HELLO INTERNET AND WELCOME TO MY GIANTBOMB BLOG HERE I AM GOING TO FURIOUSLY POUND OUT WORDS ON MY PRIMITIVE TYPEWRITER ABOUT GAMES. PLEASE ENJOY
over the years videogames have developed a subtle art to them: being an asshole in singleplayer. and this isn't just any kind of utilitarian asshole behavior that would satisfy you and i in day-to-day life, no sir. this is city-destroying assholery, be it nuking the whole place or taking it down a person at a time. i could go on but you get the gist. you've played the sims, gotten people to go swimming, and deleted the ladder to get out. you've made your cities in simcity become hilarious nightmares to live in - only to show every whiny asshole who lives there how much worse life could be by sending down a few disasters. my point is this: there is a beautiful art to being an asshole in singleplayer games. my god, how beautiful. no words. should have sent a poet, etc. let's get on with the fucking list.
15. ASSASSIN'S CREED 2
so you can't kill more than a couple civilians. so what? be creative. poison a guard and throw some money down near him. while the crazy bastard swings around at random, civilians will decide the cash is worth the risk and dive for it. it's hilarious to see how many people get taken out this way. i've only played this game a couple of times but this was so funny i had to put it on the list.
14. STAR WARS EPISODE 1
probably better than the movie it was based on. if you hate gungans you will love this game, because you can massacre the whole damn city of them. you can go on a killing spree on tatooine and that planet that's all a city, just so long as you don't harm any major characters. any npc that's not a movie character or questgiver (and even then some of them aren't immune) can be killed with little conseqences. doesn't sound like much when i describe it, but believe me it is a lot of fun to remove every single person from tatooine except for anakin, his mom, jar jar, and padme, all of whom are wondering just who this gosh darn homicidal maniac is.
13. JUST CAUSE 2
the grappling hook. that is all.
it's hard to get more dickheaded than callously offing millions of people with the touch of a button, and that's exactly what you do in defcon. everything about the game is detached and soulless to a point of being depressing - but that's what the devs were shooting for. you casually fling out missiles that, if everything goes right, destroy entire cities and kill dozens of millions of people. and that's where you get your points - the casualties. for bonus asshole points, i've always imagined the player character as some overweight, balding desk jockey at NORAD or STRATCOM (or their equivalents in the other countries you can play as), just sitting in his chair boredly staring at the computer and sipping on his gigantic-sized slurpee as he clicks missile silos and then cities, damning the entire world in a hellish firestorm of nuclear fission. just another day at the office.
11. GRAND THEFT AUTO IV
i was one of the few people who didn't flip their shit over this game. but that's a story for another time. what kept me going in it more than the game itself was the many creative opportunities to be an ass. grand theft auto 4 is a revolution in being a dickhead. for example, shoving people around. doesn't sound too exciting? oh, that's because it's not. until you start shoving people off things like bridges. sure, you can shove people into traffic, but get creative for fuck's sake. push them into subways. hell, just running into someone is sometimes enough to knock them down. nudge someone sitting on the side of a bridge and suddenly they're in the ocean. it's an adventure in being a jackass. then there's being able to pick things up from the environment: this means that you can walk up to someone with a cappucino, knock them down, then pick up their cappucino and beat them up with it. then there's getting other people arrested: run up to someone. punch them. let them attack you. then lure them to a cop. they'll get arrested. but wait, there's more! when they're doing the surrender animation, walk into them and interrupt it. the cop will interpret that as them not standing down, and will actually fire on them and chase them down. and you, the actual criminal, can just sit back and watch the chaos unfold. assholery at its finest.
10. POSTAL 2
an obvious choice. postal 2 lets you taze people til they piss themselves, just cutout the middleman and piss on people, throw scissors around, play soccer with people's heads, make elaborate traps involving pouring lines of gasoline and throwing matches (couple this with the fact that you can lure cops by putting down donuts and you've got a potent combination), and incite elephants to rampage and crush the marching band right in front of them. you can engage in police brutality by stealing a cop outfit and, if my memory serves correctly, you can smack people with nightsticks all you want and no consequences.
9. BLACK AND WHITE
more fun than playing the game itself was being a dick. you're god and your abilities to be an asshole are unending and unrivaled. you randomly chuck rocks into people's homes, set people on fire, throw your creature's poop into the village food storage, teach your creature to poop on things, bitchslap your creature til it falls on a house. you get the gist. a lot more rewarding than playing the actual game.
8. SAINTS ROW 2
remember all that stuff i said about gta4? make the actual game fun and make being an asshole even more outrageous and fun and you have saints row 2. i could use so many examples, but i'll just pick one: there are old people who have oxygen tanks that you can shoot, and they explode like they're explosive barrels. it's outrageous and over the top and oh how fucking beautiful.
you are robocop. obey the prime directives. 1: serve the public trust. 2: protect the innocent. 3: uphold the law. 4: fuck all that shit, be a dickhead. kick cars off bridges and into each other. shoot tires out of cars going highspeed and watch them cartoonishly cartwheel into the sky. the police want to fuck you over? toss a few incendiary grenades their way. fight crime? eh, sure, sometimes. just do it creatively. and with those kung-fu kicks that send people flying into the horizon. all this and no ed-209 to spoil the fun. all the goofiness of saints row taken to even further extremes and with a cool comic-book style.
6. EVIL GENIUS
if you don't design your base to be a massive sprawling maze of traps that will doom every tourist and agent who sets foot in it, as well as a good chunk of your faceless minion population, then you're playing this wrong!
