With most linear games, the assumption is that your character and any necessary counterparts will live long enough to complete the story. Plot armor ensures that random explosions and unexpected betrayals don't take you out before you can find out what happens. In some cases, however, that type of protection simply isn't there.
We're All Going To Die In These Games
There's no doubt that games can be brutal. There are games out there like #DarkSouls that depend (and even thrive) on your continuing cycle of death. Some games take it a step further by making your death part of the local canon. When you or your friends die, they don't come back. If you're expecting #Horror games to dominate here, you'll be surprised!
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
1. 'Until Dawn'
Until Dawn's got 256 different endings and even more paths to get to them. One of those endings features the death of every single one of its eight playable characters. These deaths can happen any time and in a variety of ways, leaving any sensible player on edge for the duration of the game.
Best case scenario?
Keeping everyone alive requires the collection of every single twin-themed artifact. Without them, you will always get the ending in which Josh dies.
2. 'Grand Theft Auto IV'
In Grand Theft Auto IV, more than half of the missions you complete involve Niko being hired to kill someone. In many cases, you'll even be killing people that previously employed you. The game continues this deadly trend up until the very end. You'll be forced to choose between your cousin Roman and your girlfriend Kate—the only two vaguely not evil people in the game. Niko should change his name to Agent 47 v. 2.0.
3. 'Resident Evil'
Much like its inspiration and fellow "Anyone Can Die"-er Sweet Home, the first #ResidentEvil game features a cast of five central characters—all of whom, even Wesker, can be dead by the end of the game depending on how you play. This includes Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. If you play the game as Jill you can decide whether or not Chris survives and vice versa.
Funnily enough, Resident Evil canon accepts the survival of all of these characters. I guess that's good news for you rogue-ish types out there who are just out for blood!
Hellnight is a horror survival game in which no one is truly safe. Your protagonist has just escaped a cult that's kidnapped you for unknown reasons. You'll travel to different areas of a world called The Mesh and solve puzzles with your companions by your side.
What's the catch? Your companions can be killed off and their individual skill sets will die with them. Their deaths are both a game mechanic and the key to getting the ending that you want. You too have a limited set of lives that, when lost, will lead to a rather unfortunate "Game Over".
5. 'Game Of Thrones: Season One'
This is one game that manages to be even worse than its source material when it comes to shock deaths. In Telltale's #GameOfThrones, we are reminded once again that there are no happy endings in this story universe. Despite having only one season under its belt, the body count stays high and heavy with multiple key characters being killed within its first episodes. Telltale really drives things home when the player character is killed at the end of the very first episode.
6. 'Batman: Arkham City'
Come on, if The Joker can die then anyone can die.
7. The Fallout Series
Kill anyone in a Fallout game and they won't come back. Anyone except for children that is. In true Bethesda fashion, there are little to no essential characters in this series. Once a character dies, the story will simply change to fit their absence.
I still remember the first time that I accidentally hit one of Old Lady Gibson's guard dogs in Fallout: New Vegas. She immediately started shooting at me so I had to kill her and lost all her side quests. I was burned for life. That sh*t sticks with you.
8. 'Ghost Trick'
So, the whole "everyone dies" thing is actually kind of fun when it comes to Ghost Trick. All of the main characters in this game die at least once. One character actually dies a minimum of five times in one night. No matter what, they all come back because your character (who was dead to begin with) can bring them back and set things straight.
Dying in Ghost Trick is a learning experience—embrace it! Don't let the cute graphics fool you, though. This game is daaaark.
9. The Mass Effect Series
While #Andromeda has yet to be heavily tested on this front, the OG trilogy of #MassEffect has shown us time and time again that no one is safe from an icy space death. The decision-based nature of gameplay leaves everyone's fates in the air as you get through your journey. It becomes less of a question of who will die and more of a question of when they will die.
Even seasoned vets like Garrus and your own Commander Shepherd aren't protected by plot armor.
Then again, we should know better than to trust BioWare's writing to create any kind of mildly durable plot armor to begin with.
10. 'Diablo II'
Anyone can die? More like anyone can and will die. In Diablo II, you get to visit the town of Tristram from the previous game. Unfortunately for you, the town's been leveled and all of the people in it have been killed. The game's original heroes are found to be corrupted and you end up having to kill all of them as well. Ultimately the Warrior himself gets possessed by Diablo and even the narrator, Marius, has to die. It's one big pile of death and there's no running from it.
But I suppose the same could be said for every single game on this list and that's why we love them. Right? We like that. Gamers like us feed off of that vulnerability. Or is it just me? It's just me? I'll take it.
Speaking of death, Lara Croft can also die—over and over again.
Which game left you feeling the most vulnerable?