I.... can't bring myself to play evil?

Azahul

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I generally don't mind playing evil, but Bioshock 2 stands as a game I just can't stand to be evil in. The constant knowledge that I have my pseudo-daughter looking over my shoulder and learning based on my actions, coupled with the way the Little Sisters in that game look so much more child-like than the rather demonic ones from the first game, just made it impossible for me to take the evil options there.

In other games, it's usually not hard. I hate the Bioware way of doing it though, with Mass Effect being the most patently obvious offender. I managed to finish each game as a Renegade Shepherd, which to my mind was more about being pragmatic than evil. Unfortunately, Bioware can't seem but to make evil options evil for the sake of being evil. As a consequence, I was a Renegade Shepherd in conversation, but I tended to swing Paragon every time I needed to make a major decision. So many of the Renegade options in Mass Effect meant depriving the galaxy of an effective fighting force in the future for no good reason. It was pretty silly.
 

MorganL4

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Sleekit said:
i don't like playing evil in games either. games are supposed to be escapism being actually evil irl...no wait...try a different approach...eh...

seriously i think my most "evil" (only by supposed association) game character is probably a Tauren...
We Tauren are a peaceful honor bound people who prize nature, and care for The Earthmother above all else. Now, You Alliance sent your Dwarves into our lands where they began to dig indiscriminately, damaging our fragile ecosystem. When you combine that hatred for your ways, with our honor pact with the orcs founded by the late Chief Bloodhoof and the Shaman Thrall when Thrall and his orcish horde saved our people from extinction by taking out the marauding centaurs. You can only conclude that we are a proud, noble people.

Gnomes don't help your cause either. Damned gnomes, always biting at our hooves like fucking ants.... *Storms off grumbling about gnomes.*

OT:

For me, I have a hard time playing cloth wearing characters, I NEED HP in order to function, asking me to kill my opponent in two hits is just ridiculous in a game setting.

As far as evil goes, I will usually flip a mental coin at the beginning of a game and decide which way I will go if it is a good/evil choice type game. No compunction about playing either.
 

jelock

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I can't pull off evil either. I try in most RPGs but it just never feels right and I end up being a good guy pretty quick if I've strayed away.

Certainly though I will do evil things from time to time (eg joining the Dark Brotherhood or taking an action against a character I think deserves it.)

The only games I can think of where I have all out evil is the Infamous games. That was actually fun and actually changed the storyline. I think that is in part the problem, being evil doesn't usually affect the overall outcome of a story and so your character just comes across as a dick.
 

Azkar Almsivi

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The issue is I can relate with helping people, it gives me a feeling of building up/aiding/progressing or accomplishing something. However being evil... no, being an obnoxious, selfish weenie is usually the other option. People say evil is the easy path, but I feel it shouldn't be.
I want to worry about being purged and the logistics of building my undead army/swarm of terrifying parasitic creatures. I want to subjugate people and raid towns, I want destruction and mayhem. Torture and manipulation...

I don't just want to slap a reporter in the chops and doom some potential allies to death because 'for teh lulz'.
A lot of evil these days in games just feels pointless. Even then you're almost always just an anti-hero who is trying to save the day in a different, more wanky way.

Don't you want to silently walk towards the hero screaming about your injustices and cross weapons to the screams and clashing of warfare raging around your citadel? Listening to the list of atrocities and answering their disbelief and self righteous rage with a simple "Because this world and everything on it belongs to me. For denying me I will scour everything you have ever known and ever loved from my world." I don't want to be a cheesey badass or a cheesey action hero. I want to be an actual evil overlord. I want to be a proper villain and I want the journey of building up my power at the expense of everyone. I want my greed and ego to mean something. I want control, power and domination. Or I want to die on the pointy end of a holy ancient relic trying.

tl;dr: If evil was done a little different I'd be all over it. But in a gaming world where you're pushed to be good, usually better rewards/more story/more companions... I just feel there isn't a good enough incentive.
 

