The lights are on
The actual death of a video game character was once a rare thing. A reserve of phoenix down and extra lives could keep your favorite heroes going for hours. These days, more and more developers are willing to kill off characters for good. Whether it's the protagonist or just a strong supporting player, the loss of a character that you've gotten to know can have a profound impact on your experience. We've run through a wide range of examples already, but the trend only seems to be growing. In this continuing feature (part 1, part 2), we pay tribute to the familiar faces that we've lost in games.
Spoiler Warning: This list contains spoilers for The Last of Us, Gears of War 3, L.A. Noire, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 2, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and Infamous: Second Son.
Cole Phelps (L.A. Noire)
He’s not a flawless man, but Cole Phelps ultimately put the needs of others before his own. In the closing scenes, he helps his friends escape a series of river tunnels ahead of an oncoming rush of water. He hoists them up to safety, but with no time left for himself, Cole says “goodbye” as the waves sweep over him.
Dom (Gears of War 3)
The sad events of Gears of War 2 took a toll on Dom, and he is worse for wear in the series’ third installment. When he spots an opportunity to save his comrades during an enemy onslaught, Dom selflessly takes it. After a brief radio farewell, he drives a truck at high speed directly into the heart of the firefight. The crash and ensuing explosion buys Marcus and company the time they need to escape, but leaves them mourning the loss of a true friend.
Reggie (Infamous: Second Son)
Anyone who has played the previous Infamous games knows to expect the death of at least one prominent character. Even so, Reggie’s fate stings because of how much the game focuses on the brotherly bond he shares with Delsin. Whether you choose you to be good or evil, Reggie stands by you – until the end, when you need to let him go.
Big Brother (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons)
Brothers is a game about cooperation. Because every puzzle relies on the two lead characters working together, players assume that the pair is inseparable. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case; after being lured away by a questionable love interest, the older brother is killed. After a heartbreaking burial, the younger half of the duo must carry on with his own strength.
Next: Underwater cities and the zombie apocalypse aren't easy to survive.
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