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Games with branching storylines/multiple ending?

revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User
edited July 2010 in Games and Technology
So i had my seasonal craving for a game with a good branching storyline and thus I decided to replay Dragon Age for the third time. I had a lot of fun playing with the dwarf origin up until the Fade when I thought, I can't go through this horrible place again.

Just no way in hell do I have to clear that round circle of hell again, just couldn't do it.

But still I craveth for a game with a branching storyline.

I'm pretty sure I've played them all, from all the blockbuster (Mass Effect, Planescape Torment, BG, NWN, Persona, Deus Ex, Fable) to the obscure (Way Of The Samurai, Alter Ego, Jade Empire).

I was hoping that maybe someone here can help me recommend one that I haven't played before, because linear games just don't do it for me anymore.

I don't have a lot of hopes though, knowing how few these sort of games are out there :(

revolutionary bean on
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Posts

  • GarrisGarris Registered User
    edited July 2010
    if theres any possible way chrono trigger is definetly(sp)
    the way to go

    Garris on
  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Alpha Protocol is another. Hell, me and my brother essentially had the same character but since we had totally different playstyles we had 2 very different run throughs.

    The story really carries the game (which is code for the gameplay is a little rough/difficult to get used to).

    Nocren on
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  • revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Garris wrote: »
    if theres any possible way chrono trigger is definetly(sp)
    the way to go

    I remember playing the game a long time ago but I can't remember it having a branching storyline?


    Edit:
    Nocren wrote: »
    Alpha Protocol is another. Hell, me and my brother essentially had the same character but since we had totally different playstyles we had 2 very different run throughs.

    The story really carries the game (which is code for the gameplay is a little rough/difficult to get used to).

    Man, finished it a couple of times chainshotting everyone to bits. Great game, the sort of exactly what I'm looking for.

    revolutionary bean on
  • GarrisGarris Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Well the game has 12 different endings and there is a multitude of sidequests to bring about some of those endings:)

    Garris on
  • Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah, Chonro Trigger is the game I think of when I think of multiple endings, so if you haven't played that do so quickly.

    As far as your Dragon Age problem is concerned, there are mods that let you simplify the fade or skip it all together

    Kris_xK on
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  • l337CrappyJackl337CrappyJack Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Sadly, yeah, Alpha Protocol is more or less the only game that's really nailed the branching storyline thing. Other games have tried it, but it mostly plays out exactly the same but with snippets of dialog changed here and there to reflect if you've done X or not.

    l337CrappyJack on
  • revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Kris_xK wrote: »
    Yeah, Chonro Trigger is the game I think of when I think of multiple endings, so if you haven't played that do so quickly.

    As far as your Dragon Age problem is concerned, there are mods that let you simplify the fade or skip it all together


    PS3, man.

    Sadly, yeah, Alpha Protocol is more or less the only game that's really nailed the branching storyline thing. Other games have tried it, but it mostly plays out exactly the same but with snippets of dialog changed here and there to reflect if you've done X or not.

    Actually, I can recommend a lot more off the top of my head:
    -KOTOR
    -KOTOR 2
    -Heavy Rain
    -Indigo Prophecy
    -Vampire: Masquerade


    I think I've played through all the branching storyline games and now I'm running on empty. :(

    Edit: I googled up Chrono Trigger ending and it seems the endings are all based on when you fight the last boss. That sounds like an arbitrary way to a multiple ending for me, I need something more complex with personal choices that leads you to different branches of the storyline not just "if you do this you get a if not x" sort of branching storyline, if you get my meaning.

    revolutionary bean on
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Ogre Battle

    Barcardi on
  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Shadow the Hedgehog.

    I will now kill myself for not coming up with anything better.

    MetroidZoid on
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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Just reterating Alpha Protocol, because, fuck yeah !!!

    Also, because a remake was just anounced, what about Tactics Ogre:LUCT?

    Spoit on
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  • EmperorSethEmperorSeth Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    There's always Iji, a freeware PC game. The ending is pretty much the same, but your playstyle affects the game pretty profoundly. You can find ways to save friendly NPCs, alter your interactions with major characters, even create truces with the enemy. It's very possible (and arguably easier on harder difficulties than a normal playthrough) to go completely pacifist, killing no enemy in the entire game!

    EmperorSeth on
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  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    KOTOR and Indigo Prophecy only have 2 and 3 majorly different endings, respectively.