AldUK

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I think a lot of the problem as far as moral choice games go is that the so-called 'evil' option is usually psychopathic and makes absolutely no sense. It feels as though it's always something like;
A. Help the little old lady cross the street.
B. Tear out her jugular with your teeth and bathe in her blood.
Well gee, game...

There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. I think The Walking Dead handled morality excellently. There was no clear cut right or wrong option and perhaps most importantly, no in-game meter to show you how much of a dick you've been.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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My experience with evil characters came from playing D&D. Alternating as DM and PC at times, I had two different accounts of what it means to me to be evil and what it meant for other players. To me, it wasn't necessarily about doing horrible things for shock value, or being selfish to the point of absolute greed. It was really about having my own goals and ways of getting things done, and if the other PC's weren't cool with that they could just take a trip to the Nine Hells for all my character gave a crap. I worked in subtle ways mostly but had my moments of brutality, like killing off an NPC enemy even though he'd surrendered and talked and justifying it as "never leave an enemy alive behind you." Most of my characters had a nuance of evil but didn't spiral down into pure psychotic madness, with a few gibbering exceptions for variety. One of my characters even secretly murdered the other PC's in different ways, like disarming one trap and saying its all clear to let the cleric get the "evil artifact" only to "find" another trap lay in wait to kill him, in reality I knew the trap was there and let the cleric die anyway but never told anyone (except the DM) until the campaign was over. My character at that point severely disliked the cleric for his sanctimonious attitude and took great pleasure in watching a 3 ton stone block liquefy his body. I did try to bring depth to evil rather than just the one note villain. All my characters had backstories that were tragic, traumatic or in one instance absolutely normal with no fathomable reason to go the evil route. And somehow because of the way I roleplayed the evil characters were more successful than my good or neutral characters. Not because I took the easy path either, trust me keeping your alignment hidden from everyone else for 90% (sometimes 100%) of the game is much harder than playing a good character.
On the flip side as a DM I had a lot of players who either didn't understand being evil of any sort isn't just a license to kill everyone in your path, decimate towns and villages, loot and pillage to your heart's content. That type of "evil" play just ruins a campaign and never makes for a fun party as they would end up arguing and fighting with each other long before I could kill them with the "real" evil villains. And then there were the players who would have "good" alignments and not live up to them at all, and would complain when I imposed alignment change penalties on them.
Sorry bud, a lawful good elven mage dabbling in Necromancy and experimenting on living creatures is a huge alignment shift and absolutely evil. And he still complained and tried to tell me different.
All in all I think most game dev's don't understand how to have an evil path that actually means more than "the easy path". Thats why I am not really a fan of the "choices" in video games. It reminds me too much of becoming one of those players that would ruin my DM experience with their shallow evil characters.
 

Pixelspeech

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The main problem I have is that it's difficult to be mean to characters after you have got to know them in a "good" playthrough. I can't imagine myself yelling at good, old Tali or choosing the paladin in favor of Wynne in Dragon Age, for example.

In tabletop sessions, though... I am the lord of all things criminally insane. I have played an undead necromancer devoted to making his minions look "fabulous", a banished noble who became best friends forever with the skaven and several other characters like that, while also sometimes picking up the role of a stalwart knight, holy warrior or neutral adventurer. The worlds in tabletop games are so large and varied that I don't care what Inkeeper John thinks about me, because he isn't the same Innkeeper that has to house my witch hunter sometime in the future.
 

AngryPuppy

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I never play an "evil" character. I generally do the "good guy" thing all the time. However, I do join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. Honestly, as far as them being evil... it's so mild that I can't even see them as evil so I feel no guilt over it.

Flutterguy said:
A game were you play as a serial rapist and/or murderer in a city. You have to go about your daily chores in addition to stalking your human prey. All the while after each murder the Police are closing in on the player. The player has to juggle balancing the infamy of his crimes (the more horrific they are the more press coverage) and his desire not to go to jail. Game wouldn't end then either, you'd have to stand trial and try to get off, face the victims families, and then once you're in jail figure out a way to escape.
I'm not an uptight person nor do violent games disturb me but that, that is disgusting and I am very thankful no one would ever be sick enough to make that a real game. No offense.
 

