I’ve always wanted to play the bad guy in games with moral systems. In Mass Effect, I loved going renegade and punching that bitch reporter in the face. In SWTOR flash points, I loved picking the snarky response to NPCs in group full of high-minded Jedi. Even in political board or card games, I love playing bully by waving whatever big stick I have around, threatening mutual destruction to anyone who crossed me.
But those examples are all executed to express the attitude of a Han Solo-like character, or simply because it’s an effective way to play a competitive game. It’s not easy to play a character, especially in a single-player RPG, that is completely selfish, has no regard for other beings, and will lie, cheat, and steal without needing any justification whatsoever other than doing what’s best for themselves, including just having fun.
I’ve been playing Fallout 3 for almost six years. It’s about time I finished up those achievements by doing an evil playthrough. Well, I won’t actually be getting every achievement. Those neutral karma ones are really just beyond me. I just don’t have a character I can look at that I can apply to the Fallout universe to help guide my decisions. Sure, I could just play do good things and then steal a bunch of stuff like Robin Hood, but the problem is that the only two places I can think of to steal tons of stuff are at Tenpenny Tower and the Citadel, but even there it’s sort of a grey area on whether it’s right to do that. After five years, you need character motivation to play this game, and I just don’t have it.
Evil is doable though. I knew exactly who to base my character on in terms of how to make decisions. My evil character, fresh from the Vault, is an amalgamation of several characters.
- Roy Batty from Blade Runner, a man with the emotional development of a four-year-old that was curious about the world, but also understood that the world was a sick place.
- The Kurgan from Highlander, who always said what was on his mind, wasn’t afraid to go against norms, and above all, was uncompromising about achieving his goals.
- Snake Plisskin from Escape from New York, a cynical renegade who holds absolutely nothing sacred, and is willing to do anything to survive.
Looking out over the Capital Wasteland, I sensed a new world of possibilities. If I needed stimpacks from a random Scavenger but didn’t have the caps, I could just cap him and take what I wanted. When I see Roy Phillips and his gang in the subway system, I might decide I just don’t like pushy ghouls and slaughter them.
Most of all, there’s Megaton. Fuck Megaton. Never liked that town much anyway. Too sprawling and tough to navigate, and the house you can get there really sucks. I may be dropping by Moriarty’s, to pay Mr. Burke a visit, and talk business.