    That always seemed sort of cheap to me.

    It was a little more variable still in the Mass Effects, but also less at the same time. The endings are the same, the people were different.

    HadjiQuest on
  • revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Barcardi wrote: »
    Ogre Battle

    Sounds a good game but too much bother to get a copy.


    Shadow the Hedgehog.

    I will now kill myself for not coming up with anything better.

    lol wut?

    Spoit wrote: »
    Just reterating Alpha Protocol, because, fuck yeah !!!

    Also, because a remake was just anounced, what about Tactics Ogre:LUCT?

    Yea can't believe they're not coming up with a sequel. And I'm done with Tactics Ogre.




    Come on guys, this is the only game I have left in my library that has a semblance of multipath in it and i don't want to play it because it's shit

    Edit:
    There's always Iji, a freeware PC game. The ending is pretty much the same, but your playstyle affects the game pretty profoundly. You can find ways to save friendly NPCs, alter your interactions with major characters, even create truces with the enemy. It's very possible (and arguably easier on harder difficulties than a normal playthrough) to go completely pacifist, killing no enemy in the entire game!

    Sounds cool, I'll try it out.

    revolutionary bean on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Doesn't branch as much as have different, parallel tracks but how about Quest for Glory?

    Spoit on
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  • revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Spoit wrote: »
    Doesn't branch as much as have different, parallel tracks but how about Quest for Glory?


    Man I loved that game series to death, I played the first (vga) and fourth (fifth?) game, only class worth playing as was as thief though :p. That game reminded me of those "Choose your own adventure" books i used to read heh.

    revolutionary bean on
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited July 2010
    You guys suggesting Chrono Trigger seriously have no idea what a branching storyline is. There are next to no games with real branches. Stuff like Dragon Age and KotOR don't branch at all. You go through the same shit regardless of what you choose, you just get a few cosmetic changes along the way. KotOR1 was especially bad. There's just a single binary choice to be made and then oops, now you're evil (or good).

    Tactics Ogre LUCT comes to mind for obvious reasons. Covenant of the Plum as well. Guardian Heroes and Star Fox 64 I guess if we're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    Actual real branching arcs are more of the realm of visual novels and their ilk. There are some great ones out and translated these days too. Shameless self-pimping.

    Aroduc on
  • revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »
    You guys suggesting Chrono Trigger seriously have no idea what a branching storyline is. There are next to no games with real branches. Stuff like Dragon Age and KotOR don't branch at all. You go through the same shit regardless of what you choose, you just get a few cosmetic changes along the way. KotOR1 was especially bad. There's just a single binary choice to be made and then oops, now you're evil (or good).

    Tactics Ogre LUCT comes to mind for obvious reasons. Covenant of the Plum as well. Guardian Heroes and Star Fox 64 I guess.

    I'd take a simplified sort of "branching" (even if it's just dialogue branching) rather than none at all!
    Actual real branching arcs are more of the realm of visual novels and their ilk. There are some great ones out and translated these days too. Shameless self-pimping

    Do you mean those hentai games/novel in the realm of Fate/Stay night? Hell, I'd be willing to try out a few of those even though I thought Fate/Stay was a bit verbose..

    revolutionary bean on
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    There's always Devil Survivor if you've got a DS. It's got five different endings and a number of PCs may or may not survive the week based on your actions.

    WotanAnubis on
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited July 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »
    You guys suggesting Chrono Trigger seriously have no idea what a branching storyline is. There are next to no games with real branches. Stuff like Dragon Age and KotOR don't branch at all. You go through the same shit regardless of what you choose, you just get a few cosmetic changes along the way. KotOR1 was especially bad. There's just a single binary choice to be made and then oops, now you're evil (or good).

    Tactics Ogre LUCT comes to mind for obvious reasons. Covenant of the Plum as well. Guardian Heroes and Star Fox 64 I guess.

    I'd take a simplified sort of "branching" (even if it's just dialogue branching) rather than none at all!
    Actual real branching arcs are more of the realm of visual novels and their ilk. There are some great ones out and translated these days too. Shameless self-pimping

    Do you mean those hentai games/novel in the realm of Fate/Stay night? Hell, I'd be willing to try out a few of those even though I thought Fate/Stay was a bit verbose..

