Follow TV Tropes

Following

Black And Gray Morality / Video Games

Go To

  • Basically the default in Bayonetta games. The hero herself isn't technically a bad person, but she's rather snarky and self-interested, with her motivations always being either to look out for herself or the people she cares about. Her allies aren't much better; the closest thing to the embodiment of good in her universe is a rude, equally selfish brat. By contrast, her antagonists are usually genocidal and self-righteous, so they get to play the unlikable hypocrite role and be her punching bags.
  • Advertisement:
  • While Dark Souls is closer to Grey and Grey Morality that is just very cynical, it's Spiritual Successor Bloodborne is here. The Hunters are either ineffective, anti-heroes or just batshit insane, most of the Great Ones only did what they did to protect themselves from Mergo, most of the inhabitants of Yharnam that aren't feral beasts are strange people even before they go mad, and there are plenty of factions doing evil things. All of the endings are also pretty ambiguous and it's hard to say if anyone actually won the whole thing, even the player.
  • Shin Megami Tensei is devoted to this trope. Then again, being a Deconstructor Fleet for many RPG tropes, this should come as no surprise. Given the series' emphasis on personal choice, where the "gray" area lies is solely your business; the Law faction is a group of well-meaning extremists intending to crush free will in order to ensure a perfect egalitarian society, Chaos is a group of vicious anarchists who worship freedom above all else, and the Neutral factions' permissiveness allowed the conflict in the first place and more often than not collapses into either side, but while it works it ensures an "island of stability" between both sides. Of course, humans being what they are, all this conspires to ensure a cycle of destructive Full Circle Revolutions that will last until Humanity finally learns to sit down and sort out its messes for good.
    • Persona 5 brings some of this into the SMT spinoff franchise. The protagonists, a group of rogues knows as the Phantom Thieves who induce Heel–Face Brainwashing methods on their targets, would come off as crossing all sorts of lines if it weren't for the fact their targets tend to be various kinds of serial abusers who are explicitly above the law. The only exception to this is a girl who was going to commit suicide otherwise and who asked them to do it to her so that she wouldn't end up killing herself. But even then, the Phantom Thieves are in fact completely aware of the implications of their methods, and refuse to use it at all during their first mission until a student tried to commit suicide because of abuse by their first target. Throughout the game, the Phantom Thieves openly wonder if what they're doing is the right thing.
  • Advertisement:
  • Hitman has you playing as a cold blooded, emotionless contract assassin, killing for money and showing no sympathy whatsoever to any of his targets, regardless of their situation. But almost every one of your targets are corrupt politicians, corrupt military personnel, corrupt businessmen, dictators, cult leaders, gangsters, and/or terrorists.
  • Dead Space 3 reveals that the Earth Government versus Unitology is this, with EarthGov as the Grey and Unitology as the Black. EarthGov created the Markers in the first place, unsealed them after having forgotten them over centuries, illegally imprisoned Isaac and other survivors to torturously extract Marker schematics from them and are responsible for myriad purges and assassinations, some of which are for dubious reasons. However, the Markers were created (and then recreated) in hopes of solving a serious, galaxy-spanning energy crisis, and once they realised that they all created Necromorphs, they have dedicated themselves to stopping the Zombie Apocalypse. Unitology, meanwhile, are a Path of Inspiration that worships the Markers; and by 3 they sabotage EarthGov efforts, actively spread the infection, and slaughter innocent civilians.
  • Advertisement:
  • Welcome to The Secret World! Who would you like to side with? The ultra-capitalist, do-or-get-done Illuminati? The militant, overzealous Templars? Or perhaps the chaos-theory-chasing, 'interpretive terrorist' Dragons? They're all pretty bad in their own way, but they can be made to get along... after all, you can't rule the world if some mysterious fourth party destroys it, right?
  • Legacy of Kain. Your hero is either a Sociopathic Hero or an Unwitting Pawn with a habit of screwing everything up. Your villain tends to be a corrupt Eldritch Abomination that would fit in well with H.P. Lovecraft's horrors and all of his minions. Even the Sarafan Brotherhood, a bunch of priests, were noted by Kain as being ignoble in the opening of Soul Reaver 2. The closest thing you get to something RELATIVELY good is Janos Audron.
    • To put that in context: Janos Auldron is the last of his kind because they began an unprovoked genocidal war at the command of their god, the aforementioned Eldritch Abomination. Since he was selected as the Reaver Guardian, made Vorador and the Hylden leader in Blood Omen 2 knew him (or at least of him) back then, he was no lowly conscript; he was probably one of the religious officials giving the orders to commit atrocities. The Ancient version of Moebius: Janos still believes in that same god. Then there's the fact he clearly doesn't give a damn about Vorador's victims & those of other vampires (the Sarafan's motivation), and the fact that even though he believes that vampirism is an unholy damnation, he had no problem doing it to a human. And he still comes across as relatively saintly and his death makes Raziel go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge because fanaticism and sociopathy are the norm in this universe and he's The Woobie.
