10 Video Games That Completely Switched Genre Halfway Through

Halo transforms from a sci-fi military shooter into a horror game once the Flood shows up.

Halo The Flood
343 Industries

Generally speaking, video games pick one genre and stick to it: making one type of game is difficult enough, but stretching your resources between two genres is an easy way to lose sight of the overall vision.

Plus, it makes marketing the game exponentially harder: players typically expect a video game to be primarily about one thing, and it can be challenging to concisely convey a genre-switch in trailers or promotional materials.

As such, it's little surprise that many games that swap genres half-way through don't really mention it in the marketing at all.

These 10 video games all decided to switch things up deep into the campaign, whether permanently swapping to a wildly contrasting genre, shifting to another subgenre within its existing one, or fleeting back and forth between a number of different game types for the remainder.

Unsurprisingly the genre shift proved fiercely divisive in many cases, with players complaining that they were ripped away from a fun gameplay loop and thrown into another they weren't much interested in.

The opposite has also been true, though, with players wondering why they had to wait so damn long to get to the better, totally different second half...

10. Brutal Legend

Halo The Flood
Double Fine

The marketing for 2009's Brutal Legend painted it strictly as an action-adventure game in which a roadie - voiced by and modeled after Jack Black - is transported to a fantasy world inspired by heavy metal album artwork.

While the game's first few hours are a solid if unremarkable third-person sandbox action game, developer Double Fine progressively added in more and more real-time strategy elements until, by the mid-point, the army-commanding RTS aspect almost overcomes the more conventional and expected action fare.

Ultimately Brutal Legend settles to become an intriguing if slightly awkward hybrid of third-person action and RTS genres, which bewildered those who were drawn to the marketing's focus on heavy metal-infused action and had little interest in playing an RTS. It is a rather niche genre, after all.

The RTS injection remains relatively divisive today even with those who love the genre, but the bizarre mash-up of game types has nevertheless allowed it to live on as a cult curio over a decade later.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.