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.
The lore of Assassin's Creed gets pretty outlandish, as it's eventually revealed that humanity is controlled by alien gods. Luckily for the franchise's heroes, any individual who is a member of the assassins' bloodline is immune to their control.
In the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Desmond — who is a descendant of the assassins — finds himself under the control of the goddess Minerva, who forces him to kill Lucy (another assassin). Considering how big of a plot point this is, it's a little shocking that the other games go to great lengths to suggest that such a feat would be impossible. However, by this point in the franchise, the writers were already so far off the rails that perhaps they just stopped caring about continuity.
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.
In Mass Effect 3, the Citadel is the source of all the Reapers' power and knowledge. Conveniently (for humanity, as least), when the Reapers learn that humans have discovered the whereabouts of the Citadel and are going to try to destroy it, they bring the Citadel to the humans.
Up until this point, the Reapers have spent centuries hiding out in deep space, yet they inexplicably decide to bring their most precious space station directly to their arch enemy, who is more than happy to destroy it. For a group of super-intellegent machines, that's some remarkably poor military planning.