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Another Top 10 False Choices in Video Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Kurt Hvorup Choice is just an illusion bro! Free your mind dude! Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Another Top 10 False Choices in Video Games. Special thanks to our user “Mike Petel” for suggesting this topics using our interactive suggestion tool @ http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Another Top 10 False Choices in Video Games

Turns out there’s still more instances of player influence not mattering to the progression of games. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our list for another top 10 False Choices in Video Games.

Once again, we’re looking at scenes and moments in gaming where the player is told that their actions affect what will occur next, only for said actions to be rendered irrelevant to gameplay or narrative. Be it a simple choice of cards or a decision to spare a life, these choices come across more as misdirection and manipulation than an offering of options.

#10: Cure Cancer or Solve World Hunger - “Saints Row IV” (2013)

Two incredibly worthwhile options, and yet no outcome. Early in “Saints Row IV”, the Boss of the Third Street Saints miraculously becomes President of the United States, and has had time to settle in - and make some questionable decisions. Shortly before attending a press conference, the Boss is met by his Vice President, Keith David, who offers to put one of two bills up for vote. Whether the player chooses the bill to cure cancer or solve world hunger, the choice is never brought up again and appears to be forgotten by the time the action starts.

#9: The Kravchenko Interrogation - “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” (2012)

Letting go of the past is tough for most, but Alex Mason has a very unique problem in this regard. Having been subjected to mental conditioning in the 1960s, Mason is driven to kill several of his former captors. So when a mission to Afghanistan has Mason present for the interrogation of Lev Kravchenko – one such captor – it falls to the player to either stop or indulge Mason’s urge to kill. If you fail to stop Mason, he kills Kravchenko and his allies turn on him… and if Mason resists, Mason’s friend Woods pulls the trigger and causes their allies to turn traitor. What a stunning difference that makes.

#8: Pick Your Ending - “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” (2011) and “Mankind Divided (2016)

For a series that prides itself on letting players shape narrative, this sure isn’t a great way of making player choice matter. “Human Revolution” ends on an open note, with lead character Adam Jensen being offered a choice between four potential endings, each bearing their own consequences. All well and good, until “Mankind Divided” came along and opted to remain ambiguous about which ending was canon. With no distinct clues as to the truth and no option to import one’s ending, the result is a feeling of missed opportunity and disappointment.

#7: To Save Trish or Not to Save Trish - “Infamous” (2009)

A hero’s tragedy should be a compelling and powerful thing. Yet in the 2009 open-world game “Infamous”, there’s a tangible sense of dis-empowerment as the player guides electricity-firing super-human Cole McGrath towards a confrontation with his nemesis, Kessler. In a late-game mission, Kessler offers Cole the chance to save either his girlfriend Trish or a group of doctors from falling to their doom. However, regardless of the chosen course of action, the overall outcome is the same: Trish dies and Cole is left embittered. All the good or evil karma in the world can’t change how much this event feels like a frustrating instance of narrative railroading.

#6: The Two Valanices - “King’s Quest” (2015-16)

During the third episode of “King’s Quest”, the noble King Graham sets out to climb a tower and rescue those trapped within. To his surprise, there are not one but two princesses atop the tower – the enthusiastic Neese and the introverted Vee. Graham then has to select which princess he believes to be his true love, courting the chosen woman as a result. As the episode’s conclusion reveals, though, the choice fundamentally doesn’t matter; both women are named Princess Valanice, Graham’s canonical wife and queen. Thus, the series’ history is maintained, at the cost of player involvement.

#5: A Farewell to Arms - “The Walking Dead: Season 1” (2012)

Late in the fourth episode of “The Walking Dead: Season 1”, your character Lee Everett is sadly bitten by a walker and doomed to eventually turn into one himself. As his efforts to rescue his young charge Clementine conflict with this problem, Lee is made to decide between carrying on with the infected limb or amputating it to buy time. Quite the powerful dilemma to pose, it’s made to ring hollow by Lee inevitably succumbing to the bite regardless of the choice made. Thus, what could have been an interesting branching of paths ends up seeming false at its core.

#4: Freeing Tolwyn - “Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom” (1996)

Apparently freedom comes cheaply. That’s our impression when famed star pilot Christopher Blair happens upon his former commanding officer Admiral Tolwyn in the captivity of Blair’s allies. After a tense conversation, Blair is offered the chance to either let Tolwyn go free or leave him to his fate. What undercuts the potential impact of this decision, however, is the fact that Tolwyn will always escape; whether permitted by Blair or undertaken secretly by Blair’s friend Maniac, the admiral will be freed. While it serves its purpose to keep the story moving, this moment feels out of sync with the game’s otherwise choice-influenced nature.

#3: Dropping Hannah or Letting Go - “Until Dawn” (2015)

Oh death… turns out no one gets spared ‘til another year. In 2015’s “Until Dawn”, we are introduced to Hannah and Beth Washington, a pair of sisters staying with their friends at the Washington family cabin. Unfortunately, circumstances lead to the sisters hanging off a cliff edge, with a mysterious person seemingly trying to grab them. It’s at that point that Beth can, as the player-controlled character, let go of Hannah and reach for the person’s hand or release her grip on the cliff. Yet the scene ends with both sisters falling to their presumptive deaths, no matter what choice you make.

#2: Game Needs to Start - “Fallout 4” (2015)

Many ways in, no way out. As “Fallout 4” opens, your chosen character – either a male war veteran or his lawyer wife – is greeted at the door of their home by a Vault-Tec Salesman. Said salesman wants to discuss your character’s reservation for Vault 111, which leads to the allocation of SPECIAL points. You can, however, refuse to hear out the salesman… at which point your spouse convinces you to hear out the pitch anyway. Clearly meant to ensure that the game starts, this sequence nonetheless feels contrived and teases choice without truly committing to it.

#1: Pure Blood Test - “Wolfenstein: The New Order” (2014)

Well, the idea of feeling tension was nice while it lasted. Not long after BJ Blazkowicz returns to action in “The New Order”, he and his new companion Anya set off aboard a train to Berlin. Along the way Blazkowicz is asked to sit down by a pair of Nazi officers and asked to take a test. You then have to select from a series of cards, with the threat of death should you choose the wrong one. There’s just one tiny issue here: no card is wrong, and BJ gets to walk away unscathed in almost every scenario.

Do you agree with our list? What false choices in gaming most bother you? If you didn’t see a false choice you thought should be on here, be sure to check out our first list on this topic, and for more revelatory Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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