Plot twists are an important narrative device that’s used to retain a reader’s interest in a story, and naturally – many modern games utilize this to great effect. You see, games are no longer just about plumbers jumping on bricks to save a princess; they tell stories with complex characters and plots with multiple layers that keep on unraveling until the very end. And in such cases, a good plot twist can have a great effect. To that end, here are 8 of the biggest plot twists that we didn’t see coming:
Please note that there will be spoilers for God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, Max Payne 2, Batman: Arkham City, Metal Gear Solid 2, Fallout 4, and Control.
With that out of the way, let’s begin:
God of War: Ragnarok – Tyr’s Real Identity
Throughout the entirety of God of War 2018, players hear many tales about Tyr – who will lead the fight when Ragnarok comes. So naturally, Atreus wants to seek him out during Fimbulwinter, and with the help of Kratos – he is able to track him down and free him from a prison deep within Svartalfheim. But unlike his descriptions, Tyr comes out as someone who has abandoned all forms of violence and will no longer raise his spear and bring about Ragnarok.
As the father-son duo continues their journey, Tyr gets to rest in the realm between realms – where he acts as an advisor on every move of Kratos and Atreus. But when he decides to take up arms once again all of a sudden – Brok instantly grows suspicious of his actions. And as he closes in to interrogate him, he promptly kills him and assumes his original form.
Tyr, who was actually Odin in disguise, quickly flees to safety in Asgard – though Ragnarok ultimately results in his death. We also come to know that the real Tyr is still imprisoned in an Asgardian prison – the remains of which have descended into Niflheim.
Horizon Zero Dawn – Aloy’s Real Parents
Horizon Zero Dawn is a pretty compelling adventure through a gorgeous open world filled to the brim with interesting side activities and distractions. As such, having a well-written main plot with plot twists is a neat surprise, one that we really appreciate. The game opens up with Ross raising Aloy to be a warrior, and since she doesn’t have any parents – she belongs to one of the shunned tribes.
Aloy continues to struggle with the fact that her parents disbanded her in the first place, but later on – it is revealed that she is actually the biological daughter (more precisely, a clone) of Elisabet Sobeck. She was the creator of the Zero Dawn project, which sought to create new life and the rebirth of humanity on Earth. Sobeck’s DNA was extracted by the GAIA AI, which was used to birth Aloy without parents.
Max Payne 2 – Mona’s Betrayal
Max Payne 2 is a complex plot with plenty of layers that you slowly peel away as you learn more about the secrets and conspiracies of the Inner Circle. At the same time, Max Payne 2 is also a love story about Mona and Max – who work together and manage to reach Alfred Woden’s office to end it all. They get to Woden’s panic room after making their way through hordes of enemies, but then Mona disarms Max and points a gun to his head – confirming her involvement with Woden. But due to her feelings for Max, she is unable to do the deed and Vladimir emerges from the shadows to kill both of them. After all, love hurts.
Batman: Arkham City – The Real Joker
Batman: Arkham City sees the world’s greatest detective trying to find a cure for the venom, and his biggest archnemesis the Joker is also suffering from the same condition. After trudging through multiple rough battles, Batman is able to find that cure and he reserves half of the dosage for Joker. But when Joker – the real one – stabs him in the back, which causes it to break. Of course, it is also here that you find out that the healed Joker you previously fought was actually Clayface. Batman then reveals to the Joker that he would have given the cure vial to him willingly and that his death is by his own hand, and not Batman’s.
Fallout 4 – The Institute
Fallout 4 sees the player trying to find their long-lost child after they wake up from a years long cryosleep. As you explore the post-apocalyptic remains of the Commonwealth, you come to know about an organization called The Institute and that they would know the whereabouts of Shaun. So, after completing dozens of quests and favors – you finally infiltrate the corridors of The Institute which sets you up for the grand revelation. It turns out that Shaun, your son, is actually the Director of the Institute. You know, the main antagonist of the game. He won’t budge from his goals, and has little to no feelings for his long-lost parents – so you must decide whether to side with him or put an end to The Institute.
Control – Dylan Tricks Trench To Release The Hiss
At its core, Control is a story about siblings and Jesse’s quest to find and save Dylan – so it makes sense that the ultimate twist would revolve around these two entities. The game opens up with former FBC Director Trench releasing The Hiss in the bureau, and Jesse must stop the corruption as part of her duties as the new director. The story takes you to many places, and along the way we get to know about how Dylan was treated within the FBC and how that resulted in strong feelings of hate and disgust towards the agents. And even after being trapped in isolation – he was able to trick Trench into releasing The Hiss, and caused him to commit suicide – opening a path to the new Director.
Metal Gear Solid 2 – The Big Twist
Metal Gear Solid 2 is based around the single premise of exploring the many dangers of the Information Age. And throughout the events of the story, we see how the rapid spread of misinformation can have huge ramifications on world order. The plot is naturally ripe with plenty of plot twists, but the biggest one will definitely get you scratching your head in awe. It turns out that everything you conquered during the campaign wasn’t happening in reality; it was just part of a simulated training program that was built by The Patriots.
Red Dead Redemption 2 – Dutch’s True Colors
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game about characters, and while most if not all of them are well-realized – no one is as complex as the main antagonist, Dutch. He is a man with a silver tongue who can convince anyone, but underneath that charismatic veneer – he is a selfish man who will double-cross anyone to get what he wants. We see plenty of betrayals throughout the story, but the most shocking one comes during the state bonds robbery mission.
After successfully getting those bonds, Arthur and Dutch escape from the compound only to be ambushed by enemies. Dutch manages to get further ahead, but Arthur gets trapped and is about to be arrested when he sees his Dutch leave him behind. Thankfully, Eagle Flies jumps in at the right moment to save him.