5 Games That Could Use An Extended Cut
The release of the Mass Effect 3 Ending DLC set an incredible precedent: BioWare going back to try to fix an ending it had well and truly botched. Did they succeed? Game Front’s resident Mass Effectsperts Ross Lincoln and Phil Hornshaw think not, though they definitely appreciate the effort.
Regardless of what you think about the game’s original ending or the Extended Cut, one thing is certain: Mass Effect 3 is far from the only title with a terrible ending. For a variety of reasons — tight budgets, tight schedules, atrophied imaginations — game developers have a tendency to drop the ball right when they’re about to cross the goal line. Read on for our list of five games with terrible endings that could benefit from some sort of free Extended Cut DLC. Because the article deals with endings, there are obviously SPOILERS AHEAD.
5. Half-Life 2: Episode 2
So yeah, this is a bit of a troll. Still, it makes sense. Though people clamor for Half-Life 3, attention is usually focused on what a great series Half-Life is, and how players should get a chance to experience more of it. It’s easy to forget (maybe thanks to the suppression of traumatic memories) what a downright depressing cliffhanger Valve ended Episode 2 on, what with Dr. Eli Vance getting his skull pulped right before our helpless eyes. There are a million reasons for making Half-Life 3, but one of them is definitely the fact that we’re all still pained by the way Half-Life 2 ended.
4. Gears of War 3
This entry is more of a protest against the cheesy “blow everything up” endings that are all too common in video games, and particularly in the Gears of War series. Not unlike BioWare, Epic Games closed their distinctive trilogy with a pretty, colored explosion and not much in the way of answers. Fans, including Game Front reviewer Phil Hornshaw, were galled by unfilled plot holes and other missteps, including the melodramatic “things will be better tomorrow” dialogue right at the end. At least fans who wanted to see what Marcus Fenix’s hair looks like got theirs.
On the one hand, you have to give Gearbox credit for sticking to its (ridiculous, procedurally generated) guns. After leading players on a violent game-long quest to find “The Vault,” the developers refuse to reveal its contents, turning it into the purest form of MacGuffin. On the other hand, not getting to find out what treasures lie inside Pandora’s cave of wonders is extremely frustrating. Shouldn’t players be rewarded for their hours of hard work with something better than the honor of shooting a Lovecraftian monster in the face until it dies?
A classic in the “cliffhangers gone wrong” genre. Just when you think that Nomad and Helena are about to pack up and go home, the nanosuited hero refuses, insisting instead that “we have to keep fighting.” What’s more, in the game’s dying seconds, the pair receives a radio transmission from Prophet, who is apparently “inside the sphere” of alien energy that wreaks such havoc in the final third of the game. Then the credits roll, without any attempt at resolution. Crysis 2, the game’s sequel, proceeds to resolutely ignore this state of affairs.
Like Mass Effect itself, Bioshock is a game of evident sophistication and storytelling nous that falls flat right at the end. The game simply isn’t as good after the death of Andrew Ryan and the shocking revelations that accompany it, and the cheesy final boss fight feels like it was transplanted from some other, lesser title. Even worse, Bioshock’s two endings are both short and unsatisfying, distilling the game’s complex moral themes into a simple binary. Then, as a final indignity, fans had to endure Bioshock 2.
Know other endings that needed more explanation, or that you simply love to hate? Have at it in the comments.