9 HUGE Video Game Spoilers That Were Caused By Marketing –
Thankfully, video game trailers tend to have a handle on what to show and what to hold back on. Where you can rarely watch more than a minute of any film trailer and know precisely how an entire flick is going to play out, gaming has the benefit of being able showcase mechanics, art direction, the world itself or just the introduction of a new character.
Death Stranding has yet to truly reveal itself, yet we’ve had multiple cutscenes and lengthy teases, all building to a game that I guarantee even as you play through it, will remain pretty mysterious.
So far, so good.
Occasionally though, whether it be a naff studio getting access to an entire game’s worth of footage to make something that’ll sell no matter what, or a publisher just not realising something was supposed to be kept under wraps, things can get out of hand.
Yes, these instances are rare, but boy have their been some humdingers over the years. Everything from main character deaths to entire plots once you realise how to connect the dots – here’s hoping you weren’t affected by such ridiculous oversights.
9. Sony Show Footage Of Sarah’s Death At E3 – The Last Of Us: Remastered
What a baffling, truly stupid way to show off what was ultimately the definitive edition of one of the best games of all time. Sony’s showcase at E3 2014 literally had the footage from the beginning of the game, where Joel’s daughter Sarah slowly and painfully dies in his arms.
Yes, they flagged a “contains spoilers” disclaimer before things kicked off, but how did that help prospective buyers? Was their only solution to turn away from the screen and hope for the best, blind faith-buying a copy somewhere down the road?
Even those of us who already loved The Last of Us didn’t want this particular scene being used to “sell” anything.
Needless to say, anyone who’d only heard about The Last of Us and not played it now had the entire opening sequence and its subsequent tone-setting gut-punch ruined.
8. “Fight For The Lost” Campaign Showed Archangel Is Garrus – Mass Effect 2
A great idea on paper, rolling out a sequence of character-specific trailers ahead of Mass Effect 2 should only serve to get us invested in all their individual plights, ahead of fighting the nefarious Collectors.
99% of all these were handled perfectly, ranging from Commander Shepard to newcomers Thane and Grunt, but if you were watching the two minute version of “Fight for the Lost”, none-other than the actually-not-confirmed-to-return Garrus appeared for a few seconds.
Worse still, Garrus’ identity in Mass Effect 2 is hidden for a reason: He’s the vigilante Archangel. Yet watching the above trailer showed him without the helmet, letting you see a new set of armour.
Come the point you first see Archangel, all helmet’d up and laying down sniper fire… it was way too obvious Mr. Vakarian was hiding underneath.
7. A Song Revealed Joker’s Death In Batman: Arkham City
Coming just a week before the release of the full game, Arkham City’s soundtrack was likely meant to exemplify certain aspects of the full story – though it required knowledge of said story for that to work.
Case in point? Coheed & Cambria’s song “Deranged”, which was sang from the point of view of the Joker… after he’s dead.
Lyrics like “Who will be your pretty little enemy?” and “I promise you will always remember me” established a consequence-laden tone, and there’s even a line that says “The joke’s on you, poison me”, foreshadowing how Joker dies from the effects of a long-acting poison right at the close of the story.
Of course, Joker’s death is one of the biggest twists in gaming history… for anyone who didn’t listen to this song.
6. The “Mysterious Hooded Figure” Is Jill Valentine – Resident Evil 5
Another “Yup, they just HAD to put something in the teaser” reveal, Resi 5 REALLY wanted you to believe that Jill Valentine had bit the big one, prior to release.
Capcom went as far as paying for double page spreads in magazines that saw Chris Redfield kneeling by her grave, only for fans to revolt, as this couldn’t be the death of such a beloved character.
Turns out… they were right.
Rather annoyingly considering the buildup and the fact RE5’s story treats Valentine’s inclusion as a third act shocker, her face was recognisable back in the 2009 teaser, because Capcom were making such a big song n’ dance about Jill being killed off.
Various other trailers for RE5 actually showed Albert Wesker half removing her hood too, setting up a supposedly jaw-dropping, “Who could it BE?!” reveal… that everyone knew going in.
