In the dawn of video games, stories were the last thing that anyone was interested in. All we cared about was racking up points, blowing up spaceships, and saving the princess.
But in the modern world, it seems like every gaming franchise focuses on world-building, complex backstories, and an intricate narrative. Since gamers have become so emotionally invested in these stories, the developers do all they can to keep things interesting.
Whether it's killing off a beloved character or revealing a hero was a villain all along, it's actually rare nowadays to play something that doesn't have a mind-blowing twist.
"Gotcha moments" in storytelling can come across as gimmicky, but they tend to work better in video games than in other mediums. Watching Aerith die in Final Fantasy VII was heartbreaking because you spent 20 hours getting to know her. Learning that the main character in Knights of the Old Republic was the villain was devastating because you thought you were playing as the hero.
Even though it's satisfying to beat a tough boss or complete a tricky level, the moments that stick with us is when the rug is pulled completely from under our feet. Although twists always throw us off, they are far more effective when we didn't even realise a twist was coming!
12. Cole Phelps' Affair - L.A. Noire
In LA Noire, you play as Detective Cole Phelps – a decorated cop who quickly works his way up the ranks of the police force after stumbling upon a massive conspiracy in the city.
Throughout most of your playthrough, Phelps seems to be the only straight cop in Los Angeles. Sure, he’s brash and confrontational, but he's a boy scout who does everything by the book. Because of his uncompromising integrity and unwavering loyalty to the cause, you really believe Phelps is an upstanding guy.
But late in the game, Phelps’ career takes a nosedive after his affair with a German mistress is exposed. Because this story takes place immediately after World War II, the fact that Phelps “slept with the enemy” has him labelled as a traitor to his country.
When you see how heartbroken his wife is after she kicks Phelps out of the house, you can’t help feeling like our so-called hero betrayed you as well.
For all his faults, we never thought he would do something this heartless and stupid, especially when he was so close with closing the biggest case of his career.