    Aselia's a good one to start with, and only the PC backport of the PS2 version is translated (IE, no porn). The gameplay can be... a tad repetitive though which kind of breaks the whole "replaying it for the different branches" thing. Alicesoft makes awesome SRPGs, the best two of which are pretty much translated, although they uh... well... they're Alicesoft. The other decent translated VN games with actual game to them right now are by Leaf, which don't branch at all and are at least as needlessly verbose as Nasu's stuff. Also self-pimping, but Galaxy Angel's a decent, if overly saccharine and easy RTS, although it's another one of those "doesn't really branch" games that just substitutes a number of scenes in a couple chapters depending which branch you take. And it's kind of old and ugly. The second and third games in the trilogy (not translated yet) are much more of true branching games and look much better.

    Seinarukana (Aselia's sequel with a much MUCH improved battle engine) and Yumina the Ethereal (also by Aselia's team after they formed a new company) are also in the works, but probably won't be out for another year at least.

    Aroduc on
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Infamous and Dark Messiah: Might and Magic are both good examples of the "multiple endings which don't really change things" variety.

    Dehumanized on
  • Edith UpwardsEdith Upwards Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The old Dark Sun game.

    Nobody really bothers with branching paths anymore, and you'd be better off going to CF to scratch that particular niche.

    Edith Upwards on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    That's because, if the reviews of AP are anything to go by, lots of reviews don't even bother doing a full playthrough, much less multiple ones to see the branching

    Spoit on
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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I hear that The Witcher has some highly significant story branch points throughout.

    Jam Warrior on
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  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Just gonna say Alpha Protocol again because I am paralyzed with choice in that game where I left off.

    cooljammer00 on
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  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm not sure many of these are genuinely branching. Like, I love The Witcher to bits, but I wouldn't say it really branches. Small events can change dramatically, but the story stays basically the same. Same with stuff like Alpha Protocol. Small bits of dialogue are different every now and then, but the story doesn't really change.

    Maybe something like Heavy Rain is the closest thing to come out these days, and even that has a lot of stuff you have to see regardless.

    You could try a more open-ended game, like Darklands or Star Control 2. You've got a lot of choice, but even then you still have to follow the main story eventually.

    I would say Way of the Samurai is the best example of a branching storyline I can think of, but you've already played those.

    PolloDiablo on
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  • C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm not sure many of these are genuinely branching. Like, I love The Witcher to bits, but I wouldn't say it really branches. Small events can change dramatically, but the story stays basically the same. Same with stuff like Alpha Protocol. Small bits of dialogue are different every now and then, but the story doesn't really change.

    How does the story not change? Seriously.

    While the story stays linear in the sense of that there are no totally branching paths you influence it immensly in Alpha Protocol. The only moment where you really can't control the outcome of a situation is in the museum mission. And even there you have the chance to bring a major charachter of the game into fighting you who just as well can live through the game.

    C2B on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The Colony Wars games on PS1 had genuine branching paths, especially the first game. There were multiple endings and different missions based on how well you completed the objectives of previous ones.

    UncleSporky on
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  • BiopticBioptic Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Reiterating:

    The Witcher - you have a choice of alliance (and staying neutral), and this certainly does affect the story.

    Iji - is just an excellent (and free!) game in it's own right, has a few minor branch points and responds to your playstyle.

    Visual Novels and their ilk - will probably all have the problem of being 'a bit verbose' since they're all essentially over-descriptive novels. Fate/Stay night would probably take 25-30 hours to explore the 2 major storylines and multiple endings.

    Quest for Glory II remake - you say you haven't played this one, and it's been updated to look and play much more nicely.

    And finally, something different - if you even vaguely liked 'Choose your own adventure', try Lone Wolf - a massive series of gamebooks published in the 80s and 90s with a single, persistent player character. With each book you'd gain more equipment, skills and allies - and some events and obviously items would persist between books. Most of the choices were obviously in the short-term though - branches rapidly re-connect. But importantly, the entire series of 20+ books has been put up online with the author's blessing, for free.

    Bioptic on
  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The westwood Blade Runner game.

    -SPI- on
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Garris wrote: »
    if theres any possible way chrono trigger is definetly(sp)
    the way to go

    I remember playing the game a long time ago but I can't remember it having a branching storyline?

    .
    Doesn't branch until the very end, and your choices modify the "first playthrough" ending. If you start a new game + (start at level you finished before) there is about a dozen different endings you can get.

    Smrtnik on
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  • BerserkisBerserkis Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Fallout 1 & 2 maybe?

