5 Times Video Games Rewarded You For Being The Good Guy
Growing up, we’re taught to be good. Don’t be naughty, be nice. But then some video games teach us the opposite: it’s good to be bad. Gaming history has been made by breaking the rules and being a rebel. Of course, there’s plenty of times playing the good guy pays off, too.
To celebrate World Kindness Day on Saturday 13th November– which promotes the importance of being kind to yourself and the world – here are five times video games reward you for being the good guy.
5. Life Is Strange 2 – Choices & Consequences
Like the game, real life is strange. You have to make choices and they have consequences. And sometimes they won’t show themselves until way down the line. Well, that’s how Life Is Strange 2 works.
Across 5 episodes, you’ll play through the story of two Hispanic American brothers travelling along the US West Coast. Oh, and one of you has telekinetic powers. Did we mention you’re fugitives on the run? Yep, a lot is going on.
Throughout each episode – which acts as levels – you’ll be faced with several choices to make. At the time it might seem minor, but these choices have major consequences. For example, choosing to give your little brother a chocolate bar or keep it for yourself can actually change your relationship later in the game – so it’s not just about scoring a treat.
The choices you make change the way characters act towards you and shape the story to come. As the master of your fate, choosing to be good can result in your freedom or incarceration. Also, being bad might break up two brothers – do you want to go to sleep on that? We didn't think so.
4. Dishonored – The Chaos System
Hang on, weren’t video games invented to create chaos without consequence? Possibly, yes.
But hear us out. As you explore the city of Dunwall as royal protector-turned-assassin Corvo Attano on a quest to clear your name and save the princess, every action you make gets judged.
If you make lots of noise, get caught by guards, and kill everyone, you’ll score high chaos. If you tiptoe through each level like a ghost, finding ways to complete your missions non-lethally, you’ll get low chaos.
Whereas high chaos makes the next level harder – there’s more guards, more story-related deaths, and more plague-infested rats wandering around – low chaos does the complete opposite. In short: it'll make it easier.
And being kind in Dishonored does matter. Not only does low chaos lead to a more optimistic ending, but you’ll also find more positive character development for you and your allies, so everyone’s a winner.
3. Twelve Minutes
Being the good guy in video games isn’t always black and white. Sometimes it’s a grey area geared up to teach you a lesson. Twelve Minutes – the time-travelling puzzler starring James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Defoe – teaches you about karma and preaches kindness.
You spend the entire game reliving the worst night in your character’s life. Every level is the same twelve minutes, where a questionable police officer tries breaking into your apartment to kill you and your wife. Without spoiling it, not all is at it seems.
You’ll explore the small space interacting with the world around you. Every object you pick up and every choice you make will define your and your wives future – and maybe even your past, too.
There are seven endings to be unlocked, and it’s safe to say that the more honest and kind you can be, the better the ending you’ll get. But the biggest reward for playing good in Twelve Minutes is that you’ll feel a lot better about yourself by the end of it.
2. Mass Effect Trilogy – Paragon & Renegade
If you’re unfamiliar with this space opera epic, simply know it is to video games what Star Wars is to movies. You take the role of Commander Shepard, attempting to save the galaxy from an ancient race of machines known as the Reapers.
As a wise comic-book uncle once said: with great power comes great responsibility. Mass Effect’s morality system means every choice you make earns you Paragon (good) or Renegade (evil) points. It’s a little like choosing to stand with the Jedi or side with the Sith.
If you choose to play out the Paragon options, you’ll unlock a whole host of bonuses. Alongside unique dialogue choices, you’ll trigger special moments that cement just how good you are.
Persuasion plays a big part in saving the galaxy in Mass Effect. And you’ll need to unlock those golden opportunities by being good. Whilst playing renegade unlocks intimidation, playing Paragon lets you charm your way through, and you’ll find that everyone’s a whole lot nicer for it.
Oh, and it could save the lives of your love interest, your squad, and humanity as we know it. No biggie.
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Undertale. You'll play as a child who has fallen under the surface of the Earth and have to find your way back.
On your journey, you’ll meet monsters and make decisions. Whilst there’s no strict system, choosing to be good as you play goes a long way.
Throughout Undertale, you’ll have the option to make friends or foes. You’ll even play God, choosing whether to spare them or kill them to carry on. Bosses range from smiley-faced flowers to living skeletons, and killing them can seem like fun – but be warned, there are consequences.
If you start chopping off characters, you’ll miss out on being helped by them at later levels. Undertale is the perfect World Kindness Day game – show the game some kindness, and it’ll show it back.
There’s also the very small matter of the ending. It could work out for our hero, or it could go very, very wrong. And it all depends on the choices you make. Unless you like the idea of destroying everything and everyone, stick to being good and you might just save humanity, too.