What If We Were The Bad Guys
Modern military shooters always go the same route by having you be this glorified hero whose only goal is to stomp terrorists and save the free world. Not a lot of games try to differentiate from this formula and the only game I can think of that put you in the shoes of a bad guy for a while is Spec-Ops The Line and look how that turned out. What we got was one of the best narrative experiences in videogame history and one that all shooters that come after it will dare to aspire to. Why don’t we do this more often? Why are we always the heroes and never the terrorists?
It might sound like a ridiculous proposition because our modern world is so content in demonizing the ideals and methods of terrorists that we will never want to create a game where we play as one. Imagine if you will: a modern military shooter where you’re a member of a terrorist cell whose mission is the annihilation of friendly soldiers and laying siege on the innocent population. It’s certainly an unpopular idea because who wants to slaughter innocent and respectable people for some sort of radical cause that is impossible to believe in? I say, bring it.
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The amount of potential that an idea like that would have is astronomical. You will be struggling to fight with your own morality most of the game and do things that you find wrong and offensive. That can make for some powerful storytelling where the player has to act out missions that he really does not want to and force him to do things that he has done hundreds of times in the past, but against the people that call themselves heroes. It’s a shocking proposition for sure and I’m pretty sure an idea such as this will never ever see the light of day.
Games these days like to play it on the safe side. Everything has to be politically correct and everything has to do with you “killing the bad guys and saving the day.” Frankly, I’m tired of it. I need some new experiences and not just the same old song and dance I have experienced a million times over. Games need to take risks and push the boundaries to what can be considered “safe storytelling”. Look what Spec Ops gave us when it strayed off the beaten path just a tiny bit. It made us hate ourselves for playing it because we did things that were considered “bad”. We need more of this.
Gaming is maturing and I think we need some variation in our traditions such as military shooters that only feature patriotic gun-toting American heroes shooting terrorists in the balls because freedom. Something needs to be made that pushes our buttons in all the wrong ways and forces us to do things that we don’t want to. What do you think? Would you be supportive of a game that strays off the beaten path and takes monumental risks?