The Top 5 Most Depressing Games
It’s miserable, grey and cold outside. I’ve discovered a hole in my shoe and my sock is wet. I still have a headache. And worst of all, it’s not even Friday yet. In a morose celebration of this most wretched of days, we’re going to take a look at the top five games that don’t pull at the heart strings, but yank them from your body, stretch them across a piano, and use them to play a rendition of Rezső Seress’ ‘Gloomy Sunday’.
It all starts off so well. Everybody’s happy – mom’s doing the shopping, dad and the kids are playing the garden, the sun is shining and the house is ready for a party. How lovely. But then it starts raining, and everyone starts dying. The following hours are filled with crime scenes, serial killers, drowning children, drug addicted FBI officers, mutilation, and lots and lots of tears. One playthrough on Heavy Rain feels like like watching The Road and Requiem For A Dream back to back for eternity.
We were going to put Doom 2 here – billions dead and earth having been overrun by inter-dimensional demons is pretty depressing after all. But Doom 2 has a happy ending, you can pump rockets into the Icon Of Sin’s face until he’s well and truly dead. But Half-Life 2, there’s no end in sight for the residents of City 17 (which is thanks largely to Valve – HURRY UP AND MAKE ANOTHER GAME ALREADY). Gordon Freeman’s amking the best progress he has, but the Combine still have an extremely tight grip on a very oppressed society. And what of the G-Man? Something tells us, even if Freeman defeats the Combine he still has bigger worries ahead.
Max Payne might turn its noir cliché up to the levels of parody, but the subject matter in this game is pretty damn grim. First off his wife and newborn daughter are brutally murdered by drug addicts, he misses the chance to save an innocent woman, his best friend is gunned down by a traitor, and all he has is his revenge. Oh, and there’s a chance he might actually be insane and hallucinating the whole thing.
It doesn’t get much better in Max Payne 2, in which Max is shot twice – once in the head – but somehow survives. It doesn’t look like things are looking up in Max Payne 3 either. The chubby cop looks in worse shape than ever.
Silent Hill 2
A man who’s lost his wife ventures into a mysterious, mist-clogged town with vague hopes of somehow finding his deceased wife still alive. The man’s clutching onto straws here. All he actually finds is the truth: he’s a demented man racked with the persecutions of his own guilt. He couldn’t bare living with his sickly wife, who he considered a burden, and his own selfishness and sexual frustration caused him to smother her with a pillow during her weakest moment. Cheery stuff. Depending on the ending you get it could be not quite so depressing (the ‘Dog’ ending reveals a Shiba Inu has been controlling the game’s events using a vision mixer), or incredibly depressing, as is the case with “In Water”, in which Sunderland chooses to kill himself.
I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream
Now this is where it gets really morbid. I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream was a 1967 science fiction short story by Harlan Ellison. Basically the story takes place 109 years after the complete destruction of human civilisation, and four men and one woman are all that remains of humanity. They live in an underground complex under the rule of a malevolent AI, who has an immeasurable hatred for the group (a quick excerpt from the story: “There are 387.44 million miles of printed circuits in wafer thin layers that fill my complex. If the word hate was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of millions of miles it would not equal one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this microinstant for you. Hate. Hate.”) Cyberdreams’ turned this story into an adventure game, but Monkey Island it is not. It’s a game that deals with torture, genocide, insanity, rape and more. At least there’s a good ending as well as a bad, unlike the original story.