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Decisions. Who lives? Who dies? Who rules the world? Gamers make choices like these every day with reckless abandon. However, sometimes video games put a little more weight behind the choice to pull the trigger. Here are 10 choices that were a little tougher to make.
10. Singularity- Who Lives: Any plot revolving around time travel is guaranteed to be confusing. Triple that for any plots that also have the protagonist going back in time to warn themselves of something. Singularity manages to succeed with its convoluted plot, while incorporating player choice into the ending. Left with a variety of choices, players can be the good guy, the bad guy or simply go back in time like none of it ever happened. While not as high profile as some of the other games on the list, Singularity managed to create one of the most difficult choices in a game ending.
9. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2- Pro- or Anti-Registration: While some people knocked MUA2 is being an inferior sequel, I enjoyed my time with it. They may not have explored the Marvel Civil War as thoroughly as I would have hoped for, but they did a good job of building up the conflict, then forcing you to pick a side. I liked how you weren't just given a standard dialogue option; the choice was made completely within the gameplay. It wasn't the most cinematic of games, but I was immersed, and that is a big deal to me. Deciding to rebel against the government with my explosive cards was pretty cool.
8. BioShock- Harvest or Save: BioShock is littered with awesome moments, but that first encounter with a Little Sister, and her ferocious protector, stand out. As a helpless Tenenbaum stands by and appeals to you, you have a choice to either kill the creature and harvest its ADAM, or safely remove her sea slug and get a smaller dose. While a rather black-and-white morality choice, the dramatic differences were enough to give most gamers pause. Personally I saved them, but I'm curious to know how many other people followed my lead.
7. Mass Effect 2- The Ducts: The Mass Effect series is known for its narrative, and the control it lets the player exert over its flow. I put some heavy thought into many of its decisions, but none more than who to send through the ducts in the Collector Base. I agonized over it for like thirty long minutes: Jacob volunteered, but Miranda advised against it. Legion seems like a natural fit, as does Tali, but do I really want to risk losing them? Who can get the job done, yet is expendable? First time through, I sent Jacob. Spoiler: It didn't work out.
6. Metal Gear Solid- Torture: In the normal course of things, this really wouldn't be such a tough choice: Make it through a spot of torture, save the girl and laugh as Otacon gets killed. Easy, right? Not once you learn that Otacon bestows upon you the stealth camouflage as a consolation prize for being a b***h. Compared to Meryl's stupid infinite ammo bandana, the stealth camouflage is the Metal Gear Solid equivalent of God Mode. Sneaking up on guards has never been so fun. So, what now? Save the girl, or become invisible. Yeah, sorry Meryl. Your sacrifice will be remembered in the coming empire.
5. Mass Effect- The Rachni Queen: Honestly, it's no surprise the Mass Effect series is on here twice. It really is that good. Like in the first installment, when you get to decide rather to save a race known for their past violence, or completely eradicate them from the annals of time. Hmm, that's tough. On one hand, the Rachni were once considered the biggest threat to galactic peace ever, and only the new-found Krogon were able to stop them, which of course led to a whole new set of problems. But on the other hand, she swears she'll be nice. The fact that you don't get to see the effect of that decision until five years later is just the icing on the cake.
4. Saint's Row: The Third- Shaundi or Killbane: Saint's Row has never taken itself too seriously, but when forced to decide between friendship and revenge, well, that's a choice you just can't take lightly. Shaundi is actually a well-acted, likeable character, and Killbane is a real d**k. Of course, this is Saint's Row, so you're first instinct is to kill everything, but the potential of losing Shaundi was a little too much for me. Thankfully, either choice provides some satisfying closure. Up yours, Hogan!
3. Fable 2- Sacrifice, Love or Wealth: Beating Fable II is no short order, but for those who managed the journey through Albion, a real head-scratcher was waiting for them. Throughout the course of the game, a huge chunk of the population died creating what is known as the Spire. Even sadder, so did your family and dog. So Fable presents you with a choice: Bring back the millions of random people who died in servitude, bring back your loved ones and dog, or get a million gold pieces. I brought back my family (You my dog!), but I'll be honest: In retrospect, I should have taken the money.
2. Heavy Rain- Poison: Heavy Rain has no shortage of climactic moments and tough choices, but poor Ethan Mars has a particularly cruel task assigned to him to save his son: drink a vial of deadly poison, or never see your boy again. I literally had to walk away from the TV for a minute to gather my thoughts. I had already failed a couple trials, and without this I probably couldn't find Shaun. There's even a chance the poison could be fake. Or I might freaking die...Because I'm a raging coward, I didn't drink the poison, but luckily I had made some smart decisions with FBI Agent Jayden, so all worked out (mostly) well.
1. Bastion- The End: Throughout my game career, I've faced many a tough decision, many of which didn't make the list. None of them, however, required so much thought as the ending of Bastion. When presented with that final choice, I just sat there, staring at the screen, unable to decide what I wanted to do. I was paralyzed. Basically rewind the world in the probably vain hope that the Calamity could be prevented, losing everyone I've met in the process? Or pick up the pieces of the broken world and try to fix it, maybe create a better future? Ruck's voice is full of sadness when he tells the Kid of the burden on his shoulders. That was powerful stuff, and the single hardest decision I've made in a video game.