct to DVD movie or two. A short run anime if they're ambitious. Remember that Silent Hills interactive trailer? PT? The Playable Trailer? That's basically what I see The Order as. Its supposed to sell me on other things. And in that light, I'm not sure it is anticlimatic. I think the climax hasn't happened yet.

P.S. I am in no way excusing the terrible gameplay of any of these games. Merely pointing out the 'game' aspect wasn't central to what the devs were going for.

As long as they announce them as games (and they are priced as games), they must be judged as such. As long as they are available in game stores, they are competing against the best games, side by side. Just saying "they are not games" is giving them a free ticket to do whatever they want, and still sell them as games.

It's NOT mid-way budget cuts. In the last five years, games makers have been deliberately cutting back on the "big ending". Why? Both consoles and PCs now collect player telemetry. Mass Effect 2 was the first big one I saw on this, but everyone's doing it.

What did they find? Only 50% of the players finished the game. Why bother spending your budget on a big finish that only half your players will see?

http://www.ign.com/articles/2010/09/06/crazy-mass-effect-2-stats-and-what-theyre-used-for

Think back. 2010 was the turning point where the ending parts started getting less and less emphasis to the point where DA:I, for instance, didn't even bother with an ending dungeon, you just go and fight the boss and that's it. It's why Mass Effect 3's designers didn't give a shit about the ending. And it's not just Bioware, every other publisher is looking at the same stats. Heck, even DX:HR had a shitty ending sequence in what was otherwise a great game.

This might have been somewhat forgivable if the gameplay were at least good, but we're left with a boring slog through tepid levels and half-baked design. Seriously, I can't see anything in 1886 that required the PS4's hardware other than textures and lighting. As Yahtzee said, it's a launch title made months and months after launch. It shows off graphical potential but is ultimately useless and will be forgotten in a few months.

I know that with open world games I always make sure that the final main mission level is the very last thing I do. If I'm going for 100% then I make sure I've done everything first. Usually I can't be arsed and just leave that for a second run a bit later on.

The scary thing is, this isn't just happening with games. Didn't the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy do this as well?

distantworlds:
It's NOT mid-way budget cuts. In the last five years, games makers have been deliberately cutting back on the "big ending". Why? Both consoles and PCs now collect player telemetry. Mass Effect 2 was the first big one I saw on this, but everyone's doing it.

What did they find? Only 50% of the players finished the game. Why bother spending your budget on a big finish that only half your players will see?

http://www.ign.com/articles/2010/09/06/crazy-mass-effect-2-stats-and-what-theyre-used-for

Think back. 2010 was the turning point where the ending parts started getting less and less emphasis to the point where DA:I, for instance, didn't even bother with an ending dungeon, you just go and fight the boss and that's it. It's why Mass Effect 3's designers didn't give a shit about the ending. And it's not just Bioware, every other publisher is looking at the same stats. Heck, even DX:HR had a shitty ending sequence in what was otherwise a great game.

Makes sense I guess. It really shows the difference between someone who desires to make a good game and someone who simply desires to make money. You know a game was made with love when a lot of effort went into things the players may never even notice, like easter eggs.

Zontar:
Some cliffhangers are well done (a perfect example is Best of Both Worlds from Star Trek Next Generation) but more often then not it's just annoying. Especially when continuation is not assured.

I think you nailed it. Cliffhangers can absolutely work, but I find that they're best used at the end of a chapter, the end of an episode, or, in the case of games, potentially at the end of a level. It makes the audience yearn for more, and gives them something to look forward to if there's a gap between story segments. I know Madoka did this incredibly well, with almost every episode ending on a major plot point. And yet, when it came time for the series to end, it ended on a bang, with grace and dignity, and formed a self contained narrative.

I like the Persona method of having most games be self contained narratives as part of a larger franchise. It makes for better storytelling, but retains the strength of a franchise brand.