5. The Door To The Lakshmana Shrine – Far Cry 4
Like watching a film after having hoovered up the trailers and knowing there are more scenes coming before the end, Far Cry 4’s “Story Trailer” actually included a scene from the very end.
Taking place at your sister Lakshana’s shrine – the place you’re searching for the entire game, being all protagonist Ajay Ghale wants to do is scatter his mother’s ashes – we saw a relatively sombre moment between Ghale and Pagan Min.
Contrasting the opening of the game where you flee Min’s compound for your life (or giving away that you can wait it out to trigger a secret ending), including this scene at all cemented that at some point or another, there is a reconciliation between the pair.
Another trailer (which has now been taken offline) included more of this scene and the outside of the shrine, being way more easily identifiable. Pagan Min could be heard saying “God damn if it isn’t fun”, a line that comes as part of his final speech.
4. Literally The Three Biggest Spoilers In The Game – Shadow Of The Colossus
Now this particular trailer has also been taken down, but hopefully many will remember Sony’s marketing back in 2005 going way too far in selling the more “dramatic” parts of the game.
First up was breaking any tension or mystique around what was going to happen to your partner Mono, by showing her waking up. The game starts with Mono dead or in a coma, and as you’re venturing out across the plains for a good 15 hours trying to revive her… it wasn’t the best foot to put forward.
But wait, there’s more.
The band of humans we start to see towards the end of the game, that slowly encroach upon and shockingly infiltrate the Shrine of Worship? They’re shown inside, confirming that scene happens.
But wait, there’s even more.
We even saw the state of Wander after Dormin’s magic has finished with him – the reduced baby-state of our hero – but most shockingly and secretively, the fact he had grown horns.
The horns tie SotC to Team ICO’s titular other work, and was supposed to be the biggest “NO WAY?!” reveal at the very end of the game.
3. Jake Is Albert Wesker’s Son – Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 is often pilloried for being a whole game of that moment Chris Redfield punched a boulder to pieces in RE5, but most strange is how the biggest twist in the game – and for the overall canon – was made obvious across the marketing.
Coming right in the first trailer, we had complete newcomer Jake Muller – who wouldn’t be entering the canon now without a bonafide narrative reason to exist – talking about “his blood”, as other characters noted how important it was.
Okay… so a worthwhile bloodline…
Later on we see Jake specialises in hand-to-hand fighting, literally slicing through zombies with melee swipes and kicks.
Hmm… who could he possibly be related to? Which other character has blood with unique properties and likes to fight using martial arts?
It took all but connecting those thoughts to produce the answer, “Wesker”, and though the game takes an age to reveal it officially, fans were right from the very beginning.
2. Dead Space’s Final Battle Was In The Reveal Trailer
Trust EA to not help themselves when it comes to packing trailers with as many overblown sequences as possible.
Even the relatively subtle, corridor-crawling first Dead Space didn’t escape being trailer-revealed to death, including the final boss during the closing seconds of the very first reveal footage.
Though you could say that no one knew this was the final boss, simply by virtue of Dead Space being a slow-burn horror with deliberately paced shocks, the more it established an atmosphere, the more it became clear the Hive Mind was going to be the culmination of everything that was unfolding.
1. Aerith’ Death Was Spelt Out In The First Trailer – Final Fantasy VII
Possibly the most well-known and genuinely tear-jerking death in gaming history, Sephiroth descending out of nowhere to skewer poor Aerith was a moment for the ages, and likely one of the first times you ever cried at a video game.
It’s so powerful because it came out of nowhere, and yet… it was in the very first trailer of the game.
1997’s trailer you can see above not only includes the scene where Cloud lays Aerith down into the water (eyes closed, hands atop one another, not moving), but the narrator spells out that this is “A love that can never be”.
It’s to the point where you’d imagine this is a motivating factor in the establishment of Cloud from the very beginning, and yet, Aerith’s death happens a good 20+ hours in.
Why on Earth Square Enix thought it remotely worthwhile to spoil their most emotional moment is beyond me.