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Good game, shame about the ending - your choices?

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by Angilion, 17 Dec 2020.

  1. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 5 Dec 2003

    Posts: 18,938

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    For me, it's Wasteland 3. A small niggle during the game, utter disappointment for the ending. The small niggle was when I was forced to choose between putting refugees I'd given shelter to in the prison on my base or throwing them out entirely, despite a far better solution being obviously available. There's a huge unused area inside the base where the refugees could be housed and there's nobody staffing the mess at the base. You can get a cook later. A cook. Just one person. The refugees could staff and run the canteen. Win all round - housing for them, respectable work for them, improvement in the relations between the refugees and the base personnel. But that's a small niggle compared to the utter ordure-spattered unfunny farce that is the ending.

    In case anyone hasn't played it and is intending to, I'll mark my reasons/extensive rant as spoilers.

    The setting is western Colorado some time after global nuclear war destroyed civilisation and killed almost everyone. In the town of Colorado Springs, some people survived in bunkers they'd prepared. The town and surrounding area wasn't directly affected by the war due to the military anti-air defences fairly close to it, but of course with civilisation gone everything fell apart. A person took power, created a country and ruled it under the title of Patriarch. They were ruthless and tyrannical, but their goal was a stable and peaceful country and they suceeded. It's a dictatorship, but not a terrible one. As one of the better informed residents says, it's not perfect but it's a lot better than many places. The country has food, water, sewerage, housing, electricity, heating and peace. For 50 years. A lot better than many places in the Wasteland world.

    At the time of Wasteland 3, the Patriarch is dying. He's got another year, maybe two. This is a key point in my disatisfaction with the ending.

    He also has three children:

    Valor is a weak-willed petulant gullible fool who's utterly incapable of ruling anything, let alone a country. They're also a textbook case for "corrupted by power" if they ever had any. At best, they'd be a powerless puppet for someone capable. At best.

    Victory is an uncontrolled violent sociopath whose only goal is to torture and kill people for fun. They seek power, but only because it would make it easier for them to torture and kill people for fun. They're also incapable of ruling a country. Maybe a gang, but no more than that.

    Liberty is a controlled, disciplined sociopath whose only goal is power. They will torture and kill people, but only as a means of obtaining and maintaining power. Power is their sole objective. They would be capable of ruling a country - as a brutal slave state.

    I started to lean towards the Patriarch when he stated that Liberty was unfit to succeed him because they seek to rule, not to govern.

    So it's essentially a succession crisis. That's the core of the problem.

    Victory and Liberty were exiled by the Patriarch. Victory for being a psycho serial killer and Liberty for attempting a coup. Valor ran off to become a pawn of the leader of a nutjob cult and is too dumb to even realise they're a pawn.

    Victory raised a drug-addled hyperviolent gang and turned a small town in the country into a version of hell.

    Liberty headed into eastern Colorado, which is controlled by various gangs who are contained only by their constant fighting between gangs and within gangs. Think Fallout-style raiders. They managed to get several gangs to form a loose coalition and accept Liberty as their leader of leaders. They're raiding the outer parts of their father's country. Although the usual modus operandi of the gangs is slavery and murder, Liberty has ordered them to let their victims go, destitute but unharmed. Not out of any sense of mercy (Liberty doesn't have any) but because the influx of refugees will weaken the country, overwhelming its housing, food production and other essential infrastructure.

    In the heart of the country itself, the main factions are the Marshals (the Patriarch's private police force), the descendents of the original survivors (effectively an aristocracy) and the refugees (by weight of numbers). There are other factions around the country, but those are the main ones.

    So OK...the core of the problem is a succession crisis. There is no viable successor and all the options are bad.

    My team turns up and creates a new faction - the Rangers. Set up a base, recruit people, instill the same principles as the Rangers back home. It gains power rapidly - there are a lot of potential recruits. My team go to great lengths to help everyone who needs help, building the reputation of the Rangers. We help all the factions, negotiating mutually acceptable arrangements where possible, killing raiders and dangerous animals. We become known and liked by every faction apart from the nutjob cult, who we force to obey us by stealing their idol. Not perfect, but it was that or war.

    That's prep work. Our goal is to ensure a peaceful succession. The core problem is a succession crisis, so our goal is to defuse the crisis. We have a year or two. Keep the Patriarch in power, become a powerful, respected and well liked faction that all the other factions will work with, together. By the time the Patriarch dies, we could have devised a peaceful transition of power, the best way to avert the succession crisis. And we're doing all that.

    The fly in the ointment is that we're going to kill Victory and Liberty. Especially Liberty, as they're the biggest danger. Kill them and the gangs will go back to killing each other. It's only a leader of leaders who can bind them into a horde and go conquering. The Patriarch won't like it, but they'll have to deal with it. It's not like they wanted either of those two to succeed them. In fact, they were explicitly opposed to it.

    But no, the game won't allow that course of action.

    It throws in a character from previous Wasteland games, a highly respected Ranger. Their plan is to free a gang leader who's in the Patriarch's prison, set them up as leader of leaders of the gangs and hope that they lead the gangs east to butcher their way through Kansas, which is that gang leader's stated intention. They're a Genghis Khan figure. They would unite the gangs. Not just a loose coalition, but an actual union. They would lead their horde to slaughter and enslavement on a vast scale. They consider it their blood-soaked destiny. Then this NPC would launch a violent revolution to depose the Patriarch and rule the country themself. This is supposedly the honourable course of action, the Ranger way, as the NPC repeatedly tells you. The Patriarch is a tyrant, so he must be deposed even if it means the failure of the Rangers in Arizona and the deaths of people there (who need aid from Colorado to survive the winter). Deposing a tyrant and saving some lives by helping a far worse tyrant kill far more people. Obviously the best course of action, don't ya know? The game railroads you into a choice between supporting one tyrant and supporting the other and whichever choice you make your newly formed rangers are split and you're forced to fight a ranger on ranger war through your base and the town. With one allowed choice, you kill half your own people, then depose the Patriarch and thus trigger the succession crisis immediately. With the other allowed choice, you kill half your own people, kill the Rangers led by the Ranger from the previous Wasteland games and blow your chance of being a faction that negotiates a transition of power.