Bethesda games just can't pull that off. I know that I always play those games until I'm bored of them, and then the absolute last thing I do is the story mission. That, at least, gives the game some kind of closure. I actually liked the ending to Fallout 3, just because they had the guts to end the game, and because I though the ending was surprisingly poetic. Then there was a shitstorm, and now I'm a little bit disappointed, because no matter what happens in the future, I know that the protagonist of a Bethesda game is basically guaranteed to survive.

sageoftruth:

distantworlds:
It's NOT mid-way budget cuts. In the last five years, games makers have been deliberately cutting back on the "big ending". Why? Both consoles and PCs now collect player telemetry. Mass Effect 2 was the first big one I saw on this, but everyone's doing it.

What did they find? Only 50% of the players finished the game. Why bother spending your budget on a big finish that only half your players will see?

http://www.ign.com/articles/2010/09/06/crazy-mass-effect-2-stats-and-what-theyre-used-for

Think back. 2010 was the turning point where the ending parts started getting less and less emphasis to the point where DA:I, for instance, didn't even bother with an ending dungeon, you just go and fight the boss and that's it. It's why Mass Effect 3's designers didn't give a shit about the ending. And it's not just Bioware, every other publisher is looking at the same stats. Heck, even DX:HR had a shitty ending sequence in what was otherwise a great game.

Makes sense I guess. It really shows the difference between someone who desires to make a good game and someone who simply desires to make money. You know a game was made with love when a lot of effort went into things the players may never even notice, like easter eggs.

I'm not so sure it's a matter of want. In the end, the bean counters are the ones that direct where the resources go. I'm quite certain the designers had every wish to make a big ending.

Then there is another issue: Ubiquitous DLC.

Many people will be less interested in DLC if they have to go back to an earlier save to experience it. Combine this with the 50%- finish rate, and designers are pushed even further to have the game's ending allow DLC to be played either post-completion or pre-completion. Too big of an ending, and you can't have post-game DLC, and you can't have DLC that is added to the end, since so many players aren't finishing the game. So you need to allow DLC to be either/or, and end up with a milquetoast ending.

(I suspect this is another reason why sandbox games have been so common lately. Sandbox games are incredibly DLC friendly)

sageoftruth:
The scary thing is, this isn't just happening with games. Didn't the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy do this as well?

The Lord of the Rings gets a pass because it was already a trilogy of books. It was the Hobbit that was split into 3 movies.

CrazyBlaze:

Zontar:

Agent Carter also had this problem, since the series ended with a major end left loose, and it seems unlikely to have a second season made given how things turned out.

Eh that cliffhanger could go either way. It isn't really one where the show will live or die on it. If you cut that last scene out then it doesn't affect the story that Agent Carter told and it gives it a good reason for a season 2. A better example would be the season finale of Hereos. Something like that demands another season.

That last bit with Arnim Zola was a call-back (or call-forward?) to "Winter Soldier", where his mind is in a computer with his face on the screen. Agent Carter resolved its immediate story with Leviathan, but left a lot of loose threads for either a second season, S.H.I.E.L.D., or one of the movies to pick up on, like the remaining Black Widows, Howard Stark's experimenting on the Tesseract leading to the first Arc Reactor, and the reformation of the SSR into S.H.I.E.L.D. As for Heroes, that's supposed to get a relaunch soon, but I don't know who's coming back for that.

Still doesn't sound as egregious as the game with the worst anticlimax, Halo 2. That game literally ends after a cinematic lead up to the last level, but then instead of of the last level we get credits. It's probably impossible to top that for gaming blue balls.

Say what you will about call of duty, but I can only think of one installment that wasn't a pretty much perfectly self contained story. Ghost was the only one like that since it ends with you being kidnapped by the villain who should have died like 5 times before that.

CrazyBlaze:

Zontar:

Agent Carter also had this problem, since the series ended with a major end left loose, and it seems unlikely to have a second season made given how things turned out.

Eh that cliffhanger could go either way. It isn't really one where the show will live or die on it. If you cut that last scene out then it doesn't affect the story that Agent Carter told and it gives it a good reason for a season 2. A better example would be the season finale of Hereos. Something like that demands another season.

