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10 Games With Great Plot Twists

Brilliant plot twists in games that we didn’t see coming

Plot twists are like a slap in the face that you were never expecting.

At the least the bad plot twists in games are. Some of them are like your best friend showing up at work with a giant cupcake after you’ve had a royally bad day. On the other hand, some of them can be like a giant slap in the face.

Certain plot twists can be ever-so satisfying or so unsuspected that they make us angry. And yet we still crave them. Why? Who knows. Perhaps we’re merely glutton for punishment.

Lots of video games are known for their intriguing plot twists. These are story twists that shocked us and made our jaws drop to the floor. These writers sure knew how to throw the audience for a loop and we’ve put together a list of some of our favourites.

Warning: This list contains major – and I mean MAJOR – spoilers for the games in question. It’s a list about plot twists in games; what d’ya expect? Read at your own peril! 

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain PC 2

Heavy Rain was already overwhelming enough, what with its changing characters, twisting storyline and unexpectedly futuristic elements. Throughout the game you get attached to these characters, watching them struggle and fighting to protect themselves in this harsh environment. As such, many players weren’t expecting its huge plot twist.

It is revealed towards the very end of the game that Scott Shelby, a private detective that players control throughout the game, is actually the killer that he himself has been hunting. It’s a huge shock, especially for anyone that was attached to the character. Throughout the game Scoot is kind and gentle, so it seems extremely out of character for him to be the game’s Origami Killer. It’s a truly satisfying plot twist, but one that will make you question everyone you think you can trust…

Read our review of Heavy Rain

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Bioshock

This particular plot twist is one that I definitely didn’t see coming the first time around. In Bioshock you play as Jack as he traverses the underwater city of Rapture. When he first arrives he meets Atlas, a man who begs Jack to help him save his family. Unfortunately for Jack, Atlas isn’t who he says he is.

Atlas is actually Frank Fontaine, a criminal mastermind and arch-nemesis of Andrew Ryan, the man who helped create Rapture. In fact, Jack only arrives in Rapture because he is Frank Fontaine’s last ditch effort to take out Andrew Ryan. One of the biggest plot twists in all of gaming, in this writer’s opinion, is when Jack realises that he was Fontaine’s pawn all along.

Read our review of The Bioshock Collection

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales

The Tinkerer

When Miles Morales made his debut in Marvel’s Spider-Man, players fell in love with him. Many fans were familiar with the character from the comic books as well as the Into the Spider-Verse movie, but seeing him make his way to one of the best PlayStation exclusive titles of all time was truly exciting. Then, when he got his own game, appropriately named Spider-Man: Miles Morales, there was no doubt that it was going to be great. 

Great games often come with great plot twists – and this one is no exception. One of the biggest enemies that players encounter in the game is named The Tinkerer. This mysterious antagonist works with the Underground, a terrorist group set on destroying the Roxxon energy company. When it is revealed that The Tinkerer is one of Miles’ best friends, Phin, we’re probably not the only players whose jaws dropped. Being Spider-Man certainly comes with its challenges, and trying to convince your friend to give up her vigilante/evil ways is apparently one of them.

Read our review of Spider-Man: Miles Morales

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a gorgeous game with a small cast of intriguing characters with mysterious backgrounds. Near the beginning of the game, protagonist Cal Kestis meets Cere, an ex-Jedi who has cut herself off from the force. She tells him that a powerful member of the dark side forced her to tell the location of her young padawan-in-training who was in hiding. Her padawan was found due to her lack of strength, and she has felt guilty and ashamed about it ever since.

Later in the game it is revealed that the Second Sister, a member of the evil Empire who is hunting Cal, is actually Cere’s padawan, Trilla, in disguise. A predictable but fun plot twist nonetheless, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order doesn’t mind surprising its players.

Read our review of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

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God of War

I’m actually not quite sure if this counts as a plot twist or just a little surprise lore to be found in God of War, but I can say for certain that I was not expecting this one in the slightest. Based in Norse Mythology, God of War had many references to the time of gods such as Thor or Odin.

So when it was revealed at the very end of the game that Kratos’s son Atreus is actually a giant whose mother wanted to name him Loki, players all over the world said “whaaaaaat?”. When God of War: Ragnarok is released we can’t wait to see how this plot twist pans out for Atreus.

Read our review of God of War

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The Last of Us

top 10 last gen games

Possibly the saddest plot twist on this list comes from 2013’s The Last of Us. You play as Joel, a survivor of a zombie outbreak that caused the world to all but collapse, and Ellie, a young girl who seems to be unaffected by the virus. Together you traverse across the U.S. to bring Ellie to a facility for “testing” so that a possible cure can be developed.

Unfortunately, it transpires that the tests Ellie must undergo will actually kill her. Joel goes on a rampage killing everyone in the hospital because there’s no way, after such a difficult journey, he’s letting Ellie die – even if it means a possible cure for humanity. A heartbreaking tale with enough emotion to make you cry for a month straight, The Last of Us’ plot twist is likely to punch every player in the gut.

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Portal

Portal is one of the most popular games of all time due to its wonderfully original puzzles and sassy robot GLaDOS. GLaDOS’s voice more or less follows you around for the majority of the game, guiding you through puzzles as well as taunting you and promising you cake as a prize for completing the puzzles (you’re pretty sure the cake isn’t real).

It is eventually revealed that GLaDOS, after testing dozens of subjects, burns them alive. Players are then forced to fight with GLaDOS. Her boss battle is a hilarious game of “how many of GLaDOS’s bits can you shove in an incinerator”, making it one of the most fun boss battles of all time. And it makes GLaDOS’ betrayal one of the best-known plot twists in gaming history.

Resident Evil

When I played Resident Evil for the first time as a kid, this was possibly the biggest plot twist in history. You play as Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, members of S.T.A.R.S; a special police tactics squad for the town of Raccoon City. After a zombie outbreak, the team is dispatched to the mountain forest to investigate some disappearances.

The team is led by Captain Albert Wesker, a mysterious, sunglasses-indoors-wearing kind of fellow who splits the team up and goes about his own business. You’re led to believe that one member of the team, Barry Burton, is the bad guy trying to kill off the S.T.A.R.S members – but it turns out to be Captain Albert Wesker himself. No one suspected him, right? He wear sunglasses indoors but that’s totally normal. Either way, good-guy-turned-bad-guy is always a great plot twist, even if we did see it coming.

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Fallout 4

The next plot twist on our list is from 2015’s Fallout 4. You play as a character who is forced to take shelter in a “vault” after a nuclear fallout. While you are cryogenically frozen in the vault, unknown people come in and steal your baby boy, Shaun. Once you wake your one and only goal is to find your son.

Once you do find your son, it turns out that he is the leader of what is called “The Institute”; an organisation that, as far as the people are concerned, is sinister and evil. Unless the player decides to side with their son, Shaun actually becomes the player’s main antagonist. Talk about another huge plot betrayal and plot twist!

Read our review of Fallout 4

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Metroid

Metroid Samus Returns Header

Samus Aran is the protagonist from the Metroid series. First introduced in 1986, she wears an exoskeleton equipped with a variety of powerful weapons. Due to the shape of the suit (and of course how games looked back in the 80s), the audience was taken aback to find out at the end of the game that Samus was a woman.

Of course, this made Samus one of the very first female protagonists in any video game. Since then, she’s featured in numerous more titles in the last 30+ years. You can even play as her both suited and un-suited (still clothed, you pervs, just out of her exoskeleton) in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Read our review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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