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* The ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' mod trilogy "Halfquake", can be very difficult to sit through due to its bleak message of "Life makes no sense, and you may as well just kill yourself" it tells you from the get-go, as well as its murky-gray visuals after the first part. However, each of the three mods themselves carry varying degrees of overwhelming darkness that can be difficult to sit though just by themselves:
** The first mod, ''[=HalfQuake=]'', stands as the least darkest part of the trilogy, but that really isn't saying much considering that you won't see much of anything that isn't either an enemy, concrete and/or steel, or lava. It also happens to be the only part of the trilogy that gives you a HUD, as well as the classic run/gun action of the first Half-Life game. The fact that throughout the mod, you can't escape the facility is made rather clear in a section where you sneak through the backrooms and into a house, only to be dumped right back into the trap-laden path unceremoniously with a message aptly saying "[[YankTheDogsChain you cannot escape, dumbass (sic)]]". You also end up getting killed right after you defeat the boss of the mod, Somos, which is also how the other two parts end as well.
** The second part, ''Halfquake: Amen'', takes a swan-dive right into darkness as well as dump most of anything related to conventional {{First Person Shooter}}s out the window. Most of the time spent throughout Amen will be either though the life or death chambers, semi-lonely atmospheric environments, or deadly traps/puzzles the first game uses. Whilst the captors in the first game made [[BlackComedy humourously dark remarks]] about the situation you're in, Amen ramps up the "dark" part, but not the "humorous", leaving you to deal with cruel and unpleasant people after cruel and unpleasant people. Amen also provides music for some of the parts you'll be going through (including an ending song, "Half-Quake Theme), the songs themselves rather downbeat, both in music and lyrical content.
** The third entry in the series, ''Sunrise'', gameplay-wise, is where the series really starts to become an exercise in futility, the deadly puzzles and trap-laden hallways really starting to ramp up in this iteration. The few splashes of color that the previous two games had, aside from camoes near the end, are now entirely gone, save for a really, really light blue. Story-wise, aside from the final boss and a few disembodied voices, there's no [=NPCs=] to interact with in Sunrise at all, your only form of breaking this sheer emptiness being a "Victim Message Box", which introduces to the only 3 people you'll be hearing from consistently throughout the mod: A guy voice who wants you dead and taunts you, a crazed man rambling about a cogwheel named "Mary", and getting angry at you when you're unable to find her (not that any cogwheels you can grab appear in the mod), and a lady who ''really'' hates you and wants you dead. The pitch-black atmosphere of Amen is also present as ever here, and doesn't stop for any moments of levity.
* ''Halfquake'''s spinoff, "Personal Halfquake", is directly based on Amen and a bit of the original Half_Quake, as well as having updated to support some of Sunrise, and it proves to be just as dark as the main game. Most of the game is spent stealing people from what's implied to be places that haven't done any wrong, and placing them in similarly made trap-laden hallways the Half-Quake trilogy features. Most of the places you go to are all managed by slaves, who have either been broken beyond repair, or are jerks who loathe your guts. The "Chosen Victim" mechanic involves kidnapping one of your victims, and inducing Stockholm Syndrome in them, allowing you to do particularly cruel things to them.

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* The ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' mod trilogy "Halfquake", can be very difficult to sit through due to its bleak message of "Life makes no sense, everyone hates your guts and it's all your fault, you may as well just kill yourself" it tells you from the get-go, as well as its murky-gray visuals after the first part. aggressively supported by an extremely limited monochromatic pallete and by it's similarly downbeat soundtrack. However, each of the three mods themselves carry varying degrees of overwhelming darkness that can be difficult to sit though just by themselves:
** The first mod, ''[=HalfQuake=]'', stands as the least darkest part of the trilogy, but that really isn't saying much considering that you won't see much of anything that isn't either an enemy, concrete and/or steel, or lava. It also happens to be the only part of the trilogy that gives you a HUD, as well as the classic run/gun action of the first Half-Life game. Half-Life. The fact that throughout the mod, you can't theme of not being able to escape the facility is made rather clear in a section where you sneak through the backrooms and into a house, only to be dumped right back into the trap-laden path unceremoniously with a message aptly saying "[[YankTheDogsChain you cannot escape, dumbass (sic)]]". You also end up getting killed right after you defeat the boss of the mod, Somos, which is also how setting the other bar for the ending of the next two parts end as well.
parts.
** The second part, ''Halfquake: Amen'', takes a marks the series's swan-dive right into darkness as well as dump most of anything related to conventional {{First Person Shooter}}s out the window. darkness. Most of the time spent throughout Amen will be either though the recurring life or death chambers, semi-lonely mostly barren atmospheric environments, or and/or the deadly traps/puzzles the first game uses. Whilst the captors in the first game made [[BlackComedy humourously dark remarks]] about the situation you're in, Amen ramps up the "dark" part, but not the "humorous", leaving you to deal with cruel and unpleasant people after cruel and unpleasant people. Amen also provides The darker tone of Half-Quake can be seen most in "patience", an almost-empty level where you do nothing for 20 minutes, anything that you are able to do being completely pointless, and is where you captors outright suggest you commit suicide early on. Amen's music for some most of the parts you'll be what you're going through (including an (best showcased in it's ending song, "Half-Quake Theme), the songs themselves Theme) are rather downbeat, both in music and lyrical content.
** The third entry in the series, ''Sunrise'', gameplay-wise, is where the series really starts to become an exercise in futility, the deadly puzzles and trap-laden hallways really starting to ramp ramping up and becoming more merciless in this iteration. The few splashes of color that the previous two games had, aside from camoes near the end, end when part of the facility falls apart, are now entirely gone, save for a really, really light blue. Story-wise, aside from the final boss and a few disembodied voices, voices you hear from panels cheerily describing ways to suffer and/or die, there's no [=NPCs=] to interact with in Sunrise at all, your only form of breaking this sheer emptiness being a "Victim Message Box", which introduces to the only 3 people you'll be hearing from consistently throughout the mod: A guy voice who wants you dead and taunts you, you about it, a crazed man rambling about a cogwheel named "Mary", and getting angry at you when you're unable to find her (not that any cogwheels you can grab appear in the mod), her, and a lady who ''really'' hates you and wants you dead. The pitch-black atmosphere of Amen is also present as ever here, and save for the few spots of pitch-black humour, doesn't stop for any moments of levity.
* ''Halfquake'''s spinoff, "Personal Halfquake", is directly based on Amen and a bit of the original Half_Quake, Half-Quake, as well as having updated to support some of Sunrise, and it proves to be just as dark as the main game. Most of the game is spent stealing people from what's implied to be places that haven't done any wrong, and placing them in similarly made trap-laden hallways the Half-Quake trilogy features. Most of the places you go to are all managed by slaves, who have either been broken beyond repair, or are jerks who loathe your guts. The "Chosen Victim" mechanic involves kidnapping one of your victims, and inducing Stockholm Syndrome in them, allowing you to do particularly cruel things to them.


* ''VideoGame/Persona3'' has Shadows roaming the world during the Dark Hour, leaving most of humanity completely defenseless and even unaware of what could be happening to them during that time. Every full moon gives the player a tough Shadow to defeat, while the world gets more and more filled with cases of Apathy Syndrome; an illness that leaves people standing around Zombie-like with dark rings under their eyes. These cases get worse as the player continues, the party members all have their share of [[DarkAndTroubledPast personal baggage]] and then the game reveals that the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, because of what [[NiceJobBreakingItHero the party]] has been doing and there is no proper way to avoid it. And in the end, [[spoiler:the protagonist [[TheHeroDies dies]] for the sake of [[MessianicArchetype the greater good]], making a good chunk of the journey feel like you wasted your time]]. Like the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' example above, this might be why ''VideoGame/Persona4'' decided to go the [[LighterAndSofter opposite direction]].


* ''Halfquake''[='=s spinoff, "Personal Halfquake", is directly based on Amen and a bit of the original Half_Quake, as well as having updated to support some of Sunrise, and it proves to be just as dark as the main game. Most of the game is spent stealing people from what's implied to be places that haven't done any wrong, and placing them in similarly made trap-laden hallways the Half-Quake trilogy features. Most of the places you go to are all managed by slaves, who have either been broken beyond repair, or are jerks who loathe your guts. The "Chosen Victim" mechanic involves kidnapping one of your victims, and inducing Stockholm Syndrome in them, allowing you to do particularly cruel things to them.

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* ''Halfquake''[='=s ''Halfquake'''s spinoff, "Personal Halfquake", is directly based on Amen and a bit of the original Half_Quake, as well as having updated to support some of Sunrise, and it proves to be just as dark as the main game. Most of the game is spent stealing people from what's implied to be places that haven't done any wrong, and placing them in similarly made trap-laden hallways the Half-Quake trilogy features. Most of the places you go to are all managed by slaves, who have either been broken beyond repair, or are jerks who loathe your guts. The "Chosen Victim" mechanic involves kidnapping one of your victims, and inducing Stockholm Syndrome in them, allowing you to do particularly cruel things to them.



