Most games dealing with violence focus on the efficiency of murder. Taking out enemies fast and quick using the weapons in your arsenal and making progress through the level. As long as you know how to aim, you’ll generally be fine going through any encounter a game can throw at you.
I’ve been shooting and killing virtual people since I could walk and after you’ve been doing it for so long, the magic soon wears off. You need a little extra spice, something exciting to get the blood going. Some games, like the ones we’ll be discussing today, allow you to tap into your creative side when it comes to killing where the goal isn’t just to take out opponents, but to do it with as much style as you can muster. Let’s look at five games that allow you to do just that.
Blood & Truth
Blood & Truth was a revelation for shooters in VR. The game comes to us from the people who made the London Heist demo that most people played when they got their PSVR unit. However, the game dials the action to the max with one big overarching goal: make you feel like a movie star. And the movie in question is less Hacksaw Ridge and more John Wick.
The game allows you to manipulate guns in any way you please. That means you can shoot enemies from any angle, but it also allows you to become a very disturbed child in a sandbox. You can twirl your guns in your hands, you can dual wield anything your heart desires and there’s a whole gaggle of guns in your arsenal to have fun with.
The result is this beautiful act of pure slaughter. And because it’s in virtual reality, you feel like you’re right there delivering people to the underworld by spinning your revolvers like a cowboy. I also have a little surprise for you that I made and I just need two words to introduce it:
My Friend Pedro
My Friend Pedro just immediately comes across as ridiculous. You’re listening to a floating banana called Pedro and little Pedro commands you to kill. And kill you shall. The game takes place on a 2.5D field with enemies littered all around on the way to the end of the level and the way you dispatch them is entirely up to you.
The game’s primary focus is style. Where’s the fun in just shooting people? Want to blast someone with a shotgun and have all his body parts splattering around that you can also kick into other enemies? Go ahead, buddy. Want to dive through the air and shoot two enemies simultaneously while you’re also riding a skateboard that you can kick into someone’s face? I thought you’d never ask.
With some big help from slow motion, My Friend Pedro gives you all the tools to make your murder extravaganza as stylish as humanly possible. Getting through a level just killing everyone is fine, but have you tried doing it in the most showboaty fashion possible that sends adrenaline straight through to your animalistic brain as you grin from ear to ear at the sight of this beautiful display of death? Pedro wants that for you. And we always listen to our friend Pedro.
Devil May Cry V
The game has a rank that you reach if you manage to pull off enough moves to impress it. It’s called Smokin’ Sexy Style and when you reach it, some deep voiced being shouts it at you. The Devil May Cry series, since its inception, has been obsessed with style. Dante, who was the primary focus in most of the games, is also just dripping with cool. The one-liners flow from his mouth like the River Styx and his arsenal is almost as crazy as he is. Having a little demon in you helps as you tear through Hell’s most ugly creations.
Devil May Cry V takes all of the style that the series is known for and cranks it to levels that might hurt your ears. You play as three characters which essentially triples the variety of your potential stylish slaughter. Nero can use his various robotic arms to do all kinds of crazy stuff including riding on his arm that also detaches and becomes a rocket. V, the mysterious one, allows you to read poetry as you’re laying waste with your hellspawn minions. And Dante … well, Dante is Dante. He rains down bullets, he kills demons and he makes a damn fine spectacle of it.
While most of the Devil May Cry series is a little ridiculous, its ridiculousness makes you love it all the more. The cutscenes in particular can just get unbelievably crazy and I fondly remember the Devil May Cry 3 opening cutscene that more or less hooked me on the franchise and made me a madman obsessed with taking out foes as cooly as possible.
SUPERHOT is the perfect example of a game that had one great idea and rolled with it throughout. The big conceit of the game is that time only moves when you do. You get thrown into levels littered with polygonal red dudes and, like many of the games on this list, allows you do just as you please when it comes to the weaponry and skills available to you.
We all know slow motion is cool. It’s what made the Matrix so iconic back in the old days. This game is almost entirely in slow motion. I even once tried to play it on regular speed and besides being incredibly hard, it’s also very boring. There’s something special about seeing your bullets slowly enter the head of the enemy and then you chucking your gun into someone’s face, grabbing a katana and then slicing bullets flying mid-air.
It’s an incredibly pure experience. No pretence, no restrictions, just you, a level filled with convenient throwables, some guns and a dream. If you’re obsessed with stylish killing as much as I am, this is essentially an island paradise.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
We all know the Metal Gear Solid franchise as being “tactical” and having “stealth”. That’s awesome and it works. But what if we go in completely the opposite direction? That was probably what was said in the meeting before this game got made. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s name might sound ridiculous, but I think it fits the game quite well. It’s a gauntlet of ridiculousness.
The game’s general combat is super fast, super flashy and fueled by an incredible soundtrack that just makes you want to slam your head into the wall and smile as the blood drips down your face. When you get to the boss fights, you might be excused to think that you might have accidentally sniffed some cocaine.
But the one thing this game did extremely right was its cutting mechanic. You have a sword that is capable of slicing through anything, kind of like a lightsaber, and you can slice at a million miles an hour. Once you get an enemy weak enough, the game slows down and you can just go to town slicing anything in front of you. And as we know from physics, when you slice something it turns into two separate things. Do it about a thousand times and you end up with something known as “smithereens”. Yeah, this game is awesome and you should play it if you haven’t.
This list mostly makes you worry about me and I fully accept that you don’t want me near your pets or children now. [Ed: Here is a hug. Please don’t stab me or bleed on me though.] But I just love killing people in the coolest way possible. It’s a power fantasy and while that phrase is often used negatively, it’s something that can make you feel better. That adrenaline rush as you land perfect headshots or rain down bullets as a demon hunter does wonders for your confidence and it makes you feel something that satisfies that sweet spot in your lizard brain. These are but a few of the games that allow that. Feel free to share yours.