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18 ways to be a bastard in games

Politeness is exhausting. Waving, smiling, guiding old biddies across busy roads; polite society is a leech on all of us. So after nine to five of being good, is it too much to ask for some respite? If not, it’s only a matter of time before someone goes postal. Enter videogames: an outlet for the inner bastard. We dedicated one evening’s play in pursuit of bastardly behaviour. We’re not talking evil required of you – killing your way through GTA’s criminal population, for example – but totally unnecessary badness. We didn’t have to, but we did. That is the spirit of bastardom.

Mass Effect
Kaiden ain’t getting laiden...

As a nuke ticks down on the planet of Virmire, Shepherd can save only one of two human pals. Who to choose: Ashley Williams or Kaiden Alenko. Ashley is a religious fruit loop with a fun sideline in racism. Kaiden Alenko is a tragic figure with a histo... wait, what’s that? Shepherd and Ashley can have a bit of below deck rumpy pumpy? Can it Kaiden, I gots me some racist to be lovin’. We skipped his dialogue and sent him to his harrowing death in the blink of an eye. Seriously, we’ve deliberated more over opening a crate. With great power come great opportunities to be a bastard.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
One Man Bastard.

Most of these malicious tips see you preying on helpless AI. Want to be a more emergent kind of bastard?Get thee to an online Modern Warfare 2 match, as the Bard once wrote. There’s a new sensation doing the rounds guaranteed to vilify you in an instant. It’s n00btubing – the art of clumsily killing enemies with rampant grenade launcher use – but a potent new strain of n00btubing. With the One Man Army perk equipped you can change classes mid-fight – when the n00btube runs out of ammo, simply switch to the same class to restock. Infinite grenades? Bastard get! Recently, the tactic at least became challenging due to a patch that increases your class swap time with each swap during a single life. Your bastardly intentions become more difficult the longer you attempt them.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Bastard in disguise.

If there’s one thing Xbox World loves more than being a bastard, it’s being a bastard and getting away with it scot free. Enter the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, the ceremonial hood worn by Oblivion’s elusive thief, the Gray Fox. Don the hood yourself and you take on the mantle. Vice versa, the mantle takes on you – every crime committed is pinned on the persona of the Gray Fox. With one simple hat change, all those wenches are ripe for a bastarding. Sword ‘em, arrow ‘em, flame ‘em; the hood takes the blame.

Suicide is painless.

The star of this odd Indie Game is a thought pusher – she can rip ideas from one head and superimpose them on another. With each stolen thought, her potential verb and noun sheet gets bigger and bigger. Technically, these terms should be used to enact assassinations the story throws up. The bastard laughs in the face of such technicalities. Take one sap, force him to ‘walk’ to the ‘liquor store’, force him to ‘buy’ a ‘bottle’ and to ‘kill’ ‘himself’ with ‘bottle’. The ESRB/PEGI would go into meltdown if they ever pointed their torch of censorship under the dank rock of Indie Games.

Grand Theft Auto IV
Night night all!

Niko dies mid-crime spree. You’re annoyed and want to vent. Rockstar happen to respawn him in a nearby hospital, laden with patients napping on their gurneys. The words ‘shooting’, ‘fish’ and ‘barrel’ come to mind. Oh, and ‘bastard’.

Godfather II
Try the bat, it’s the best in town.

Shaking down store owners and terrorising prostitutes rates pretty high on the bastard-o-meter. But nothing compares to unleashing executions on the general public. These brutal takedowns - intended for the family’s most hated enemies – seem particularly overwrought when used on housewives. Ol’ Thuggo McThugerson sticks a baseball bat in a lady’s mouth and then thumps her head first into the pavement. “Nothing personal. It’s only business!” he says, which is a total lie. What business? Were we trying to get in on her apple pie racket?