* ''VideoGame/{{Homefront}}'', compared to its contemporaries, ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' and ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'', is an ''extremely'' dark and depressing game (the introduction scene in the first level doesn't help). The main characters are {{anti hero}}es at best, and the villains are among the worst monsters you encounter in any kind of game, and watching what happens in the game tends to provoke nihilism rather than attachment.
* One of the main criticisms of the plot of ''VideoGame/HuntDownTheFreeman'' is that it was needlessly bleak, [[CrapsackWorld even by the standards]] of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''[='=]s setting. The main character is an unlikable VillainProtagonist willing to screw over all of humanity for the sake of petty revenge he's been stewing over for ''20 years'', other characters have little personality and [[AnyoneCanDie get killed off left and right]], often [[DroppedABridgeOnHim for little particular reason]], the game persistently pushes the idea that humanity has [[HopelessWar no hope against the Combine]], and the player spends much of the game either making little impact on the world, or outright making things worse. It doesn't help that the game plays heavily to AdaptationalVillainy (even the Resistance is at the level of hanging their enemies and leaving the corpses to rot, closer to something an edgy 13-year-old would make in ''VideoGame/GarrysMod'' than anything the Resistance was even hinted at doing in ''Half-Life 2'' proper) and even reintegrates content that was cut from ''Half-Life 2'' proper specifically ''because'' it would have made that game too bleak.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Homefront}}'', compared to its contemporaries, contemporaries ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' and ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'', is an ''extremely'' dark and depressing game (the introduction scene in the first level doesn't help). The main characters are {{anti hero}}es at best, and the villains are among the worst monsters you encounter in any kind of game, and watching what happens in the game tends to provoke nihilism rather than attachment.
* One of the main criticisms of the plot of ''VideoGame/HuntDownTheFreeman'' is that it was needlessly bleak, [[CrapsackWorld even by the standards]] of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''[='=]s ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'''s setting. The main character is an unlikable VillainProtagonist willing to screw over all of humanity for the sake of petty revenge he's been stewing over for ''20 years'', other characters have little personality and [[AnyoneCanDie get killed off left and right]], often [[DroppedABridgeOnHim for little particular reason]], the game persistently pushes the idea that humanity has [[HopelessWar no hope against the Combine]], and the player spends much of the game either making little impact on the world, or outright making things worse. It doesn't help that the game plays heavily to AdaptationalVillainy (even the Resistance is at the level of hanging their enemies and leaving the corpses to rot, closer to something an edgy 13-year-old would make in ''VideoGame/GarrysMod'' than anything the Resistance was even hinted at doing in ''Half-Life 2'' proper) and even reintegrates content that was cut from ''Half-Life 2'' proper specifically ''because'' it would have made that game too bleak.


** ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' might get hit with this even worse than ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV''. Claude is a {{sociopath}}ic killer, a borderline-FlatCharacter and a SilentProtagonist who's just OnlyInItForTheMoney (and will unhesitantly [[spoiler:betray former allies/bosses]] in the process) and after {{Revenge}} (on anyone whom [[spoiler:betrays]] him); his only thing remotely close to a MoralityPet, Maria, is possibly [[spoiler:killed by him at the end]]; and [[spoiler:all but two of the gangs can end up wanting him dead on sight, no matter what he may have done for them previously]]. Basically, after the initial high of the final mission and subsequent credits wears off, one can just feel alone and hollow. It certainly doesn't help the fact that each character you know is a {{sociopath}}, a [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder traitor]], a {{jerkass}}, or a combination of the three. Heck, even allied gangs are hostile towards the player. With the [[spoiler:(supposed)]] exception of Maria Latore, Claude has no one at the end, which is quite dark, even by GTA standards. While in the next GTA games you have humor, fun, [[PluckyComicRelief laughable characters]] and [[UndyingLoyalty loyal allies]], none of this is relevant in Claude's story.


* Some people have criticized the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' for its DarkerAndEdgier nature, especially [[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight its finale]] as it tends to present Batman as a FailureHero and features many horrifying and tragic scenes, including but not limited to [[spoiler:Batman hallucinating a fear toxin-induced Oracle killing herself and Jason Todd being tortured by the Joker, which drove him to become the titular Arkham Knight and be part of Scarecrow's plan to gas Gotham City]]. The ending of ''Knight'' is another reason as [[spoiler:unlike ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', where Bruce is able to retire and live with Selina, and the Franchise/{{DCAU}}, where Bruce retires but is able to see [[WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond Terry McGinnis]] take over.]]
* The ''Franchise/BlazBlue'' series almost falls into this. Those who are taken seriously are [[AntiHero Anti-Heroes]] [[NominalHero at best]], those who are clear-cut heroes are treated as the {{Joke Character}}s story-wise and never are taken seriously, the villains are ''extremely'' effective and far more likely to win, and those who oppose the villains who are taken seriously are disorganized and would rather mind their own businesses than realize the threat and work for a better future. ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueChronophantasma Chronophantasma]]'' both improved this and suffered from it the worst. For the most part, the game is the most hopeful in the series. The protagonists are working together towards a common goal and have a plan, Ragna and Jin get CharacterDevelopment that shows them becoming better people, and the heroes are finally able to counter the villains in terms of planning and have several important victories. The ending, however, is the darkest yet. While Terumi and Relius have been defeated, Izanami takes the position of BigBad and absorbs a large portion of humanity into the Embryo, and the world lost seithr, which was its main power source. Platinum is possibly dead, Jin and Noel are injured, with the former in serious condition, and Ragna is destined to die. While the games have always had bright and dark moments, this was clearly the series' DarkestHour, [[AngstAversion which caused some people]] [[EndingFatigue to stop caring]]. Luckily, ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueCentralFiction Central Fiction]]'' managed to gradually make things better, topping with EarnYourHappyEnding. [[note]]Granted, WordOfGod states ''Central Fiction'' is merely the end of Ragna's story (given that he [[spoiler:[[HeroicSacrifice willingly erased all traces of his existence]] ([[RetGone and everyone's memories of him]]) [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence to cross through the Gate]] [[TogetherInDeath and join his sister Saya/Amaterasu]]]]), not that of ''[=BlazBlue=]'' as a whole, but the state of the world at the end of that game would make it very hard--and likely controversial--to pull a HappyEndingOverride in a follow-up installment.[[/note]]

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* Some people have criticized the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' for its DarkerAndEdgier nature, especially [[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight its finale]] as it tends to present Batman as a FailureHero and features many horrifying and tragic scenes, including but not limited to [[spoiler:Batman hallucinating a fear toxin-induced Oracle killing herself and Jason Todd being tortured by the Joker, which drove him to become the titular Arkham Knight and be part of Scarecrow's plan to gas Gotham City]]. The ending of ''Knight'' is another reason as [[spoiler:unlike ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', where Bruce is able to retire and live with Selina, and the Franchise/{{DCAU}}, where Bruce retires but is able to see [[WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond Terry McGinnis]] take over.]]
City]].
* The ''Franchise/BlazBlue'' series almost falls into this. Those who are taken seriously are [[AntiHero Anti-Heroes]] [[NominalHero at best]], those who are clear-cut heroes are treated as the {{Joke Character}}s story-wise and never are taken seriously, the villains are ''extremely'' effective and far more likely to win, and those who oppose the villains who are taken seriously are disorganized and would rather mind their own businesses than realize the threat and work for a better future. ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueChronophantasma Chronophantasma]]'' both improved this and suffered from it the worst. For the most part, the game is the most hopeful in the series. The protagonists are working together towards a common goal and have a plan, Ragna and Jin get CharacterDevelopment that shows them becoming better people, and the heroes are finally able to counter the villains in terms of planning and have several important victories. The ending, however, is the darkest yet. While Terumi and Relius have been defeated, Izanami takes the position of BigBad and absorbs a large portion of humanity into the Embryo, and the world lost seithr, which was its main power source. Platinum is possibly dead, Jin and Noel are injured, with the former in serious condition, and Ragna is destined to die. While the games have always had bright and dark moments, this was clearly the series' DarkestHour, [[AngstAversion which caused some people]] [[EndingFatigue to stop caring]]. Luckily, ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueCentralFiction Central Fiction]]'' managed to gradually make things better, topping with EarnYourHappyEnding. [[note]]Granted, WordOfGod states ''Central Fiction'' is merely the end of Ragna's story (given that he [[spoiler:[[HeroicSacrifice willingly erased all traces of his existence]] ([[RetGone and everyone's memories of him]]) [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence to cross through the Gate]] [[TogetherInDeath and join his sister Saya/Amaterasu]]]]), not that of ''[=BlazBlue=]'' as a whole, but the state of the world at the end of that game would make it very hard--and likely controversial--to pull a HappyEndingOverride in a follow-up installment.[[/note]]



* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]] (not to mention being an InvincibleVillain with PlotArmor so thick that [[spoiler:he literally [[UnexplainedRecovery comes back from the dead five minutes after getting shot in the face]] to ultimately win]]). All of the one-off playable characters are just as silent as Logan, leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable - and the former is [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].

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* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development not only has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]] (not to mention being motivation]], but is an InvincibleVillain with PlotArmor so thick that [[spoiler:he [[spoiler:even when you kill him in the finale, he ultimately wins by literally [[UnexplainedRecovery comes coming back from the dead with no explanation]] five minutes after getting shot in the face]] to ultimately win]]). later]]. All of the one-off playable characters are [[HeroicMime just as silent as Logan, Logan]], leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable - and the former is [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].


* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]] (not to mention being an InvincibleVillain with PlotArmor so thick that [[spoiler: he ultimately wins]]). All of the one-off playable characters are just as silent as Logan, leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable- and she's [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].

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* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]] (not to mention being an InvincibleVillain with PlotArmor so thick that [[spoiler: he [[spoiler:he literally [[UnexplainedRecovery comes back from the dead five minutes after getting shot in the face]] to ultimately wins]]). win]]). All of the one-off playable characters are just as silent as Logan, leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable- likeable - and she's the former is [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].


