The Evil That Men Do

Games are a great source of escapism: they allow us to get away with some horrid acts when no one's looking. These following games excelled at bringing out the worst in me.

List items

  • Pickpocketing is bad enough but awarding an achievement for replacing someones wallet with a grenade is just down right diabolical. Even nuking Megaton seems less devious in comparison.

  • JC Denton is the surreptitious devil with shades. See a thug holding up a dad and his daughter? Join in and kill both the dad and the thug, then proceed to console the crying daughter with a cheeky <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DAPXMZk2iw" target="_blank"> "What a shame..."</a>. Deus Ex has humorous consequential dialogue for nearly every horrible act you can think of (including hiding in the ladies room). There is even a <a href="http://www.it-he.org/deus.htm" target="_blank"> dedicated walk through </a> if you're interested in maximizing your dickish ways.

  • Multiplayer games are somewhat driven by players being dicks to each other. But Demon's Souls's'S's comment & invade system excels at providing the player with the perfect tools to mess with other people's mind & soul. In a game where every step is potentially a trap, "It's safe ahead" may well be the last words you ever read.

  • Punching reporters on TV, greeting fans with a gun-in-the-face, genocide and casual racism are just some of the traits that make <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy-eRfupYbA" target="_blank">Shepard an intergalactic dick.</a> Cutting off the Council mid-conversation never gets old.

  • Two years later, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PjTuSQNLI4" target="_blank">Shepard somehow became an even bigger jerk!</a> Since smoking Saren, he has added defenestration, summary executions and an even more sadistic sense of humor to his repertoire.

  • The Zone in the default STALKER is already a brutal place, where you're as likely to die from radiation poisoning as you're from backstabbing. The Redux mod pushes things even further by forcing the player to keep their hunger and thirst in check at all times. The struggle for survival forces players to compromise their morals and kill their friends in sleep over a sordid can of tuna. Talk about unintentional morality plays...

  • Anti-heroes and dickish dialogue options have become common in RPGs now, but Alpha Protocol is a standout for the variety of ways in which Mike Thorton can be a prick. There's the professional prick with the charisma of a dead tortoise, who shoots people before they can even open their mouth. Or a suave prick; charming his target to bed before executing her the next morning. Or an aggressive prick, with the temper of Kratos and the negotiating skills of RoboCop.

  • Unlike most protagonists, the cold & calculated Agent 47 has no moral high ground or a greater revenge motive. He is into the 'shooting dudes in their faces' business essentially for the money. And that makes Hitman an oddly disturbing experience, as 47 goes about his doing his 'job'. IO turned even the most unexpected of places like opera houses & monasteries into crime scenes. It's vilifying, it's morally reprehensible, it's inexplicably satisfying and it's escapism in its purest form.

  • Cultural subversion, political oppression, megalomania, dictatorship, wholesale invasions!...Hilter would have loved this game <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUg3vJewyP0" target="_blank">(until things go tits up)</a>. The Civ games also excel at providing a flavor of highbrow assholism, with multiple ways to commit financial crimes and steal money from the populace under the false pretense of taxation & treaties.

  • Speaking of financial misconduct and embezzlement, EVE is the perfect game for someone aiming to be a next Bernie Madoff. Even though it's a small scale MMO, EVE probably sees <a href="http://www.giantbomb.com/news/the-eve-online-bank-job/852/" target="_blank">more investment debacles</a> than the entire US financial sector. And unlike Wall Street, there are no TARP funds here to bail you out.

  • My SimCity was riddled with machinations, just waiting to entrap its loyal denizens. To give a taste, I created an exploding icecream truck, an ambulance that ran over its emergency patients, a recreational park that also happened to a wildlife reserve, a train track that runs alongside a fault-line, a public school next to an overactive volcano...Mayor Machiavelli at your service!

  • Terrorizing the town folks as a werewolf or vampire was too much fun. Give me a funny look and earn yourself some eternal damnation and a lifetime supply of sunscreen.

  • Intense road rage! It is truly a racing game for the chemically imbalanced, as it compels the player to forgo traditional racing in lieu of running over screaming pedestrians for credits.

  • Years of RPGs have made me a compulsive cleptomaniac. It seems fitting to have the misanthropic master thief Garrett represent my guilt in this case.

  • Carjacking, running down unsuspecting pedestrians, murdering hookers for monetary gains, kneecapping strangers, luring innocent bystanders into a bloody gang war, duping cops into shooting at civilians - all good reasons for GTA's popularity.

  • Civilians would often get caught up in my explosive alien countermeasures. Players can even abuse the game's AI to create virtual Kamikaze squads out of their unsuspecting troops. Looking back, I find X-Com to be suspiciously pro-alien in its gameplay design.

  • Murder and incest, all for candy.

  • The worst kind of Munchkinism possible - where I called someone's dead son a 'kath hound chew toy' just to snag some extra credits and those sweet 'Dark Side' points.

  • B&W has that trademark Molyneux (twisted) sense of humor. The divine hand can be used to manhandle worshipers in many creative ways but it's the anthropomorphic creatures that provide the real comedic gold. The game's fickle AI makes these monsters behave like a badly trained house pet, except they are fire-balling your followers & having an open BBQ instead of the usual 'drinking out of the toilet' bit. Now you can either be a good God and discipline them; or take the more fun route and let them play with their food.

  • I didn't notice this on first take but Sims is actually Will Wright's version of the Saw series. I'm not sure whether to thank or curse Ryan for completely twisting the way I interpreted this game. If the quick look is to be believed, the most fun (or sadistic) way to play this is to play it like Jigsaw: trap two evil Sims in a room, starve them to delirium, give them some free will and watch as insanity ensues.

  • John Marston is the nicest man, doing the nastiest things in the West. RDR tells the dichotomous tale of a loving husband & caring father, who will hogtie an innocent woman and place her on the tracks for a measly achievement. Even Dick Dastardly had better reasons!