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The twist you didn’t see coming: Finding out James killed his wife.
Excuse us for a moment while we take some time out to stroke our thick and bushy games jarnalists’ beards. You see, Silent Hill 2 deserves some special recognition for its deeply complex, winding plot. Really, it’s a work of David Lynch, Twin Peaks-esque genius. Focusing on James Sunderland, who enters Silent Hill on the back of receiving a letter from his dead wife Mary, it spends the next ten hours or so monumentally messing with your shit.
Above: Personally, we're more weirded out by the guy on the left
Dudes with heads shaped like Toblerones forcing themselves on other monsters, a fat bloke who offed his dog, a woman who looks exactly like your stone cold other half; it’s a mind buggering of the very highest proportions. At the centre of the story is the question of how James’ wife met her maker and if she’s really dead. When you finally unearth the answer, the truth isn’t just shocking, it’s also surprisingly dark and adult for a game. Mary ain’t just dead. She died at the hands of James… and a pillow.
Just how shocking is it, then? There’s no way in Beelzebub’s kingdom we’re doing a Photoshop analogy gag here.
Even for a game which frequently deals with such incredibly dark themes as child abuse and rape, when you find a home video of James smothering his wife, it’s a complete game changer. Video games are generally a medium about decapitating Nazi zombies with weapons called the Killitron 3700. Not Euthanasia. Naturally, because both the manner of the death was so rare for games, and the plot was plagued with such mysterious questions, this twist was always going to go undetected by our tiny chickpea-sized brains.
Above: Mary, Mary, give me your answer do. Oh right, you're dead
Of course, earn a certain ending, and it’s clear the whole diabolical plot was cooked up by man’s most loyal, surprisingly creatively-minded, friend…
The twist you didn’t see coming: Discovering Snake’s not the main character.
Solid ‘David’ Snake is the gruffest, most rebelliously shaven dude ever to squeeze his stealthy balls into a sneaking suit. There’s a reason gamers everywhere love him. Yeah, a big part of it is he’s bloody brilliant at laying a mechanical smackdown on nuclear robots of death. But really, it’s that voice. Listening to a 36 minute Codec conversation involving the Solid One is akin to getting a velvety happy ending massage for the ear drums. And Sons of Liberty’s incredible, rain-swept tanker opening is the perfect, action-packed tribute to the man.
Above: Metal Gear Ray has got no chance against that mullet of justice
Y’know what we hate more than QTEs, rectal thermometers and the end of The Matrix: Revolutions? Getting duped. So you’ll probably grasp why we were a tad miffed when Kojima pulled the bleach blonde blanket from under us with the introduction of Raiden after the game’s first hour. Not only was this new playable character not Snake, but Koj even forced us to watch him cupping his genitals for a good ten minutes.
Above: Dear God
Just how shocking is it, then? Seeing the world’s most deadly secret agent being played by George Lazenby.
Above: Aka the one where 007 gives up a life on the shag to get hitched
Being forced to play as the rookie FoxHound agent after almost two years of fevered waiting for Snake’s PS2 adventure felt like Hideo was teagbagging our souls with his pristinely maintained scrotum. Make no mistake: it hurt as much as it shocked us. Kojima Productions deliberately doctored trailers of boss battles, which featured Raiden in the main game, to feature Snake in the build up to release. It’s no wonder we never smelt this twist coming. Kojima was stuffing rotten pieces of camembert up our hooters to put us off the scent.
It would be like the next Batman film promising Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan and then letting Uwe Boll helm the flick, with Bale’s Bat being given the boot for a Justin Bieber-played Robin. Thankfully, the game was still amazing. Raiden was a surprisingly likeable character, too. Regardless of what the naysayers think, there was a definite Han Solo/Luke Skywalker dynamic between Snake and Raiden that genuinely worked well. Still, we’ll never quite forgive the Metal Gear mastermind for pulling the deceptive wool over our eyes for all those months.
Above: And we'll also never forgive the modder who gave the world this