5. Heavy Rain

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Heavy Rain is a fantastic game because of it’s gritty story.  Like other interactive dramas, the game leans heavily on its plot and characters.  The story switches between four main characters as they search for the elusive Origami Killer. Each of these four characters are interesting and engaging:  Ethan Mars is a desperate father who searches for his kidnapped son,  Madison Paige is a young female reporter, and Norman Jayden is the FBI specialist sent in to find the killer. But, my favorite character was the bitter private investigator, Scott Shelby.  He was the most relatable and formed a heartwarming bond with one of the mothers of the victims.  He assists her on her quest to find out what happened to her son.  So I couldn’t believe it when Heavy Rain reveals that Shelby was the killer all along.  Yes, there were clues and it shouldn’t have been surprising, but it really shocked me.  Even though Heavy Rain adequately explains the reasons why Shelby’s the killer and his ulterior motives for pretending to assist in the investigation, this twist changed the whole plot and I personally felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me.

~ Ryan Dodd


 

4. Final Fantasy X

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The inhabitants of Final Fantasy X’s  Spira are an interesting bunch. They fear the use of “machina” as they attribute it to the appearance of Sin to in their world. Everything is not what it seems in Spira though. It is eventually revealed that several of the main players in the story are actually unsent souls that refused to travel to the farplane after their deaths. This includes Seymour, Grand Maester Mika and even Auron. Additionally, it is revealed that Tidus is a incarnated memory since he came into contact with Sin in Dream Zanarkand’s everlasting dream.

~ Eric Young


 

3. Spec Ops: The Line 

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Most people will look at the cover to Spec Ops: The Line and think it’s just some regular war game, another Call of Duty or Brothers in Arms. In many ways it does try to start off like that, drawing players into yet another conflict in some middle-eastern area while playing as yet another gun-toting white-bread protagonist off to shoot some terrorists in the head. As the game goes on, though, the usual elements associated with these kinds of games get turned on their head through the horrors of war shown in its full graphical “glory.” The lines between good and evil start to blur, as well as those between fantasy and in-game reality. It all builds up and spirals downward into the final reveal: The main villain, Konrad, is in reality the hallucination of a dead man Walker once knew. The apparition was something to justify the horrifying acts of violence that Walker’s taken throughout the game. His dissociative disorder twisted his memories into blaming “Konrad” for the wanton acts of destruction and carnage he carried out. The worst of it all is that the player is directly responsible for all the damage that Walker inflicted.

~ Donovan Bertch


 

2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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One of the best plot twists in any gaming narrative would be in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Players will have gone from being a stranded Republic soldier to a Jedi in training throughout the adventure. Eventually, it comes to be revealed that the player is actually Darth Revan, a powerful Sith Lord whose memories were erased by the Jedi Council. Revan was discussed in the game as a Sith Lord far more powerful than the main antagonist, Darth Malak. When the revelation is finally reached, new dialogue trees open up and players may choose to embrace the dark side once again, reviving the former Sith lord, or choose the path of the light and continue as the person they have become. 

~ Eric Young


 

1. Bioshock Series

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When considering games or game series that provide intense, shocking, awesome, or all of the above plot twists, no other series nailed it so formulaically as Ken Levine and the team behind Bioshock. Andrew Ryan, one of our top 10 most sympathetic villains, knows exactly what is happening to the player in Bioshock – that the player is being controlled by Atlas, the man who has seemingly been so kind. Of course, Ryan takes a golf club to the head to prove this to you. But for as great a twist as the initial Bioshock delivered, Bioshock Infinite gave gamers aneurysms. In Infinite, you play as the likeable Booker Dewitt, a man sent on a mission to “bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.” For as simple as that premises is, the game itself turns into an existential question of quantum physics, time travel, parallel dimensions, and every complex theory in between. Turns out that Booker Dewitt is actually Comstock, the villain dictator of the floating city of Columbia, a man he became after his baptism following his actions during the battle of Wounded Knee. After discovering that Comstock found himself sterile due to his attempts to create tears in time and space, he steals away Booker’s daughter Anna to claim as his own. Disgusted with his methods, the Lutece siblings embark on a mind-bending adventure to help the Bookers of the multiverse save their respective daughter(s).

~ Evan Schwab


 

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