#1 Edited by Hyuzen (467 posts) -

I was thinking today that Batman is one of the only characters who exclusively doesn't kill the people he fights. In the Arkham games it looks like he comes close to permanently paralyzing a few people by breaking their backs, but no one ever "dies". This got me thinking if there was any other games that featured combat but didn't have you killing people.

I know there's lots of stealthy games like Dishonored, Deus Ex, Mark of the Ninja, Hitman and so on that have either incapacitating weapons or reward limited casualties, but I'm thinking about games that have combat but don't have any (or very limited) options for killing people, where it's not just a choice between if you want the good path or the bad.

The only games I could think of would be the Thief series, but I've never played any of those games so I don't know if when you resort to combat you kill or just incapacitate. I guess you could say most fighting games count because you only KO them, but I'm more thinking of story based action games.

Would anyone be interested in a game that has combat based around trying to not kill everyone you fight? Clearly developers don't think that would sell, we either get games where you kill everyone you fight, or have the choice to kill or subdue. I feel like batman is the exception because he's batman, and people expect him to not kill anyone.

#2 Posted by HatKing (6108 posts) -

Do the Dynasty Warrior games still trade in KOs?

#3 Posted by fuzzybunny566 (451 posts) -

In Disney's Aladdin for SNES, you defeat enemies by either throwing apples at them or jumping on their heads. The enemies then suddenly bounce off-screen in a screaming pose, so they're technically not dead, just in perpetual limbo.

#4 Posted by BillyMaysRIP (261 posts) -

@fuzzybunny566: That's cause you were playing the wrong version. In the Genesis version, you had a sweet sword and fuckin sliced and diced with it. Also, exploding into a poof of sparkles seems more like death to me than entering limbo.

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Oh, I know there are games like this, and that I've played at least one such game recently, but I can't name it specifically. It's on the tip of my tongue, too.

#6 Posted by Yummylee (22518 posts) -

In those Tim Burton Batman movies he totally kills people by the by. One good example is the guy he pulls off from the top of the Belltower near the end, as he falls down the middle... ain't no-one surviving that. Plus there's a guy he inadvertently sets on fire early on in Batman Returns. Just something funny I noticed when I watched those movies again fairly recently.

#7 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2341 posts) -

You never kill anyone in Captain America Super Soldier, although Cap murdered people in the movies.

#8 Posted by ShaggE (6698 posts) -

Have we forgotten that most influential of games, ElfLand, already?

#9 Posted by Hyuzen (467 posts) -

@somedelicook: That game had pretty much the same combat at the Arkham games right?

#10 Posted by HistoryInRust (6397 posts) -

@yummylee said:

In those Tim Burton Batman movies he totally kills people by the by. One good example is the guy he pulls off from the top of the Belltower near the end, as he falls down the middle... ain't no-one surviving that. Plus there's a guy he inadvertently sets on fire early on in Batman Returns. Just something funny I noticed when I watched those movies again fairly recently.

He also straight murders a guy in Dark Knight Rises. During the final chase sequence, he fires from the flying-Tumbler and kills the dude driving the truck carrying the bomb, which, in turn, causes that truck to crash and kill the evil lady too.

#11 Posted by Slag (4855 posts) -

I like to try to play Splinter Cell and Metal Gear non-lethally. Course that's a choice though...

can't really think of anything else action wise that does offhand though.

Didn't Epic Mickey have a big focus on non-violence? I thought I remember Warren Specter making a big deal about it in the press..

#12 Posted by Encephalon (1332 posts) -

@slag: I thought you had the option of erasing dudes with magic paint thinner in Epic Mickey. Magicking someone into nonexistence sounds way more savage than just killing him!

#13 Posted by Slag (4855 posts) -

@slag: I thought you had the option of erasing dudes with magic paint thinner in Epic Mickey. Magicking someone into nonexistence sounds way more savage than just killing him!

Oh dang I didn't know he could do that, Mickey is ice cold!

#14 Posted by Corevi (4803 posts) -

how has no one said the Batman Arkham games yet?

#15 Posted by Yummylee (22518 posts) -

@corruptedevil said:

how has no one said the Batman Arkham games yet?

@hyuzen said:

I was thinking today that Batman is one of the only characters who exclusively doesn't kill the people he fights. In the Arkham games it looks like he comes close to permanently paralyzing a few people by breaking their backs, but no one ever "dies".

