Like a great movie, a great game can be made even better by a thrilling plot twist, engaging us more emotionally in the plot by sneaking up on us and changing the perspective of the story. Though some of the following plot twists weren’t necessarily great twists, they did, regardless of their quality, absolutely shock us and change how we thought of the game, ensuring that we could never forget the craziness they pulled on us. At their best, they helped to redefine the genres they appeared in, and at the worst, they’ve allowed the game – a certain game, possibly pictured above… – to live on in sure infamy with gamers the world over.

Whether good or bad, here’s 10 gaming plot twists that totally blew our minds.

 

10. You Get Nuked – Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The fourth Call of Duty game was a revolutionary entry into both the CoD series and the FPS genre as a whole for a number of reasons, perhaps most prominently because it introduced the thrillingly addictive online multiplayer component that has now been the rule of the roost for the last five years. Playing through the single player, however, made for one of the most brilliantly cinematic FPS campaigns of all time, as has been copied rather needlessly by every military FPS title ever since. Still, few could have expected that a Call of Duty game of all titles would actually engage us emotionally in the narrative, shedding its stereotype as a cold, calculated military shooter with this amazing sequence in which a nuke is detonated while you’re in a helicopter.

The helicopter crashes, and for a moment, we think we’re OK to continue playing, but then our character quickly succumbs to the effects of the blast and the crash, falling to his knees and dying. It was a genuinely sombre moment in a game where we didn’t expect to care about the characters, and for all of the CoD series’ criticisms, this cannot be one of them; it’s excellently iconic and very unexpected.

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This article was first posted on December 6, 2012