I guess I should have clarified, I wasn't talking about the callback to Winter Soldier, I was talking about the fact that the second largest antagonist in the series escaped and is still at large with a set of skills that makes them pretty dame dangerous.

sageoftruth:
The scary thing is, this isn't just happening with games. Didn't the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy do this as well?

More like the other way around. It started with radio, evolved into TV, seeped into movies, and has now infested gaming with the rise of DLC/sequel pushing business models. It's the literary equivalent of an itch you can't quite scratch and preys on base human instincts in similar fashion of cleavage and baby animals on the internet.

Fox12:
Snip

You make a good point, though I think one of the problems people had with Fallout 3's original ending was the fact that, for some forms of playthrough, it made no sense to have the character die since two of the companions you can get during the game (one of which you're practically guaranteed to get if you're doing a positive karma play through) could do it just as easily without anyone getting hurt, let alone killed.

Zontar:

CrazyBlaze:

Zontar:

Agent Carter also had this problem, since the series ended with a major end left loose, and it seems unlikely to have a second season made given how things turned out.

Eh that cliffhanger could go either way. It isn't really one where the show will live or die on it. If you cut that last scene out then it doesn't affect the story that Agent Carter told and it gives it a good reason for a season 2. A better example would be the season finale of Hereos. Something like that demands another season.

I guess I should have clarified, I wasn't talking about the callback to Winter Soldier, I was talking about the fact that the second largest antagonist in the series escaped and is still at large with a set of skills that makes them pretty dame dangerous.

That is acceptable and in line with the "Star Wars" model because as you noted, they were the "second largest" antagonist (ie.Vader) in the plot. The main antagonist was defeated and his plot was foiled.

That Dottie wasn't also captured or eliminated is inconsequential. Though she is dangerous, she is not a "lead" character with plans or agenda of her own. Kind of like how there are still mobsters and criminal organizations in the world at the show's end, but no one really complains about that.

distantworlds:
It's NOT mid-way budget cuts. In the last five years, games makers have been deliberately cutting back on the "big ending". Why? Both consoles and PCs now collect player telemetry. Mass Effect 2 was the first big one I saw on this, but everyone's doing it.

What did they find? Only 50% of the players finished the game. Why bother spending your budget on a big finish that only half your players will see?

http://www.ign.com/articles/2010/09/06/crazy-mass-effect-2-stats-and-what-theyre-used-for

Think back. 2010 was the turning point where the ending parts started getting less and less emphasis to the point where DA:I, for instance, didn't even bother with an ending dungeon, you just go and fight the boss and that's it. It's why Mass Effect 3's designers didn't give a shit about the ending. And it's not just Bioware, every other publisher is looking at the same stats. Heck, even DX:HR had a shitty ending sequence in what was otherwise a great game.

Surely the response should be to reduce the overall length, so people would be more likely to get to the end, not to simply replace the final boss with a quicktime event, replace the end cinematic with a text screen saying "a winner is you, now go f--- yourself" and to leave the plot entirely unresolved. Short stories don't start like novels then stop before the plot even develops, they do an entire story, just with less detail.

Or if they really cared, they might ask themselves why only half their customers completed the game? Do people only play a game for a certain length of time then stop? Or did they get frustrated and/or bored? Perhaps they could correct those issues next time so that more people finished, which would greatly increase the value of the game to the customer without necessarily increasing dev costs much.

sageoftruth:
The scary thing is, this isn't just happening with games. Didn't the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy do this as well?

The Hobbit movies did, but The Lord of the Rings was always meant to be a trilogy, since there are three books already. Actually, it was originally one long book, but it was later broken into three because the book was too long. Also, the trilogy was filmed all at once, so it was already completed by the time the first movie was released...and I am completely going off track. I apologize. :-)

Yahtzee, I have gained new respect for you. Not that I didn't respect you before, but your understanding of the Star Wars impresses me. Many people often overlook Tarkin in the grand scheme of things, but you nailed it. I approve.

And I totally agree about games failing to resolve anything. There is nothing more annoying to me than when the game basically goes, "Stay tuned for the sequel!" at the end when I haven't really done anything in the game I'm playing. Now, established franchises, such as Half-Life, can get away with this to a point because I know there will be more (at least, I think there's going to be another Half-Life game...), but games that are fresh out of the gate, or don't even touch the main villain or plot point at the end? Not okay. The first game needs to be a self-contained story, so people can decide whether they want more.

Zontar:

And in video games, even good ones, we see this problem. Just look at Supreme Commander. The second one (Forged Alliance, not the abomination that is 2) ended with one of the antagonists which had been defeated in the game coming back to life (it makes sense in context and isn't really an ass-pull given what the character is). The way the game ended implied he would be the antagonist in the third game that was never made, as Supreme Commander 2 ended up being a completely different story that gives only token lip service to the previous games and has the new villains just be random assholes instead of people with motives, and the twist ending shows us that one of the protagonists from a previous game was behind it all for no reason, while also setting him up as the antagonist proper for another sequel (which never happened due to Supreme Commander 2 being so bad it killed the franchise). The ending in the first Supreme Commander worked because 1) it was a teaser trailer for a standalone expansion that was already in development, and 2) in the original the story is self contained.

Oh, christ, you had to remind me about Supreme Commander. ;_;

I played the games in a derp order, I played SupCom2, then 1 and then FA, FA is my absolute favorite.
SupCom1 did the story nicely, each faction achieving their ending, the effect on the future is largely the same, with different twists associating with each factions goals. The UEF ended the war, the Cybrans obtained freedom, and the Aeon under Rhianne Burke's leadership sought peace.
Bring in Forged Alliance, and now all 3 factions work together to survive as the Seraphim ravage humanity.
In the end, the Seraphim are defeated, and a great sacrifice is made which serves to bring out peace for 25 years. However, an enemy thought destroyed rears its ugly mug again.
I desperately wanted a continuation of Forged Alliance, why is he still alive?
What is his new "prime directive"?
I want more!
Then SupCom2 hit and tossed everything out the window.
The Illuminate gets no navy?!?! Their excuse is that "most" of their units can hover? That's bullshit!
What happened to the guy we thought dead? What's he planning?
Wait, now one of the major players in the previous games is the mind behind this latest scheme? And he's taken on a personality that forgoes some of the major lessons he's learned from the past? What? And now we're not even going to get a conclusion to this? Great.
SupCom2 wasn't a bad game, it was, however, a bad Supreme Commander game. Had it been any other universe but Supreme Commander, it wouldn't have been that bad, but since it only ever mentions past events or people all of like 4 times, it's made much worse.

Worgen:
Still doesn't sound as egregious as the game with the worst anticlimax, Halo 2. That game literally ends after a cinematic lead up to the last level, but then instead of of the last level we get credits. It's probably impossible to top that for gaming blue balls.

Never played any installment of Halo so I don't know for sure... but I'd argue it would be tough to top Shenmue I. Not only did you not even finish the story (I mean, at all), you had to buy a different console for the second game - which I just wasn't going to do.

The crap this game (1886) pulls at the end (no spoilers) is the epitome of what not to do. Don't open your story with an alarm, don't pull the it-was-all-a-dream move as examples - unless the purpose is to turn the cliché on its head and do something clever/unexpected. Nothing clever happens here though...

His plot synopsis for The Order was mildly incorrect but I'll excuse that as being the plot was so dull until the very end that he subconsciously ignored/forgot most of it.

Regardless I do agree with his point, too many games confuse "leaving it open" with "leaving nothing resolved" in their story. Even sandbox games can still have a satisfying ending while still leaving things open to let players fuck around the map afterward, Yahtzee own beloved Saint's Row 2 for example. The Order was too busy being a movie to be a game and even then it couldn't get "tell a self contained story" right. Say what you will about the David cage games (and I use the term game loosely) for all their pretentious QTE fuckery at least they told a complete, albeit terrible, story.

How many games have ended on cliffhanger/sequel bait endings only to never get a followup? More and few I can tell you. But even if a sequel is guaranteed there is no excuse for failing to give a give players some resolution by the end.

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