7 video game plot twists you didn’t see coming

video game plot twists

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.



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.

Portal 2 - The cake is a lieeeeee

… Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

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.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - Desmond stabs Lucy

Desmond escapes the Abstergo FriendZone simulation.

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.

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Viktor Reznov

And Reznov was really Rasputin.


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.


You just take a minute to think about that, mister.


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.

BioShock - Would you kindly?

And you thought Altas was just a really polite guy.

Heavy Rain

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.

Heavy Rain Scott Shelby

The real-real twist is that Scott Shelby is a wizard.

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.

Batman: Arkham City - Joker

He who laughs last, laughs loooonngggggggrrrrhhhhhhhhh… *death fart*

Related Articles

The coolest game-themed Halloween pumpkins

9 games that failed to live up to the hype

Your chance to download the internet (kind of)

Forum discussion

Join the conversation

  • frikkenator

    “You could even say it was a… BioShock” So baaaaaad!!

    But yea, Bioshock definitely had the best plot twist of them all!

  • Alex

    KotOR? Or is that too old now… 😛

  • Reaver

    “You could even say it was a… BioShock. I’m here all week, folks.”

    Made me laugh 😛

  • BrendanMcCT

    Don’t forget that spinning top thing at the ending of inception (was it going to fall or not?), but wait, i’m getting ahead of myself, oh….never mind, wrong section…

  • Kurike

    KotoR had an epic plot twist!!

  • ShadoWolf

    COD MW3 had the best plot twist for me. When right at the end….you realize you AGAIN paid R400 for a crappy generic shooter!

  • AcidRaZor

    No one could have predicted the Joker dies at the end? Um. Hello. Welcome to the Batman multiverse, where EVERY Joker I’ve seen before DIED at the end.

  • I really thought Wheatley was my buddy… et tu, Wheatley? (Portal 2)

  • Sean

    DELETE THIS COMMENT! There are some of us who did not play the all the games on this list, and therefore simply skipped over that respective paragraph, only to scroll down to the comments section and read a spoiler like this. For a game not even mentioned in the article.

  • And which game is that? Your inference cannot possibly be my responsibility, and why would you skip to the comments of an article with spoilers? Did you think we wouldn’t discuss the contents of the article here, which are in fact spoilers? Come now…

  • Sean

    Dom’s death in Borderlands 2. I bought this game for Xbox and have been keeping it for the holidays- only to be ruined by something like this.

  • Dom does not die Oh wait yes he does in Gears of War

  • I don’t know the Dom you’re speaking of in Borderlands 2. Again, you inferred. Incorrectly, at that. I was speaking of another game, sir. Please don’t blame me for your assumptions. <3

  • McTavRipper

    Sorry. Good luck with your supp exams.

  • barry

    Planescape: Torment (showing my age here). With all the reboots recently, wish someone would take on the Planescape universe again.

  • I can’t believe you left out: Bard’s Tale: A quest for coin and cleavage. In typical adventure/RPG style you embark on a quest to save the beautiful princess – but when you finally get to her… you learn she is a demon from hell bent on ruling a world in flames. So you can either try to beat her – or (more in character really)… join her as her hellish consort…

  • Stewart Ridgway

    System Shock 2…. best plot twist ever. I think Bioshock’s twist was very similar if I’m not mistaken.

7 video game plot twists you didn’t see coming

Related posts