* HalfQuake's spinoff, "Personal Halfquake", is directly based on Amen and a bit of the original Half_Quake, as well as having updated to support some of Sunrise, and it proves to be just as dark as the main game. Most of the game is spent stealing people from what's implied to be places that haven't done any wrong, and placing them in similarly made trap-laden hallways the Half-Quake trilogy features. Most of the places you go to are all managed by slaves, who have either been broken beyond repair, or are jerks who loathe your guts. The "Chosen Victim" mechanic involves kidnapping one of your victims, and inducing Stockholm Syndrome in them, allowing you to do particularly cruel things to them.
* Literally the only "plot" ''VideoGame/{{Hatred}}'' has is a blatant ExcusePlot for the sociopathic protagonist to [[{{Gorn}} kill as many innocent people as inhumanly possible]]. Top it all off with a dark, gritty, grey and [[SplashOfColor red]] aesthetic in style of ''Sin City'' and you've got a real bummer on your hands. Reviews thrashed the game for its grimdark-ness ''even before it was released'', claiming that the gameplay wasn't deep or fun enough to really provide the excitement of the game's ultra-violent ilk and noting that the game isn't dark to tell a story or make a sociopolitical statement, but seemingly just to be "edgy" for its own sake.

to:

* HalfQuake's ''Halfquake''[='=s spinoff, "Personal Halfquake", is directly based on Amen and a bit of the original Half_Quake, as well as having updated to support some of Sunrise, and it proves to be just as dark as the main game. Most of the game is spent stealing people from what's implied to be places that haven't done any wrong, and placing them in similarly made trap-laden hallways the Half-Quake trilogy features. Most of the places you go to are all managed by slaves, who have either been broken beyond repair, or are jerks who loathe your guts. The "Chosen Victim" mechanic involves kidnapping one of your victims, and inducing Stockholm Syndrome in them, allowing you to do particularly cruel things to them.
* Literally the only "plot" ''VideoGame/{{Hatred}}'' has is a blatant ExcusePlot for the sociopathic protagonist to [[{{Gorn}} kill as many innocent people as inhumanly possible]]. Top it all off with a dark, gritty, grey and [[SplashOfColor red]] aesthetic in the style of ''Sin City'' ''ComicBook/SinCity'' and you've got a real bummer on your hands. Reviews thrashed the game for its grimdark-ness ''even before it was released'', claiming that the gameplay wasn't deep or fun enough to really provide the excitement of the game's ultra-violent ilk and noting that the game isn't dark to tell a story or make a sociopolitical statement, but seemingly just to be "edgy" for its own sake.



* ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun''. [[ShootTheShaggyDog Nothing ever comes good out of the story]], as the game already starts with all of mankind being wiped out and the heroes going on a hopeless LastStand against the Stone-Like, which eventually results in the characters being killed in the process and the whole world is doomed in a GroundhogDayLoop. Fortunately ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' is implied to be a StealthSequel at the end of the GroundhogDayLoop, as enough iterations of the same loop eventually provided a way out.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'': Despite John himself being portrayed as a sympathetic character, very few of his good deeds go unpunished. The only sympathetic character of all of the cast who didn't get apathetic is Jack, John's son. [[spoiler:But by the time the game's ending came around, he just became as bad as John himself after he killed Ross, and basically became the very man John didn't want him to become. One could only hope the sequel could have a flicker of light... but after [[VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2 it]] was revealed as a prequel, even that hope seemed to fade.]]
** [[spoiler:A possible one for Jack, actually, since in VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV, you can find a book called "Red Dead", whose author is one J. Marston. If canon, it could mean that Jack eventually did abandon that life, and became a writer like he always wanted to.]]
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2'' isn't much better. Due to being a prequel with a protagonist who never showed up in the first game, DoomedByCanon is pretty obviously in effect. The same goes for all the funny, memorable members of Dutch's gang. Arthur himself reflects at multiple points during the game how America is turning into a country where charismatic outlaws and gunslingers [[EndOfAnAge are no longer tolerated]]. However [[spoiler: several other secondary members of Dutch's gang like Charles do end up getting happy and/or [[BittersweetEndings bittersweet]] endings during the TimeSkip at the end of the game]], so this isn't as pronounced as it was in the first title or the GTA games.

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* ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun''. [[ShootTheShaggyDog Nothing ever comes good out of the story]], as the game already starts with all of mankind being wiped out and the heroes going on a hopeless LastStand against the Stone-Like, which eventually results in the characters being killed in the process and the whole world is doomed in a GroundhogDayLoop. Fortunately Fortunately, ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' is implied to be a StealthSequel at the end of the GroundhogDayLoop, loop, as enough iterations of the same loop it eventually provided a way out.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'': Despite John himself being portrayed as a sympathetic character, very few of his good deeds go unpunished. The only sympathetic character of all of the cast who didn't get apathetic is Jack, John's son. [[spoiler:But by the time the game's ending came around, he just became as bad as John himself after he killed Ross, and basically became the very man John didn't want him to become. One could only hope the sequel could have a flicker of light... but after [[VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2 it]] was revealed as a prequel, even that hope seemed to fade.]]
** [[spoiler:A possible one for Jack, actually, since
That said, in VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV, ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'', you can find a book called "Red Dead", whose author is one J. Marston. If canon, it could mean that Jack eventually did abandon that life, life and became become a writer like he always wanted to.]]
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2'' isn't much better. Due to being a prequel with a protagonist who never showed up in the first game, DoomedByCanon is pretty obviously in effect. The same goes for all the funny, memorable members of Dutch's gang. Arthur himself reflects at multiple points during the game how America is turning into a country where charismatic outlaws and gunslingers [[EndOfAnAge are no longer tolerated]]. However [[spoiler: several [[spoiler:several other secondary members of Dutch's gang like Charles do end up getting happy and/or [[BittersweetEndings [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] endings during the TimeSkip at the end of the game]], so this isn't as pronounced as it was in the first title or the GTA games.



* While ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' is not as bad as other examples, it can happen due to [[VillainProtagonist the Boss]] being a violent jerkass and some of their actions that have left some players wondering about the Boss' morality (especially in [[CycleOfRevenge the Brotherhood's story arc]]). [[spoiler: It's not helped that in end of the game where the Boss confronts their former mentor Julius, they [[YouBastard get called out for this]], Julius justifying his reason for betraying the Saints as them having become as bad as or worse than the other gangs they fought instead of putting end to gang violence in Stilwater. The Boss in response declares that they don't care as the city is theirs and they'll do whatever they want, before murdering Julius in cold blood.]] However, it seems that Volition took note of this as the later games toned down the Boss' sociopathy into a less cruel and more comedic AntiHero.

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* While ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' is not as bad as other examples, it can happen due to [[VillainProtagonist the Boss]] being a violent jerkass and some of their actions that have left some players wondering about the Boss' morality (especially in [[CycleOfRevenge the Brotherhood's story arc]]). [[spoiler: It's [[spoiler:It's not helped that in end of the game bonus mission where the Boss confronts their former mentor Julius, they [[YouBastard get called out for this]], Julius justifying his reason for betraying the Saints as them having become as bad as or worse than the other gangs they fought instead of putting end to gang violence in Stilwater. The Boss in response declares that they don't care care, as the city is theirs and they'll do whatever they want, before murdering Julius in cold blood.]] However, it seems that Volition took note of this as the later games toned down the Boss' sociopathy into a less cruel and more comedic AntiHero.AntiHero, cementing the series' reputation as the DenserAndWackier substitute to ''GTA''.



* ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour'' is easily one of the most depressing games of the ''Silent Hill'' franchise. The protagonist Murphy Pendleton has been locked up in prison so he could avenge the death of his son by killing his child's killer from within prison. After doing the deed, the state prison decides to send him off to death row because they fear he's too dangerous. However, the bus transporting him to his execution takes a slight detour through [[CrapsackWorld Silent Hill]], where he faces the mental torture the town is known for placing upon its residents since [[GeniusLoci the town feasts of off guilt]]. It also doesn't help that the game's true BigBad [[KarmaHoudini gets off completely scott free for placing Murphy in his horrendous situation in the first place]] (In all except ''one'' [[MultipleEndings of the endings]] at least).

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* ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour'' is easily one of the most depressing games of the ''Silent Hill'' franchise. The protagonist Murphy Pendleton has been locked up in prison so he could avenge the death of his son by killing his child's killer from within prison. After doing the deed, the state prison decides to send him off to death row because they fear he's too dangerous. However, the bus transporting him to his execution takes a slight detour through [[CrapsackWorld Silent Hill]], where he faces the mental torture the town is known for placing upon its residents since [[GeniusLoci the town feasts of off guilt]]. It also doesn't help that that, in all but ''one'' of [[MultipleEndings the game's six endings]], the true BigBad [[KarmaHoudini gets off completely scott free for placing Murphy in his horrendous situation in the first place]] (In all except ''one'' [[MultipleEndings of the endings]] at least).place]].



* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'': Throughout the game everything the protagonist does doesn't do much to help anyone, but only make things worse, culminating in the player [[spoiler:accidentally killing a bunch of civilians]]. On top of that the game itself has many TakeThatAudience lines that point out the horrible things you've done ("How many Americans have you killed today?" and "This is all your fault") or mock you for enjoying the game itself ("Do you feel like a hero yet?" and "To kill for yourself is murder. To kill for the government is heroic. To kill for entertainment is harmless"). Making matters worse is the strict linearity. Your options are artificially restricted (try as you might to hold off the enemies, the game will just keep endlessly spawning them until you're forced to do something horrible), but you're constantly talked down to as if they weren't.

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* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'': Throughout the game everything the protagonist does doesn't do much to help anyone, but only make things worse, culminating in the player [[spoiler:accidentally killing a bunch of civilians]]. On top of that the game itself has many TakeThatAudience lines that point out the horrible things you've done ("How many Americans have you killed today?" and "This is all your fault") or mock you for enjoying the game itself ("Do you feel like a hero yet?" and "To kill for yourself is murder. To kill for the government is heroic. To kill for entertainment is harmless"). Making matters worse is the strict linearity. Your options are artificially restricted (try as you might to hold off the enemies, the game will just keep endlessly spawning them until you're forced to do something horrible), but you're constantly talked down to [[BlamedForBeingRailroaded as if they weren't.weren't]].



* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' game ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' risks running into this by being a DeconstructorFleet that rips into classic ''Star Wars'' staples like the BlackAndWhiteMorality and the Jedi-Sith conflicts. The game is absolutely relentless about reinforcing how unrealistic and flawed these concepts are. The problem is that it's a ''Star Wars'' game, so the majority of people who would want to play it either ''like'' the very same ideas the game is dedicated to attacking or are at least willing to tolerate them while playing, which makes the whole affair feel a bit like the game is [[FanHater mocking your taste in fiction and trying to "correct" you]]. This is not helped by the ExecutiveMeddling that [[ChristmasRushed rushed production]] to the point that they had to release it [[NoEnding without the actual ending]]. This forces an unsatisfying confrontation with [[spoiler:Darth Traya]]. Fortunately, players can choose to play either Light- or Dark-sided styles, genuinely improving things in the end. You can choose to stabilize dying worlds, improve your companions' lives, and generally make the galaxy a bit better -- or you can play as an AxCrazy Sith Lord murderhoboing your way across multiple planets ''because'' no one gives you enough reasons to care.

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* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' game ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' risks running into this by being a DeconstructorFleet that rips into classic ''Star Wars'' staples like the BlackAndWhiteMorality and [[ForeverWar the constant Jedi-Sith conflicts.conflicts]]. The game is absolutely relentless about reinforcing how unrealistic and flawed these concepts are. The problem is that it's a ''Star Wars'' game, so the majority of people who would want to play it either ''like'' the very same ideas the game is dedicated to attacking or are at least willing to tolerate them while playing, which makes the whole affair feel a bit like the game is [[FanHater mocking your taste in fiction and trying to "correct" you]]. This is not helped by the ExecutiveMeddling that [[ChristmasRushed rushed production]] to the point that they had to release it [[NoEnding without the actual ending]]. This forces an unsatisfying confrontation with [[spoiler:Darth Traya]]. Fortunately, players can choose to play either Light- or Dark-sided styles, go Light-Side and genuinely improving improve things in the end. You can choose to stabilize by stabilizing dying worlds, improve improving your companions' lives, and generally make making the galaxy a bit better -- or you can play as an AxCrazy Sith Lord murderhoboing your way across multiple planets ''because'' no one gives you enough reasons to care.



** The ''Twisted Metal'' series in general (''[[DarkerAndEdgier Twisted Metal: Black]]'' and the 2012 reboot in particular) tends to be like this, although it's somewhat offset by its PlayTheGameSkipTheStory attitude.
* Almost every game of the ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'' series ends in a [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] note, with the BigBad of that particular installment being defeated and the threatening menace being taken down for good, but [[PyrrhicVictory at a heavy cost]]. The only exceptions are ''UT'', ''2003'' and ''2004'', which end with AWinnerIsYou, and ''VideoGame/UnrealChampionship'' which ends with a ''[[DownerEnding downer]]'' note. As a result, there's almost no reason to care for the plot or the characters, as, at the end of the day, the result will still be for naught.

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** The ''Twisted Metal'' series in general (''[[DarkerAndEdgier Twisted Metal: Black]]'' and being the real standout before the 2012 reboot in particular) reboot) tends to be like this, although it's somewhat offset by its PlayTheGameSkipTheStory attitude.
* Almost every game of the ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'' series ends in a [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] note, with the BigBad of that particular installment being defeated and the threatening menace being taken down for good, but [[PyrrhicVictory at a heavy cost]]. The only exceptions are ''UT'', the ''Tournament'' games (''[[VideoGame/UnrealTournament 99]]'', ''2003'' and ''2004'', ''[[VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004 2004]]''), which end with AWinnerIsYou, and ''VideoGame/UnrealChampionship'' ''VideoGame/UnrealChampionship'', which ends with a ''[[DownerEnding downer]]'' note. As a result, there's almost no reason to care for the plot or the characters, as, at the end of the day, the result will still be for naught.naught.
** ''Championship'' itself is a standout for this trope because of the noticeably-different plot to its PC companion in ''[=UT2003=]''. In the ''Tournament'' games, for every downer character who has no choice but to compete (from those who are forced into it from prison sentences, those competing [[DeathSeeker in the hopes of dying]], and gene-boosted monstrosities entered to show off a corporation's new experiments), there's at least as many well-adjusted (well, as well-adjusted as you could be to want to compete in a BloodSport) individuals who want to be there and have a good time. ''Championship'' turns everything on its head, with the backstory involving humanity being enslaved by an impossible-to-defeat space-faring empire, and the Tournament itself is repurposed as punishment for those who attempted to resist - nobody wants to be there, but nobody has a choice. And even though the backstory does give a faint glimmer of hope if you can win, the ending itself doesn't follow through on it.


* One of the main criticisms of the plot of ''VideoGame/HuntDownTheFreeman'' is that it was needlessly bleak, even by the standards of [[CrapsackWorld the]] ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' [[CrapsackWorld setting]]. The main character is an unlikable VillainProtagonist willing to screw over all of humanity for the sake of petty revenge, other characters have little personality and [[AnyoneCanDie get killed off left and right]], the game persistently pushes the idea that humanity has [[HopelessWar no hope against the Combine]], and the player spends much of the game either making little impact on the world, or outright making things worse. It doesn't help that the game even reintegrates content that was cut from ''Half-Life 2'' proper specifically ''because'' it would have made that game too bleak.
* Many found the lack of the "Prime" heroes in ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' to have detracted from the story, which in set entirely in the ''Injustice'' world and sees an EnemyMine between Batman and Superman's respective forces against Brainiac while still hostile to each other unpleasant.

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* One of the main criticisms of the plot of ''VideoGame/HuntDownTheFreeman'' is that it was needlessly bleak, even by the standards of [[CrapsackWorld the]] ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' [[CrapsackWorld setting]]. even by the standards]] of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''[='=]s setting. The main character is an unlikable VillainProtagonist willing to screw over all of humanity for the sake of petty revenge, revenge he's been stewing over for ''20 years'', other characters have little personality and [[AnyoneCanDie get killed off left and right]], often [[DroppedABridgeOnHim for little particular reason]], the game persistently pushes the idea that humanity has [[HopelessWar no hope against the Combine]], and the player spends much of the game either making little impact on the world, or outright making things worse. It doesn't help that the game plays heavily to AdaptationalVillainy (even the Resistance is at the level of hanging their enemies and leaving the corpses to rot, closer to something an edgy 13-year-old would make in ''VideoGame/GarrysMod'' than anything the Resistance was even hinted at doing in ''Half-Life 2'' proper) and even reintegrates content that was cut from ''Half-Life 2'' proper specifically ''because'' it would have made that game too bleak.
* Many found the lack of the "Prime" heroes in ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' to have detracted from the story, which in is set entirely in the ''Injustice'' world and sees an EnemyMine between Batman and Superman's respective forces against Brainiac while still hostile to each other unpleasant.other.



* The ''VideoGame/KisekiSeries'' started being an optimistic series with the ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' and while it had some dark moments, especially the ending of the first game, it still manages to be an upbeat series throughout the games. Then the ending of ''[[VideoGame/ZeroNoKiseki Ao No Kiseki]]'' happens and while the heroes did get some sort of happy ending, the overall tone of the end is very dark but still did shine some ray of hope. Cue ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' where the endings in ''Cold Steel I'' just ended up being heart-wrenching, shocking, and feeling hopeless, ''Cold Steel II'' ended on a bittersweet note that makes one wonder if it was a gigantic waste of time, and ''Cold Steel III'' just ends on a really dark note, making players wonder if [[spoiler:TheHero of the story will actually die without even accomplishing any of his goals when the fourth game comes out]]. Especially since ''Cold Steel III'' has the ''highest'' plot important characters that just end up dying all over the place, sometimes in the most anti climactic fashion. At this point, half of the fanbase is already skeptical whether the series can even deliver or not. [[spoiler:Fortunately, ''Cold Steel IV'' manages to turn things around by revealing that several characters who were apparently killed in the previous game actually survived. To make things even better, some villains defect to the heroes' side, [[GondorCallsForAid the heroes from the previous arcs show up to help out]], and [[TheHero Rean]] finally gets [[GoldenEnding his closure]].]]

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* The ''VideoGame/KisekiSeries'' started being an optimistic series with the ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' and while it had some dark moments, especially the ending of the first game, it still manages to be an upbeat series throughout the games. Then the ending of ''[[VideoGame/ZeroNoKiseki Ao No Kiseki]]'' happens and while the heroes did get some sort of happy ending, the overall tone of the end is very dark but still did shine some ray of hope. Cue ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' where the endings in ''Cold Steel I'' just ended up being heart-wrenching, shocking, and feeling hopeless, ''Cold Steel II'' ended on a bittersweet note that makes one wonder if it was a gigantic waste of time, and ''Cold Steel III'' just ends on a really dark note, making players wonder if [[spoiler:TheHero of the story will actually die without even accomplishing any of his goals when the fourth game comes out]]. Especially since ''Cold Steel III'' has the ''highest'' highest number of plot important characters that just end up dying all over the place, sometimes in the most anti climactic fashion. At this point, half of the fanbase is already skeptical whether the series can even deliver or not. [[spoiler:Fortunately, ''Cold Steel IV'' manages to turn things around by revealing that several characters who were apparently killed in the previous game actually survived. To make things even better, some villains defect to the heroes' side, [[GondorCallsForAid the heroes from the previous arcs show up to help out]], and [[TheHero Rean]] finally gets [[GoldenEnding his closure]].]]


