Compelling storytelling has become ever-present in modern video games.
Gone are the days of Ronald Reagan inviting you for a burger in the only 3 lines of dialogue to set up the plot. Characters are much more nuanced, featuring unique personalities. Although a disproportionate amount of them are righteous, upstanding heroes, riding their high horse into a battle for the fate of the world.
Yawn. What a bunch of goody-two-shoes. Which is why we are glad that some games offer you the option to play as the villain and really shake things up. There are games such as GTA that feature a morally corrupt protagonist. Or the Fable series, which offers players the choice to forge their own path of good or evil. Sometimes though, we get to play as a malevolent creature hell-bent on destruction and evil.
Here are our favorite times we got to play as an outright monster:
Evolve features an online multiplayer mode that pits four human characters against one monster character. The player has a choice of 5 different monster characters to take control of, in the interest of killing some heroes. Initially, monster characters are weak, so players will have to scavenge and hide until they are fully formed. If the player can avoid being hunted long enough to achieve their potential, then they can unleash hell. Fully developed monsters are near-indestructible and feature an array of powers to massacre all those who dare to hunt for it.
— Dead by Daylight (@DeadByBHVR) October 4, 2017
Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight features an emerging game mode similar to that of Friday the 13th. It again features human players only this time they don’t stand a chance of taking down the supernatural horror. One lucky player gets to control an all-powerful creature, who stalks and captures the other players. Human characters can only run and hide as they try desperately to forge an escape from the nightmare. You can enjoy putting your opponents on edge as they frantically ponder whether they’ll be your next sacrifice.
The Left 4 Dead Series
The online campaign mode of Left 4 Dead sees four players cooperate to survive the zombie apocalypse. In the versus mode however, you can take control of some of the undead horrors. Players spawn as one of the game’s special infected, each with their own unique abilities to inflict on survivors. As a special infected the task is simple. To prevent any happy endings in this story by ensuring all survivors are finished off.
— Left 4 Dead 2 (@Left4Dead2PC) May 29, 2017
If we’ve learnt one thing from apocalyptic movies it’s that man is the real monster. In video games that can also be the case. We can think of no better example than in the disturbing Postal series. The only objective is to cause as much mayhem as possible preferably in the most gruesome manner. Players can decapitate, set fire to and even urinate on NPC’s. It’s not one for the faint-hearted, which has ensured the game’s cult status.
Black and White
You don’t have to be evil in Black and White, hence the name, but honestly where’s the fun in being God without a little smiting? Players control an omnipotent deity who created the very life you preside over. You could be a loving, benevolent leader but some of your followers will still forsake you, so you’d better teach them a lesson. Set entire villages ablaze, unleash plagues or simply pick up and toss your followers to the middle of the ocean. Next time they’ll work harder on that monument to you.
What’s more evil than being an evil God? Well, being the Devil. In this real-time strategy game, players must construct and manage a hellacious dungeon. Foolish heroes will attempt to invade your dungeon to put a stop to your fiendish deeds. Meaning you must deploy your hordes of monstrous minions to defend your territory and ultimately conquer the world.
— Olizandri (@OlizandriOnYT) September 9, 2016
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Finally: the chance to play as one of the most infamous monsters in all of video game history. Bowser, of Super Mario fame. After being struck with an ailment, Bowser inhales Mario and Luigi meaning he must set out on a quest of his own. Gameplay features large segments where players exclusively control Bowser, in this installment of the Mario RPG franchise. With the exception of Super Smash Bros. this is a rare opportunity for fans to take control of the popular antagonist – milk it while you can.