Above: Isaac and a necromorph hug out their differences…
The Situation: Protagonist Isaac Clarke – world-class engineer and spaceship wiz kid – volunteers for a mission to repair the damaged communication array of the mining ship USG Ishimura. Using his technical know-how, Isaac fixes the Ishimura’s communication problems with little effort and uses his remaining downtime to renew his relationship with lady-friend Nicole Brennan, a lost love with whom he’s just been reunited.
Isaac and company arrive to find the Ishimura is totally effed. The ship is completely infested with mutant space-zombie things engaged in perpetual murder frenzy, the majority of Isaac’s landing party is slaughtered within the first ten minutes, and the remaining crew of the Ishimura is either dead or dying. But Nicole has survived, and throughout Isaac’s venture into the mining ship (which mostly consists of him running around screaming), he constantly receives cryptic messages from her via the ship’s local communications network. Near the end, she actually shows up in person and the lovers are reunited at last… sort of.
The Twist: Nicole committed suicide more than three hours before Isaac set foot on the Ishimura. You’re seeing visions of her because you’re insane.
Above: Worst “Dear John” break-up letter EVER
Why You Saw it Coming: Every encounter with Isaac’s main squeeze is accompanied with this massive, involuntary feeling of ominous foreboding – like tiny spiders crawling up the back of your neck. Even when she physically appears before you, everything screams, “This is wrong!” For one thing, she’s unarmed, but still alive and coherent – that alone is enough to make us suspicious. Plus, too many her actions and dialogue have no connection to social context. It’s like she doesn’t know she’s been marooned on a ship with a bunch of hyper-violent alien monsters or that everyone is dead.
However, let’s be clear that we have no objection to this twist in principle – it’s actually pretty cool, and in a creepy way, it only makes sense. Considering that every surviving crewmember Isaac encounters is batshit nuts, why would he get to walk around the funny farm and not become mentally psychotic?
The Situation: Mirror’s Edge follows the story of Faith. Faith is a “runner” – an illegal agent who delivers secret packages containing…well, we’re not entirely sure. Government agents and heavily armed death squads constantly hound her during assignments because…actually, that’s not explained that well, either. For the sake of this article, we’ll assume Faith is delivering baked goods to urban based orphanages and the baby kicking, orphan hating government doesn’t approve. During a standard brownie run, Faith learns that her sister has been framed for murder and sets out to clear her name. However, throughout her investigation, Faith encounters a female assassin who possesses the same agility and parkour ability as she…
Above: “Surrender the brownies or…ermph!?”
The Twist: Celeste – a fellow runner and Faith’s supposed close friend – is the masked assassin.
Why You Saw it Coming: Once again, developers fumble in their bag of plot pacing devices and pull out a hot steaming wad of betrayal. If you weren’t blinded by the game’s visual aesthetic (don’t get us wrong, the stark white on saturated color scheme is freakin’ beautiful, but you’ll need to wear protective head gear to avoid burning your retinas), you would have noticed the ONLY OTHER RUNNER IN THE GAME – Celeste. And then about an hour in, you encounter a masked female assailant who matches your physical prowess and parkour ability perfectly. We’re given a very short list of possible suspects (aka one person).
Honestly Faith, she even looks like a bitch. Is that best friend hair? Is that a “nice to see you still alive” face? No, it is not.