With Halloween right around the corner – if by corner, you mean a little under three weeks away – it’s time to lazily theme articles/videos/whatever the hell it is you do/etc. around the spookiest time of the year. And gamespulp is sure as hell not above doing precisely that.
So here’s a quick and scary list of the top 7 video games where you’re the bad guy, you monster. …Ok, it’s not at all scary. Obviously, beware potential spoilers.
An absolute classic of a strategy game, Dungeon Keeper sees you take on the role of – what else? – a Dungeon Keeper. Be the fiend and prevent the heroes from invading your dungeon, stealing your gold, offing your minions and taking you down. I mean, you’re not going to let these jerks get away with that, are you?
You can play Mass Effect pretty much any way you want, but for the raging, bloodthirsty folks, it’s all about pulling the trigger and going renegade. Threaten innocents. Shoot unhelpful aliens. Take zero shit from anyone. Sure, you’ll still save the galaxy – but you’re doing it your way, spilling as much blood as possible. Because you’re a total bad-ass.
Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is an interesting gem of psychological survival horror. You take on the role of depressingly bereaved James Sunderland, who visits Silent Hill after receiving a letter from your dead wife. Oh, and it turns out your guilt over killing your sick wife has completely shattered your mind. All right, you’re not exactly evil, and you only did it ‘cause your wife was dying anyway – but that doesn’t stop you, I mean James, feeling like a bad guy and, in one ending, driving off a cliff.
Grand Theft Auto V
Is Trevor a bad guy? Or is he just misunderstood? Probably both, to be fair, given his propensity to kick a guy’s head in while still providing sweet and tender love to a mobster’s wife. This nutcase was modelled after Charles Bronson, the most violent crim to ever be put behind bars. Trevor might torture innocent people at the behest of a corrupt FIB official, but hey, at least he drives the poor bastard to the airport afterwards. So he can’t be all bad. Just amoral. And that’s not quite the same, is it?
Bank robbers aren’t nice guys. Even those uber-polite, well-dressed and charming ones you see in movies still aren’t above pistol whipping insolent guards in order to get the code to the safe. In Payday 2, pretty much all four protagonists are bastards who are more than happy to tie up civilians, threaten security and punch bullet holes through the heads of the cops when the going gets tough. Mass murder is totes worth it though, when you stand to earn a million bucks, right?
Call of Duty: Black Ops
The three people who actually play Call of Duty’s single player campaigns will already know that in Black Ops you play as the bad guy. It’s just, the protagonist doesn’t realise it yet. Which really isn’t going to stand up in a court of law, given that you’re a brainwashed assassin. The game starts off by implying that you’re a pretty decent guy, a US soldier held captive by the enemy – until it’s revealed that you’re the video game equivalent of the Manchurian Candidate, and you probably murdered President Kennedy. Come on, everyone knows nice guys might finish last, but they don’t shoot presidents.
This is another one of those games where you don’t realise you’re the bad guy. But in Bioshock Infinite you are. Oh, you really, really are – see, you might think that you’re just Booker DeWitt, a haunted gambler and down-and-out private eye but that’s just one version of reality; in another Booker DeWitt grows into the deeply religious racist Zachary Hale Comstock, who created the floating steampunk police state of Columbia and is now looking to cleanse his world of anyone not, well, white and Christian (defined here as ‘devoted and unquestioning follower of Comstock’).