Many games, especially RPG’s now offer players a choice. Often it’s some sort of binary option, giving you the illusion of choice, freedom and consequence. Sometimes it’s more than that though, sometimes your choices really do matter – especially when they result in the death of a character you’ve become emotionally attached to.
The obvious example, of course, is Mass Effect – and I remember clearly when I had to make a choice between saving Kaiden or Ashley. I paused the game, and deliberated my choice for ages. Kaiden was a good soldier, but Ashley had a nice rack. It really was a gruelling decision. In the end, I sacrificed Ashley because nice boobs as they were, she was irritating as all hell. Plus, I played as Femshep (Jennifer Hale ROCKS), and I’d already fostered a lesbian relationship with a blue alien. That’s just one such choice in the first game – and the entire series is full of such moments, like that blasted loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2.
It’s not the only game series in recent memory that’s made me seriously think about my actions and decisions. The recent X-Com reboot had me questioning every single move; losing one of your most able soldiers to a bit of idiocy is a genuinely heart-wrenching, gut-churning moment. The same goes for Fire emblem: Awakening on the 3DS; losing one of the high levelled offspring of your high levelled couples is the sort of thing that makes you want to cry.
Of course, there was Bioshock, with the decision of whether to harvest the little sisters or save them. You could die, and lose the entire world, or bone Morrigan in Dragon Age Origins. even GTA V had you make an end-game choice. Fallout 3 was littered with game-changing consequences, as was The Witcher 2. It’s especially tough when the choices aren’t clear-cut black-and-white ones, existing in that grey space between.
You tell us though; what decisions in games have caused you to deliberate most? What were the toughest choices you’ve had to make?
It goes without saying that this thread will be chock-full of spoilers.
Last Updated: January 24, 2014