Greetings once again and welcome all ye Gamers, to another lovely list of video game history. The topic today is video games that pushed the bar when it came to over the top violence and gore, but for a little extra fun, I also took into account how the theme of the game fits with the violence when picking a rank, so hold tight and get your raincoat, it’s going to get messy.
Madworld was the game that defenders of the Wii would point to when insisting that the Wii was not just for kids. This game featured a black, white and red art style and a fairly grisly concept. The protagonist is a character in a reality show called “DeathWatch” where contestants fight each other to the death and are scored on how messy their kills are. There is of course a bit more to it than that, but let’s face it, really it’s just a frame up for the violence.
4. Mortal Kombat
One cannot have a violent games list without Mortal Kombat, if it compares with the violence of the more real to life things on this list is up to the reader, but there is no denying that MK served as a gateway drug for video games into the world of in your face violence. With blood, spikes, and screams while the fighters in the game tear each other limb from limb, Mortal Kombat started something that politicians are still bent out of shape about today. Read more on it’s controversy in this great article.
3. Grand Theft Auto 3
While we’re talking about making history, take a look at Grand Theft Auto 3, this was another genre definer. Breaking out from it’s top down roots, GTA 3 put the camera right behind the protagonist and allowed the player to run people over, shoot cops, nail hookers, and generally be an unsavory individual. The plots of the series have improved as time has gone by, but one still has to respect just how much impact this particular entry had when it came out.
Have you ever wanted to play a snuff film? Well, if for some strange reason that concept pleases you, Manhunt does just that. The protagonist of the game, a death row inmate who is given a fake lethal injection as a cover up for what is to come, is commanded by a horror film producer calling himself simply “The Director” to move about the city killing gangs in the most brutal ways he can. In the original cut of the game, the violence is right on screen for all to behold, and it’s certainly not for the squeamish with such lovely murder methods as decapitation, cranial impalement and anal violation by sharp metal object. Even the developers weren’t all that comfortable with it’s level of violence – as reported here.
1. Postal 2
All of the games on this list are violent, make no mistake, but the reason that Postal 2 takes the cake is due to its tone and subtext. This 2003 release cranks over the top violence to eleven by having the player capable to do such lovely activities as hitting people with Anthrax-filled cow heads, relieving themselves on the dead and often dismembered bodies of their foes, or the worst of all sins, forgetting to pick up the milk on the way home. Perhaps the most tongue in cheek part of the game is that the violence is all optional, the game can be CAN beaten without going crazy with violence, but with the option available to the player and no one but the PC to judge them, who would? It’s the dark side of Human Nature at its finest.
This list is by no means comprehensive, there are a lot of games I’d have liked to have included such as Thrill Kill, Silent Hill, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Carmegeddon, but the ones on the list edged these out by being just a bit more real, and a bit bloodier.
If you have a favorite, feel free to mention it in the comments. Until next time, keep your controllers warm and your PC cool.