* One of the main criticisms of the plot of ''VideoGame/HuntDownTheFreeman'' is that it was needlessly bleak, even by the standards of [[CrapsackWorld the]] ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' [[CrapsackWorld setting]]. The main character is an unlikable VillainProtagonist willing to screw over all of humanity for the sake of petty revenge, other characters have little personality and [[AnyoneCanDie get killed off left and right]], the game persistently pushes the idea that humanity has [[HopelessWar no hope against the Combine]], and the player spends much of the game either making little impact on the world, or outright making things worse.

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* One of the main criticisms of the plot of ''VideoGame/HuntDownTheFreeman'' is that it was needlessly bleak, even by the standards of [[CrapsackWorld the]] ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' [[CrapsackWorld setting]]. The main character is an unlikable VillainProtagonist willing to screw over all of humanity for the sake of petty revenge, other characters have little personality and [[AnyoneCanDie get killed off left and right]], the game persistently pushes the idea that humanity has [[HopelessWar no hope against the Combine]], and the player spends much of the game either making little impact on the world, or outright making things worse. It doesn't help that the game even reintegrates content that was cut from ''Half-Life 2'' proper specifically ''because'' it would have made that game too bleak.



* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' game ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' risks running into this by being a DeconstructorFleet that rips into classic ''Star Wars'' staples like the BlackAndWhiteMorality and the Jedi-Sith conflicts. The game is absolutely relentless about reinforcing how unrealistic and flawed these concepts are. The problem is that it's a ''Star Wars'' game, so the majority of people who would want to play it either ''like'' the very same ideas the game is dedicated to attacking or are at least willing to tolerate them while playing, which makes the whole affair feel a bit like the game is [[FanHater mocking your taste in fiction and trying to "correct" you]]. This is not helped by the ExecutiveMeddling that [[ChristmasRushed rushed production]] to the point that they had to release it [[NoEnding without the actual ending]]. This forces an unsatisfying confrontation with [[spoiler:Darth Traya]]. Fortunately, if players can choose to play either Light- or Dark-sided styles, genuinely improving things in the end. You can choose to stabilize dying worlds, improve your companions' lives, and generally make the galaxy a bit better -- or you can play as an AxCrazy Sith Lord murderhoboing your way across multiple planets ''because'' no one gives you enough reasons to care.

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* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' game ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' risks running into this by being a DeconstructorFleet that rips into classic ''Star Wars'' staples like the BlackAndWhiteMorality and the Jedi-Sith conflicts. The game is absolutely relentless about reinforcing how unrealistic and flawed these concepts are. The problem is that it's a ''Star Wars'' game, so the majority of people who would want to play it either ''like'' the very same ideas the game is dedicated to attacking or are at least willing to tolerate them while playing, which makes the whole affair feel a bit like the game is [[FanHater mocking your taste in fiction and trying to "correct" you]]. This is not helped by the ExecutiveMeddling that [[ChristmasRushed rushed production]] to the point that they had to release it [[NoEnding without the actual ending]]. This forces an unsatisfying confrontation with [[spoiler:Darth Traya]]. Fortunately, if players can choose to play either Light- or Dark-sided styles, genuinely improving things in the end. You can choose to stabilize dying worlds, improve your companions' lives, and generally make the galaxy a bit better -- or you can play as an AxCrazy Sith Lord murderhoboing your way across multiple planets ''because'' no one gives you enough reasons to care.


* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]] (not to mention being an InvincibleVillain with PlotArmor so thick that he ultimately wins). All of the one-off playable characters are just as silent as Logan, leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable- and she's [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].

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* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]] (not to mention being an InvincibleVillain with PlotArmor so thick that [[spoiler: he ultimately wins).wins]]). All of the one-off playable characters are just as silent as Logan, leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable- and she's [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].


* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]]. All of the one-off playable characters are just as silent as Logan, leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable- and she's [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].

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* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has virtually no likeable characters. Logan is a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate]] who follows his father and brother with BlindObedience, Elias sends his children out into warzones without the slightest hint of concern for their safety and put them through TrainingFromHell at a very early age, Hesh is a FlatCharacter with [[DullSurprise terrible voice acting]], Merrick is a murderous BloodKnight who executes unarmed workers, Keegan's sole burst of characterisation is his execution of an [[KickTheDog unarmed soldier begging for his life]], Ajax is the TokenMinority who [[BlackDudeDiesFirst dies moments after we first meet him]] and is [[ForgottenFallenFriend completely forgotten ten seconds afterwards]], and Kick is a MauveShirt with no personality whatsoever who doesn't even need to die to be forgotten about. RootingForTheEmpire is also off the table, as the villains are all genocidal racists who want to murder all Americans [[GenericDoomsdayVillain for reasons never elaborated on]], and the only one of them with any development has a [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil crappy motivation]].motivation]] (not to mention being an InvincibleVillain with PlotArmor so thick that he ultimately wins). All of the one-off playable characters are just as silent as Logan, leaving perhaps only Kyra Mosely and Lieutenant Collins as even approaching likeable- and she's [[WeHardlyKnewYe killed off after five minutes.]] At the very least, there's always [[HeroicDog Riley]].


** Shimosa is by far the darkest chapter of ''Epic of Remnant'', and possibly of the entire game as a whole. The entire premise of the chapter revolves around Ashiya Doman resurrecting seven legendary Japanese figures as near-mindless, omnicidal zombies and letting them loose upon Imperial Japan purely ForTheEvulz. The massacres and atrocities these zombies commit throughout the story are shown in extremely graphic detail, and one scene in particular involves [[spoiler:zombie!Shuten ''disemboweling the Protagonist and playing with their intestines like silly string''.]] Ashiya's [[TheDragon right hand]] is revealed to be [[spoiler:an alternate Amakusa Shirou who became so broken after witnessing mankind's flaws that he became a deranged Avenger obsessed with destroying the world for rejecting his messages of peace]]. Finally, the ending is incredibly bittersweet, bordering on a straight up DownerEnding as [[spoiler:Musashi, who you've bonded with throughout the Singularity, willingly chooses to burn to death in the remains of Doman's palace after her final duel with Sasaki Kojiro.]]

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** Shimosa is by far the darkest chapter of ''Epic of Remnant'', and possibly of the entire game as a whole. The entire premise of the chapter revolves around Ashiya Doman resurrecting seven legendary Japanese figures as near-mindless, omnicidal zombies and letting them loose upon Imperial Japan purely ForTheEvulz. The massacres and atrocities these zombies commit throughout the story are shown in extremely graphic detail, and one scene in particular involves [[spoiler:zombie!Shuten ''disemboweling the Protagonist and playing with their intestines like silly string''.]] Ashiya's [[TheDragon right hand]] is revealed to be [[spoiler:an alternate Amakusa Shirou who became so broken after witnessing mankind's flaws that he became a deranged Avenger obsessed with destroying the world for rejecting his messages of peace]]. Finally, the ending is incredibly bittersweet, bordering on a straight up DownerEnding as [[spoiler:Musashi, who you've bonded with throughout the Singularity, willingly chooses to burn to death in the remains of Doman's palace after her final duel with Sasaki Kojiro.]]



** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' is very often criticised for this. Between the AnyoneCanDie story, the NES hardware limitations, the quirky game design and the [[NintendoHard unreasonably cruel difficulty]], the overall feeling is that of wandering through a dying world. {{NPC}}s continually insult your party and tell you that you're all useless teenagers, and some, counting the numbers, have pointed out that over half of the world's population is killed over the course of the game. It even has a DownerEnding where the characters realize they can never go back to ordinary life after all the horrors they've experienced. The crushing despair of this game may have been why ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' went very twee and fairy-tale-ish.

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** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' is very often criticised for this. Between the AnyoneCanDie story, the NES hardware limitations, the quirky game design and the [[NintendoHard unreasonably cruel difficulty]], the overall feeling is that of wandering through a dying world. {{NPC}}s continually insult your party and tell you that you're all useless teenagers, and some, counting the numbers, have pointed out that over half of the world's population is killed over the course of the game. It even has a DownerEnding where the characters realize they can never go back to ordinary life after all the horrors they've experienced. The crushing despair of this game may have been why ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' went very twee and fairy-tale-ish.



* Many found the lack of the "Prime" heroes in ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' to have detracted from the story, which in set entirely in the ''Injustice'' world and sees an EnemyMine between Batman and Superman's respective forces against Brainiac while still hostile to each other unpleasant. [[spoiler:The choice of endings doesn't help with Superman's being a DownerEnding of him brainwashing Batman and planning to do so to the other heroes and Batman's ending sees things go back to the way they were at the start, only with Metropolis and Coast City still missing and Kara siding with Bruce.]]

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* Many found the lack of the "Prime" heroes in ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' to have detracted from the story, which in set entirely in the ''Injustice'' world and sees an EnemyMine between Batman and Superman's respective forces against Brainiac while still hostile to each other unpleasant. [[spoiler:The choice of endings doesn't help with Superman's being a DownerEnding of him brainwashing Batman and planning to do so to the other heroes and Batman's ending sees things go back to the way they were at the start, only with Metropolis and Coast City still missing and Kara siding with Bruce.]]



* ''VideoGame/RType'' is a dark series about humanity fighting a seemingly powerful alien force in a HopelessWar and constant BodyHorror vibes. It isn't until ''Delta'' that the series goes full-on DarkerAndEdgier mode, with each stage loaded with NightmareFuel and a DownerEnding involving one of the fighters being [[YouWillBeAssimilated assimilated by the Bydo]]. It's even worse with the Bydo, [[WasOnceAMan as it's revealed that they were once humans]].

