Most games these days follow a standard, copy-pasted narrative sequence with no unexpected deviations from “PROTAGONIST KILLS ALL THE THINGS; THE END”, but every once in a while, a game comes along that breaks the rules.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
This was a triumph. You’ve made it most of the way through the Aperture Laboratories’ Enrichment Center – which, by the way, has been getting a bit… weird just towards the end here – but you’ve been promised delicious, moist cake as a reward for your extraordinary efforts and to make up for that whole live firing range incident, so that’s nice.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
You totally thought they’d end the game with a kiss, but when it finally came to the big moment, Desmond stabbed Lucy in the guts instead. Technically, he was kind of possessed at the time, but still.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Alex Mason and Viktor Reznov escape the infamous Soviet Vorkuta Gulag and have many grand adventures together. Except Reznov actually died during the escape, and this whole time he’s been nothing more than a hallucination. And Mason was brainwashed by Nikita Dragovich to kill American president John F. Kennedy. And Reznov had managed to reprogram Mason’s brainwashing so he’d kill Dragovich instead. And then Mason assassinates Kennedy anyway.
It’s a story as old as video games – a princess has been kidnapped by a monster, and only a hero can save her. The game bends, warps, and exploits time throughout, and in the final level, everything around you happens in reverse. Then it flips around, and you realise that, instead of trying to help you, the princess is trying to stop you. BECAUSE YOU ARE THE MONSTER.
After surviving an air crash and finding your way down through a lighthouse in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean into an undersea, dystopian metropolis populated almost exclusively by mad people who are trying to kill you, maybe it shouldn’t have come as such a shock that you were nothing more than an unwitting pawn in Frank Fontaine’s plan to murder his business rival, Andrew Ryan, who – it turned out – was also your father. But it was a shock. You could even say it was a… BioShock. I’m here all week, folks.
The Origami Killer is Scott Shelby, the private investigator, gasp. The real twist, though, is that Shelby managed to kill the somebody while the player was in control of him, without the player realising it and without even being in the same room as the murder victim. Plot twist, plot hole, whatever.
Batman: Arkham City
Only you can make this world seem right, only you can make the darkness bright, only you – and you alone – can thrill me like you do, but nobody could have predicted that Joker would die at the end.