It’s inFAMOUS weekend, guys! I’ve been excited for Second Son‘s release for quite a while, but here’s the thing: I decided to tread the infamous path by being basically evil. And it’s so hard to do. My heart can barely take it. I won’t give any Second Son spoilers here, but that first choice you have to make? Ughhhh.
So many video games these days let players make moral decisions and choose “good” or “bad” routes, and I once wrote on my blog about how much I love playing the hero in games. The thing is, in games like the Mass Effect series, even choosing Renegade options (the “bad” options) won’t prevent you from being a hero in the end. You might be tough on people, you might punch reports in the face, you might hang up the phone on the Council… but you’re still Commander Shepard, hero of the Citadel and humanity’s last hope.
When the story is set that way — when your character is fated to be a hero — it frees me up to be a jerk for most of the playthrough. I love going for the Renegade, intimidate, badass side. It’s totally unlike how I am in real life, but that’s part of why I love it so much.
In real life, I’m a nice person. Probably way too polite, sometimes. I like to think most of us who play video games are nice, yet our games let us act out in ways we never would in the real world. That’s the fun of role playing.
I also have fun choosing an alignment that I never would in real life, even if it’s “bad,” and being a generally good person within its confines. For instance, I’m all for playing an assassin and making really tough choices there, as long as my character can be loyal to her friends and believe in her cause. The Dark Side can be fun, and it’s a world all its own.
But for some reason, when it comes to inFAMOUS, I have a really hard time treading the evil route. It feels much more “good” and “evil” than “polite” or “jerk.” And I don’t want to be evil. I can’t just run up to civilians and kick them. I can’t betray the people I care about — even if they’re not real. It doesn’t feel like an alignment choice, either. It’s just straight-up not-very-nice person — unrealistically so.
The funny thing is that I know a lot of people must feel the same way I do. In fact, Sucker Punch devs were surprised to see that the majority of inFAMOUS 2 players chose the heroic sacrifice ending rather than the more selfish ending.
It’s such a silly thing, but there really is a moral line that I have trouble crossing even in a virtual world, which must say something about how deeply ingrained morals can be. I’m trying to do it for this playthrough of Second Son… but it’s making me realize I really do like playing the hero in games!