It’s the end of the year, the lights are starting to adorn houses, and the presence of the holidays looms over us all. It’s a time to be happy, give gifts, and tell people you love them! People will be putting Love Actually on and curling up under a blanket. It’s all just so lovely.
Christmas cheer sucks though.
The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet To Come have little presence in the world of games (unless you include a Christmas special comic in the German Club Nintendo Magazine back in 1996 titled “Warios Weihnachtsmärchen,” which was based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol). But there are a few titles that really let you embrace the antithesis of Christmas by being as evil and scroogetastic as you like.
5. ‘FABLE 3’
You’ve got a whole series of Fable games to choose from here, each one allowing you to be a little evil, but Fable 3’s industrial setting is where it stands out for the more evil ones among us. It’s a third-person game where the player must organise a revolution in the fictional country of Albion and eventually become the King or Queen. In that journey, friends and enemies will be made, but the big changes come once you get your goal, and reach the throne.
Once you’ve liberated Albion from its tyrannical leader, you get to take their place, and be as evil as you’d like. Of course, people won’t exactly like you, but who cares about that when you own everything? You can “remove” the people you don’t like, “commandeer” the possessions of your people, and make decisions “for the greater good,” all because you’re the leader. Heck, there’s even a food item called a Crunchy Chick—a live baby chicken. Lots of people love a bit of turkey for Christmas, but eating a baby chicken in front of your loyal subjects won’t exactly get the bells ringing and choirs singing.
Indie hit Undertale has swept through gaming and captured the hearts of many. Playing as a young girl travelling across a world where both humans and monsters exist, you get to make friends with the strange creatures. You can even date a skeleton if you’d like. There are cute dogs to pet! It’s a unique game in that you don’t have to kill anyone. You can be friends with everyone around you, humans and monsters can live in harmony on Earth.
Or you can slaughter everyone.
There are consequences for your actions, and Undertale is not afraid to tug at your heartstrings for what you do. The “Genocide Run”, as it’s named, culminates in a certainly emotional event. This is a game that will let you release your evil side, but, in tune with A Christmas Carol, it will remind you of what a cruel person you are.
3. ‘THE SIMS 4’
Of course, there’s only really one way to truly play as Mr. Scrooge, and that’s in The Sims 4. With the free Holiday Celebration Pack released last year, you can even decorate your house in a lovely Christmas theme, just to make ruining it that much more fun.
While The Sims 4 doesn’t let you be a maniacal leader or murder some monsters that just want to be loved, you get to be a very realistic asshole. When creating a character, choosing traits like Evil, Mean, and Materialistic means you really can create that ‘bah humbug’ alter ego of yours.
You can throw parties just to ruin them with your character’s horrible attitude, ruin other people’s days, or even get a little murder-y with a few cheats, or something as simple as removing the front door. Nothing says holiday cheer like a Christmas tree in flames, does it?
2. ‘FALLOUT 4’
Just released in time for the Christmas period, Bethesda’s most recent addition to the Fallout series does, of course, include many ways to ruin the mood of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Playing as one of the few people allowed to wait out a nuclear blast that destroyed America in specially-designed Vaults, you get to roam a destroyed Boston meeting some of its stranger inhabitants and fighting off the violent creatures that live on the irradiated soil.
In the same fashion as most of Bethesda’s games, you’re allowed to do just about whatever you want, wherever you want. You can rush along to complete your main objective, the reason the player character leaves the safety of their vault, or you can explore the rising towns that have cropped up to house the few people who want to rebuild civilisation.
You can help with that too. You can build settlements, or complete quests, or kill the cockroaches that survived the blast, albeit with a bit of mutation. Or, you can take a little inspiration from the many murderous Raiders that raid the wastelands and decide that the fall of civilisation means anything goes. With the little easter egg in the video above you can even see one city covered in Christmas decorations. That gives you the perfect setting to enact your evil yet seasonal wishes.
1. ‘SAINTS ROW IV’
There’s a lot you can do in Saints Row IV that will put you on the naughty list. Released back in December 2013, the How the Saints Save Christmas downloadable content is a parody of Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas as well as other Christmas films. Playing as the leader of absurd gang the 3rd Street Saints, who have been trapped by aliens in a computer simulation a la The Matrix, the player has to travel the simulated city and complete objectives to try and end the simulation. With weapons like the Inflato-ray and the Dildo Bat, it’s made to be over the top.
In How the Saints Save Christmas, though, the protagonist must save Santa from his computer simulation, where he’s grown weak and skinny due to the lack of Christmas spirit. Fighting off gingerbread men and giant elves with whatever weapon you so choose isn’t the sort of thing that will usually get you off the naughty list, but it’s all to get back the Christmas spirit. It’s basically the ending from Elf with more death and superpowers and sex-toys-turned-weapons. I’m not sure how proud of you Santa will really be.
So have fun with all that coal this season, you monsters.
Hannah Dwan is a freelance games journalist who spends too much time rambling about her favorite titles. You can see those opinions at @hoeyboey.
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