I wanted to see if anyone else out there had any strong opinions about how this game ended. I dearly enjoyed playing through this visual and creative masterpiece, and to be completely honest, it is the only Rockstar game I've been into enough to finish the story mode (rampant unbridled degeneracy is fun for a while, but doesn't hold up for me). So much so, in fact, that the John Marston character is etched in my mind as possibly the most interesting one I've ever played as. He's no angel, but unlike other Rockstar characters, he's not a steaming scumbag either. A moral person can actually relate to him and like him very much. So, you can probably imagine my disappointment at the ending of the game - Marston is gunned down like a diseased dog by a gang of crooked federal agents behind his own barn. The same federal agents who were the main antagonists throughout the game, kidnapping his family and forcing him to kill hundreds of people in their cause. It wasn't so much that he died, but rather, the way he died and who killed him, and how it played out. The slimey Agent Ross watches Marston collapse, his agonized last breaths gurgling with blood, and simply goes on about his business. I won't deny it was deeply affecting, but I believe it was not affecting in the way it should have been. The ark of the game's story takes us through three acts, all of them gruelling bloodbaths forced upon Marston, a sympathetic character, to finally end up with the much talked-about reward at the end of this prolonged crucible - he gets his family back - and interestingly enough, the player is treated to seeing John settle into a peaceful life, reconnecting with his wife and son. He teaches his son Jack how to hunt, helps an old friend keep her farm going, scares off the crows who were feasting upon his harvest... One becomes very comfortable with this as the ending of the game. The missions were hell for the poor man, why not let this be the ending? It would have been immensely satisfying. Leave the future to our imaginations, allow the character to live. But just as we were lulled into a sense of satisfaction, we happen upon the aforementioned final mission, which inevitably leads to Marston's gory demise. Not only is it an unpleasant shock, it is unrelenting in its cruelty - we have to watch Agent Ross see John's death. We didn't even get the satisfaction of a slow-motion final act of defiance from Marston in the cinematics, such as him using his quick draw speed to plant a bullet right between Ross' eyes before falling dead himself. That, at least, would have left us with a monicum of dark comfort. Instead, we are left with a flash-forwarded, grown-up Jack Marston, who has not only lost his father, but soon afterward his mother. The adult Jack doesn't sound much more mature than his fifteen year old self, barely a shadow of his estimable father. We are offered an optional mission to go after Ross and gun down the old bastard in his retirement years long after what happened to John. It is the catalyst for the ending credits and, of course, we are allowed to continue roaming the open world - but for myself, with no desire to do so as Jack. I wanted John to live. There has been some speculation among fans that the Undead Nightmare pack coming out soon, which takes place before John's death in the game's timeline, may actually offer an alternate ending. Possibly an ending in which John survives - here's hoping so.