Your biggest "Non-Choices" in gaming. (A Possible Spoiler Heavy Topic)

Sep 24, 2008
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Games are huge, and the designers want to give us choices to make us feel like we're a part of the story. It helps us love the experience and in turn gets us closer with the subject matter at hand. But that isn't to say the always do it perfectly.

Sometimes we are presented with a choice that doesn't even seem like it should be a choice. Where one experience seems to have so much going for it without the other choice having any traction at all. I want to discuss some of these.

Just to keep eyes from seeing things they don't want to see yet, I ask that you Put in Bold the name of the game in question as a separate line so people can skip over it. If you quote someone but you don't want to have all of their text, just leave the bolded name, please. I am going to spoiler my choice as the format is wonky due to my explaining the topic.

My first Non Choice is one of the most famous. So famous, that the designers themselves even admit they didn't do a good job in presenting the options.

The choice between Carley and Doug [https://www.polygon.com/2013/4/1/4171960/telltale-players-choice-carley-doug-walking-dead].

Carley is a head shot machine. She knows who Lee is and keeps his past to himself. Carley saves Lee and the rest when they first meet him, goes out to help get Glenn, and generally just has her wits about her.

Doug knows how to program all in one remotes.

That's it. That's literally all we're given with Doug. I thought he was ok, But Carley straight up handled groups of zombies by herself multiple times in the first few hours you met her. How do you not look at this one woman killing machine and think "... Yeah, I want her along during this zombie apocalypse..."

This has always been a non choice for me and I'm routinely surprised when I heard someone chose Doug First. A lot of the times, people I know tell me they thought they could save both and just chose Doug because they thought Carley would be alright. Excuse me if I sound brutal, but during the Zombie Apocalypse, I want to make sure she who can kick much ass will always be alright and by my side.

So that's my first one. What are yours? And please remember to Make your first line the Bolded Title so we don't accidentally ruin a game for someone else.
 

Xprimentyl

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Don?t mean for an early post to go immediately against the spirit of the thread, so my apologies, but my most memorable ?non-choice? in gaming is ?The Darkness? - Watching TV with Jenny

It?s not uncommon for games to include a love interest for your protagonist to flesh out the character, fuel revenge plots, et al, so when a few minutes into The Darkness, I was introduced to Jenny, I was very ?meh, ok; this is the chick.? But what ensued was a series of short, well-written, sweetly intimate moments (during which the player has complete control) that just brought Jenny and her relationship with Jackie Estacado to brilliant life. She?d just moved into her new apartment, but being Jackie?s birthday, she?d made him a cake; you?re prompted to blow out the candles. She asks about Jackie?s day, you?re prompted to deliver a stock ?everything?s ok? responses. Then the young couple retires to the couch where they start watching a movie on her tiny TV. You?re almost immediately given the ?choice? to ?Get up and leave.? Should you choose not to, Jenny will tease you with control of the remote; she?ll get up to close the window because it?s cold. Eventually, you can look over at her resting on your shoulder, and she?ll lean up and kiss you. All the while, that nagging ?Get up and leave? is in the corner of the screen. You can literally sit there for the entire movie (To Kill a Mocking Bird, I believe.) ?Get up and leave.? She?s napping on your chest. ?Get up and leave.? I mean who?d want to leave such a perfect moment knowing that inevitably?

? Jenny is going to be brutally murdered if the game progresses beyond this perfect, perfect moment?!? And she is!! The Darkness demon restrains you and forces you to watch as Jenny is shot in the head by the mob you?re involved in and this is mere seconds after she absolves you of any fault and tells you she loves you!! It?s fucking heart-wrenching.

?Get up and leave.? Worst decision I ever had to make in a video game.
 

sanquin

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Silentpony said:
The Mass Effect 3 ending. I mean...need I say more?
That's a very different kind of non-choice...

An example I can think of, also from ME3:

When you're on Tuchanka and either let Mordin bypass the safeguard, or kill him so the cure doesn't work. I mean really? Shoot Mordin? He's one of the most awesome characters of the series in my book. Why would I ever shoot him? Not even in a 'pure renegade' playthrough would I do that. I don't care about getting paragon points at that point. :p
 

Sniper Team 4

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So we're talking choices in games where you basically go, "Pssh. As if that's even a contest..." right?

