Gaming’s Greatest… plot twists

Gaming's Greatest Plot Twists
Gaming's Greatest Plot Twists MGSV

One of the best things about games is their boundless potential to tell stories that can shatter our expectations and challenge our preconceptions, by placing us at the heart of the narrative.

Twists can leave us feeling betrayed, hungry for revenge. Other times twists can make us feel elated, as we realise the true purpose of our role in the story. Here are our favourite gaming twists that totally blew our minds…

Gaming's Greatest Plot Twists

One of the best things about games is their boundless potential to tell stories that can shatter our expectations and challenge our preconceptions, by placing us at the heart of the narrative.

Twists can leave us feeling betrayed, hungry for revenge. Other times twists can make us feel elated, as we realise the true purpose of our role in the story. Here are our favourite gaming twists that totally blew our minds…

1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

It wouldn’t be a list of gaming twists without a Metal Gear game. MGSV’s twist beautifully reframes the events of the game, revealing that the player character, aka Venom Snake, was not the man we had come to know as Big Boss, but in fact an imposter, disguised as the charismatic military leader through hypnotization and cosmetic surgery. This fourth-wall breaking reveal addresses the player directly as the real Big Boss tells us “I’m Big Boss… and you are too.”

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The Call of Duty series has become notorious for its shocking plot twists, but this one is a real emotional gut-punch. Just after the player strikes a powerful blow to the terrorist Makarov by retrieving intel on his villainous deeds, our ally Captain Shepherd shows up to betray us, murdering Roach and Ghost. This heinous crime sets up an epic final showdown between Soap, Price, and Shepherd at the end of the game.

3. The Last of Us

In this game’s heart-breaking twist, we learn that humanity’s only hope for finding a cure to the Cordyceps virus lies within Ellie, who would have to die in order for a vaccine to be developed. In the end, Joel chooses to break Ellie out of the Fireflies’ facility, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. The game’s ending leaves us to question whether he was really the hero we thought he was.

4. Final Fantasy XIII

The world’s most popular JRPG series has developed a reputation for including twists that pull on our heartstrings, and there’s no better example of this than Final Fantasy XIII’s poignant final act. Without going too in-depth into the complex lore of FFXIII’s wildly imaginative universe, the game’s ending presents us with the devastating reveal that two of our heroes, Fang and Vanille, must sacrifice themselves to save humanity. The pair give their lives to keep the world of Cocoon from crashing down and become trapped in Crystal form, standing as an eternal symbol of humanity’s willpower.

5. Life is Strange

This final plot twist is made all the more impactful, due to the fact that it presents the player with an almost impossible choice. As Arcadia Bay stands on the brink of destruction, Max must choose whether to travel back in time and allow her childhood friend Chloe to die in order to save the town, or let the townsfolk die to save Chloe. What did you choose?

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