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* ''VideoGame/RType'' is a dark series about humanity fighting a seemingly powerful alien force in a HopelessWar and constant BodyHorror vibes. It isn't until ''Delta'' that the series goes full-on DarkerAndEdgier mode, with each stage loaded with NightmareFuel and a DownerEnding involving one of the fighters being [[YouWillBeAssimilated assimilated by the Bydo]].NightmareFuel. It's even worse with the Bydo, [[WasOnceAMan as it's revealed that they were once humans]].



* ''VideoGame/{{SOMA}}'' takes place [[AfterTheEnd after]] [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt a large asteroid has crashed into earth]] and destroyed most of the habitable landmasses, leaving nothing but burning or barren ground behind. The player slips into the role of Simon, who [[FishOutOfTemporalWater came from 2015 into 2104]], and comes to terms with the previous fact, as well as that humanity is practically gone. The only 'humans' around are robots that have [[BrainUploading human brain-scans]] implemented into them, unaware of their current fate. The locations are very drab in terms of design, Simon and Catherine philosphize about what it actually means to be a human and if they, also as nothing but brain-scans, are actually 'alive' and similar. Things don't get better as the horror of what has happened in the various PATHOS-II is really explored. And in the end [[spoiler:the Simon the player controls ends up [[DownerEnding alone on the bottom of the ocean]], with another copy of him [[HappyEnding living happily on the Ark with Catherine]] and humanity now nothing more than an elaborate computer program on a device floating around space]].

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* ''VideoGame/{{SOMA}}'' takes place [[AfterTheEnd after]] [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt a large asteroid has crashed into earth]] and destroyed most of the habitable landmasses, leaving nothing but burning or barren ground behind. The player slips into the role of Simon, who [[FishOutOfTemporalWater came from 2015 into 2104]], and comes to terms with the previous fact, as well as that humanity is practically gone. The only 'humans' around are robots that have [[BrainUploading human brain-scans]] implemented into them, unaware of their current fate. The locations are very drab in terms of design, Simon and Catherine philosphize about what it actually means to be a human and if they, also as nothing but brain-scans, are actually 'alive' and similar. Things don't get better as the horror of what has happened in the various PATHOS-II is really explored. And in the end [[spoiler:the Simon the player controls ends up [[DownerEnding alone on the bottom of the ocean]], with another copy of him [[HappyEnding living happily on the Ark with Catherine]] and humanity now nothing more than an elaborate computer program on a device floating around space]].


* The ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series have gotten these complaints. The series, though not without its dark moments, starts off as a lighthearted romp through various ''Disney'' worlds with ThePowerOfFriendship as its central theme. However, the series began to move into DarkerAndEdgier territory with the DownerEnding of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'', where [[spoiler:Master Xehanort kills Eraqus and ruins the lives of Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. Terra's body is Xehanort's new vessel, Aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, and Ventus is comatose in a castle]], though the game's secret ending, ''Blank Points'', [[BittersweetEnding managed to lift the dour mood considerably]]. But it's [[DownerEnding the ending]] of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance Dream Drop Distance]]'' that truly raised the ire and frustration of fans. [[spoiler:It's revealed that everything that happened throughout the series was all a part of Xehanort's master plan via TimeTravel, thus [[ShootTheShaggyDog retroactively reducing all of the heroes's accomplishments to nothing]]. Also, Sora fails the Mark of Mastery Exam while Riku passes it, much to the chagrin of those who expected both of them to pass.]] And ''then'' we got ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts02BirthBySleepAFragmentaryPassage'', which is an exercise in depression as it [[spoiler:shows the loneliness Aqua is forced to endure from within the Realm of Darkness (hallucinating images of Ven and Terra, fighting a Mirror version of herself created from her fears and doubts) and, in the cruelest of {{Hope Spot}}s, [[YankTheDogsChain Aqua nearly manages to escape the Realm of Darkness, only to be thwarted by a Heartless ambush]]. [[note]]The game takes place during the events of the first game, so Aqua still being trapped in the Realm of Darkness is a ForegoneConclusion.[[/note]]]] Oh, and [[KillEmAll damn near everyone dies]] at the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX''. Instead of hyping fans for the release of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII'', [[ArcFatigue it just]] [[EndingFatigue burned them out]]. [[spoiler: Fortunately, ''Kingdom Hearts III'' [[AuthorsSavingThrow fixes pretty much all of it]] and gives the entire cast an incredibly well-deserved EarnYourHappyEnding except for Sora, who gets a BittersweetEnding.]]

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* The ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series have gotten these complaints. The series, though not without its dark moments, starts off as a lighthearted romp through various ''Disney'' worlds with ThePowerOfFriendship as its central theme. However, the series began to move into DarkerAndEdgier territory with the DownerEnding of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'', where [[spoiler:Master Xehanort kills Eraqus and ruins the lives of Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. Terra's body is Xehanort's new vessel, Aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, and Ventus is comatose in a castle]], though the game's secret ending, ''Blank Points'', [[BittersweetEnding managed to lift the dour mood considerably]]. But it's [[DownerEnding the ending]] of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance Dream Drop Distance]]'' that truly raised the ire and frustration of fans. [[spoiler:It's revealed that everything that happened throughout the series was all a part of Xehanort's master plan via TimeTravel, thus [[ShootTheShaggyDog retroactively reducing all of the heroes's accomplishments to nothing]]. Also, Sora fails the Mark of Mastery Exam while Riku passes it, much to the chagrin of those who expected both of them to pass.]] And ''then'' we got ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts02BirthBySleepAFragmentaryPassage'', which is an exercise in depression as it [[spoiler:shows the loneliness Aqua is forced to endure from within the Realm of Darkness (hallucinating images of Ven and Terra, fighting a Mirror version of herself created from her fears and doubts) and, in the cruelest of {{Hope Spot}}s, [[YankTheDogsChain Aqua nearly manages to escape the Realm of Darkness, only to be thwarted by a Heartless ambush]]. [[note]]The game takes place during the events of the first game, so Aqua still being trapped in the Realm of Darkness is a ForegoneConclusion.[[/note]]]] Oh, and [[KillEmAll damn near everyone dies]] at the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX''. Instead of hyping fans for the release of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII'', [[ArcFatigue it just]] [[EndingFatigue just burned them out]]. [[spoiler: Fortunately, ''Kingdom Hearts III'' [[AuthorsSavingThrow fixes pretty much all of it]] and gives the entire cast an incredibly well-deserved EarnYourHappyEnding except for Sora, who gets a BittersweetEnding.]]


* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' has this as an ExploitedTrope InUniverse. ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'' reveals that the sheer scale of corruption and JuryAndWitnessTampering in the Phoenixverse has led to a widespread lack of faith in the judicial system, and therefore prosecutors are free to engage in ever more creative and elaborate shenanigans because they're already in TheTysonZone and nobody is going to care.

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* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' has this as an ExploitedTrope InUniverse. ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'' reveals that the sheer scale of corruption and JuryAndWitnessTampering in the Phoenixverse has led to a widespread lack of faith in the judicial system, and therefore prosecutors are free to engage in ever more creative and elaborate shenanigans because they're already in TheTysonZone and nobody is going to care.



* ''VideoGame/TheCatLady'' was made by a man who worked as a nurse and thus offers a realistic view of the life of people that suffer from depression, and in the end it's about hope. However, after a while the revelations about the two protagonists start to pile up and, on top of the CrapsackWorld they live in, everything seems too relentlessly dark to be still effective like in the beginning. Let's see: Susan tried to commit suicide after her daughter died of an undiagnosed pollen allergy and her husband drank himself to death after leaving her. Meanwhile Mitzi is dying of a brain tumor and uses the little time she has left to find and confront the man who convinced her boyfriend to kill himself. When Susan comes back to life her mission is to eliminate people known as Parasites, that go from random thugs to cannibalistic serial killers and a PsychoPsychologist that murders his patients and turns them into twisted parodies of works of art. Not to mention other details like the random suicide bomber in the backstory and the cameo of Joe Davis, the nasty protagonist of the developer's other game, ''VideoGame/{{Downfall}}'', which itself could qualify for this trope.

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* ''VideoGame/TheCatLady'' was made by a man who worked as a nurse and thus offers a realistic view of the life of people that suffer from depression, and in the end it's about hope. However, after a while the revelations about the two protagonists start to pile up and, on top of the CrapsackWorld they live in, everything seems too relentlessly dark to be still effective like in the beginning. Let's see: Susan tried to commit suicide after her daughter died of an undiagnosed pollen allergy and her husband drank himself to death after leaving her. Meanwhile Mitzi is dying of a brain tumor and uses the little time she has left to find and confront the man who convinced her boyfriend to kill himself. When Susan comes back to life her mission is to eliminate people known as Parasites, that go from random thugs to cannibalistic serial killers and a PsychoPsychologist that murders his patients and turns them into twisted parodies of works of art. Not to mention other details like the random suicide bomber in the backstory and the cameo of Joe Davis, the nasty protagonist of the developer's other game, ''VideoGame/{{Downfall}}'', which is itself could qualify for this trope.an example.



* A common complaint about the "High Chaos" path of ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'' is that it starts to really beat you over the head with how bleak things are in the second half of the game. The "High Chaos" path is where you choose to have Corvo kill a majority of the people between you and your target. Doing so makes the plague become worse, makes your allies way more paranoid, and you get [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech damn-near-constant reminders about what a terrible person you are]]. In the game's worst version of the High Chaos ending, [[spoiler: which only occurs if you allow Emily to fall to her death rather than saving her, the plague gets so bad that Dunwall becomes uninhabitable, Emily dies, nothing you did ultimately mattered in the end and Corvo pulls a ScrewThisImOuttaHere and leaves the city to burn]]. However, unlike many instances of this trope, the bleakness is ''because'' of the Player's influence, not despite it. The player really only has themselves to blame for the darkness, because they wanted to use those shiny new toys. The Outsider's cynical belief that HumansAreBastards is affirmed.

