Games that give me the choice and freedom to decide how I want my characters to act and respond are probably some of my favourite. Mass Effect, The Witcher, and all Telltale games to name a few. Now I know that a lot of the time this sense of control doesn’t always amount to much (Telltale particularly) but I think having the choice to make your character do the right thing or go bat-shit crazy just adds an extra bit of depth and immersion to the gameplay.
One of the joys of gaming is the ability experience things you either couldn’t or wouldn’t do in real life. Wanna lead an army? Sure! Save the world from an alien invasion? Why not! Build a house shaped like a ham and cheese sandwich? I’d be affronted if you didn’t! Creating characters that act or think differently from you is just an extra jammy layer to the gaming cake.
When given the choice I pretty much always pick the bad guy approach and I think this is for multiple reasons. Firstly, I consider myself to be a pretty upstanding citizen. I go to work, I pay my bills on time, and I’d help a little old lady cross the street if she needed it. So, picking the bad guy choices in games is a great outlet for the little voice inside me that wants to cut loose sometimes. Yes, we all have it, but no, we don’t act on it. Mostly…
Secondly, creating a character in a video game isn’t necessarily making one that would do or act as you would. The game designers are giving you the artistic license to make the character you want. So if you think Shepherd would punch that reporter in the face because that’s who they are, great! You’ve become the author of that character.
Lastly, I often think playing the bad guy is the more interesting and funny option. I’ve seen a million hero movies and being the good guy is overdone and samey. Not giving a damn what anyone thinks, playing by your own rules and still getting the results? It’s fun!
If given the choice, how do you like to play your characters? Does it just depend on your mood? Or do you pretty much favour the good guy or the bad guy? Let me know in the comments