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Blogs I'm an Evil Basterd

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Claave, 24 Sep 2009.

  1. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    ...didn't get it, I'm in karma heaven in Fallout3, absolutely good...just because i didn't blow up the town (no, i wanted to plunder it myself) and I didn't let the kids rot in slavery (no, i wanted to plunder the slavers myself).

    For some reason the game thinks I'm good, while I just kill anyone coming hostile against me, and trade everyone else...
    Took me a while to realize that this is no use, now I'm rich but can't do anything useful with the money
     
  2. thEcat

    thEcat New Member

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    The Witcher was a fine example of the old proverb 'two wrongs may not a right but they do make for a good game' I loved the conflicting moralities. It also featured one of my favourite implementations of consequences, the party and who you decide to take, so simple and so much fun.

    Evil moments, moments that made me think:

    I once stopped playing The Settlers due to the inherent and repeated genocide. This was during the Bosnia crisis so external influence had a lot to do with the feeling.

    Putting a bullet through my brothers brain in F.E.A.R. Just an engineered scenario in a naturally violent game.

    The bait and switch in Penumbra: Black Plague, that one got me even if it was a trick.

    It's several years now but the situation I remember most came from a third party quest mod for Morrowind called Children of the Night II. Drug addiction, filicide, prostitution, bisexual relationships, incest, torture, rape are all suitable topics for an adult themed game. They feature in literature, they feature in paintings, they even feature on T.V. so one day they will have to feature in computer games if the phrase 'games as art' is ever to gain true credibility. The CoN series has them all and uses them to great effect in creating a gritty and emotionally involving experience. As a third party mod, uncensored by government or big corporations it can get away with this, which is the reason I shed a tear, and your god kills a kitten, every time someone signs up for GFWL. Sorry, getting off topic.

    After a long and involving story you are faced with a situation where you have to beat certain answers out of a helpless young woman suspended in a cage. Just you and her in an empty prison cell, her name is Hygina. Torch light flickering on damp walls, her defiant taunts fill the air. The vision you had of Ariela, your kidnapped companion, and the repeated rape(?) she is enduring still fresh in your mind. Hygina is certainly responsible for the kidnap, but at her mothers request. Ariela, her sister and sometimes lover, the mother priestess of a dark cult, a diary in your pocket where Ariela has written of her growing affection for you. Affection, or are you just a useful source of drugs?

    Cold blooded physical torture, possibly murder, in a setting that put it beyond a game. Agendas mixed and motives unclear this became a question of true morality. Justice, vengeance, jealousy, lust at what point would I, could I, step over the line?

    This brings me back to the unasked but I feel relevant question of games as art. While the de rigueur killing spree in a supportive environment with limited consequence is fun it can at best be likened to X-Factor, Cops on Camera, the scribbling of a three year old - popular and/or enjoyable in context but hardly thought provoking. Joe asks 'whether the sensation of discomfort was itself enjoyable' ? I don't think it's time to prescribe a nettle vest approach to game design but I do feel to be taken seriously as an art form computer gaming must be allowed to become emotionally evocative, questioning of authority, morality and socially acceptable norms. Subjects that make you stop and think.

    This doesn't have to be dry and dusty, or surreal to the level of The Path. Fallout 3 tackles prejudice without missing a beat, or a kill, along with the other Bethesda stalwarts of corruption, religion, drug use (except Australia ;) ) and slavery, only thing missing, and the best line by far in Oblivion, necrophilia. Mass Effect surpassed all my expectations but one highlight was the question, at what point is the chemical castration of an entire race justified?

    Thought provoking stuff and there are many other examples in the gaming world, though more often than not the issues are trivialised. The question is how far can the issues be pushed before the censors or console manufacturers intervene? bpdlr mentioned Iain (M) Banks, would Consider Phlebas in game form pass without remark(1), or The Bridge, the BBC got away with the comedic exploding grandmother (Crow Road) still I'm sure my little example, tame by Banks standards, of the overbearing mother and her two estranged daughters would cause them apoplexy.

    (1) Actually it's a long, long, time since I read this but knowing the warped imagination of Mr Banks...

