Do the wrong thing? Hmmm....
My first encounter with games that allowed me to be 'evil' were PC RPGs such as Bauldur's Gate and Knights of the Old Republic. Being something of a completionist back then, largely due to me having no money whatsoever and thus squeezing as much as I could out of a game, I would play both 'good' and 'evil' characters.
Being good was always so straight forward for me to roleplay, I'd create a noble Paladin/Jedi Knight and defend all that was good, light and generally rainbow coloured. Saving maidens, slaying dragons and fighting off the dark. I found myself engrossed in my own character's story, feeling that all the choices and actions suited my character and much enjoyment was had.
Then I always took a shot at EVIL. But the thing is, when I think evil, I think silver-tongued devils, self-serving wizards and sinister assassins. Thus I would build my character around these ideas; he would be ruthless yet refined, perhaps manipulating others for his own ends. Being na´ve, I assumed that my story would be as engrossing as my noble character's, albeit dark and twisted.
In every instance, and this has been the case of most other games I've played since, I'm a mass murdering thug. A hoodlum who robs people, threatens everyone he meets and generally an unrefined c*ck. My character never has the option of being EVIL, I mean really evil, no sinister dialogue options are given, no subtlety. Just angry, thuggish responses that usually led to me killing EVERYONE.
It's not just that either. When I'm playing my good characters, their direction makes sense. I would want to save Imoen from that git John Irenicus, I would want to hunt down Malak and save the Republic. But when I play as my evil guy, I'm thinking: Really? I'm an evil, power hungry wizard, and instead of furthering my own ends, I'm chasing after some useless girl who hasn't stopped following me since we were young! Surely I'd be overjoyed that the irritation had been removed? And why the hell am I, an evil to the core dark Jedi, running off to save some goody-two-shoes bint called Bastilla?
I mean REALLY? What kind of evil bastard am I?
I of course understood, the designers were trying to tell an epic story, but also wanted to give you as much choice as possible. The problem is, all these awesomely epic narratives ultimately are built around a 'good' person's choices. And sadly this appears much the case with contemporary titles.
Of course many have 'evil scenes'. Fable's good/evil sides of the quests and Fallout's slaver side quest. But if one were really roleplaying their character, would I really be following the events of the main stories as they are? Likely no. But of course you want to complete the game as 'evil', so you ignore the pretentious, short-arsed little git in the back of your mind complaining that these choices don't make sense.
I suppose to really make a game that allowed you to truly follow an evil path, the whole story would need to be tailored around a more sinister ends. And by sinister, I mean Vincent Price, not some angry goon.
LOOK WHO CAME: