Role-playing games (RPGs) are one of the most popular of all video game genres for a reason – who among us doesn’t love immersing ourselves in a rich, deep game world littered with fascinating characters and stories for dozens of hours on end?
And while developers certainly know how their bread is buttered in this regard, that doesn’t mean they always just give players what they want – sometimes they desire to try something different and toy with what the gaming audience expects.
And so, these 10 video games all dared to play cruel tricks on unsuspecting players, whether forcing them to confront a horrible moral dilemma, meting out an excessively harsh punishment for an honest mistake, or straight-up trolling them in wildly infuriating ways.
Each of these RPGs is beloved by millions of players worldwide, yet each also threatened to invoke their collective ire by pulling the rug out, subverting expectations, and forcing everyone to reconsider the very nature of the genre as they knew it.
It just goes to show, you never know what a game might throw at you totally out of nowhere…
The Witcher 3 boasts some of the most nuanced and creative mission design in the genre, as CD Projekt Red proved in most infuriating fashion in the quest “The Whispering Hillock.”
The quest tasks the player with deciding the fate of the Ghost in the Tree – the spirit of a druid imprisoned in a large oak tree. The spirit has been disturbing the nearby citizens of the village Downwarren and is also rumoured to have caused several deaths.
But the quest is designed to ensure players are put in an agonising spot either way – complete a ritual to free the spirit and it will rescue a group of orphans from the child-eating Crones, yet will also end up killing many of Downwarren’s citizens afterwards.
But if you kill the spirit, you save Downwarren at the cost of those poor, suffering orphans, who are left to be devoured by the Crones.
It’s very much a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, callously forcing the player to make a near-impossible choice.