When Emotional Moments in Games Fall Flat

My friends and I can spend hours talking about moments in video games that either made us cry or almost cry (Telltale Walking Dead, I'm looking at you right now). But we never really talk about the moments that absolutely failed or fell flat. Emotional moments in video games, much like film, television, or fiction, need to be earned. The player, reader, or viewer needs to build a connection with the characters in the piece in order to feel something when they leave, die, or go through some traumatic experience.

Games, in my opinion, have all of the trouble with this. Maybe the reason why the moments that work stick out in our head is because we aren't used to them and they don't normally happen while you play a video game. As games continue to garner love for their character depth and deep narrative structure, it's not surprising to me that other games try to achieve the same thing... But fail horribly.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfarecompletely failsshooting people

Uncharted 2: Among ThievesShambhala

The player doesn't really interact with this character as much as they should. As soon as Schafer's introduced he's immediately taken away from us. Schafer's death could have been meaningful, it could have been a tear-jerker, or a sad-time. But it wasn't. If a more established character had been taken away during this game like Sully, I'd probably write about a different moment in games that was terrible.

shooting guys

Are there any moments in games that completely fell flat to you? Let me know in the comments or make your own card and I'll send you a tub of peanut butter*.


*No I won't. Because I love peanut butter and I'm currently eating it right now.

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