    Berserkis on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Doesn't Front Mission 3 have a branching storyline like right at the start? Like it's seriously two different stories?

    Henroid on
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  • C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Garris wrote: »
    if theres any possible way chrono trigger is definetly(sp)
    the way to go

    I remember playing the game a long time ago but I can't remember it having a branching storyline?

    .
    Doesn't branch until the very end, and your choices modify the "first playthrough" ending. If you start a new game + (start at level you finished before) there is about a dozen different endings you can get.

    First of all. Couldn't you tackle different time periods in any order?

    Most of these endings involve you beating lavos without ever visiting certain locations. Also you can get all of these endings the first time. (If you grind to death)

    Also it branches already during midgame in the form of when you tackle different worlds and there are several sidequests that influence the world and have consequences.

    CT has much choice actually. It isn't a great example for "branching" though.

    C2B on
  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Growlanser 2 (which is included in Growlanser Generations) had a nifty branching storyline where you could go evil.

    RainbowDespair on
  • TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Has the OP played Masq before? It looks and plays like a choose-your-own-adventure book but I've spent hours replaying this game trying to see every possible path and have failed (the game mocks me by showing preview images from possible branches at the end). The basic storyline stays the same but how you get there, who lives/dies, and who is a major character can change.

    Tertiee on
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    SMT: Nocturne/Lucifer's call has 5 different endings and rudimentry choice.

    But my recommendation is Dark Saviour for the Saturn. The game play pretty much sucked, but I loved the story and seeing how tiny things changed the playthrough.

    Guardian Heroes, also for the Saturn (and to a lesser extent, the GBA sequel/thing) has loads of branches.

    Apothe0sis on
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  • revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Some great recommendations here, so far here's what I have in my shortlist of game to get/play:

    - Alicesoft "games"
    - QFG 2 Remake
    - Lone Wolf books
    - Devil Survivor
    - SMT Nocturne/Lucifer
    - IJi

    Games that I'm willing to try out but is just too much of a pain to get:
    - Colony Wars
    - Dark Saviour
    - Guardian Heroes
    - Blade Runner


    Games I've played/finished:
    - Fallout
    - Masq (Amazing game, I wished the guy who made it a lot of luck but I don't think he has any projects going on in the future which is a huge shame)
    - The Witcher
    - All translated Grownlanser game (pretty sweet game)

    revolutionary bean on
  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    C2B wrote: »
    I'm not sure many of these are genuinely branching. Like, I love The Witcher to bits, but I wouldn't say it really branches. Small events can change dramatically, but the story stays basically the same. Same with stuff like Alpha Protocol. Small bits of dialogue are different every now and then, but the story doesn't really change.

    How does the story not change? Seriously.

    While the story stays linear in the sense of that there are no totally branching paths you influence it immensly in Alpha Protocol. The only moment where you really can't control the outcome of a situation is in the museum mission. And even there you have the chance to bring a major charachter of the game into fighting you who just as well can live through the game.

    In which game? I had forgotten about the alliance thing in The Witcher. That changes things, but I wouldn't say it represents a branch in the story. It just inverts the allied/enemy sides. You still play through the same story.

    It's the same with AP. You can do things differently, like kill that one guy in the museum or not kill him, but that's all that changes. The story stays the same. If he lives, you only see him again for a moment, and if he's dead you miss that 5 second interaction. That's not really branching.

    edit: Oh yeah, Masq was great for branching storylines. One of the best I've played.

    PolloDiablo on
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  • MentisMentis Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Heavy Rain is one of the best video game narratives. There is alot of stuff that you see every time, but there's also several endings and the first time through the game you're on the edge of your seat the whole time.

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  • C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    It's the same with AP. You can do things differently, like kill that one guy in the museum or not kill him, but that's all that changes. The story stays the same. If he lives, you only see him again for a moment, and if he's dead you miss that 5 second interaction. That's not really branching.

    edit: Oh yeah, Masq was great for branching storylines. One of the best I've played.

    And how is that any different from Heavy Rain? You fuck up the QTE you don't. Means certain thing doesn't happen or does.. The story is always the same. Same with Masq.

    Seriously I need an answer. In Alpha Protocol you have a tremendous influence on charachters around you, how things play out etc. I didn't say it's a good example of "branching". It has however waaaaaay more consequences than "some dialog changes".

    C2B on
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