It seems that every game in this series has some gripping, unresolved ending full of questions, probably because the series is still popular enough that Assassin's Creed games will continue to be produced until that popularity wanes. The second game gets my nod, though, with Desmond and the modern day Assassins being found out by Abstergo and forced to flee their hideout. But the real shocker comes when Ezio makes it to the Vault and finds Minerva, who begins talking about the end of the world, but to Desmond, not Ezio (very Neverending Story-like). Of course, there's also the pieced-together video clip of Adam and Eve trying to escape a futuristic facility, which is another WTF twist.
In classic covert style, every Metal Gear Solid game finishes with a phone conversation that sets the scene for the next game in the series. At the end of the first game, Solid's life becomes more finite, as the FoxDie virus will eventually claim him, and Solidus is revealed as a double agent for the President. In Sons of Liberty the phone conversation is between Snake and Otacon, where a virus disc reveals that the twelve members of the Patriots' high council have been dead for about a hundred years. Snake Eater finishes with the revelation of Ocelot triple-crossing everyone, and that he is ADAM and has been working with the CIA the whole time. Only in the fourth installment, Guns of the Patriots, is there closure in everything, where Big Boss informs Snake that his FoxDie virus is not contagious. Snake then lives out the rest of life in peace. It was a wild ride throughout, but definitely worth the price of admission.
One final audio transmission takes an entire journey between two games, which seemed to have a tidy conclusion, and flips it completely around. After struggling in both Dead Space and Dead Space 2, protagonist Isaac Clarke destroys the Marker, a relic containing an alien virus that invades the mind, causing hallucinations and eventually insanity. It also turns corpses into Necromorphs, infected monstrosities that spread the virus to all they kill. Battling his own delusional visions of his deceased girlfriend Nicole, Isaac loses many friends and is betrayed by other would-be friends. It's a complex series of plot twists right up to the end. But after the Marker and its Site are destroyed, we hear that other sites will have to "pick up the pieces," which certainly doesn't leave us with a sense of closure.
The first F.E.A.R. tells of a joint mission between the special ops team and Delta Force, where you play the Point Man of the F.E.A.R. squad, trying to take down the psychopath Paxton Fettel only to discover that he is your younger brother. Your mother, Alma, portrayed as the 8-year-old red-dressed malevolent spirit, was the product of psychic enhancement testing. The facility is destroyed in the first game, but the specter of Alma survives. Project Origin has an even more disturbing ending. This time Michael Becket, a member of Delta Force, is tricked by ATC (Armacham Technology Corporation) president Genevieve Aristide into becoming part of an experiment that would turn him into a psychic commander like Fettel. Becket ends up trapped with Alma, where she sexually assaults him while he's hallucinating. The ending shows Becket and Alma, the girl caressing her stomach with the word "Mommy" clearly being heard as the game ends.
Throughout Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman and his companion Alyx Vance struggle to resist the invasion of a force called Combine, travelling a road full of deceit, heart-wrenching deaths, and narrow escapes. Half-Life 2 left us hanging after Gordon and Alyx are put in a time stasis by the G-Man, moments before an imminent explosion would kill them both. In Episode One, the duo escapes City 17 on a train, only to have it derailed due to the shockwave of the Citadel being destroyed. The last thing we hear after the crash is Alyx whispering, "...Gordon." Finally, Episode Two concludes with Alyx's father being killed right in front of her while she and Gordon are saved by a mechanical companion named Dog. The superportal to the Combine homeworld is closed, but the heroes must still travel to a ship called the Borealis to either find technology to help the Resistance or destroy it per Eli's father's wish. Half-Life 3 is being clamored for, so Valve had better deliver.
Despite some good choices, there are still others I would have loved to put on the list. Here are several honorable mentions that unfortunately were cut: Advent Rising, Beyond Good & Evil, Bulletstorm, The Conduit, Dante's Inferno, Dead Rising, Killzone 2, Legacy of Kain, and Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. If there's another game that left you hanging at the conclusion, please feel free to add your picks in the comments section below.
Date: May 1, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*