Reaper195

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Evil all the way. I find it difficult to follow 'normal' choices. When I play Mass Effect as pure paragon, it's boring as fuck. Shepard is so predictable, she becomes hard to have any interest with (Never played as Male Shepard, either. Too cliché). But go full renegade, or mostly renegade, and you get a very dynamic character. The same with The Walking Dead.

I played Lee as if I were him. Very protective of Clementine, and a mostly honest and straight-up guy. But he also had a darker side. In the second episode, while I was rational and...for lack of a better way of putting it...the good guy, I killed both the brothers at the farm. I also had no qualm killing Lily's father (Who I did nothing but antagonise the ****, since he was nothing but an irrational and arrogant cock). In the third episode, after Lily outright murdered Carley, I left her ass on the side of the road with no resources and no remorse. I killed Kenny's son. I stomped the brains out of the kid in the Attic in the fourth episode, and had no problem threatening the cancer patients when they wouldn't listen to reason. In the fifth episode, I strangled the fuck out of the **** that took Clementine. And for the most part, Lee was incredibly calm and restrained. He was a tough nut to crack....but gods help those that crack him.

Sometimes I am baffled to see so many people's choices in video games, at how 'cliché and predictable' their playthroughs ended up looking.
 

NeutralDrow

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Shaun Kennedy said:
I don't really understand why I have this problem, I've certainly never had issue roleplaying before. I have no moral compunctions preventing me, I've been an honest thief, or even a noble assassin; though in 3 different Elder Scrolls games I've put hundreds of hours into I've never joined any of the assassin guilds.
I've only played Skyrim, but I had to stop halfway through the Dark Brotherhood quests. It just felt too horrible to continue. So I totally sympathize.

Hell, even playing a thief has gotten incredibly uncomfortable (a pretty bad self-realization to have when you've become leader of the Skyrim thieves' guild). To the point where I wasted a stealth boy in Fallout New Vegas in order to get the special sawed-off shotgun...so I could steal it from the old woman who owned it and reverse-pickpocket a normal sawed-off and a bunch of ammo.

So yeah...at some point I lost the ability to play outright evil characters. Best I can manage is varying flavors of antivillain (mercenaries and evil-targetting bad guys).

Xavier78 said:
I never play an "evil" character. I generally do the "good guy" thing all the time. However, I do join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. Honestly, as far as them being evil... it's so mild that I can't even see them as evil so I feel no guilt over it.
Really? Personally, I started feeling guilty when I destroyed a man's reputation while murdering his son both in one stroke, after indulging in a bunch of contracts hired out for truly petty reasons, and then assassinated a woman on her wedding day just to maneuver someone else into position to be killed. And it's pretty much all for money and pride. They struck me as pretty damned evil.

Fortunately, I didn't get my cold feet until after they gave me Shadowmere, but that was pure coincidence.
 

AlbertoDeSanta

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There are absolutely none that I refuse to play as. Whilst I have the most fun whilst playing mage, I have a lot of fun as Archer and Warrior. Evil is something, in my opinion, that no game has EVER gone full hog with, and instead you become a hero that's a right prick. I don't WANT to play as your run of the mill hero who does a few things jerkily. I want to go full out and murder/slaughter thousands, by ordering troops or doing it myself. But, for some stupid reason, the gaming industry (which is the PERFECT industry for this shit) has decided that playing an evil character is not something we should be allowed to do. I can't even praise telltale for this, since they'd be more or less Ideal for the roleplaying aspect, but still haven't made a game where I can be truly evil. Come on Games Industry, stop being massive pussies and allow me to go full blown, Nazi rivalling evil.
 

mrhateful

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If there is a game one should be playing evil then that game would be baldurs gate 2 not only are the evil companions more elegantly designed and have more depth to them, the ending is pretty much designed with an evil character in mind and I couldn't see any other way that game should truly end. I have completed it many times as evil and only once as good, I guarantee you won't miss anything playing the game as evil.
 

balladbird

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I find the good/evil paradigm to be pretty cliche and boring either way. I can be the guy who saves the orphanage, or the guy who burns it down in spite, both characters are simplistic and fairly easy to read.