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* A common complaint about the "High Chaos" path of ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'' is that it starts to really beat you over the head with how bleak things are in the second half of the game. The "High Chaos" path is where you choose to have Corvo kill a majority of the people between you and your target. Doing so makes the plague become worse, makes your allies way more paranoid, and you get [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech damn-near-constant reminders about what a terrible person you are]]. In the game's worst version of the High Chaos ending, [[spoiler: which only occurs if you allow Emily to fall to her death rather than saving her, the plague gets so bad that Dunwall becomes uninhabitable, Emily dies, nothing you did ultimately mattered in the end and Corvo pulls a ScrewThisImOuttaHere and leaves the city to burn]]. However, unlike many instances of this trope, the bleakness is ''because'' of the Player's influence, not despite it. The player really only has themselves to blame for the darkness, because they wanted to use those shiny new toys. The Outsider's cynical belief that HumansAreBastards is affirmed.



* ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'': Between the incredibly bleak world and characters who have few, if ''any'' redeeming characteristics, it's practically impossible to find hope or optimism in it. Similarly, the sequel, ''VideoGame/NieR'', which has the strangest ending of ''Drakengard'' cause an apocalypse, and all four endings of which involve the extinction of humanity. [[spoiler:Good thing there's ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard 3}}'' to partially undo the downers]].
** This was actually [[InvokedTrope invoked]] by WordOfGod to try and make it stand out against all the other [=RPGs=] that were out at the time.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'': Between the incredibly bleak world and characters who have few, if ''any'' redeeming characteristics, it's practically impossible to find hope or optimism in it. Similarly, the sequel, ''VideoGame/NieR'', which has the strangest ending of ''Drakengard'' cause an apocalypse, and all four endings of which involve the extinction of humanity. [[spoiler:Good thing there's ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard 3}}'' to partially undo the downers]].
**
downers]]. This was actually [[InvokedTrope invoked]] {{intended|AudienceReaction}} by WordOfGod to try and make it stand out against all the other [=RPGs=] that were out at the time.



* The lore of ''VideoGame/EVEOnline'' can be summed up with: "Everything sucks. And then [[PlayerCharacter you]] showed up." It's so bad that the writers ''have to tell the readers when the ending is not a bad ending''. The second book especially is a perfect example of this trope. Gameplay-wise? A perpetual HopelessWar for territory between pilots who can never die eventually becomes hard to tell apart from a PerpetuallyStatic galaxy.

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* The lore of ''VideoGame/EVEOnline'' can be summed up with: "Everything sucks. And then [[PlayerCharacter you]] showed up." It's so bad that the writers ''have to tell the readers when the ending is not a bad ending''. The second book especially is a perfect example of this trope. Gameplay-wise? A perpetual HopelessWar for territory between pilots who can never die eventually becomes hard to tell apart from a PerpetuallyStatic galaxy.



* Every faction in ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'', with the possible exception of the [[TakeOverTheWorld Barzites]], has some supporters who'll argue in favor of it on the Internet. Every faction also has some haters who argue that the misdeeds it commits render it unworthy of power. But given that the only one that doesn't cross the MoralEventHorizon at least once is the faction of {{Wide Eyed Idealist}}s who canonically get massacred by the fourth game, this trope probably sums up the setting best.

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* Every faction in ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'', with the possible exception of the [[TakeOverTheWorld Barzites]], has some supporters who'll argue in favor of it on the Internet. Every faction also has some haters who argue that the misdeeds it commits render it unworthy of power. But given that the The only one that doesn't cross the MoralEventHorizon at least once is the faction of {{Wide Eyed Idealist}}s who canonically get massacred by the fourth game, this trope probably sums up the setting best.game.



* ''VideoGame/{{Hatred}}'' makes dirty, dirty love to this trope shortly before murdering it. Literally the only "plot" the game has is a blatant ExcusePlot for the sociopathic protagonist to [[{{Gorn}} kill as many innocent people as inhumanly possible]]. Top it all off with a dark, gritty, ''Sin City''-esque "everything gray [[SplashOfColor except blood]]" aesthetic, and you've got a real bummer on your hands. This trope is taken to the point where reviews thrashed the game for its grimdark-ness ''even before it was released'', claiming that the gameplay wasn't deep or fun enough to really provide the excitement of the game's ultra-violent ilk and noting that the game isn't dark to tell a story or make a sociopolitical statement, but seemingly just to be "edgy" for its own sake (which neatly sums up all the problems associated with this trope).

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* * Literally the only "plot" ''VideoGame/{{Hatred}}'' makes dirty, dirty love to this trope shortly before murdering it. Literally the only "plot" the game has is a blatant ExcusePlot for the sociopathic protagonist to [[{{Gorn}} kill as many innocent people as inhumanly possible]]. Top it all off with a dark, gritty, grey and [[SplashOfColor red]] aesthetic in style of ''Sin City''-esque "everything gray [[SplashOfColor except blood]]" aesthetic, City'' and you've got a real bummer on your hands. This trope is taken to the point where reviews Reviews thrashed the game for its grimdark-ness ''even before it was released'', claiming that the gameplay wasn't deep or fun enough to really provide the excitement of the game's ultra-violent ilk and noting that the game isn't dark to tell a story or make a sociopolitical statement, but seemingly just to be "edgy" for its own sake (which neatly sums up all the problems associated with this trope).sake.



* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-Zagged]] in ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' as many found the lack of the "Prime" heroes to have detracted from the story, which in set entirely in the ''Injustice'' world and sees an EnemyMine between Batman and Superman's respective forces against Brainiac while still hostile to each other unpleasant. [[spoiler:The choice of endings doesn't help with Superman's being a DownerEnding of him brainwashing Batman and planning to do so to the other heroes and Batman's ending sees things go back to the way they were at the start, only with Metropolis and Coast City still missing and Kara siding with Bruce.]]

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* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-Zagged]] Many found the lack of the "Prime" heroes in ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' as many found the lack of the "Prime" heroes to have detracted from the story, which in set entirely in the ''Injustice'' world and sees an EnemyMine between Batman and Superman's respective forces against Brainiac while still hostile to each other unpleasant. [[spoiler:The choice of endings doesn't help with Superman's being a DownerEnding of him brainwashing Batman and planning to do so to the other heroes and Batman's ending sees things go back to the way they were at the start, only with Metropolis and Coast City still missing and Kara siding with Bruce.]]



* The ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series have gotten these complaints. The series, though not without its dark moments, starts off as a lighthearted romp through various ''Disney'' worlds with ThePowerOfFriendship as its central theme. However, the series began to move into DarkerAndEdgier territory with the DownerEnding of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'', where [[spoiler:Master Xehanort kills Eraqus and ruins the lives of Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. Terra's body is Xehanort's new vessel, Aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, and Ventus is comatose in a castle]], though the game's secret ending, ''Blank Points'', [[BittersweetEnding managed to lift the dour mood considerably]]. But it's [[DownerEnding the ending]] of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance Dream Drop Distance]]'' that truly raised the ire and frustration of fans. [[spoiler:It's revealed that everything that happened throughout the series was all a part of Xehanort's master plan via TimeTravel, thus [[ShootTheShaggyDog retroactively reducing all of the heroes's accomplishments to nothing]]. Also, Sora fails the Mark of Mastery Exam while Riku passes it, much to the chagrin of those who expected both of them to pass.]] And ''then'' we got ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts02BirthBySleepAFragmentaryPassage'', which is an exercise in depression as it [[spoiler:shows the loneliness Aqua is forced to endure from within the Realm of Darkness (hallucinating images of Ven and Terra, fighting a Mirror version of herself created from her fears and doubts) and, in the cruelest of {{Hope Spot}}s, [[YankTheDogsChain Aqua nearly manages to escape the Realm of Darkness, only to be thwarted by a Heartless ambush]]. [[note]][[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as the game takes place during the events of the first game, so Aqua still being trapped in the Realm of Darkness is a ForegoneConclusion.[[/note]]]] Oh, and [[KillEmAll damn near everyone dies]] at the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX''. Instead of hyping fans for the release of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII'', [[ArcFatigue it just]] [[EndingFatigue burned them out]]. [[spoiler: Fortunately, ''Kingdom Hearts III'' [[AuthorsSavingThrow fixes pretty much all of it]] and gives the entire cast an incredibly well-deserved EarnYourHappyEnding except for Sora, who gets a BittersweetEnding.]]

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* The ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series have gotten these complaints. The series, though not without its dark moments, starts off as a lighthearted romp through various ''Disney'' worlds with ThePowerOfFriendship as its central theme. However, the series began to move into DarkerAndEdgier territory with the DownerEnding of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'', where [[spoiler:Master Xehanort kills Eraqus and ruins the lives of Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. Terra's body is Xehanort's new vessel, Aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, and Ventus is comatose in a castle]], though the game's secret ending, ''Blank Points'', [[BittersweetEnding managed to lift the dour mood considerably]]. But it's [[DownerEnding the ending]] of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance Dream Drop Distance]]'' that truly raised the ire and frustration of fans. [[spoiler:It's revealed that everything that happened throughout the series was all a part of Xehanort's master plan via TimeTravel, thus [[ShootTheShaggyDog retroactively reducing all of the heroes's accomplishments to nothing]]. Also, Sora fails the Mark of Mastery Exam while Riku passes it, much to the chagrin of those who expected both of them to pass.]] And ''then'' we got ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts02BirthBySleepAFragmentaryPassage'', which is an exercise in depression as it [[spoiler:shows the loneliness Aqua is forced to endure from within the Realm of Darkness (hallucinating images of Ven and Terra, fighting a Mirror version of herself created from her fears and doubts) and, in the cruelest of {{Hope Spot}}s, [[YankTheDogsChain Aqua nearly manages to escape the Realm of Darkness, only to be thwarted by a Heartless ambush]]. [[note]][[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as the [[note]]The game takes place during the events of the first game, so Aqua still being trapped in the Realm of Darkness is a ForegoneConclusion.[[/note]]]] Oh, and [[KillEmAll damn near everyone dies]] at the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX''. Instead of hyping fans for the release of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII'', [[ArcFatigue it just]] [[EndingFatigue burned them out]]. [[spoiler: Fortunately, ''Kingdom Hearts III'' [[AuthorsSavingThrow fixes pretty much all of it]] and gives the entire cast an incredibly well-deserved EarnYourHappyEnding except for Sora, who gets a BittersweetEnding.]]



