Video games have long since been a staple that’ll challenge the most emotional of films and television, and in the last fifteen years or so we’ve all had to make some seriously difficult decisions. Some have had us sat there for minutes trying to decide what to do, and they’re bad enough, but the ones that give you game altering decisions and only a few seconds to decide, they’re the real hardest choices in video games.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead – Kill Kenny or Kill Jane
Telltale’s The Walking Dead is a series where the entire gameplay is based around making decisions. Many are superfluous and don’t impact much beyond the next few minutes, but some affect the next episodes and the story as a whole. During season two we’re reunited with Kenny, who we thought long since dead, and meet a lonesome stranger called Jane.
Over the course of the five episodes we get to see Kenny’s mania worsen, and Jane seems to be a more switched on adult for our young Clementine to be with. It all comes to a head at the end of the fifth episode when Kenny and Jane end up fighting, and you have to choose who to shoot, and who to let live.
One of the hardest choices in video games, and certainly one of the hardest in the long list that Telltale’s The Walking Dead presents, you’re never really sure if you’ve chosen the right or wrong one.
Spec Ops: The Line – Use White Phosphorus
A game that changed the way we look at war and first person shooters, Spec Ops: The Line is full of choices from the get-go, and you’re not necessarily always aware of the consequences until you’ve made the decision.
Whether it’s earlier in the story having to choose between a civilian and a soldier getting shot, or the decision it’s on the list for, it’s not a jaunty game you take lightly whilst playing. Towards the end, we the player are given the opportunity to use white phosphorus on some advancing enemies. Knowing the implications and what it’ll do to the enemy combatants, it’s framed as a choice for the player. Use it and make the battle a piece of cake, don’t and it won’t.
Unfortunately for those that chose to use it, after the battle you go down and walk through the casualties, and realize those enemy combatants weren’t that at all, in fact they were innocent civilians, including children and their mothers, now embraced in death forever.
Bioshock – Harvesting Little Sisters
Less so one choice, and more so many choices over the course of the game, whilst exploring Rapture in the fantastic Bioshock, players will come across Big Daddy’s protecting their Little Sisters. Essentially young girls who spend their days and nights roaming around Rapture in search for dead splicers to harvest ADAM. Kill them and you’ll get stronger, leave them and you’ll be rewarded with the good ending.
Fallout 3 – Blowing up Megaton
Early on in Fallout 3 you’ll come across a quaint little post-apocalyptic town named Megaton. The first major ‘city’ you’ll come across on your travels, you’ll find everything you need there to continue on your way in the wasteland. A surprising quest given by the owner of the nearby Tenpenny Tower offers you the chance to spare the city, or as their preference, blow it to hell by setting off the decommissioned nuke in the center of the town, and remove it and it’s inhabitants from the landscape. One of the hardest choices in video games and this one is right at the start… Not exactly smart building a town around a nuke anyway…
Mass Effect – Save Ashley or Save Kaiden
Another series with a heavy focus on choices and their consequences (and not just in this game, choices carry over the sequels, so be sure before doing something!), Mass Effect has it’s fair share of it’s hardest choices in video games, and no doubt ones you won’t make lightly. Towards the end of the game, you’re given the choice between who to save between Ashley or Kaiden, and depending how you’ve played, at this point you may be choosing between friends, or romantic lovers, or just two people you don’t like. It’s not an easy decision.
These days games have improved from the old side-scrollers or top down RPG’s from when we were younger, to a point where the choices we make will affect the landscape of the game, and in some cases, leave us thinking long after turning the game off. There’s hundreds of choices we could put in this list, some even within individual franchises, but these are some of the hardest choices in video games I’ve played, and they won’t be the last I’m sure…