Directors like M. Night Shyamalan are known for their unexpected turns within their movies. The thrive on the audiences shock when the plot takes that final turn, finally revealing what was hidden there beneath secrets and hints that only the keenest of minds would catch. While the cinema is seemingly the largest outlet for the plot and character twist, there is another outlet that takes these concepts and utilizes them to further story development in what is slowly becoming an industry filled with interactive movies.
Games like Heavy Rain Bioshock have hit gamers with plot and character twists that have fallen short of being anything spectacular, but there are some that stand out as not only shocking, but truly jaw dropping. Amongst those are the following five, which may arguably be some of the best of the previous and current generation. Be wary – Spoilers ahead!
5) The Clown Prince Switcheroo – Batman: Arkham City
He looked like death during the course of Arkham City, so it almost seemed inevitable that he would not make it past this bulky title. How it plays out, though, is the big surprise. From the closing events of Arkham Asylum, The Joker is slowly dying from a mutation in his blood caused by his very own “Titan” formula that turned him into a giant brute. Partway through the game, the Clown Prince shows up completely healed, assumedly thanks to an antidote created by Mr. Freeze. Using Batman’s former lover, Talia al Ghul, the newly healed Joker baits Batman, culminating in Talia thrusting a sword through the Joker’s back. While gamer’s are led to believe that the Dark Knight’s battle with the Clown Prince is finally over, Talia takes a bullet in the back. The shooter? A rather sickly looking Joker. In the cutscene that follows, gamer’s learn that Clayface (aka Basil Karlo) posed as a healthy version of the infamous villain to set the stage for the real Joker’s potential for immortality.
4) Dubious Marketing / Desmond Miles – Assassin’s Creed
This twist came at the game’s release rather then at any specific point throughout the game. Though it can be classified as nothing more more than a marketing touch, it’s impossible to deny that the game’s developer had any hand in how the game was shown off. Marketed as an Action / Adventure title that pit gamers in the shoes of an Assassin in the Holy Land during the Third Crusade, Assassin’s Creed had a little surprise under its belt right from the start. Rather than starting at a certain point in time in Altair ibn-La’Ahad’s life, the game officially opens up on a bartender known as Desmond Miles strapped to a mysterious device that can replay genetic memories of those strapped to it. Rather than being the main driving point of Assassin’s Creed, Altair is just a memory within Desmond’s genes. While the rest of the game is fairly straight forward and follows the tail of Altair on his quest to assassinate the Knights Templar who seek the “Pieces of Eden”.
3) The Essence of Dormin – Shadows of the Colossus
Charged with the task of killing off 16 massive beasts known as Colossi to save his love, Wander unknowingly sets out on a quest to engrave his own tombstone. With each fallen giant, gamers are lead to believe that they are just one step closer to reviving the mysterious girl known only as Mono. After the fall of the last behemoth, Wander realizes that the instructions he received from the mysterious disembodied voice served only to release the essence of the voice itself, a malevolent spirit named Dormin who was separated into sixteen pieces and kept dormant by the 16 colossi. Though Dormin does follow-through with his promise to revive Mono, Wander’s fate is far less delightful.
2) Ocelot’s True Intentions – Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
The main plot for the Metal Gear Solid series spans well over 50 year. Beginning in the 1960’s during the Cold War, the series blows through the ’80’s and ’90’s, eventually concluding in 2014. During the course of the expansive story, director Hideo Kojima was sure to include a veritable cast of characters, none being more devious than the mysterious Revolver Ocelot. Originally portrayed as a right-hand man to Liquid Snake in the 1998 Metal Gear Solid, Ocelot returned in the second, third, and fourth entries, seemingly driven by his own intentions. By the conclusion of the Guns of the Patriots, Ocelot (partially controlled by Liquid Snake’s personality) seemed to be nothing more than an evil mastermind bent on complete militaristic control. That is, of course, until his final showdown with the legendary warrior, Solid Snake. It is here that he explains in rather large detail how he facilitated Solid Snake’s mission to eradicate the artificial intelligence known as The Patriots. Set in place as a means to control society, The Patriots A.I. went against everything that Ocelot stood for – an ideal that he inherited from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater “antagonist”,The Boss. The “Liquid Ocelot” persona that was supposedly due in part to having Liquid Snake’s arm surgically attached to his body (where his own arm was cut off) was also revealed to be a ploy to draw the Patriots attention to him rather than on Solid Snake. It may have spanned three games, and he may have been a bastard throughout it, but in the end the gunslinger wound up being Metal Gear Solid’s unsung hero.
1) The Cake is a Lie – Portal
You know not to completely trust the automated voice that’s been pushing you through a slew of testing rooms, but what choice do you have? Equipped with a “portal gun”, you perform each task with diligence. As you start to complete later tests, the automated voice offers you cake at the close of the course. Seeing as how she hasn’t steered you wrong yet, you start to wonder if you’ve misjudged her intentions. At the conclusion of the 19th test, you can sense that the cake is nearby. On top of a moving platform, you turn a corner, expecting to be faced with a delicious chocolate cake. Rather, you’re faced with the impending doom of a roaring furnace. As you struggled to find your way out of this mess, you curse the maniacal A.I. and her false promises.