Templars vs. Mages in every single Dragon Age game. I always side with the mages. I get what the Templars are trying to do. I think they have a point. I think someone who can burn down an entire village with their hands might pose a risk and should probably be watched. I also understand that someone who ends up getting taken over by a spirit is ten times worse.

But the games do a lousy job of showing that. Nine out of ten times, the Templars are shown as thugs abusing their power and taking joy in terrorizing the mages. Most of the times it seems as they are the very reason the Mages turn to blood magic and whatnot. And even then, wiping out the ENTIRE circle just because one or two mages screwed up is not the right course of action.
 

American Tanker

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Spec Ops: The Line in itself could probably be considered this, on some level. Some would even call it deliberate, in that regard... I guess I'll just go straight to the ending:

At the end of the game, after finding Konrad's dead body, I shot the hallucination of Konrad. That's not where the thread title comes in. That comes in in the epilogue...

It might have been because I just blitzed through the game in one sitting, but by that point I just wanted out. The game itself had worn me down and made me feel like shit. Everything that had happened in Dubai was my own fucking fault and there was nothing I could do to get away from that. So instead of shooting the rescue squad that came for me, I laid down my weapons. As soon as that prompt for "Drop Weapon" popped, I took it. No more bloodshed. It's over. Konrad, Dubai, everything. I have to live with what I've done, and I'll let others decide what becomes of me.

I just couldn't see myself choosing to shoot the rescue squad. Not in a million years. By that point, I knew that if I had decided to indulge in more violence, it wasn't going to end well. Not for Walker, and especially not for me.

*sigh* This fucking game... Even years later, I still can't shut the fuck up about it.
 

Casual Shinji

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The entirety of Beyond: Two Souls. None of your choices result in any sort of consequences. At least in Heavy Rain you could fuck up and get characters killed.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards



Someone should make a rom hack where you give Ishizu the finger, keep the god cards and plunge the world into darkness under the title King of Games
 

meiam

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ObsidianJones said:
The choice between Carley and Doug [https://www.polygon.com/2013/4/1/4171960/telltale-players-choice-carley-doug-walking-dead].

Carley is a head shot machine. She knows who Lee is and keeps his past to himself. Carley saves Lee and the rest when they first meet him, goes out to help get Glenn, and generally just has her wits about her.

Doug knows how to program all in one remotes.

That's it. That's literally all we're given with Doug. I thought he was ok, But Carley straight up handled groups of zombies by herself multiple times in the first few hours you met her. How do you not look at this one woman killing machine and think "... Yeah, I want her along during this zombie apocalypse..."

This has always been a non choice for me and I'm routinely surprised when I heard someone chose Doug First. A lot of the times, people I know tell me they thought they could save both and just chose Doug because they thought Carley would be alright. Excuse me if I sound brutal, but during the Zombie Apocalypse, I want to make sure she who can kick much ass will always be alright and by my side.

So that's my first one. What are yours? And please remember to Make your first line the Bolded Title so we don't accidentally ruin a game for someone else.
She has a gun and single zombie grabbed her by the ankle (which has already happen to you earlier in the episode and you can easily escape), he's getting grabbed by like 3 zombies and is unharmed. I agree that's a no brainer, but not in the same way. Of course none of this matters cause its non choice, as in nothing happen from your decision.

I guess I can bring in ME2 ending, cause why have just one terrible ending when you can have 2!

You know the reaper are coming soon and are aeon in advance over you technologically, you need every advantages you can get to fight them off. Yet the paragon option is to blow off a base because... bad things happened there? You don't have to give it to Cerberus (in fact they don't even have a way to get in, the normandy is the only ship who can), the choice would have at least made a tiny bit of sense if it was between giving the base to the council or Cerberus. But blow it off?!
 

sXeth

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Joining the Institute in Fallout 4. I mean, they try and play it up by tugging on the family angle, but thats not an experience they bothered giving the player more then a couple of minutes development on. Besides potentially trying to kill you multiple times over and literally murdering the other family member you're meant to care about, they don't even have any real progress or insight of note to justify their continous existence that is also a plague on the region.

The ending options in GTA 5 too. The choices to kill Trevor or Michael both don't really fit in with the storyline at all.
 

