10 Video Game Reveals That Stopped You DEAD

Those video game moments that made you go "Wait, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!"

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Pulling off an amazing reveal is challenging for virtually all storytellers, no matter if they write books, TV shows, movies, plays, or of course, video games.

We're not talking about the bad video game twists, either, such as 2009’s Bionic Commando reboot connecting Nathan Spencer’s mechanical arm to his dead wife (Emily) or the incestuous and illusory truths that conclude 2021’s Twelve Minutes. Those were jaw-dropping for the wrong reasons.

Instead, we're delving into the narrative surprises that left players frozen in place in brilliant and fitting ways.

Perhaps they add new depth to the experience by recontextualizing entire plots and characters. Maybe they’re deeply emotional beats that stay with gamers long after the credits roll. Or, they could simply be strange and shocking discoveries that no one could’ve predicted.

No matter their purpose, the 10 reveals on this list are among the biggest and most affecting in the medium, and more than likely resulted in everyone needing a few minutes to take them in before carrying on.


10. Elizabeth Is Anna DeWitt - BioShock Infinite

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2K Games

Regardless of whether it’s superior to the first entry in the series, 2013’s time-bending BioShock Infinite concludes with similarly mind-blowing disclosures regarding the real identities of two major characters.

Learning that protagonist Booker DeWitt is actually an alternate universe version of main antagonist Comstock is certainly startling and significant. Yet, it’s the other confession – Comstock’s rebellious adopted descendant, Elizabeth, is Booker’s long-lost daughter, Anna – that hits like a punch in the gut.

After all, Booker’s entire cause for going to floating city Columbia is to find Elizabeth, as the mysterious Lutece twins tell him that if he “brings [them] the girl,” he’ll “wipe away the debt.”

On the surface, it seems like a simple way for him to erase his gambling responsibilities, but by the end, it takes on a deeper meaning since said liabilities led to Comstock taking infant Anna (and unintentionally severing her finger) in the first place.

Thus, Booker and Anna’s relationship becomes increasingly complicated and touching as BioShock Infinite progresses, leading to a bittersweet finale in which multiple Elizabeths (from multiple timelines) watch Booker drown in order to prevent any version of him from becoming Comstock.


Hey there! Outside of WhatCulture, I'm a former editor at PopMatters and a contributor to Kerrang!, Consequence, PROG, Metal Injection, Loudwire, and more. I've written books about Jethro Tull, Opeth, and Dream Theater and I run a creative arts journal called The Bookends Review. Oh, and I live in Philadelphia and teach academic/creative writing courses at a few colleges/universities.