In light of the shocking death on The Walking Dead, Game Rant takes a look at the most memorable character deaths in video game history.
Over recent years, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to enjoy a gripping shows and movies without grappling with the risk of a favorite character being killed off. Whether it be Game of Thrones or American Horror Story, some franchises seem to relish in the chance to bump off a beloved character. Indeed, The Walking Dead recently made the mortality of its cast all the more apparent through shocking character death.
However, video game fans may be a little more acclimatized to the early demise of a character. After all, the gaming community has had to put up with the lives of fan favorites being cut short for an extremely long time. Here’s Game Rant’s look at the ten video game deaths we will never forget. Be warned: many spoilers lie ahead.
Roach and Ghost – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
From the moment that the Call of Duty series was thrust into the modern day with the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, it was made clear that the tables had turned when it came to the player character’s mortality. The death of Sergeant Jackson after the detonation of a nuclear bomb set a chilling precedent for the rest of the series, paving the way for the truly shocking deaths of Modern Warfare 2.
Although the No Russian mission has understandably become infamous within the gaming community and beyond, the most memorable deaths in the game are those of Roach and Ghost. Coming after a fiendish mission to retrieve vital information, both of the operatives were betrayed by General Shepherd, leaving gamers wanting revenge.
Henry and Sam – The Last of Us
Life in the world of The Last of Us is a tough one, and it seems as though no character has fully been able to avoid the horrors and tragedies of the cordyceps infection. However, even with this backdrop of death, there was little to prepare players for the deaths of two of the most sympathetic characters in the game.
Brothers Henry and Sam become begrudging allies of Joel and Ellie over the course of The Last of Us, and the loyalty that the two brothers hold to one another is one of the most human moments of the game. However, like most of the remnants of society in the title, it cannot last forever. Younger brother Sam becomes infected, resulting in Henry killing his own brother before turning the gun on himself.
Dom – Gears of War 3
Given the violence found in many games, it’s no surprise to see close bonds and family ties being strained to the point of impossibility in many cases. The Gears of War series is one that certainly revels in tearing loved ones apart, be it with Marcus Fenix and his father or played more comically with the Carmine brothers. However, it all pales in comparison to that of Dominic Santiago and his wife Maria.
Dom’s search for his missing wife makes up a large subplot of the Gears of War games, before the character discovers her ‘processed’ by the Locust in Gears of War 2. To make things even more painful for the player, Dom then dies himself in Gears of War 3, albeit heroically. The death of such an important character to the series, and the fact that he was never truly able to avenge the tragedy of his family, was shocking for many gamers.
Lee – The Walking Dead
Since The Walking Dead’s TV adaptation has been causing a ruckus due to the grotesque death of one of its most well loved characters, it’s perhaps important to point out that these deaths happen across every Walking Dead story. The Telltale Games adaptations of the comic series are no strangers to killing off important characters, and this was typified perfectly by the tragic death of Lee in the first season.
Seen by many as one of the most compelling video game protagonists of all time, Lee saw it as his mission to keep the young Clementine safe in spite of the dangers of an infected world. In the end, however, a mixture of a bizarre plot and a zombie bite was enough to ensure that Lee would not be able to see Clem’s journey to the end – but at the very least, he was able to make sure she was able to survive. Nonetheless, gamers would be forgiven for tearing up a little at the end of the season’s final chapter.
Booker DeWitt – BioShock Infinite
The BioShock franchise is one that has always toyed with player expectations – just look at how important the phrase “would you kindly” is in the original game. However, BioShock Infinite took the number of twists and turns in the series to a whole new level, particularly with regards to the fate of player character Booker DeWitt.
At the end of the game, DeWitt discovers that he is just one of the branching paths of antagonist Zachary Hale Comstock, and that the only way to erase all of the horrors committed by the villain is to die before their pathways split. To do this, Booker is drowned at his own baptism, thereby stopping Comstock from having ever existed.