While video games don't require a great story to be fun, an engrossing narrative is always appreciated. Because of this, plot holes in video games — especially when discovered in games that feature an overall interesting story — have the unique ability to sour an otherwise enjoyable experience.
Inconsistencies in video games are nothing new; when a single piece of content has hundreds of creators, it's easy for a few narrative mistakes to go overlooked. However, when a game's story actually manages to come off as emotionally gripping, it's all the more disappointing when the writers fail to patch a glaring plot hole.
Unanswered questions from video games leave countless fans frustrated, and can cause highly anticipated titles to crash and burn upon release. In the worst case scenario, a plot hole will reveal itself in the final installment of a series, providing players with a letdown that took dozens of hours to unfold. While some games with plot holes can still be fun, once these major issues have caught your attention, they can be hard to unsee.
At the end of Fallout 3, the player is tasked with a difficult choice. Someone has to enter an irradiated chamber, sacrificing their life to decide the fate of Washington DC's water supply. This task can be carried out by the player, or delegated to one of several companions. One thing's for sure though, whoever enters the chamber will quickly die from radiation poisoning.
While this is certainly dramatic, it's not the most sensible of conclusions. In the player's travels, they have likely befriended Fawkes, a super mutant who is immune to radiation. If Fawkes is present for this pivotal moment, it seems reasonable to ask her to go enter the code, as she's the only one who won't die from extreme radiation exposure. However, Fawkes says she doesn't want to rob the player of their destiny, and openly refuses to help.
To rub it in a little more, when one elects to go in place of Fawkes, she says that she wishes she could repay her debt to the player. Apparently, saving the player's life isn't a good way to even the score.
Heavy Rain is a cinematic game released in 2010 by Quantic Dream, that follows the hunt for the elusive Origami Killer. Unfortunately, the writers undercut the story's drama in the game's final scenes. While the game presents players with countless choices, pretty much everything that happens can be seen as a red herring, and the final plot twist is impossible to see coming.
The game begins when the main character Shaun starts having blackouts; each time he comes to, he's holding an origami figure. Obviously, the player is supposed to think that Shaun is the killer. While this turns out not to be the case, the game never bothers to explain what Shaun gets into when he's blacked out. The sole purpose of this character trait is to trick the player, as the Origami Killer turns out to be entirely unrelated to the blackouts. For a game that prioritizes story over mechanics, it's kind of sad that the writers could only achieve a "mystery" by flat-out lying to the players.
While it is the third game to be released in the franchise, Batman: Arkham Origins serves as a prequel to the first two games. Since Bane is unaware of Batman's true identity in Arkham Asylum, it stands to reason that he's also clueless in Arkham Origins. However, this is inexplicably not the case.
In Origins, Bane discovers Bruce's alter ego, which prompts the villain to bomb the Batcave. However, Batman and Bane have numerous run-ins in both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City (including a temporary, fraught alliance in the latter), but the story gives no indication that Bane knows who the Dark Knight is.
On an unrelated note, it's a little awkward that Batman wields advanced gadgets in Origins that he doesn't have access to in the other games. While the discontinuity is explained offhandedly — the game essentially says that Bats has access to every tool, but chooses to only bring a select few with him — the whole thing comes off as pathetically slapdash.
In the world of Final Fantasy, Phoenix Down is a magical item that has the power to bring people back from the dead. To finish any FF game, players are basically required to stock up on them. This begs the question: why is the death of Aerith — a major Final Fantasy VII character — not immediately rectified? Aerith is one of the first characters players are given access to, and prior to her getting permanently murdered, there's a good chance that she's already been revived multiple times via Phoenix Downs.
With this in mind, it seems utterly ridiculous that she can't be saved, just because her death happens to come at a dramatically pivotal moment in the game's story. This disconnect mars the series's storytelling as a whole, but is also unavoidable, as no one wants to play a game that ends the first time the player dies.