    Epilogue
    In the end I did follow through with the story, it is after all just a game. Even so, with my major skill in blunt weapons, I used a wooden club, it was the softest I could find ;)
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2009
  3. Kris

    Kris Lord Lolwut

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    What a post, +rep Joe :)

    One example that pops to my mind is being annoyed at the 'halo' around your head in Fable... and then i tried to do some evil quests... but the sad part is that for me the game never gave me a true chance, or rather a chance that seemed worth it... Why go and slaughter a trader's camp for some quest if you know you might need to trade with them? And many more such examples exist, I am sure.
    Sometimes it feels like the game developers add the 'evil' path of playing through the game as an afterthought, not because they had planned the game to be about choosing the way you play.
     
  4. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    Aaah..the softness of your heart be blessed :D
     
  5. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    WTF? You haven't got Minsc in your party? He's the coolest game character ever!
     
  6. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    If I remember rightly, you don't get a choice. They attack you on sight. It's not like you have a conversation the choose an option to attack them.
     
  7. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    That's true, but it doesn't mean you have to fight. You could just stealth through with invis. spells, render them asleep with spells, or just turn and leave. They aren't a threat, have no loot and don't appear to be bad guys in any obvious way. Just Xvarts living in the wilderness.

    And Minsc is good, but I've played with him before and don't like Dynaheir.
     
  8. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    I always let Jahira die so I could keep Khalid, but not her. If you removed her from the party when she was alive, he'd leave too.
    She's worth playing with in BG2 though, purely for the extra missions you get to play because of her Harper involvement.
     
  9. Plastic_Manc

    Plastic_Manc Member

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    It always bothers me about being evil in games such as Medieval: Total War. I wonder whether my intentions are really to "set the populace free from their evil dictatorships" or to just bludger anyone who opposes me to death then work my civilians to the bone to achieve as much profit as possible in order to build another army to go forth and butcher.

    A battle not going your way? Why don't you slit the throats of your prisoners? That'll **** them up!
     
  10. Grinch123456

    Grinch123456 New Member

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    Nothing, and I mean nothing anyone does in any game can compare to the horrors you can unleash on the universe in Space Empires IV and V.

    I was the Phoenix Alliance and him the Quentin Republic, some group of humans with space ships that wanted to grow. I was playing with a friend for about a week non-stop, excluding the 7/11 trips for heart-stopping butter-filled goodness.

    Now, he tried economically taking over other races but I just flat out assaulted them. I had fleets numbering in the hundreds of ships coming in and just pounding the living crap out of planets, destroying their entire infrastructure. When they wouldn't surrender, I "glassed" the planets and asked them to surrender again. Sometimes, they numbered in the tens of billions of alien people. In fact, due to the fact that I had immigration treaties with some of the races, I would often be killing almost as many as a 100 million of my own race living on their territory! This "surrender or die" cycle continued for each planet until they either gave in or I exterminated every single planet that empire controlled and every single living being on that planet so the empire was no more.

    Why, you may ask? Simple. I wanted more space to build more ships and mine more stuff. At the end of this game, when it was just me and my friend sitting across each other, ready for a long and drawn out war, we calculated how many people and ships we mercilessly killed. Him? 15 billion people and 100 ships. Me? More than 150 billion and 600 ships, not counting fighters, satellites, drones, or weapon platforms.

    I was some kind of twisted, horrible, intergalactic mix of Alexander the Great and Hitler.
     
  11. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Sadly sometimes it's really hard to be good.

    For example in CIV IV, Usually I turn out to be quite the powerful country, so most of the time I play the 'big guy" in other words I had the edge on everything, I just didn't do anything. What does this result in? Almost everyone begging me to be their ally. I ended up wiping out all of them like INGSOC in 1984, allying with one, killing the other, then doing the same over and over..

    While I was gaining land, the others were winning a Pyrrhic victory, or a severe defeat as I would only lend support, then once the coast is clear, I would blitz the town I just gave to an ally.

    Interestingly my friends still think I'm the nicest player since I was "willing" to give them help...

    Even funnier is the fact that I extended my hand of assistance to all nations. By the end game It was me with the big continents all conquered, and by the time the other 4 guys figured it out, all they had were paltry armies and nations that were smaller than Prussia (pre-Fredrick) and had the military might of Belguim in WWII.

    At least you fought a long war, all I did was wear them down slowly and subtly...and then gobbled all of them within minutes.
     
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