    It's a badly shoehorned in forced choice between bad and bad. It's not even plausible. The NPC Ranger's position doesn't even pretend to be internally consistent, let alone right.

    It blights the game.

    Apparently there's a possible ending in which you kill everyone who has or might take power and establish yourself as the new absolute rulers of the country, which is touted as the best ending. It's better than the ones that the game blatantly railroads you into, I suppose.

    I was glad to play Wasteland 3 up until the ending. I was glad when the ending finished, so I didn't have any reason to play it any more.

    Now I've got that off my chest, how about anyone else? Any game that made you think "Good game, shame about the ending"?
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2020
  2. Distracted

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Aug 2018

    Posts: 2,392

    Half life 2 episode 2.

    Where’s the rest of the story?
     
  3. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 May 2005

    Posts: 15,229

    Location: Nottingham

    Half Life 1.

    /thread
     
  4. AWPC

    Capodecina

    Joined: 8 Dec 2005

    Posts: 10,044

    Fallout 76 in places :p;)
     
  5. GBRusty

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Feb 2014

    Posts: 1,090

    Location: Plymouth, UK

    Dying Light. Absolutely the best implementation of parkour ever in a game. Fighting is brilliant.
    Let down by a crap quick time event for the end boss. I didn't get to use my awesome moves on him.
     
  6. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 May 2005

    Posts: 15,229

    Location: Nottingham

    That game is highly underrated in my opinion.
     
  7. strumpusplunket

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 Feb 2009

    Posts: 3,415

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Really briliant until the last two levels, and then it's as if the developers went on holiday and got in some obnoxious 14-year old D&D GM to design these final levels.

    Nioh
    For a game defined by epic combat and (mostly) tough and engaging boss fights, the last two bosses were just awful - one with an annoying design that makes it just drawn-out rather than challenging or interersting, and the other just far, far too easy for the final boss of a game like this.
     
  8. TNA

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Mar 2008

    Posts: 18,694

    Location: London

    Agreed. Can’t wait for Dying Light 2. I have it on preorder and happy for them to keep delaying it and make sure they release a polished product.
     
  9. Torquar

    Hitman

    Joined: 24 Jan 2006

    Posts: 634

    Mass Effect 3 :D.
     
  10. Junglist

    Soldato

    Joined: 11 Jun 2015

    Posts: 7,190

    Location: Bristol

    It wasn't that bad!

    A game I really enjoyed then just kind of ends has to be TC: Rainbow 6 Vegas. I loved that game (both single player and terrorist hunt) and the story is progressing nicely and then before you know it it just has the credits roll up the screen
     
  11. Acme

    Caporegime

    Joined: 29 Jul 2011

    Posts: 35,332

    Location: Sussex

    Borderlands 1.
     
  12. montymint

    Don

    Joined: 29 Jul 2006

    Posts: 4,933

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    Deus Ex Human Revolution
     
  13. hood1971

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Apr 2003

    Posts: 1,264

    The final boss fight for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was such a let down. Until then the combat was satisfying and could be complex. Then let down by QTE final boss
     
  14. MikeTheNative

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Jun 2012

    Posts: 8,718

    Location: South Wales

    I thought Mankind Divided was worse. I had seen beforehand the ending just comes out of nowhere and still even knowing that what it did it I really though 'is that it?' The story is really poorly paced.
     
  15. MikeTheNative

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Jun 2012

    Posts: 8,718

    Location: South Wales

    Completely agree with this one, really enjoyed it up till the end.
     
  16. snips86x

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Nov 2012

    Posts: 17,847

    Location: Close to Swindon, but not Swindon

    100%
    Absolutely gutted we've not seen more.
     
  17. Frubeling

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Mar 2013

    Posts: 1,223

    Location: Plymouth

    Tyranny
    Some 32 hours into a CRPG you don't expect to get to a bit where you think "ok the story is getting REALLY interesting now" and then get hit with the credits rolling after a tiny bit of exposition

    Really spoiled what was otherwise an incredible game. That said I would still recommend it to anyone. Also it's free on EGS right now but I think that offer ends in about an hour
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2020
  18. bobboberts

    Gangster

    Joined: 21 Sep 2003

    Posts: 392

    I can't remember the end of Tyranny, but I don't recall being disappointed by it particularly.

    I'd nominate Final Fantasy XV, but that whole game was a mess so the terrible ending wasn't really out of step with the rest of the game.
     
  19. Frubeling

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Mar 2013

    Posts: 1,223

    Location: Plymouth

    I don't remember exactly what other options were available but I
    decided to go to war with Kyros using my newfound power over edicts, and then the game just ended right there.
    It felt like there was a lot of content that should have come after. Especially because 30 hours is kinda pathetic for a CRPG
     
  20. bobboberts

    Gangster

    Joined: 21 Sep 2003

    Posts: 392

    I thought 30-hours is fine for an RPG, it meant I could actually find the time to finish it! I can't remember what ending I went for, it may have been the same as yours. In general though, the 'narrated text ending' is fairly common these days (as much as I would've liked a little movie).