Video games may not be movies, but that doesn’t mean designers are above donning the M. Night Shyamalan cap and yelling “What a twist!” at opportune moments. We’ve compiled our top 8 “gotcha!” moments in gaming. Some were good, some bad but all inevitably became pivotal in changing the way we looked at or played a game. Some of them outright shocked us, while others subverted our expectations of the game completely. Nonetheless, they won’t be forgotten – nor will the obviously smug developers behind them. And yes, spoilers ahead.
8. Inversion: Nothing You Did Mattered!
Inversion follows two cops trying to stop some other-wordly dudes from doing something or the other involving gravity and guns. But the main character Davis, like us, didn’t care about that crap. After the death of his wife, he simply wanted to find his daughter, whom he still believed to be alive. Unfortunately not only did Davis not survive the final battle but his partner Leo reveals the truth at the end. While Davis was mourning the loss of his wife, Leo did some snooping around the apartment and found Davis’s daughter crushed by rubble. He didn’t tell Davis however, believing that she deserved avenging more than anything. In a game that tried to beat us over the head with fantastical reveals and ho-hum confrontations, this one tragedy stuck out the most.
7. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Goes Ground Zero
It’s not the first time that a protagonist has died in a game. But for reasons we can’t fathom, it’s been a while since we recalled any other popular first person shooter that killed off it’s player character. Now, Call of Duty 4 had two protagonists, who’s perspective you shifted between throughout the game. But the way our marine went out was nothing short of shock and awe: A nuclear explosion. That our guy survived the helicopter crash but eventually died from the radiation, crawling out of the wreckage to see his entire team laid to waste, was nothing short of horrifying.
6. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Introduces Alucard
The game begins simply as you, Richter Belmont, walk into Dracula’s castle and get all up in his business. Ignore for a moment that he looks like Bob Hope (trust us), and something odd happens. Suddenly, it’s 5 years later and you’re playing as Alucard, Dracula’s son. Considering that this goes against the entire process of having a Belmont as the protagonist of every Castlevania game, it was quite a shock at the time. We later learned that Richter was the protagonist of Rondo of Blood (also known as Dracula X) and the beginning of the game was actually the concluding moments of the former. Rondo of Blood only saw NA and EU release via virtual console nearly 17 years after it’s initial launch.