-_-

#16 Edited by Corevi (4803 posts) -

@yummylee: must have missed that wooooops, sorry. and the spiderman games dont let you kill people, unless you count kicking people off skyscrapers and tying people up and punching them for hours as killing.

#17 Posted by hans_maulwurf (128 posts) -

Bully is my goto game for non-lethal action, alpha protocol can also be played that way with no real difference to the lethal playthrough (at least gameplay wise).

#18 Edited by Yummylee (22518 posts) -

Also, I guess you never actually kill anyone in the Yakuza games, least not from a gameplay perspective; narratively-speaking there are characters you possibly kill. Kazuma Kiryu at least definitely has a very adamant stance against killing people, though he's more than happy to knock you over with a bicycle and then stamp your face in.

#19 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11382 posts) -

@yummylee said:

Also, I guess you never actually kill anyone in the Yakuza games, least not from a gameplay perspective; narratively-speaking there are characters you possibly kill. Kazuma Kiryu at least definitely has a very adamant stance against killing people, though he's more than happy to knock you over with a bicycle and then stamp your face in.

He's also very good at shooting people just enough to knock them out, but not kill them. You know, for the few guns you find in the games.

#20 Posted by MindBullet (176 posts) -

@yummylee said:

Also, I guess you never actually kill anyone in the Yakuza games, least not from a gameplay perspective; narratively-speaking there are characters you possibly kill. Kazuma Kiryu at least definitely has a very adamant stance against killing people, though he's more than happy to knock you over with a bicycle and then stamp your face in.

I think this is why I like Kiryu so much. He is basically Japanese Gangster Batman, if you think about it. On top of that, its pretty rare to find a gaming protag who actually has this anti-murder stance. I can think of a bunch of games where you don't kill people, but it's usually more to do with the game itself than the character actively opposing it.

#21 Posted by OldGuy (1575 posts) -

@hyuzen said:

I was thinking today that Batman is one of the only characters who exclusively doesn't kill the people he fights. In the Arkham games it looks like he comes close to permanently paralyzing a few people by breaking their backs, but no one ever "dies". This got me thinking if there was any other games that featured combat but didn't have you killing people.

I know there's lots of stealthy games like Dishonored, Deus Ex, Mark of the Ninja, Hitman and so on that have either incapacitating weapons or reward limited casualties, but I'm thinking about games that have combat but don't have any (or very limited) options for killing people, where it's not just a choice between if you want the good path or the bad.

The only games I could think of would be the Thief series, but I've never played any of those games so I don't know if when you resort to combat you kill or just incapacitate. I guess you could say most fighting games count because you only KO them, but I'm more thinking of story based action games.

Would anyone be interested in a game that has combat based around trying to not kill everyone you fight? Clearly developers don't think that would sell, we either get games where you kill everyone you fight, or have the choice to kill or subdue. I feel like batman is the exception because he's batman, and people expect him to not kill anyone.

Maybe the Superman games - though, I admit that I've never played any of them as they are reputed to all be pretty terrible.

Oh, and Thief doesn't fit as murder is an option. You can straight up shoot and kill guys with broadhead arrows or sword them to death (but good luck in a fight with more than one guy at once)... On easy you can straight up murder but normal and hard both required that you not kill anyone... well anyone human (SPOILERS!)... you didn't really have a choice with the plant "people"... [Or you can play the Lytha Way and go for no kill, no see, no alarm, all loot.]...

#22 Posted by Demoskinos (15133 posts) -

@yummylee said:

Also, I guess you never actually kill anyone in the Yakuza games, least not from a gameplay perspective; narratively-speaking there are characters you possibly kill. Kazuma Kiryu at least definitely has a very adamant stance against killing people, though he's more than happy to knock you over with a bicycle and then stamp your face in.

He's also very good at shooting people just enough to knock them out, but not kill them. You know, for the few guns you find in the games.

That is the part I find the most hilarious. Some of the weapons you can fight with could seriously kill people yet you never actually "kill" anyone.

#23 Edited by Kjebka (60 posts) -

I don't think you ever kill anyone in the Zeno Clash games, you just beat people up.

#24 Posted by The_Ruiner (1138 posts) -

I think the Infamous games allow you a no kill play through. Also Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 allow you to tranquilize just about everyone. Even bosses.

