Come one, come all, you misanthropes, sadists, and the barbarous, take a gander at these great games and their punishing morbidity! There are some great games that exclude violence, but probably a greater number include it. Whether they’re disgusting, disturbing, shocking, or comical, these adventures distribute death in a variety of creative and stunning ways. Bring a poncho because heads will be smashed like Gallagher’s watermelons.
1. Dead Space
The Dead Space series is one of the best known for visceral in-your-face brutality, all at the hands, or blades in this case, of the Necromorphs. Experience a plethora of alien-on-human violence that you’ll endure trying to survive as Isaac Clarke. Every end you meet emphasizes how powerless you are physically compared to the monstrosities trying, and often succeeding, to eviscerate you. But that’s just the Necromorphs; there are plenty of other hazards and antagonists attempting to seal your fate as well.
2. Gears of War
The Gears of War series represents a long development of the testosterone-filled and practically unnecessary executions that have gone from brutal to downright insulting. But that’s sort of the point, especially for the online component of each game, as the time-consuming but ever satisfying executions serve as an extra “f*** you” to your enemies. From swinging the Longshot sniper like a golf club to cleaving off heads like a paper cutter, the varied and kinetic finishes in Gears really pop with a lot of punch, literally.
3. Tomb Raider
Taking a page out of Gears‘ book, the recently reinvigorated Tomb Raider series has added a bit of darkness to its games. If you’re not already meeting heads with bullets or immolating your foes with flaming arrows, you can always down an enemy and stab them with an arrow, Legolas style. Whichever way you dispatch your enemies, the struggle for a kill feels gritty and tense, making each cinematic encounter all the more exciting. Not to mention the gruesome deaths from failing a quick-time event, though those cinematic deaths have been pretty bad for a while.
4. Mortal Kombat
Considering that Mortal Kombat is the very reason we have the ERSB rating system today, Wired reports, one could assume that its later iterations down the line would get expectedly more brutal, which they have. Nowadays, current Mortal Kombat titles include X-ray attacks and improved fatalities, taking the deconstruction of human anatomy to the next graphic level. Mortal Kombat smartly walks the fine line between tragedy and comedy with its finishes, where each dismemberment of enemy combatants is matched with a touch of cartoonish bloody buffoonery. Toasty!
5. Sniper Elite
As many kills on this list are up close and personal, the Sniper Elite series has you more often dissecting targets at range with expertly placed shots. Whether you desire to puncture a Nazi’s heart or shoot him in the balls, the slo-mo X-ray mechanic, much like Mortal Kombat’s, makes each kill even more impactful and nasty. You almost feel guilty about shattering the poor soldiers’ bones and rupturing their organs — almost. The game even borrows a little from the classic bar room game of pool, having you bounce bullets off objects, ricocheting them into your desired targets. Zaytsev would be proud.
Granted, the F.E.A.R. series mostly doesn’t participate in the usage of QTE-based or cinematic executions, but considering the application of stealth and slo-mo, you can just as easily sneak up on an enemy and blast them into a crimson red mist. Like Sniper Elite, there’s a certain special satisfaction in killing enemies with slo-mo that would otherwise just be the same spray and pray experience you can enjoy in most shooters. Of all the devastating guns in the games though, the “Penetrator” is the most memorable, as its nail gun like mechanics fire railroad stake sized ammo. But instead of constructing new and prosperous modes of transportation, you’ll be plugging clones and demons into walls like Halloween decorations.
7. The Darkness
The Darkness games have you playing as past gangster and newly possessed demonic gunslinger Jackie Estacado, with the specific intent of devouring the hearts of those unfortunate enough to cross your path toward revenge. But don’t worry, you’ll have the evil guidance of The Darkness to guide you just in case you get scared by your own executions. In this game you are the source of fear, instead being prey to it. It’s just like being Batman, but with all the murder and cannibalism of course.
8. God of War
Executing gods and titans requires a certain sense of determined rage, and Kratos holds it in full. The God of War games combine fictionalized Greek and Roman myth with the brutality of many of the games on this list. The key difference is that Kratos is executing enemies at least three times bigger than him. But no matter how small he may be, the Spartan Kratos is no pushover, as he’s always ready and able to slice off heads and cause the gods much anguish and dismay.
If games about myth are your thing, check this article out as well.
9. The Punisher
As the character and title suggest, you’ll be dealing out punishment to all the scoundrels and criminals in your way, interrogating them for info before giving them the only sort of send off The Punisher knows. What’s more, you can enjoy the squirming victims’ penchant for talking trash while being tortured, which is not exactly the best strategy. It wouldn’t be the cheesy charm you’re looking for from Marvel-based content either if Mr. Castle didn’t spit out some one-liners in return for his victims’ refusals to cooperate. Post curb stomp: “Next time, stay six inches from the curb.” Yeah, you tell ‘em, Frank.
Saving the worst for last, these somewhat old games don’t lose any of their initial impact, as the animations and intricate executions lend well to the gritty and morbid realism of Manhunt. No stranger to controversy, Rockstar has released the two Manhunt games with plenty of criticism from various communities and nations around the world. Plenty of games on and off this list portray brutal violence and ridiculous gory action for a variety of motivations and reasons, but Manhunt’s plain and simple realistic violence gets deep down in your moral gut, and maybe even makes you not want to play anymore, let alone watch. But that is, however, a testament to Rockstar’s ability to create games that have a great impact on the player, whether it’s Manhunt, GTA, Red Dead, or L.A. Noire.
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