In World At War you play as a Russian soldier who survives Stalingrad before taking the fight back to the Germans. In one scene, the game reads to you from the diary of your fallen friend Chernov. Depending on your actions up to that point, he may call you a noble hero or a brutal savage. This distinction is determined when your commander orders you to kill German prisoners. If you follow his order, you're a savage. If you let them live, you're a hero. Makes sense, right?
Well, the men aren't exactly healthy POWs. They are bleeding out and suffering, and shooting them might actually be a kindness. If you decide to let them live despite this, the Germans end up being burned alive. So to be clear, you are a brutal savage if you mercy kill some dying soldiers, and you're a noble hero if you stand back to watch them turn into shrieking barbecue.
ActivisionIt's grim to watch. Not the scene, the game. They were all really gray back then.
In a way, this is a legitimate moral dilemma. You shouldn't slaughter POWs, but you also shouldn't stand around and watch people suffer for no reason. We think most people would agree that some off-the-books euthanasia beats watching men burn to death.
ActivisionNot this game. Watch them burn, hero! You did it!!
Call Of Duty: Black Ops II also has some dubious moral paths to take, each with different endings depending on your "goodness." It all depends on how you handle a situation where you're undercover: You're given the option to prove your loyalty by shooting your teammate Harper, or you could just shoot the game's main villain, Menendez.
ActivisionUh ... the answer is A? I- It's gotta be, right?
Beat the game or kill a brother in arms? It seems like an obvious choice, but if you don't shoot Harper, that's a one-way ticket to the bad ending. So as you already expected, you need to shoot Harper.
ActivisionSorry, Harper. It was either you or the bad ending -- video gaming's most terrible penalty.
Executing a man is a pretty extreme way to maintain your cover, but it sets off the chain of events that leads to you saving a hacker lady who is necessary to save the world. It might be the "right" thing to do, but shooting at Menendez leads to certain doom for everyone. But all this is irrelevant since Black Ops II has only one true ending -- the one where Menendez and the sidekick from Black Ops become best friends and, without explanation, go on tour with the band Avenged Sevenfold.
ActivisionThat also wasn't a joke. Video games are fucking NUTS.
Which Sci-Fi Trope Would You Bring To The Real World, And Why? Every summer we're treated to the same buffet of three or four science fiction movies with the same basic conceits. There's man vs. aliens, man vs. robots, man vs. army of clones and man vs. complicated time travel rules. With virtual reality and self-driving cars fast approaching, it's time to consider what type of sci-fi movie we want to be living in for the rest of our lives. Co-hosts Jack O'Brien and Adam Tod Brown are joined by Cracked's Tom Reimann and Josh Sargent along with comedians David Huntsberger, Caitlin Gill, and Lizzy Cooperman to figure out which sci-fi trope would be the best to make a reality. Get your tickets to this live podcast here!
For bizarre situations in video games, check out 6 Video Game Endings That Are Clearly F#@%ing With Us and The 5 Most WTF Video Game Endings Of All Time.
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