I never cried at a video game before the year 2013; something about these releases, and those I was just late playing, got to me.
The few games here had such touching moments, and incredibly real characters, that I couldn't help but feel attached during my experience. I shed tears at certain moments in these games, something I don’t do... ever. Not at a funeral, or an accident. No tears, ever. Have me take care of Clementine and you will see what a big baby I can be. Be warned of the dreaded spoilers within.
The Walking Dead
I found myself almost instantly attached to Clementine as her guardian. I wanted no harm to come to her, and was willing to sacrifice my virtual self to ensure that was the case.
TWD was the first game where I seriously thought about my choices and honestly regretting their outcomes when I had to pick a hard way. That level of remorse has never happened to me--it was all-new. Thankfully, Clementine came out of the whole ordeal relatively unscathed; at least physically. Mentally, she will be a vegetable for awhile.
Unfortunately, Lee did not, and I teared up at this scene. I spent so many hours with these two, playing the entire season in one sitting. I grew close to them, related with them, and prayed that they would make it out of the apocalypse. Telltale thought it fit to crush those hopes with plenty of cynicism. The death of Lee marks the saddest moment I have ever personally experienced within a video game. It is one I won’t soon forget, and have been unable to bring myself to relive since completing the story.
R.I.P. Lee Everett.
The Last of Us
This one was easy to incorporate into this list. The first 20 minutes of the game or so are enough to make a grown man cry, full on river of tears style.
Sarah was not the most fleshed out character in the game, but she somehow wormed her way into my heart, and perhaps that of many others. Our first foray into The Last of Us was played from Sarah’s perspective as she awakens in her room to the impending apocalypse outside. The feeling of something terrible oncoming never really happens until you take over as Joel, and have to carry your injured daughter.
I knew a death was coming ,at the point where Joel’s brother blocks the door; I knew something terrible was going to happen. I prayed constantly that the brother would die--no one would miss him right? I could have done without him.
Instead, we had our hearts ripped from our chests and spat on. The death of Sarah was so unnecessary and unwarranted that you can’t help but feel all the worse for it happening. The tears flowed like they never had before; all for this young girl I have never met and had only spent 20 minutes of my life with.
Red Dead Redemption
Granted, Red Dead Redemption has been out for sometime, but I never got around to completing the game until this year. It was one of the best open-world experiences I’ve had the pleasure of galloping through, and one of the very few western games available on the market. Though it had a long, arduous story that seemed to go on forever, you couldn't help but grow attached to the main character, John Marston.
The final stand of Marston was meant to come across as the end of a harrowing journey where the hero meets his fate finally after years of thievery. Unfortunately, by now Marston was a beloved character, and one we didn’t want to see gone, no matter how much of a badass he ended up going out as. Those doors opened and I was sure it was the end; I was dead to rights. By the time that screen went black, a few tears had run down my face.
R.I.P. John Marston.
Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 was another one of those games that took me some time to complete. By then, I was far behind the rest of the gaming world and was trying desperately to avoid any plot reveals that would ultimately ruin the entire experience for me.
Thankfully, I did a good job, it was all new and that meant all feelings experienced, I was unprepared for. You would think the death of Shepherd would be the big one here, but no, I could have cared less for the character I had been playing as for three games. Instead, Mordin Solus stole the show.
Mordin was one of the very first alien teammates I remember getting from the first game. He wasn’t necessarily the first, but he stood out for me for some reason. He was a loveable character with a lot of personality--something we needed more of in gaming. That personality got the best of him in the end, as he bravely sacrificed himself to save the home world of the Turians from the Genophage. Tears were shed by this gamer as I drove away in my land rover.
R.I.P. Mordin Solus.