Well, no one saw these coming.
Video games have often gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to stories. For a large majority of its life, gaming has produced some truly dreadful stories. It's not until recently that it has earned a newfound respect thanks to the incredible stories found in games like BioShock, The Last of Us, God of War, and Red Dead Redemption II. Writing is becoming more important in gaming and the whole industry is benefiting, especially gamers.
Like any storytelling medium, gaming has also been the home of some truly unbelievable twists. These are ten of the greatest.
10 Would You Kindly?
Would you kindly? is the granddaddy of the video game plot twist. It's basically responsible for the whole "we now take gaming seriously" trend of the late 2000s, and is still fondly remembered as the greatest shocker in gaming history.
Once you discover the truth, you realize that you have been controlled by an outside party throughout the entire game, which of course brings into question themes of free will and agency in gaming. It's both a shocking plot twist and a heavy thematic talking point, making this the most important and influential plot twist in gaming history.
9 James' Guilt
Silent Hill 2 is one of the scariest video games of all time. This is due to the visceral thrills it provides as well as the sheer psychological torment that the game forces you through.
One of the greatest examples of the latter is the final plot twist, where it's revealed that protagonist James actually killed his wife before the game even started. All the monsters are just creepy manifestations of his guilt.
It's a horrifying plot twist, it throws the game's entire events into question, and it well and truly messes with your head. We haven't experienced anything like it since.
8 You're A Stalker
Braid is a beautiful video game in the vein of Super Mario. You play as a man named Tim who races to rescue a princess who has been abducted by a knight. However, the final level plays in reverse and shows that the princess is actually RUNNING from Tim, laying traps in the hopes of evading him, and escaping with the heroic knight.
So, yes, you play as a literal stalker who will seemingly do anything to get his hands on some innocent princess. That's creepy stuff.
7 You Are Konrad
Despite some shaky gameplay mechanics, Spec Ops: The Line is fondly remembered for its terrifying story. Heavily influenced by The Heart of Darkness (Konrad, anyone?), you play as Martin Walker, a captain who searches for the traumatized Colonel John Konrad. However, things take a turn for the spooky once you discover Konrad's corpse, indicating that you have been hallucinating throughout the entire game.
It turns out that Walker created Konrad in his mind as a way to rationalize the horrible atrocities he committed throughout the war and blame them on someone else. Now that's some dark stuff.
6 You Are Comstock
Adding onto the whole "you are..." plot twist that seems quite prevalent in gaming is BioShock Infinite. Throughout the game, you must battle Comstock, a religious zealot who is hellbent on keeping Elizabeth in Columbia. You later learn that Comstock is an evil version of you from an alternate dimension that stole your daughter Anna through a tear in the space-time continuum and renamed her Elizabeth.
Yes, it's a little shaky in terms of clarity, and it seems like the writers just wanted to top the twist from the first game. Despite this it's still a fantastic twist that made us all gaping our mouths.
5 Samus Is A Woman
We suppose this isn't really a PLOT twist, but it's so revolutionary and legendary that it deserves a spot on this list all the same.
Metroid challenged your preconceived notions of gaming, as many people assumed that Samus was a man. After all, 1986 was a different time, and virtually all video game heroes were men. That all changed at the end of Metroid, when it is revealed that Samus is actually a woman.
It served as a revolutionary moment in gaming, shattering everyone's preconceived notions about what a video game hero could be. With this, the greatest video game heroine in history was born.
4 The Flood
Halo didn't tell the most revolutionary story or anything, but it was still a very solid science fiction romp that contained a fantastic (and terrifying) twist.
After wondering what Halo is and believing that the Covenant are your enemy throughout the entire game, you eventually learn the freaky truth - the Halo ring was built as a defense mechanism against the Flood, a parasitic entity that assimilates biological entities like humans and the Covenant. Activating the ring will destroy the Flood by killing its hosts...AKA all life in the galaxy. Now that's some creepy stuff.
The story of Resident Evil isn't anything to write home about, but it still contains a fun twist. After believing that Wesker is one of you (AKA a devoted member of the STARS team), you eventually learn that he is a double agent working with Umbrella and hoping to use the Tyrant for his own selfish devices.
There's an extra twist added on, as you are led to believe that Wesker is killed by the Tyrant, but he actually survives and becomes the head villain of the entire series. It's a simple plot twist, and it's certainly been done before, but it's just as effective as it was the first time we've seen it. OK, maybe not, but it's still pretty effective.
2 The Animus
Ubisoft really pulled a fast one on us. As you all now know, the Assassin's Creed series consists of characters climbing into a machine called the Animus and reliving memories of ancient characters. In other words, you're not really playing as Ezio - you're playing as someone playing as Ezio. Or, at least seeing his memories.
This is common knowledge now, but it served as a huge curveball in 2007 when the original Assassin's Creed was released. Everyone was expecting to play a cool video game about an assassin in the Crusades. No one told us about this futuristic, time traveling technology.
1 Arthur Has TB
Red Dead Redemption II is one of the greatest stories in gaming history, and arguably the most tragic. Throughout the first half of the game, Arthur is perfectly healthy and robust, but sometime around the halfway mark, he begins to develop a cough. You certainly notice it, although you don't tend to think anything of it - just another cool little detail. However, that all changes when he collapses in Saint Denis and is diagnosed with TB.
With this news, his entire life is thrown upside down, and the rest of the game consists of him getting progressively weaker and sicker until he dies. We thought video games were supposed to be fun?