Generally speaking, I play a game as if I were the character in question... which ends up making him fairly generically good, since I'm generally a trusting, polite guy, due to my years of work as a concierge, and have no problems behaving professionally even to people who say or do things I find abhorrent.

In an effort to make myself NOT feel like the boring everyman that I am, I adore games that either play with the morality or change the paradigm outright.

A good example of the former would be DisHonored, where what seems like the generically good action of not killing any of the villains can actually make Corvo come across as far more cruel and brutal than if you ran through and slaughtered them all out of righteous indignation, since without fail every life you spare is doomed to a fate worse than death, which they are forced into by the actions you take to spare their lives.

A good example of the latter would be Fallout: new vegas. Yeah, the boring old good/evil slider from fallout 3 is there, but it's hidden almost embarassedly in the background, with the majority of the choices your character makes being how they choose to restore order to the game world. Do you side with the well-meaning, but overstretched and bureaucratically bloated republic? The guaranteed order and advancement promised by siding with a fairly benevolent, but still fascist and inflexible dictator? Maybe you prioritize the freedom of the people living in the land, at the expense of any competent central leadership at all? Hell, why not take a fourth option and stop thinking, take a few slaves, and go crucify some profligates! it takes all kinds in this crazy world.


tl;dr- I don't play evil either, 'cuz I play myself, and I'm boring. Some games let me do more complex thinking, though, which makes me feel special. I like that.
 

aozgolo

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Xavier78 said:
I never play an "evil" character. I generally do the "good guy" thing all the time. However, I do join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. Honestly, as far as them being evil... it's so mild that I can't even see them as evil so I feel no guilt over it.
Skyrim has a strange notion of balance really. While it's possible to do the Dark Brotherhood & still basically be a "good person" in a sense, some of the Daedric quests force you to go balls to the wall psychopath and commit horrible crimes (like cannibalizing priests, or murdering some stranger in cold blood because the voice in your head told you to). I find it particularly egregious that there's an achievement in Skyrim for obtaining all 15 Daedric Artifacts... there is no way in my mind to justify a single character rightfully obtaining all of these items because the quests tend to be so juxtapositioned against each other in terms of morality that it makes no sense to be the good guy one minute and criminally insane the next.

The Daedric Quests also further alienate themselves from the rest of the game where most quests' only "evil" option is demanding more money.


From a personal viewpoint, I don't think anyone really identifies as "evil", they might accept that others view them as evil, but they don't believe their own actions to be evil. Generally an "evil act" is just something taken to an extreme, extremes are the only real evil, and the only real good comes from moderation. As an example look at eugenics, a belief centered around improving the genetic quality of humans. In moderation this is achieved by wiping out diseases, providing better healthcare, and even in a sci-fi sense genetic "enhancements". In an extreme sense it's what Hitler tried to do by eradicating Jews to create a "master race". Even then the people who did those acts didn't see them as evil.

Usually it's simple moral decisions that lead one down an evil path through a misguided extreme vision. Games fail to represent this well because they usually lack a sense of far reaching consequences. Going back to Skyrim, the Civil War questline was rendered less impactful because we never got to see the ultimate consequences of how it played out.
 

Mister K

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dalek sec said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
I can't play evil either. From a gameplay perspective it can be fun o let loose and go on a murder spree or whatever but in the long run I have more fun trying to abide by a moral code. It's more challenging and more rewarding. And I like my characters to get happy endings.
Same here for me, I just can't bring myself to be evil in RPG's. Like in Fallout 3 I refuse to be a bastard on the grounds that the wastelands are bad enough, why should I make things worse? That and like Novgorod said, it's just more challenging and rewarding plus I'm a bit of a sucker for my characters to get happy endings.
You know, it's kind of strange to hear something ike this from Dalek. Did you absorb to much of Roses DNA?

OT: I too could never bring myself to playing as a bad guy. It always feels... Wrong. I'd rather help those in need than be selfish, murderous bastard.
 

