Let’s face it: Lots of games these days are basically murder simulators, and are extremely violent. And that’s OK! There’s usually a good reason you’re racking up a kill-count even Rambo would find impressive. But still, you’re ending lives and destroying families, even if the bad guys had it coming.
Even in this kind of violent video gaming environment, some games go over the top and let you do really bad things. Some of them even encourage it. Here are seven games that expose your inner cruelty.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
Since all of the Grand Theft Auto games put you in the shoes of criminals, it’s no surprise that they might compromise your moral integrity. Sure, most of the main characters have goodness in their heart, but these games are full of opportunities to go completely nuts and bring all manner of mayhem to the unsuspecting world.
Whether you’re speeding down a sidewalk using pedestrians as speed bumps, or climbing up a clock tower to test your sniping skills on motorists, the depth of your cruelty in Grand Theft Auto V is only limited by the edges of your imagination. Because in this game, you don’t have to pay for anything if you don’t want to, not even your crimes.
2. Just Cause 3
You’d think a hero who liberates good people from the whims of an evil dictator would be a stand-up guy. And he may be, at least until the player sets hands on the controller. The problem is, Just Cause 3 encourages you to do as much damage as you possibly can, including — but not limited to — dropping missiles on the oppressed people and destroying their homes with unhinged glee.
Killing civilians is not punished in any way in this game. The home these people have worked hard to maintain is your playground for destruction. The worst (slash best) part is that once you’ve liberated an area, the game’s sandbox mode lets you “re-oppress” the people with the touch of a button. Sorry about your freedom, folks. We’ve got bombs to drop.
3. Mass Effect
Want to be a jerk? Play the Mass Effect games as a renegade. When given choices and conversation options, always pick the one that only a total asshole would choose.
The Mass Effect series hinges on your relationships with your crew mates, so when you bully and ridicule them, you’ll get to feel like scum without actually hurting any real people’s feelings. Playing this way doesn’t feel good at all, unless you’re a sociopath. In which case, go crazy.
4. Fallout 3
This post-apocalyptic masterpiece wastes no time testing your moral center. If you head to the nearest settlement right after you emerge from the starting vault, you’ll soon be given an offer to wipe the town off the map by detonating a nuke right in the heart of it. Do that, and you’re probably past redemption.
Even if you graciously decline that offer, Fallout 3 gives you ample opportunity to commit awful acts. For starters, the game offers close-up slow-mo shots of enemy’s heads exploding when you get a successful kill. Because what better way is there to bathe in your own awfulness than by grinning like a maniac as you tear people to shreds?
What’s going on in this spooky shooter gradually unfolds as you make your way through the ruined underwater city of Rapture. As you do, you’ll come across numerous pairs of Little Sisters and Big Daddies. The Little Sisters are girls who look deceptively helpless. The Big Daddies are horrific creatures dressed in intimidating diving suits, complete with a giant drill for a hand.
You usually don’t have any choice but to kill the Big Daddies, but you do get to decide whether you want to kill or save the Little Sisters. Killing them gives you twice the reward you get from saving them. The question is: Can you live with yourself?
Undertale is an unassuming game that kind of took the world by storm when it was released in 2015. It doesn’t look like much, but the sheer amount of wit and creativity packed into it was stunning. So were the depths of the cruelty your cartoonish character could unleash on the unsuspecting game world.
The game has three endings; which one you get depends on how you play the game. If you play it normally, some or even most of the enemies, you get the Neutral ending. If you let everything live, you get the True Pacifist ending. Lastly, there’s the Genocide ending. If you choose to go the Genocide Route in Undertale, you must slaughter every single enemy in the game. It’s brutal, since you’re essentially turning the world into a lifeless husk of its former self. Playing this way makes you feel like a terrible person, which is probably for the best. To say more would begin to spoil this fantastic game, so let’s just say you should play it yourself.
In developer Jonathan Blow’s game of time manipulation, you play as a seemingly Mario-like figure who’s trying to save the princess. It’s a standard plot we’ve seen countless times in video games, and not just in the *Mario* series. The key to the game’s cryptic story is the final level, in which you find time flowing backwards as the princess runs to escape from an evil knight high above you. Down below, you chase after her as the two of you flip levers to open gates for each other in hopes of meeting at the end.
It’s only when you reach the end that time starts moving forward again, revealing what really happened. You woke her up and frightened her. She ran. You chased after her as the two of you flipped switches to block each other’s way. At the end of the level, she’s saved by the knight in shining armor — saved from you. It turns out that you were the bad guy the whole time. Or maybe it’s all about the making of the atomic bomb? Who really knows. It’s open to interpretation.