* ''VideoGame/PokemonReborn'' can be hard to get into at first due to this trope. The titular region [[CrapsackWorld is a terrible, terrible place to live]], with the Pokemon population in decline, gangs running rampant, and heavy pollution. The local villainous team, Team Meteor, is a horrifyingly effective terrorist group who are nigh-impossible to stop; the first time you encounter them, you only secure a PyrrhicVictory against them, with them retreating and deleting most mission-critical data from their base, and the second time you encounter them they've already destroyed two city wards with a mechanically-enhanced Pokemon. Most heroic characters are either weak-willed and unable to [[ShootTheDog make necessary sacrifices]] (like Victoria), massive jerks (like Fern), [[SociopathicHero sociopathic heroes]] (like Titania or Saphira), or [[BrokenBird have serious issues]] (like Florina and [[spoiler:Amaria]]; even the PlayerCharacter is just mainly here for the Reborn League [[HeroicBystander and keeps getting dragged into the conflict against Team Meteor.]] [[DeconReconSwitch However]], around the game's halfway point things start to get better: CharacterDevelopment kicks in, Team Meteor starts suffering heavier and heavier losses, [[spoiler:it's revealed that Team Meteor was actually a hair's breadth away from destroying the city completely before your first encounter with them, making your first victory against them less Pyrrhic that you thought]], and, perhaps most uplifting, [[spoiler:Adrienn, a person who was frozen in time before Team Meteor took over, manages to mobilize Reborn City and restore it to its former glory.]]

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* ''VideoGame/PokemonReborn'' can be hard to get into at first due to this trope. The titular ''VideoGame/PokemonReborn'''s eponymous region [[CrapsackWorld is a terrible, terrible place to live]], with the Pokemon population in decline, gangs running rampant, and heavy pollution. The local villainous team, Team Meteor, is a horrifyingly effective terrorist group who are nigh-impossible to stop; the first time you encounter them, you only secure a PyrrhicVictory against them, with them retreating and deleting most mission-critical data from their base, and the second time you encounter them they've already destroyed two city wards with a mechanically-enhanced Pokemon. Most heroic characters are either weak-willed and unable to [[ShootTheDog make necessary sacrifices]] (like Victoria), massive jerks (like Fern), [[SociopathicHero sociopathic heroes]] {{sociopathic hero}}es (like Titania or Saphira), or [[BrokenBird have serious issues]] (like Florina and [[spoiler:Amaria]]; even the PlayerCharacter is just mainly here for the Reborn League [[HeroicBystander and keeps getting dragged into the conflict against Team Meteor.]] [[DeconReconSwitch However]], around the game's halfway point things start to get better: CharacterDevelopment kicks in, Team Meteor starts suffering heavier and heavier losses, [[spoiler:it's revealed that Team Meteor was actually a hair's breadth away from destroying the city completely before your first encounter with them, making your first victory against them less Pyrrhic that you thought]], and, perhaps most uplifting, [[spoiler:Adrienn, a person who was frozen in time before Team Meteor took over, manages to mobilize Reborn City and restore it to its former glory.]]



* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'': Despite John himself being portrayed as a sympathetic character, very few of his good deeds go unpunished. The only sympathetic character of all of the cast who didn't get apathetic is Jack, John's son. [[spoiler:But by the time the game's ending came around, he just became as bad as John himself after he killed Ross, and basically became the very man John didn't want him to become. One could only hope the sequel could have a flicker of light pierce this trope... but after [[VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2 it]] was revealed as a prequel, even that hope seemed to fade.]]

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* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'': Despite John himself being portrayed as a sympathetic character, very few of his good deeds go unpunished. The only sympathetic character of all of the cast who didn't get apathetic is Jack, John's son. [[spoiler:But by the time the game's ending came around, he just became as bad as John himself after he killed Ross, and basically became the very man John didn't want him to become. One could only hope the sequel could have a flicker of light pierce this trope...light... but after [[VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2 it]] was revealed as a prequel, even that hope seemed to fade.]]



* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' game ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' risks running into this by being a DeconstructorFleet that rips into classic ''Star Wars'' staples like the BlackAndWhiteMorality and the Jedi-Sith conflicts. The game is absolutely relentless about reinforcing how unrealistic and flawed these concepts are. The problem is that it's a ''Star Wars'' game, so the majority of people who would want to play it either ''like'' the very same ideas the game is dedicated to attacking or are at least willing to tolerate them while playing, which makes the whole affair feel a bit like the game is [[FanHater mocking your taste in fiction and trying to "correct" you]]. This is not helped by the ExecutiveMeddling that [[ChristmasRushed rushed production]] to the point that they had to release it [[NoEnding without the actual ending]]. This forces an unsatisfying confrontation with [[spoiler:Darth Traya, whose whole worldview is that everything is this trope]]. Fortunately, if players stick with it they have the option of averting this trope, as choosing to play either Light- or Dark-sided styles genuinely improves things in the end. You can choose to stabilize dying worlds, improve your companions' lives, and generally make the galaxy a bit better -- or you can play this trope straight and play as an AxCrazy Sith Lord murderhoboing your way across multiple planets ''because'' no one gives you enough reasons to care.

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* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' game ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' risks running into this by being a DeconstructorFleet that rips into classic ''Star Wars'' staples like the BlackAndWhiteMorality and the Jedi-Sith conflicts. The game is absolutely relentless about reinforcing how unrealistic and flawed these concepts are. The problem is that it's a ''Star Wars'' game, so the majority of people who would want to play it either ''like'' the very same ideas the game is dedicated to attacking or are at least willing to tolerate them while playing, which makes the whole affair feel a bit like the game is [[FanHater mocking your taste in fiction and trying to "correct" you]]. This is not helped by the ExecutiveMeddling that [[ChristmasRushed rushed production]] to the point that they had to release it [[NoEnding without the actual ending]]. This forces an unsatisfying confrontation with [[spoiler:Darth Traya, whose whole worldview is that everything is this trope]]. Traya]]. Fortunately, if players stick with it they have the option of averting this trope, as choosing can choose to play either Light- or Dark-sided styles styles, genuinely improves improving things in the end. You can choose to stabilize dying worlds, improve your companions' lives, and generally make the galaxy a bit better -- or you can play this trope straight and play as an AxCrazy Sith Lord murderhoboing your way across multiple planets ''because'' no one gives you enough reasons to care.



** ''A New Frontier'' continues the grand tradition of putting Clem through the wringer, largely outside of the player's control. [[spoiler:Whoever you chose to stay with at the end of ''Season 2'' dies in a flashback in Episode 1 -- Jane is DrivenToSuicide after discovering she's pregnant with Luke's child. Kenny is devoured after Clem crashes their car and he's thrown through the windshield. Wellington is overrun and Edith is shot as Clem and Alvin Jr. escape. By the time Episode 5 rolls around, a long string of supporting characters -- potentially including up to two members of Javi's family -- are dead. Notably, Telltale (seeing the backlash caused by the flashback deaths in Episode 1) added more flashbacks and character development of the dead characters in an effort to avert this trope.]]

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** ''A New Frontier'' continues the grand tradition of putting Clem through the wringer, largely outside of the player's control. [[spoiler:Whoever you chose to stay with at the end of ''Season 2'' dies in a flashback in Episode 1 -- Jane is DrivenToSuicide after discovering she's pregnant with Luke's child. Kenny is devoured after Clem crashes their car and he's thrown through the windshield. Wellington is overrun and Edith is shot as Clem and Alvin Jr. escape. By the time Episode 5 rolls around, a long string of supporting characters -- potentially including up to two members of Javi's family -- are dead. Notably, Telltale (seeing the backlash caused by the flashback deaths in Episode 1) added more flashbacks and character development of the dead characters in an effort to avert this trope.criticism.]]



* This trope is a major criticism against ''VideoGame/WatchDogs''. Many players accuse protagonist Aiden Pearce of having no moral compass whatsoever. Additionally, the toxic behavior of the city's populace, made evident through privacy invasions, casts a heavy blanket of melancholy that lasts throughout the game. It seems Ubisoft listened, as [[VideoGame/WatchDogs2 its sequel]] takes deliberate efforts to avert this trope.

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* This trope is a major criticism against ''VideoGame/WatchDogs''. Many players accuse ''VideoGame/WatchDogs'''s protagonist Aiden Pearce of having no moral compass whatsoever. Additionally, the toxic behavior of the city's populace, made evident through privacy invasions, casts a heavy blanket of melancholy that lasts throughout the game. It seems Ubisoft listened, as listened when they made [[VideoGame/WatchDogs2 its sequel]] takes deliberate efforts to avert this trope.the sequel]].

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* This was one of primary criticisms of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6''. Anybody who's not an important character end up dying, making it really difficult to care about any of them in the end. The campaign where you can play as either Chris or Piers is a little better about this, since it kills off its characters to show just how deadly the enemies really are and the impact it has on [[HeroicBSOD Chris]], rather than for the sake of emotional turmoil.

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