Smithnikov_v1legacy

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Siding with the Legion in Fallout:New Vegas as a female character.

"WOW, despite putting your neck on the line in ultra-violent situations for Ceasar and being responsible for winning us something that Ceasar has dreamed of since he first laid on eyes on it, you're still an inferior mentally and physically. Now put on this collar and get in the pen."
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Meiam said:
Telltale's The Walking Dead
She has a gun and single zombie grabbed her by the ankle (which has already happen to you earlier in the episode and you can easily escape), he's getting grabbed by like 3 zombies and is unharmed. I agree that's a no brainer, but not in the same way. Of course none of this matters cause its non choice, as in nothing happen from your decision.

The Second the big window in the Pharmacy Broke, Carley shot zombies in the head for around a minute non-stop meaning the group inside had less people to contend with. Doug ran to a boarded up window and got grabbed.

Honestly, I find more reason in Carley not feeling secure on stomping a zombie out in flats (without weight or a hard surface, she'll probably just slip and get eaten) than I understand how did Doug get grabbed by a zombie through a boarded up window. I mean, his back was to the window. What was he doing? Why did he run to the window without any type of weapon? Meanwhile, the only reason Carley got grabbed was that she ran dry by thinning the herd. The only person actively combating and killing the zombies, mind you.

As much as I like Doug, he proven himself to be a liability with little common sense. Compare that to a minute straight of headshots, benefiting the whole group.

There's no contest,
 

McElroy

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American Tanker said:
Hehe, the first time around I just killed them all and even succeeded! The game gave you the two best weapons fully loaded. I ain't wasting that opportunity.

OT: There was this dumb game in which you made your dream hamburger and then let the consumers decide its success. After some experimenting with nothing but the bun, it turned out the sales figures were random each time.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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ObsidianJones said:
Telltale's The Walking Dead
That's fine but there's no real gameplay value in the decision, and ultimately doesn't affect the story at all.
You're just choosing between two different flavors of cutscenes.
 

FalloutJack

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Probably in the use of any game's Scrappy character. You know... That one character who isn't any good and embarrassing to haul around? Yeah.

For my example, I'm not gonna bother with spoilers because it's like 20 years old. I'm speaking of Xenogears, the fighting mecha RPG. So, go into Google and call up the character list for this game. You have a martial artist, a military gal, a fighting swordsman scientist, a pirate who's a prince, a wrestling demi-human, a gun-toting paladin, a kid who uses her mech in even her small-scale attacks, a walking nanite colony, and...basically an ewok.

I have no idea why they wrote that into the game, especially since they excluded the pirate's little sister...who was suppose to be loaded with a giant arsenal of guns and bombs. So, now you know that RPGs have non-choices in the form of characters too.
 

Kajin

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ObsidianJones said:
The choice between Carley and Doug [https://www.polygon.com/2013/4/1/4171960/telltale-players-choice-carley-doug-walking-dead].

Carley is a head shot machine. She knows who Lee is and keeps his past to himself. Carley saves Lee and the rest when they first meet him, goes out to help get Glenn, and generally just has her wits about her.

Doug knows how to program all in one remotes.

That's it. That's literally all we're given with Doug. I thought he was ok, But Carley straight up handled groups of zombies by herself multiple times in the first few hours you met her. How do you not look at this one woman killing machine and think "... Yeah, I want her along during this zombie apocalypse..."

This has always been a non choice for me and I'm routinely surprised when I heard someone chose Doug First. A lot of the times, people I know tell me they thought they could save both and just chose Doug because they thought Carley would be alright. Excuse me if I sound brutal, but during the Zombie Apocalypse, I want to make sure she who can kick much ass will always be alright and by my side.
I went to save Carley purely because she was the one with the gun. I figured that she could help me get Doug free and clear since her problem was more easily solved and then there'd be two of us working to help him.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Johnny Novgorod said:
ObsidianJones said:
Telltale's The Walking Dead
That's fine but there's no real gameplay value in the decision, and ultimately doesn't affect the story at all.
You're just choosing between two different flavors of cutscenes.
At the time, did you know that? Did anyone?

All I know that this game said my choices mattered. In that early game play, it seemed like it did. So I based my choice on what would make the most sense in a real situation like that.