In Crackdown you are the bad guy
Crackdown is relatively light on story. You jump around a city throwing cars, collecting orbs and kicking your co-op partner off of buildings. Despite the relative paucity of storytelling, the game very cleverly twists your actions and the motivation of your employers to show them in a different light at the end. You come to realise that rather than working for a benign police agency, you have been helping to instigate an Orwellian police state. The success of this twist lies in the fact that you don’t expect much of the storyline considering how little it has impacted your previous twenty hours of play time. Who would have thought throwing tramps off the end of a pier would be something the bad guys would do?
In Jade Empire, Master Li was more Darth Vader than Obi-Wan
Jade Empire was the game that Bioware made after KOTOR, but it borrowed a great deal from the Star Wars universe even if it did not have the license. This made it all the more surprising that despite hitting many of the same plot points as Star Wars, your teacher know as Master Li turned out to be very different to old Ben Kenobi. Having taught you a near perfect martial art with a noticeable flaw which no one could seem to exploit, it was only when you faced him in combat that you realised that he had taught you this way so that he could defeat you with a secret strike. Only a quick trip to hell and back would allow you to return and show who’s kung fu was stronger.
In Jak 3, Jak is Mar and the Precursors were Ottsel’s
For what seems to be a humorous, cartoon game, the Jak and Daxter series have a surprisingly long, complex and cohesive storyline. While games 2 and 3 tried for a more mature, open world style which was never as successful as the purer platforming of the original, all three games developed a unified storyline which was only finally resolved at the end of the third game. It is discovered that the legendary historic hero of the series known as Mar is in fact Jak himself and the frequently mentioned Precursors whose ancient technology continues to influence the world are a race of Ottsels, the same creature that Daxterwas transformed into in the first game. All of these titles are well overdue an HD remake, but if you can’t wait then seek them out now. To this day, outside of the Super Mario Galaxy series, no 3D platform has achieved as much success as the first Jak and Daxter.
In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, the universe is an MMORPG
Although only published rather than developed by Square-Enix, this edition of the Star Ocean series had a lot in common with the Final Fantasy series. A JRPG at heart, it features a complex story which unfolds between combat encounters and levelling and inventory management. The major twist in this game is that upon travelling to a higher dimension, you realise that the enemies attacking your world are programs sent out to eliminate harmful computer viruses. Computer viruses like you. A bold move, and one of the most meta statements on games players, avatars and the definitions of reality, this twist has to be number one.
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