TA Top Five: Respawns

By Gabriel Kreulen,
Dying. It'll happen to all of us. Thankfully when it happens in video games, it's not irreversible. It's just a part of the experience. Sometimes a game is really hard and you'll die many times at the same section (especially if you play things like the Dark Souls Series or the Halo Series on Legendary/LASO difficulty). Some games have made iconic moments out of those respawn screens, while others even incorporate the temporary "death" right into their stories. Here are some of our favorites. Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments.

Honorable Mentions

Pop Culture References - Sunset Overdrive

The 80's give life in this gameThe 80's give life in this game

While the game tries a little too hard to poke fun of itself, Sunset Overdrive's respawn animations are surely hilarious. This even made an appearance in the final mission of the game. Seriously, who doesn't want to respawn by falling through the blue and orange portals from the Portal games, crawling out of a TV or stepping out of a Terminator time portal?

If you want to see all the animations yourself, the game is currently free with Xbox LIVE Gold until May 15th.

GlaDOS - Portal 2

Atlas and P-Body

Although she is the sadistic AI sending them through the tests in the first place, she does carefully reassemble Portal 2's pair of robots every time they get destroyed by spikes, missiles, turrets or their co-op partner. And she never grows tired of sending those poor robots through a minefield (literally) of death traps and having to reassemble them. I guess this is possible thanks to Aperture Science's infinite supply of portal-testing robot parts.

Wasted - Grand Theft Auto Series

Not the drunk type of wastedNot the drunk type of wasted

We all went on a murderous spree in the Grand Theft Auto series, right? Don't deny it. And we all engaged in a big firefight with the police after murdering all pedestrians in a 100 yard radius, yes? At which point we've also all got shot a fair few times by the police, enough times to "die". Instead, though, you wake up in the nearest hospital with your pockets a bit lighter and you're ready to roll again. GTA Online takes it to the next level with the first ever death in Freemode, where Cris Formage (the wacko cult guy for whom you'll have to undertake some crazy missions to get the Kifflom! achievement) comes from heaven to tell you that he'll respawn you every time you die. It's a pretty clever way of getting back in the game in Rockstar's look on modern America.

The Top Five:

5. Time Paradox - Metal Gear Solid series

If this could serve as a remedy for all our problems...If this could serve as a remedy for all our problems...

The entire reason why you can't truly die in the Metal Gear series is because the games aren't taking place in chronological order. This is why the death of important characters causes time paradoxes. In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, when the player dies, the words 'Snake Is Dead' will change to 'Time Paradox' after the player waits a few minutes. In Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the time paradox message appears immediately after the player or a major supporting character dies. It's a unique nod to the series' storytelling route.

4. New-U Stations - Borderlands Series

A new you is quite expensiveA new you is quite expensive

The New-U stations are designed to digistruct a new body to replace the recently deceased one. This only works if the DNA of the deceased person is stored in the New-U station network. It's a pretty impressive piece of technology, but there's one thing preventing this from scoring higher on the list. The New-U network is owned by Hyperion and Handsome Jack is the boss of Hyperion and the main antagonist of Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360). He wants the Vault Hunters to be dead in the game, so why didn't he just delete their DNA from the New-U records and let the psychos do the dirty work? But I guess that's why he's called Handsome Jack and not Clever Jack.

3. The Ghost - Destiny

It looks like a paper fortune-teller origami thingIt looks like a paper fortune-teller origami thing

The Ghost is a little floating device meant for scanning and looting while you engage enemies. But it's also meant to resurrect you every time you die by the hands of the Darkness or when you're clumsily dancing on the Tower and fall off. And with the The Taken King for Destiny DLC, the Ghost became more memorable by replacing the bland voice acting by Peter Dinklage with the slightly wittier voice acting of Nolan North. Helping dead Ghosts also provides an XP and Grimoire boost by the player, meaning they can basically revive each other. Imagine how it would be if we had a Ghost reviving us every time? We would be semi-immortal. And you thought Earth was crowded now...

2. Insurance - Elite: Dangerous

Better be good at dockingBetter be good at docking

This is the insurance policy that makes our 21st century insurance policies look so useless. Just being able to buy back your old ship and all of the modules for 5% of the initial cost feels nice. But it makes me wonder: how in the galaxy is this insurance company able to make a profit? I'd guess they sell the cargo from destroyed ships for a high price at some black market or something like that.

1. Alternate dimensions - BioShock Infinite

So many offices...So many offices...

Big story spoilers ahead!If you die during a shootout in Columbia, or at the massive fists of a Handyman, you'll always wake up in a room appearing to be your own office (if Elizabeth can;t save you again, that is). When you exit it, you'll be placed at the exact point where you died. The thing is: you respawn in a parallel universe. Quantum Immortality!... which means there might be a room containing all your corpses. It's some of the best use of in-universe respawn explanation games have done, especially considering so many don't both explaining it at all.

If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Gabriel Kreulen
Written by Gabriel Kreulen
Record holder as the youngest newshound on TA ever, Gabriël has some expertise in writing news, but much more experience playing games. When he doesn't have real life responsibilities to take care of, he enjoys flying through the galaxy in Elite: Dangerous and earning achievements in other games. Also likes to do weird stuff.