#25 Posted by Corevi (4803 posts) -

@the_ruiner: while TECHNICALLY POSSIBLE to do a no-kill run in the infamous games it would be insanely hard. and he said specifically it cant be a moral choice thing, it has to at the very least be a rare thing to be able to kill somebody.

#26 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (743 posts) -

In Pokemon you don't actually kill the other Pokemon, they just faint.

#27 Posted by mordukai (7185 posts) -

@hyuzen: The Thief games do give you the option to kill unless you play it on Expert which just makes the mission fail when you kill someone.

#28 Edited by RenegadeDoppelganger (418 posts) -

I think someone (can't remember who) made a really good point on a previous bombast that went: Yes, in the Arkham games Batman is unable to kill NPCs but way the gameplay works in that game, they way you battle enemies, use gadgets, string guys up from high perches and -in the case of this upcoming game- use the bat-mobile, people would almost certainly die or at least should be dieing as a result of your actions but the game is designed in such a way that prevents that. You go around this world basically going balls out because you know that you no matter how hard you kick a dude or where you string him up from, the game won't punish you for being 'too' brutal.

It's kind of cheating the player of out a really interesting and essential part of the Batman character but I suppose if you're making entertainment, it's probably not that fun of a mechanic to have to pull punches. I think there's probably an interesting smaller Batman game in that concept, where you did have to think carefully about taking out enemies without going too far. It wouldn't be as fast-paced as the Arkham games but it does play into the very interesting fight-puzzle element of those games in a might make the player think more carefully about their actions instead of just mashing the 'piledriver' button.

#29 Edited by Corevi (4803 posts) -

@renegadedoppelganger: the Batman Begins game was pretty close to that, but it was basically a Splinter Cell clone

#30 Edited by Hyuzen (467 posts) -

@renegadedoppelganger: I don't think that needs to be batman, I would be interested in a slower paced game where you have to judge how much damage your doing to a person, not going too far.

it could be like some kind of karate/kung fu game, since those martial arts are designed as self defence. It definitely couldn't throw too many dudes at you at once, but I bet there's a way to make that combat engaging.

@counterclockwork87: That's a good point. Though it is weird that after you beat a trainer you can never fight them again if their pokemon were only knocked out you should be able to fight them again later.

#31 Posted by s10129107 (1209 posts) -

#32 Posted by Corevi (4803 posts) -

@hyuzen: well their legs are trapped in cement so they cant go to a pokemon centre

#33 Edited by Yesiamaduck (1223 posts) -

Spec Ops: The Line

Not really, you fucking monster!

#34 Posted by fisk0 (4464 posts) -

I still haven't played Earthbound, but according to the latest Retronauts episode you never killed anybody in that, only beat them hard enough to make them realize the errors of their ways.

#35 Posted by Gruebacca (570 posts) -

There's that one stealth level in Uncharted 2 where you aren't supposed to kill anyone and instead knock them out. That one's kind of dubious, however, because one of the ways you take a guard out is by throwing him off a 100 ft. cliff into the sea.

#36 Posted by Corevi (4803 posts) -
#37 Posted by FalcomAdol (189 posts) -

Oddly enough, you can play Assassin's Creed non-lethal, if you choose to. Possibly not all of them, but from AC3 on, yes. If you attack people with non-bladed weapons (fists, brooms), you definitely knock people down, rather than killing them, and you can "kill" bosses the same way (death in a cutscene doesn't count).

#38 Edited by Vuud (2035 posts) -

Are we sure Batman never kills anyone in Arkham games? I mean, it's not like he goes back and checks. He does some pretty brutal moves on those thugs, one of them could have a concussion or bleeding in the brain or a broken spine and without immediate medical attention they'll be dead in minutes, and in that time Batman is long gone.

#39 Posted by XCEagle (118 posts) -

Gunpoint would be a good one. I don't think you're required to kill people, though it's been awhile since I played.

#40 Posted by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -

In the Arkham games he often leaves people with significant injuries lying there in the snow. They're not going to live for long like that. He might not directly kill anyone, but he might as well.

Moderator
#41 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3019 posts) -

Batman does kill people, he has since the 1930s; he just does it less often now - it not a rule he has at all. This has been covered about a billion times online.