Catherine was one of my favourite games of 2012. It was incredibly unique and had a totally brilliant story. Unfortunately, it was also one of the most depressing games I have played in a long time.
It is hard to hit the nail on the head as to why it made me feel so bad, but it may be because on my first play-through I didn't get the ending I wanted. That said, none of the endings are particularly 'happy'. If you stay with Katherine then you have to live with that annoying, boring woman for the rest of your life. If you stick to Catherine then you get the best girl around, but also have to go and live in the demon world because she isn't even a real human being. Great.
If you get the 'ultimate freedom' ending(s) then you are basically free from both relationships and Vincent can carry on his life.
The entire game is great to play, but at the same time brings you down in almost every way. Vincent's Nightmares, his time in the bar with the other really well made characters, his time with the girls and, ultimately, the entire journey is an intriguing one, but not exactly the happiest.
Damn. If you want to be cheered up don't play this game. Just don't do it.
Heavy Rain is another amazing title, but one that isn't exactly uplifting. Its plot focuses around a child being abducted not too long after his brother was killed in a car accident and how it ties in with a serial killer called the 'Origami Killer'.
The 4 characters in the game all have many issues and can die at any time. If you make a mistake then poof, they're gone. No coming back either. If they all die it is game over.
The plot is realistic, deep and somewhat meaningful, however despite how awesome it is, it is still one of the most depressing games this generation, tapping into your emotions and feelings.
This wasn't the first game I considered when I thought up this article. However on closer thought, it isn't exactly Super Mario Bros. Bioshock doesn't necessarily make you feel sad, but it has such an outstanding atmosphere and setting it is hard not to get drawn into its grotty, depressed world.
Nothing about the game is positive. Sure, your character gets more powerful and better equipped, but it never feels like you are ever going to escape the hellhole that is Rapture. Then the game poses moral decisions relating to little girls. Kill these demonised children to gain more ADAM to level up faster, or spare them and receive less. Sparing, or saving them, removes this horrible demonic curse from them and they are normal little girls again, free to run off and live safely.
It is a horrible choice to have to make and one that doesn't really seem rewarding either way.
There is just a certain sadness and detachment about Rapture. The insane Splicers, the enraged and totally crazy Big Daddies, the weird characters; everything in it is messed up and creepy.
I'm not saying the entire game is depressing, but let's just say it never really feels very positive. The game starts off in far from the best circumstances and just gets worse. People die, disappear and then you are out, out in the open desolate and destroyed world to find your own way around.
The game is very loose, allowing for some crazy things to be done. Hell, I even screwed up an entire side part of the game because I killed the wrong guy. It is one of the few games where I felt almost fully in control. That what I wanted to do could be done. Hell, you can destroy an entire 'city' if you want to with a nuke. Now isn't that a positive thought.
Fallout chucks you out in the world and says "deal with it" and if you don't then you are screwed. it is very easy to get lost in the game and get caught in an unchangeable rut of dying and failing. It is up to you to play the cards right.
The game is excellent and fun, but it doesn't come with much positivity.
I didn't necessarily feel too bad when I first played Metro, but it is a game that deserves to be on this list for the simple fact of its setting and atmosphere.
The game is set in a world destroyed by nuclear war. Russians have taken to underground shelter in the Metro to survive. Unfortunately this is only a partial fix to the problem. Deformed beasts roam the tunnels, varying colonies of Russians have different and often more brutal ways of life, and supplies are scarce. Survival is of the utmost fittest.
And you haven't even gone outside yet.
When you do finally exit the tunnels, it is gas mask on and guns at the ready. Going outside into a destroyed and completely desolate Moscow is a gaming memory I will never forget. There is literally nothing out there except for some crumbling, grey, buildings. Oh, and some more deformed beasts.
Breathing heavily and realistically through the gas mask, with steam and cracks distorting the view, it suddenly makes the underground tunnels seem safer.
When I played it I realised there was nothing else. How do you rebuild and survive with the world in this state? It was different in Fallout 3 because towns and cities already existed and in a way the future was kind of positive, but here there was absolutely nothing. Everything was dead, or soon would be.
There isn't much to say here. Dead Space is...is....is....Dead Space is...a...great...game.
Yes, it is a great game. Very great. Excellent, even. The reason it is so goddamn depressing is not only the entire plot, but also because you are trapped on a space ship in space with little except these disturbing creatures from the deep depths of hell on it with you. Yay. What a fun orgy that would be.
The isolation felt when playing it is surpassed by few games. You. Are. Alone. It is one of the scariest, most depressing games ever made.
It is hard to pick one individual Silent Hill game here, so let's assume it is all of them.
I, myself, like Silent Hill. It is scary and fun, but, most of all, it has some of the most intriguing stories and one of the most depressing settings ever.
The stories are messed up and creepy. Nothing is normal and things are always very weird. Most of all, though, they are depressing. Sadness is a key element of almost every story related to Silent Hill and you won't find much, if anything, uplifting here.
But it's the setting that makes the games so downright dreary, scary and depressing. The place of Silent Hill hits the 'isolation' mark even better than Dead Space in my opinion. The reason being that Silent Hill isn't isolated. There are people living there. The thing is that these people are either never to be seen or are mysteriously useless. If you are running from a big bad monster and you see someone ahead, you might for a moment feel positive, like there is hope, but then that soon drains away because, as always, no one in Silent Hill is actually helpful or useful to you.
The fact that there are people there, but they just don't do anything scares me.
There is no doubt in my mind that Silent Hill, despite the issues it has had with the quality of its titles over the years, is one of the most depressing game series around.
Spec Ops: The Line
Going off into Dubai on a mission to 'save people' doesn't exactly work out well after Walker and his squad get attacked and then confronted with some really messed up things about Dubai and what is going on there.
The game isn't the best in the the world, but it does something very right with its story. It makes you feel exactly like your character, Walker, does: confused. As you progress through the game, the entire reason you went to Dubai in the first place gets distorted and questions about morality are asked in brutal ways. You start to question everything. Why are we here? Are we actually the good guys? What is going on? Can I trust these people? What are we actually doing?
The game ends in one of four different ways. All of them sad and none of them giving you any real answers. But there aren't any solid answers to be had, because questions relating to morality can only be answered by yourself and not with any actual, truthful answers. So it is up to you to decipher what just happened.
The game makes you question you and the characters moral choices and no decision can be made for certain in the game because no one knows exactly what to do or what is going on in the first place.
It is a psychological experience no gamer should miss.
There are plenty more too...
Yep, depressing games are everywhere and I've played some really bad ones over the years. This list is in no way the only games that have depressed me, but just some main ones I wanted to note.
What games depress you? Say your say in the comments!