Every role-playing game worth its salt will tell a deep and intriguing story, and every story worth hearing will feature some kind of shocking plot twist that causes us to question everything we think we know about characters we’ve grown to love.
So integral is the plot twist to mainstream storytelling these days that every game and their sequel present some sort of surprise intended to send players jaws slamming to the floor. Some games twist and turn so often it’s a miracle they don’t tie themselves in a knot.
We as players have become much more observant in our judgement of characters and events. The archetypal tropes that have held stories together for centuries have lost their edge. Even those of us who don’t follow the Spider-Man comics could spot Martin Li’s evil intentions a mile off.
Writers need to be far more subtle in their approach if they want to catch us off guard. We need to be hit by something that we genuinely did not see coming.
We’ve already listed our favourite shocking video game plot twists, but your suggestions in the comments were worthy of their own moment in the spotlight.
Original version of this list/video available here!
8. Nier: Automata
It’s true we’ve
come to expect the odd twist in our video games, as we’ll cover throughout
this list a good old stab in the back courtesy of a best friend is a common occurrence.
It’s just not always clear where and when they’re going to strike.
We don’t have to worry about any of that in Nier: Automata, though, this is more of an existential crisis. It’s lucky this is an enjoyable game to play, because the bombshell that everything you’ve done throughout is essentially a pointless endeavour driven by the ideals of two long-extinct species provides a stiff slap in the face to those of us hoping to save the world.
The androids and the robots have been fighting on behalf of humans and aliens respectively, relentlessly driven by orders given millennia ago, which have absolutely no relevance or meaning any more. That’s right, the meaning of life is to perpetuate this cycle of death, just for the sake of it.
The magnitude of this reveal is quite something.
It comes right out of left field, and there’s no doubt it leaves a lasting impact.