The Top 7... gut-wrenching choices

The choice: In addition to crime and capitalism, GTA IV is a game about contacts. Without the many acquaintances on Niko’s phone list, the story would not progress. His path is determined by their plans. So what do you do when one contact asks you to kill another? And vice versa? You stare down the barrel of your virtual gun for a long, long time…

The paralyzing thought process: Halfway through the game, Playboy X orders you to assassinate his old friend and mentor, Dwayne Forge. Since Playboy is a rising criminal superstar with aspirations to build up his local community, and Dwayne is a suicidal mope who wishes he was either dead or back in prison, why worry? Visiting either man’s apartment – Playboy lives in overprotected opulence while Dwayne resides in grimy tenements with a lone, seemingly homeless bodyguard – may change your mind.

Later, in an even murkier moral dilemma, two brothers beg you to make the other disappear. Both are selfish, both are corrupt, but both also have redeeming qualities. Francis McReary is a police officer and the only member of his family to lead a (relatively) legal existence. Derrick McReary was an Irish freedom fighter, and after years of paranoid exile, (possibly) deserves a chance at peace. Suddenly, though, you’ve got less than a minute to choose who lives… and who gets an action-packed funeral in the next mission.

The aftermath: Outside of some divergent dialogue and newspaper headlines, GTA IV leaves the impact of the latter decision up to the player’s imagination. You never see either brother again, though killing Derrick does enable you to blackmail Francis into calling off police chases now and again. As for Playboy versus Dwayne? Playboy betrays you and abandons you; Dwayne befriends you and gives you Playboy’s luxury penthouse suite. If you can reload a save file, the choice is obvious.

The choice: Somewhere in Africa, a government has failed and a country is at civil war. Two factions struggle for control, both using you as an invisible pawn. When one side eventually wins, however, its leaders will want to erase any evidence of wrongdoing… including you, your mercenary friends and, for some reason, a village full of innocent locals. Naturally, there isn’t time to protect them all.

The paralyzing thought process: Far Cry 2 gives you one, and just one, primary objective – kill the Jackal. Everything else in the game is a means to that end, and if you must become as ruthlessly immoral as your target in order to finish him, so be it. At least that’s what you tell yourself… until the game actually puts your cynicism to the test. The villagers aren’t merely villagers, you see. They’re a congregation of churchgoers! Whose preacher has been keeping you alive with malaria medicine for days now! Damn.

Hmm, okay, so maybe let the other mercenaries die? They’re heartless murderers like you; hell, they’re loitering in the bar at this moment, slowly drowning themselves in cheap liquor. But wait… they’ve saved you from death countless times, dragging you back to safety every time you’ve fallen. You really won’t return the favor when you have the chance? Crap.

The aftermath: Surprise! Hope you didn’t soul search for too long, because no matter which side you pick, the friends are toast. They’re always gunned down at the bar; the only difference is if you’re there to witness it or not.


Top 7

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  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - April 21, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    What about Mass Effect? I chose to save Ashley instead of Kaiden.
  • shravanraja - January 30, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    Infamous had a lot of choices to make too which greatly affected the games outcome. For example, you could have either give a group of hungry people food, or zap them and take it all for yourself. =P
  • Voltaire - December 9, 2010 5:13 p.m.

    I dont remember any choice in Shivering Isles
  • Gsindahouse - June 8, 2010 1:07 a.m.

    Or just pick nobody and get the Cocona Ending! But good luck beating Raki before the game freezes w/o anyones super song magic/Replakia.
  • dannage805 - October 19, 2009 11:04 p.m.

    portal has meaningful choices and dilemmas? lol i just blew up megaton 2day, dat shits unreal
  • petrolboy - September 21, 2009 11:50 a.m.

    What about Half Life one. That's pretty defining...
  • GameManiac - September 15, 2009 2:48 a.m.

    The number one pick could not have been more one-sided. And I know that from experience.
  • KayRedd - August 31, 2009 8:25 p.m.

    One choice I had to make was in Lost Magic (NDS). The choice comes halfway through the game, where you either give the bad guy the wand (which your father told you was the only thing which could stop her) and save your friend (bad guy's sister) or keep the wand and let her die. I obviously thought you HAD to keep the wand, i didn't know there was a real choice! So I gave her the wand, she kills your friend, you start going crazy, bad guy turns you into a phsycotic mess with clever word-play, and ends up turning you into a slave for which you spend the rest of the game killing all the friends that helped you..... FUN!
  • MassEffectfan - August 17, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    Mass Effect should have made it on here. Its choices are totally better than some of these. Like Kaidan or Ashley or the Council or Soverign. Plus the effs of these choices effect the second game.
  • zuse315 - August 9, 2009 12:21 p.m.

    How is Mass Effect NOT in here???
  • Black_X_1111 - August 6, 2009 12:33 a.m.

    You forgot Black & White, and to a lesser extent, all the other strategy games out there. And a lot of mmorpgs.
  • 11englj - July 20, 2009 3:37 p.m.

    I always kill Francis McReary because that asshole always deserves to die, or atleast in my mind he does
  • Warhead1997 - July 19, 2009 8:12 p.m.

  • theodo1997 - July 15, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    they should have had fire emblem, whether to restart when one of your guys die or to continue on without them. that bugs me every time!
  • _D-Man_ - June 24, 2009 6 p.m.

    lmfao pokemon got number 1 captcha: times rein
  • baconfacemilomonster - May 28, 2009 5:11 a.m.

    damn that ghoul is moira is HOT! love me some of that bald dead chick action
  • HRhuffnstuff - May 27, 2009 8:10 p.m.

    I believe the other choices in Grand Theft Auto aer much greater than the two yuo've chosen. Kill a ghost that has haunted you or let him lead his miserable life? Get lots of money for you and Roman or get revenge on some who wants you dead? Those were way worse than the others.
  • deathhunter - May 18, 2009 3:20 a.m.

    you guys forgot about Silent Hill Homecoming. When your in the jail and you find your mother tied to a machine straight out of a Saw movie. You either shoot her between the eyes, or watch as shes ripped in two pieces screaming in agony.
  • xXxKohakuxXx - May 17, 2009 8:33 p.m.

    in GTA 4 kill play boy,you get his house and dwayne will be your freind Dwayne's ability is to send you two gangsters that will protect you (also you get an outfit that the main character wore in GTA 3)
  • Blinder - May 12, 2009 11:59 p.m.

    You forgot The Suffering

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