Over at gamesetwatch, Simon Carless has a piece on playing the villain rather than the hero in a game. This, of course, is nothing new.

For instance, as someone (GBGames, actually) pointed out in the comments, Wizardry IV: The Return Of Werdna put you in the role of Werdna, inching up the dungeon to get back the amulet. Of course, it was Trebor’s amulet to begin with, but bad guys gloss over such trivial details ;).

The interesting thing about Wiz IV was that you had several paths, only one of which was nabbing the trinket. Another was the road to redemption, and a third was to leave it all behind and discover the Grandmaster ending.

Dungeon Keeper is another title that comes to mind, although there you pretty much sat in the background and devised traps for those annoying adventurers. Greedy annoying adventurers (and aren’t we all?).

Even earlier, there was Crush, Crumble, and Chomp from Epyx, where you played the movie monster of your choice and ravaged the world city of your choice. Naturally, they got you in the end, but meanwhile, you could have a fine old time with wreaking pure destruction on the hapless citizens.

And there was Might & Magic VII, where halfway through you had to choose between the light and dark paths. The ending also differed, depending on whether you were “good” or “evil”.

These are all, in a sense, “fun and games”. Evil isn’t treated seriously in any of them, really. Simon is wondering if it’s possible to have a game where the protagonist is evil from the start, and isn’t doing any of the “heroic” little jobs that are so common these days.

In other words, a game built around the concept of the “evil player-character”, rather than just giving those tired old choices in dialogues, or allowing the player to kill people on a whim, which is homicidal mania more than “evil”.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to play such a game myself. Performing evil acts is really repugnant to me. I had a hard time in Morrowind, when I opted to join the Dark Brotherhood assassins (mainly for the walkthru I was writing). It was truly unpleasant, and I was glad when that game was finished.

Maybe you have a different outlook, though. If a game was made that treated evil seriously, and you were evil throughout, would you play it? Would you mind being “Foozle”, being the antagonist instead of the hero?

The GlaDOS Effect on gamesetwatch