So I finished the first episode of The Wolf Among Us today, and I was very impressed. Not only did it make me feel bad for David Cage, it also made me question myself a lot.
I went into the game thinking I was going to play the nice guy like always, but ended up becoming a Lieutenant Stabler-esque loose cannon, making reckless decisions all over the place. What the hell happened?
Good writing happened.
In Bioware's games, like the Mass Effect series, being good or evil really just amounts to being normal and decent to being a total jerk. Here, observe:
See what I mean? And there's no real appeal to any of it, since all it does is alter your stats a bit and make people think you're a douchebag, and most people don't want to be that.
The wolf among us, on the other hand, handles things a bit differently. Like Mass Effect, you can't really be "evil," but the writing makes the "jerk" choices way more appealing. Most scenarios are spent building things up and making you want to make the wrong decision, and, if you do, it's way more satisfying (then, of course, they make you feel bad about it).
Fallout 3 is another game that does evil right, and evil as in REALLY evil. You get to murder everyone and steal all their cool stuff, you get to blow up an entire town with a nuclear bomb, and you can even eat tasty human flesh!
What's not to love?
So here's the deal: most people don't like jerks and don't want to be one, so if you're going to have a morality system, then at least make the "evil" side worthwhile, fun, or satisfying. Give us a reason to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. Make us want to be naughty boys ;)!