Games surprise us less often than movies. Whiles there’s thousands of films with double crosses, narrative shifts and twist endings, most games are as predictable as a spiky haired amnesiac in a JRPG. Whether it’s an unexpected plot twist, an unforeseen death or a shocking revelation, some games still have the power to make us "WTF" all over our screens. Here are the ten best:*Plot spoilers ahead, you have been warned!*
In inFamous you fight your future self
The storyline of inFamous is solid, a re-imagining of the comic book hero complete with a comic-inspired art style, it tells the story of a young courier coming to terms with his new found abilities. Throughout you are confronted by a seemingly invincible opponent whose powers dwarves yours known only as Kessler. During a traumatic scene, Kessler kills your girlfriend who had been up until that point a key character throughout the game. It’s only during your final fight with you ultimate enemy that you learn the truth. Kessler is you from the f*ture. He came back in time and created the Ray Sphere (the source of your powers) earlier in the timeline so that you would be stronger than he was. He did this to allow you to defeat an even more powerful foe known as The Beast, who he had been unable to destroy himself. To make you mentally strong enough to stop this world-ending threat he had put you through hell. Only with the arrival on inFamous 2 will you have a chance to face your true enemy.
In Knights of The Old Republic you are Revan
One of the better known twists, KOTOR has a pretty standard RPG set up. You have amnesia at the beginning of the game and have recently been rescued from certain death. You are trained to fight against a terrifying Sith enemy known as Malak, who is only marginally less fearsome than his former, deceased master Revan. Only at the end of the game do you realise that you ARE Revan. The twist works so well because it is obvious in retrospect, but carefully disguised during gameplay. The story of KOTOR is more nuanced than anything else in the Star Wars canon. Simple good and evil, light and dark are harder to distinguish when the "good" guys have manipulated you, lied to you and brainwashed you to betray your former friends. Unlike other games with a morality system, in KOTOR either choice seems like the right one. Whether you choose the light or dark path, you will feel satisfied that the story and the twist are brilliantly conceived and perfectly executed.
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.