Ratties

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People like comfort food. People like to watch programs where it all wraps up nicely and everyone wins. The bad guys lose, the good guys win. People like that in their videogames as well. As long as you step off the beaten path every once in awhile and play a game where they either force you to be evil, or your character was made for it. Cbs is so damn popular, people like to get off of work and watch predictable shows. Life can't all be pizza and blowjobs, try a liitle wrong dog.
 

Dalisclock

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I have this issue as well. I remember playing the first KOTOR and meeting the sith on korriban and thinking just how petty they are, which is probably one of the reasons I almost never play as evil, because it feels so pointless.

I think the only game I could ever really play as a jerk were the Saints Row games and even then you don't get a lot of choice in the matter. That and everyone else is so much of a jerk it feels like they just had it coming(Even Jessica from 2).
 

KarlMonster

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"... draw on your face with my pretty knife
I want you to know what love is." - What Love Is, Rocket from the Tombs


"Evil" is like "Punk rock". A label that is vague, poorly understood, and ultimately illusory. Both are seldom portrayed honestly; we are generally shown only the extreme, and unlikeable stereotypes of each. An evil character won't burn down the world, because then there won't be anyone to make his breakfast tomorrow. [But it had BETTER not be cold this time!!!]

Part of the problem is that 'Evil' 'Crazy'. Someone needs to sit Devs down and explain the difference. You can have the Light side, the Dark side, and the Dark Side of the Moon. They aren't mutually exclusive, but you shouldn't substitute one for the other. I'm having a ball playing the old title "Vampire the Masquerade:Bloodlines". In the game you can technically be a good-ish or evil-ish and even an insane vampire. I'm playing the insane vampire, and its funny because the dialogue is just not insanity. It's more like a middle-aged professor of classics got completely wasted at a party of the classics department people, and then decided to write "crazy" dialogue. It ended up being just a lot of metaphor, so the character would seem to be incoherent when she is actually just using a strange "poetic" language. Then there are moments when you might do things that sound evil, but someone sent you to do it.

For the OP, if you haven't I recommend trying the Agent in SWtoR. [It's FtP, but I really object to the client size. They don't need to put two full intro movies on my HDD!] Before long I quit because of the grind, and the player-based market makes crafting impossible. What I enjoyed *enormously* was the dialogue options to tell this whiny NPC that "I don't give a frozen toydarian turd about your horribly polluted environment! Can't you see that I am *the* Player Character? Don't you know that I have much more important ... um ... things to do to other whiny NPCs that are far more entertaining than listening to you!" That's not even a particularly 'evil' moment either, its just a great dialogue option. There are quite a lot of quests in Oblivion where I didn't really want to do them, but they benefited me in an other way.

I could make a better case that the normal 'good' Player Character is suffering from some kind of brain damage. He just blithely goes around killing things and collecting stuff just because some absent minded twit told him to. There's a game on Steam called Mars:War Logs. I do not recommend it. The protagonist is this tough guy who succeeds in breaking out of an internment camp, and incidentally killing the warden in a cutscene. In the next town he turns up, this thug of a man goes right back to doing silly fetch quests for anyone that can whine on his frequency, when he could hire himself out as an enforcer of some kind. What I'm saying is that its not just that there is something wrong with 'game evil'; 'game good' is pretty bizarre as well.

And there is a very good reason not to do the "bad" Eve extraction in the Bioshock series. Doing that gets Little Sister all over your designer shoes. Nobody wants to spend their Sunday afternoons scraping Little Sister out of their boots. Not to mention that its pretty awkward in the convenience store. I just wanted a gallon of milk, and I think I was out of baking soda, but this lady notices that I've got Little Sister all over me. She won't ring up my purchases and let me get on with my business. She's gotta go on about 'did I know what her name was', and 'did she live around here' before, and 'who were her parents', and other stuff. Well, you know, I wanted to shut her up too, but this was kinda too public for me. I didn't need the milk that bad, so I left. She coulda had the sale if she'd kept herself to herself.