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Six videogame plot twists you totally saw coming

Dead Space


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.

Just kidding.

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?


Mirror’s Edge

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.

63 comments

  • EffinChrys - December 3, 2010 12:35 a.m.

    ... Stupid Bayonetta is STILL confusing. Nice list.
  • Kapwan - December 3, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    You guys should have made this a top 7. I'd say the major plot twist in Black Ops was telegraphed pretty well. The ending credits plot twist was just dumb though.
  • Helios - December 3, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    I must be an idiot, because I did not at all foresee that twist in Dead Space. Sure, I always thought the encounters with her were a bit odd (except for the ones on the screens; those were just creepy), but I always thought that was part of Dead Space's weirdness/creepiness. Oh well. (PS. I'm sure you know this, but Celeste isn't the only other runner in Mirror's Edge.)
  • Mortified_Cow - December 3, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    How bout Army of Two, with the "Your boss and the company you work for is really evil and using you for his own gains" ending. I never saw that one coming. I mean, who ever heard of an evil corporation with its own private army in a video game before. (YAY Sarcasm)
  • AltairFoggz - December 3, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    WTF. I didn't see the Assassin's Creed twist. And I am the main character. :(
  • ApplePieHitlerStevenson - December 3, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    Ya didn't see the Dead Space one either
  • oufour - December 3, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    @Altairfoggz really? his ominous tone and odd abilities didn't make you slightly suspicious? given that the assassin's continue into AC2 and i didn't beat ac1 till after 2 i was a little thrown off, but i still figured it out WAY too early.
  • mrm1138 - December 3, 2010 1:17 a.m.

    Was Isaac seeing Nicole because he was crazy or because the Marker was putting thoughts into his head? Quite honestly, I felt it was the latter because of the instructions she keeps giving him. I'm somewhat loath to admit that I read the Dead Space novel Martyr, and it presents the idea that the Marker gives people visions of dead relatives and friends so as to influence them. (Strangely, though, it seems to be fairly schizophrenic about its intentions, sometimes telling the people under its influence that it should be excavated so as to bring about Convergence or buried because it's incredibly dangerous. That seems to suggest that within the Marker are two forces, one of which is actively attempting to suppress the other in the interest of keeping the universe safe.)
  • gamingfreak - December 3, 2010 2:03 a.m.

    I can always see a plot twist coming. Except for MGS2 and 4, but that was because I was so confused that I gave up trying to understand them.
  • AGENTJORRRG - December 3, 2010 2:12 a.m.

    I always look at that second mirrors edge picture as if her arm is flying onto her at the elbow and attaching.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - December 3, 2010 2:14 a.m.

    Whoa, I've only played 1 game on this list. This article is not for me.
  • batmanboy11 - December 3, 2010 2:14 a.m.

    Good list. Also, the Assassin's Creed twist was painfully obviously to me from pretty early on in the game
  • brettjohnson - December 3, 2010 2:23 a.m.

    I saw the twists in the Golden Sun games coming. Whether it was the one where you find out that Felix and the warriors from Prox were actually good or whether it was where you find out the Doom Dragon was made of your loved ones. Maybe the one in Dragon Quest Monsters Jokers also. Anything called Darkonium is clearly bad.
  • KnightDehumidifier - December 3, 2010 2:38 a.m.

    The most painful has to be Mega Man 6. "Who is this Mr. X, who stole all these robot masters and programmed them for evil? Clearly he's as fiendish as Dr. Wily, who failed to beat the blue bomber after all these years...FUCK IT'S STILL HIM AGAIN! C'MON! FUCK YOU CAPCOM!"
  • Yeager1122 - December 3, 2010 2:46 a.m.

    Crackdown where the agency is actually the bad guy i saw that one coming pretty early in the game.
  • DreamWeaverPL - December 3, 2010 3:05 a.m.

    You are wrong about Dead Space and Silent Hill. And it pisses me off.
  • g4m3rk1dd - December 3, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    you left out FF13...vanille and dajh? fang just turning at the end? you sir are a slacker :(
  • g4m3rk1dd - December 3, 2010 3:11 a.m.

    adding on to my previous comment that whole game was filled with plot twists we saw comming :| THE DAMNED BIRD FOR GODS SAKES
  • Cyberninja - December 3, 2010 3:27 a.m.

    what about the disgaea games theirs an huge twist in each game.
  • scrimbleshanks - December 3, 2010 3:29 a.m.

    How about Gears of war 2 where Dom had to kill his wife? Wouldn't suprize me if Anaya carks it in Gears 3 either.

Showing 1-20 of 63 comments

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