Mass effect, Oblivion, Fallout
: Every single one of them presents the player with a "choice." You can be the hero, or you can be the villain. It's totally up to you. But it's always, always a trap. Good is the only right choice. The hero option in every one of those games will net you better companions, more interesting quests, and a more ultimately satisfying story. For example, here are the NPC companions from Fallout: New Vegas
-- widely regarded as one of the better open-ended games in recent memory:
Good companions: Dr. Arcade Gannon, NCR Sniper Craig Boone, Caravan Trader Rose of Sharon Cassidy, Brotherhood Scribe Veronica Santangelo
Neutral Companions: Supermutant Lily Bowen, Ghoul Mechanic Raul Tejada, Prototype Eyebot ED-E, Cyberdog Rex
Evil Companions: Elite Corporal Jack Fucking Shit.
That's Jack up there in the upper right hand corner.
And even out of those "neutral" companions, all are actually pretty "good" personality-wise, and two are functionally useless besides: Lily is somebody's kindly old mutated grandmother, Raul is a hideous zombie ... who likes fixing toasters for people instead of devouring their children, and ED-E is a floating robot that somehow still sets off landmines. If you choose the good path, you keep all of them. If you choose the evil path, you'll eventually be forced to either lose or kill the laconic uber-sniper, the sassy lesbian who punches motherfuckers so hard they explode, and the rugged young doctor with the powered robot suit. Even when it's a choice, it's never a choice: Good will always be better.
And no matter how much we gamers might protest that - complaining about how
it is that so-called open-ended games always neuter the villain's path when it could explore stories and concepts just as interesting as the hero's - even we have to admit that "be nice to people" is probably a fine lesson to learn.
Or wait, no, fuck that: Why do I have to risk my life to rescue every single box of lost kittens just to get a decent ending, you dirty, rotten, game-designing sons of bitches?!
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Or you can school him in the comments section with your no-doubt encyclopedic knowledge of morality-based open-world gaming; that'll be sure to impress the ladies.
For more from Brockway, check out 5 Reasons GTA IV Is The Worst Great Game Ever Made and 5 Scientific Discoveries That Spell Doom for Your Penis.
And check out The All-New Cracked.com Zombie Page featuring our most popular zombie articles like 6 Signs You're About to be Attacked by Zombies and The Real World Fears Behind 8 Popular Movie Monsters.