Video game

10 Violent Video Games You Can Beat Without Killing Anyone – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Video games are a medium well-associated with violence. They often tell high-conflict stories that have to be settled physically, and their mechanics often include detailed and sometimes gratuitous ways for players to kill their foes.

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Not all, however. Aside from the many nonviolent video games in existence, players can make their way through games well-known for their combat without any blood on their hands. Some games can be completed using stealth, avoidance, or non-lethal attacks without anyone dying at the player’s hand.

10 Undertale’s Golden Ending Requires Everyone To Live

Acclaimed for its unique story and subversive gameplay, Undertale deconstructs and examines the tropes common to RPGs while also standing as a good game in its own right. It has three typical ways to play: ‘Neutral,’ where the player kills some but not all of their enemies; ‘Genocide,’ where the player kills everything in their path; and ‘Pacifist,’ where they kill not a single creature.

The game is set up like a traditional RPG, including a prominent ‘Attack’ button in every fight. In addition, on the first playthrough, the player has to kill at least one enemy: Asgore. On a second playthrough, however, the player can spare everybody by learning the puzzles behind sparing every foe and get the game’s best ending.

9 Batman Retains His No-Killing Rule In The Arkham Games

Among many other things, Batman is famous in fiction for having an ironclad ‘No Killing’ rule, where he seeks never to take a life throughout his vigilantism. This carries through to most media, including video games like Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.

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The games are violent affairs, with the player making full use of Batman’s toolkit of weaponry and his vicious hand-to-hand brawling. Despite this, Batman never kills anybody by his own hand, only knocking his opponents out throughout stealth sequences and fight scenes.

Despite being military-focused games where Snake can arm himself with all manner of weapons, the Metal Gear series has never been about killing. Instead, the games have a strong anti-war message, with killing usually painted as a failure on the player’s part to sneak past obstacles successfully.

Most games in the franchise have at least a handful of bosses that the player has to kill, even if they spare ordinary soldiers. However, in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, not only can the player avoid killing anyone (Liquid Ocelot dying due to the FOXDIE virus, not his fight with Snake), but Snake’s mental state actually suffers if the player kills too many enemies.

7 Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea – Episode 2 Is Less Violent Than The Base Game

Bioshock: Infinite is a spectacularly violent high-flying adventure where protagonist Booker DeWitt runs and guns his way through the flying city of Columbia, killing hundreds in his mission to get himself and Elizabeth away from the city safely. The first part of its DLC, Burial at Sea, is similar, with Rapture being full of people for another version of Booker to kill.

Episode 2 of Burial at Sea casts the player as a suddenly-depowered Elizabeth. It has a much higher emphasis on stealth and careful use of Plasmids to survive, with guns being few and far between. Moreover, playing it in ‘1998 Mode’ removes usable guns entirely, only allowing the player to disable enemies non-lethally.

6 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Gives The Player Options

The Deus Ex games have always prioritized giving the player several ways to play, not locking them into any one style over any other. This reaches a zenith in Mankind Divided, in which, despite a high number of enemies and gunfights, the player can do an entirely kill-free game run.

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Through sneaking, hacking, and talking, players can overcome obstacles without gunning down a single person. Even the final boss can be subdued non-lethally, assuming the player stops Viktor Marchenko from activating his armor.

5 Mirror’s Edge Rewards The Player For Avoiding Fights

Although primarily a parkour simulator, Mirror’s Edge has plenty of opportunities for violence as the player free-runs past many oppressive and armed cops in their quest. These cops can be avoided, but it is easier to deal with them in many cases – a common way being to disarm them of their weapons and kill them.

The player can rack up a large kill count on their journey. Avoiding shooting anybody throughout the game earns the player the ‘Test of Faith’ achievement, and players can take this even further by avoiding all violence entirely.

4 Civilization Can Be Won Peacefully

As the archetypal game in the 4X genre, where one of the X’s stands for ‘eXterminate,’ there are plenty of opportunities for violence in the Civilization series. By giving the player control of an entire country, they can choose to wage war on every other civilization in the game, crushing them with a powerful army.

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However, every game in the franchise has included nonviolent ways of winning, including sending a space rocket to Alpha Centauri or being elected leader of the world. Players can take this even further, winning without a single fight – although this does require a large enough army to dissuade enemies from invading, and good luck with Barbarians (or disabling them before the game).

3 Postal 2 Gets Sarcastic If You Finish It Bloodlessly

The Postal series is one of gaming’s most infamous, widely-described as ‘murder simulators’ that let the player rampage through suburban environments in a killing frenzy. Despite this blood-soaked reputation, Postal 2 is deliberately designed so that a player can complete it without killing another person.

Requiring many specific steps to be completed and plenty of avoidance tactics, the game rewards the player with a message saying “Thank you for playing, JESUS” if they manage to spare everyone in their path.

2 Dishonored Lets The Player Get Crueler Than Mere Killing

Stealth games often discourage players from using violence for no other reason than corpses drawing attention. However, Dishonored goes a step further, with killing and violence causing the unhappy and cruel ‘High Chaos’ ending to the game. As such, nobody in Dishonored, including Corvo’s targets, needs to die.

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Instead, Corvo can inflict cruel fates on his enemies. These include forcing two slave-owning brothers to work in their own mines, and using the Head Overseer’s own brand on him to rob him of all political power. Some of these fates, however, have been criticized for being needlessly mean-spirited and uncomfortable in their brand of ‘justice.’

1 Alpha Protocol Gives The Player A Host Of Nonlethal Techniques

Alpha Protocol is a slick spy drama in the form of an RPG, with the player controlling superspy Mike Thorton. With its violent plot chock-full of betrayal and vengeance, the player has plenty of opportunities to get their hands bloody, and the game fully supports a rampaging, violent playstyle.

However, it emphasizes player choice above all else, which carries through to its solutions. The player can play through the entire game using stealth and nonlethal equipment like tranquilizer darts. Some villains die either way, but the player doesn’t have to be the one pulling the trigger.

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