If you’re a boss level gamer, then you probably spend a lot of time as your favorite game’s main character. You might even buy a video game specifically to play as one of your favorite protagonists. Nothing feels better than finally stepping back into the shoes of a hero after a long hiatus. But what happens when you start up the game and realize, you were lied to? You’re not going to be playing as your favorite character. Here are five games that lied to you about the main character.
Also, major spoilers ahead. Obviously
5. Nier: Automata
In Nier Automata you play as 2B, an android that is part of the elite YoRHa unit fighting to save humanity from brainless machines intent only on killing innocent humans. Only they’re not brainless, or emotionless, and actually may not be the villains?
The story is way too convoluted to succinctly sum up in this article, but needless to say2B is not the main character of this story.
As soon as you “beat” the game, a new story opens up where you essentially play through the entire story again, only this time as 9S, 2B’s trusty sidekick. Only after you beat the entire game a second time, a third playthrough opens up where you play as A2, a random android you barely met in your already close to 30 hours with this game.
In total there are twenty-six different endings to Nier: Automata. Five of them are needed to see the whole story. I could gush over the desolate open world, the constantly changing gameplay, or the fantastic story, but it’s better if you just play it for yourself. Hurry though, it leaves Game Pass March 15th
4. Kentucky Route Zero
Not all of the games on this list are totally bonkers Shakespear referencing stories. I promise.
Kentucky Route Zero starts you off as Conway. A down on his luck recovering alcoholic truck driver who just wants to deliver antiques to 5 dogwood drive. The only problem is there’s only one road that leads to 5 dogwood drive. The Zero.
Kentucky Route Zero starts as Conway’s story but quickly turns into so much more. You’ll meet and play as a child abandoned by his parents, two singers trying to make a living, a nosy cat, and other main characters along your journey. Nothing is as it seems with Kentucky Route Zero, but somehow, it’s also so much more.
3. The Last of Us Pt. 2
Probably the most controversial game, and bait and switch on this list, The Last of Us Pt 2 was marketed as a continuation of the original story. But this time in the role of Ellie. Ellie is on the warpath of revenge for the people who killed Joel.
After you fight, torture, and kill your way through a paramilitary group, you finally come face to face with the young woman who used Joel’s head as a driving range. Just when you think you are about to give this female golfer her comeuppance, the screen fades to black. And you’re forced to spend the next ten hours playing as Joel’s murderer.
Fans were unsurprisingly pretty peeved. The backlash against Naughty Dog, Neil Druckman and Laura Bailey was fierce, and frankly some of the most toxic fandom we’ve seen in video games. The outrage was gross and childish, but those that got what The Last of Us Pt 2 was trying to do felt the weight of meeting the people you had just brutally murdered. The polarization of this game was strong, but isn’t that what good art does? If everyone agrees with you, you’re probably doing something wrong.
2. Halo 2
Halo 2 was the sequel to Bungie’s smash Xbox launch hit. Fans eagerly anticipated their next outing as Master Chief. Ready to stomp the Covenant into oblivion. Only, by the third mission, you were thrown into the role of an Elite. One of UNSC’s sworn enemies.
Halo 2 did a great job of going back and forth between Master Chief and the Arbiter. So much so, that there really wasn’t much backlash to the decision. Halo 2 received rave reviews, the Arbiter became an important character in Halo lore and fans were happy. Halo 2 still holds a special place in many of our hearts, even with Bungie’s switcharoo.
1. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Boy, did this catch everyone by surprise. Releasing three years after the groundbreaking original, Metal Gear Solid fans were clamoring to get back into the sneaking suit of Solid Snake. And they did! For approximately the first 5% of the game.
Once you complete the initial tanker section, MGS2 puts into the role of Raiden. A whiney newbie that spends too much time on the codec with his girlfriend when there is an army of walking nuclear robots threatening the world!
Look, MGS2 is a fantastic game. It has aged like a fine wine and is still maybe the best game ever released on the PS2. But there is a reason the next time we saw Raiden he had gotten a full-on bad-ass makeover. The dude was a dweeb. Luckily, we got to play as Snake for the rest of the series. Or did we play as Big Boss? Or Major Zero? I guess this whole list could have just been Metal Gear Solid titles.