5. MASS EFFECT 2
this should come as no surprise to anyone who's played any part of either mass effect game: there's a lot of shitheadedness to be found in shepard. shepard can be a huge goddamned son of a bitch by doing things like leaving allies to die, getting their familymembers offed, exiling them, and so much more and i don't want to accidentally spoil it for anyone. i'll leave it at this: on top of everything i said, you can push people out windows while spouting one liners, make enemies drink poison, gun down surrendering troops, and set up romantic interests only to shoot them down at the last second because THE MISSION. COMES. FIRST. plus you can be be a party-ruining creeper and a smug indie music prick.
4. FALLOUT 3
just because civilization's over doesn't mean you should stop being a dick. or even tone it down. my character in fallout 3 is decked out looking like randall flagg - cowboy hat, pair of shades, set of combat armor (i think ranger?) and just like the walkin' dude himself, i spread chaos and misery wherever i go. i don't think enough nukes were set off in world war 3 - let's add one more. bye-bye megaton. nice knowing you, tenpenny towers: you're now a swirling nexus of undeath. i think that everywhere i went save for rivet city, hell followed.
3. ROBOT ALCHEMIC DRIVE
an underrated gem of a game where you control a giant robot charged with guarding cities from other, more evil giant robots, but with a unique twist: your character controls it from ground-level with a remote control, and you can switch between controlling the robot and the protagonist.
you're charged with defending japan from evil robots. you get paid more for doing it well. however, it's not at all required. in some missions there aren't even enemies but you're doing training, and you can still demolish towns all the same. you can also do stuff like pick up pedestrians (who, when the town is attacked, flood the screen in packs of upwards of 40 or 50 people) and throw them. you can do the same with cars.
being a dick in this game truly shines in your interaction with characters: you get the opportunity to knock off three members of the supporting cast towards the end of the game. sure, two of them are actually cool, but fuck the third one. you can demolish buildings previously identified as your friends' homes and workplaces. one possible love interest must be rescued from life-threatening situations at several points in the game, and you can just leave her there to rot and each time, hilariously, she emerges barely hanging onto her life and finds out you could've helped if only you gave a fuck. there's a girl in the game who's been your friend since you were kids, and although all the voiceacting is bad, hers is like the worst or second worst. but the game must know this, because it gives you the opportunity to actually get her to kill herself. she's an orphan who has to work for herself, and at various points in the game you save her in combat and sometimes she asks you to help her with errands, to protect her workplace or home, and she not-so-subtly suggests that you accidentally take out the competitors. if you don't complete her errands, never help her when she's caught in the crossfire, destroy her home and workplace every chance you get while protecting rival businesses, this orphan teenage high school student who's basically suffering from malnutrition will kill herself. because of you. the game further encourages you to be a douche by actually rewarding you with a huge amount of cash for destroying her businesses and protecting rivals.
this game is a beautiful piece of art and i pray it gets a sequel at some point. i know that prayer will never be answered, but still.
2. DEUS EX
in the future, everything is a conspiracy. you are jc denton, a nano-augmented agent working for the united nations who conspires to be a badass asshole that gives no fuck. almost everyone is killable. this means that you can blow up little kids for nagging you. you can kowtow to someone sending you on a quest for that item you need to continue... or you can just shoot them. that journalist writing bad stuff about you in the newspaper? dispose of him. official united nations business. terrorists have taken hostages in the subway and set explosives all over it? just toss in a few grenades. at several points in the game, enemies surrender to you and you can just gun them down. so what if your bosses give you guff? IT'S YOU WHOSE LIFE IS ON THE LINE AND YOU'RE A LOOSE CANNON WHO WILL TAKE HIS STAND IN JUNGLELAND AND WAS BORN TO RUN ON THUNDER ROAD!!! at another point, you're at a scene where a man and his daughter's house has basically been taken over by a thug. you can just take out the thug, or you can arm the dad and help him take out the thug. or see if he can do it himself. or help the thug. or kill them both. or kill all three. the scene that takes place if the dad dies? the girl cries "oh, daddy!" your character's reponse? "yeah, yeah, what a shame, whatever, i dont give a shit."
also, you can take an old man off life support against his friend's wishes. deus ex has truly mastered being an asshole.
there's even a walkthrough dedicated to being an asshole: http://www.it-he.org/deus.htm i just hope the third game will be one third as good. spoiler alert: it won't be.
1.PERSONA 3 and 4
the persona games offer a unique opportunity to be an asshole, in the form of social links. do i need to go into social links? persona's popular around here and i really don't feel like it so whatever. anyway, as you meet new people, you're given the opportunity to make an ass of yourself. socially. say all the wrong things to make people hate you - tell girls they don't look good and they eat too much! tell all your jock friends that they'll never make it in professional sports! crush dreams of romance! laugh at your friends when they confide in you! make every situation as awkward as possible! refuse to help your friends with anything! depress children and relatives! blackmail that one creepy businessman until he likes you! reinforce your peers' poor dignity, self-esteem, self-images, and complexes! convince a child it's all her fault her parents are divorcing! there's all this and so much more! you haven't won until you've made your town heaven for therapists, counselors, and psychologists.
these games allow you to literally become the physical embodiment of all things asshole. one of the options on the sports social link in persona 4 is to "be an ass" instead of helping your teammates. this should tell you all you need to know. you should go buy both of these games right now. for a lot of reasons. but pretend that i was the deciding factor. you're welcome.
got any other games where being a prick is just as fun as the game itself? then drop a comment and tell me! or be an asshole and don't. it will show that you've taken away a good few tips from all this.