      • Neither Janos nor Moebius realized that the Elder God was just a hungry Eldritch Abomination. He even manages to fool Kain once. The Elder God is The Omniscient Magnificent Bastard, and made everyone his Unwitting Pawns till Raziel purified Kain and allowed him to see the Elder God. Moebius himself is forced to see it, and is quite horrified. Janos even admits that to pass on the curse was horrible, but it was necessary to keep the Hylden at bay. Also, while Raziel's main motivation is vengeance, he comes as more sympathetic and troubled guy as the story goes by. He REALIZES he's an Unwitting Pawn to everyone, especially the guy who created and burned him, Kain, and in the end is [[spoiler: willing to make a sacrifice of the same vein Kain wasn't willing to(sacrifice yourself to save the world), though in Kain's case, killing himself wouldn't have solved anything. The plot is complicated, so it's safe to say everyone's got their Freudian Excuse or has been fooled into being what they are.
      • The Hylden. When you hear their story, you surely pity and root for them. Problem is, after so many eons trapped in the Demon Realm, they've become as genocidal and monstrous as the Ancient Vampires and Sarafans. They engineered Ariel's murder and the Corruption of the Pillars, and it's hinted they would have done it again and succeeded if Kain had sacrificed himself in the first game. In Blood Omen 2, they are revealed to have created a massive bio-organic superweapon to kill every non-Hylden thing on Nosgoth. Plus, as they are secretly controlling the Sarafans, their rule is quite the inquisitorial, fascist one.
  • The protagonists of Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City can only be said to be heroes in the sense that they fight against people who are even worse than they are. CJ, from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, on the other hand, has a few genuinely heroic motivations (getting the drug dealers out of his neighborhood, avenging his mother's death, keeping his family and friends safe from harm), but he's still a murdering, thieving gangbanger who blows up Hoover Dam.
    • Special mention goes to Grand Theft Auto V: Michael and Trevor, a hypocrite and a serial killer, are former heisting partners who end up banding together to work with and against the FIB and a multibillionaire real-estate investor. However, unlike the villains they fight, Michael and Trevor have redeeming qualities, namely their care for their friend Franklin, and they all care about Michael's family.
  • The God of War series, although really it's more of a Black and Even More Black Morality. The Greeks had a somewhat different definition of "hero" than we do.
  • If you ever play Tactics Ogre past the first chapter, then you'll see this trope in spades: everyone (including yourself, possibly) commits truly horrific atrocities, yet your home team still somehow ends up gray...
    • The most clear-cut example in the game is from Chapter 2 Chaos when Balbatos is executed. As his last words, he hurls the accusations against him (warmongering and the systematic purging/ exploitation of an ethnic minority) back at his former subjects, claiming that this was only accomplished because a great many of them shared his views. Sadly, the codex supports his claim. While he faced opposition, it was insufficient to derail his agenda.
  • In DmC: Devil May Cry, the premise has a V for Vendetta feel to it, Dante and Vergil plan on overthrowing the Demon King Mundus (Very clearly the Black) in order to free humanity. But by the end, Vergil's plan to take Mundus' place isn't exactly any better, even looking down on assistant, Kat, as useful. Dante clearly objects, having developed a clear intention to protect humanity, but even with his insistence, Vergil does not reconsider his plan. Just how Vergil was planning to rule over the humans was left to the player's imagination, but with how he referred to humans as being similar to children, it might not have been so different from Mundus. What drives the point home is that Vergil planned to do all this, right after humanity was freed from the demons' rule, most likely confused and terrified by the existence of said demons, instead of actually just helping them out.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, only two options are open to the player concerning allies who can help locate your kidnapped childhood friend: One option is to side with a guild of thieves. The other is to side with a guild of vampires. Vampire thieves. And just in case you were wondering: No, these are not thieves with a heart of gold. Inside their guild-hall you'll witness Training from Hell with actually lethal results, torture, and worse. Needless to say, this makes roleplaying a paladin in this game an extremely difficult task. This is driven home by the fact that Keldorn Firecam, a Paladin in his own right, will just flat-out leave your party forever should you pick the vampires over the Shadow Thieves. (Keldorn isn't happy about working with the Thieves either, but, fortunately, he's very pragmatic for a Lawful Good sort).
  • Command & Conquer: Generals has this in spades. While the GLA are hypocrites exploiting their "just cause," the "good guys" aren't entirely altruistic on their part either. The Americans can come across as obnoxious and self-righteous patriots, while China is not above using napalm-based or even nuclear weapons if it means securing victory.
  • In Stars!, Master of Orion, and many other 4X-style empire building games (whether space, sea, or land), it's generally assumed your race will kill millions of colonists belonging to other races. These are generally portrayed as innocent planetdwellers whose only crime is to be of a different race/faction as you, which makes most of the race leaders mass murderers. Subverted somewhat in the old space trading/combat game Warpath and Warpath 97 where you could (very slowly) convert even the most unfriendly planets through trade and diplomacy. It was still easier to nuke them from orbit, even if it wasn't the only way to be sure.
    • In spite of its happy Space Western trappings (although you always have a white hat and your opponents more dastardly headgear, even in multiplayer), Spaceward Ho! presents an especially chilling example when you think about it. In order to colonize an enemy planet, you destroy all enemy defences, melt them for scrap, kill the entire biosphere, and terraform the planet to match your native ecosystem.
    • Averted in Master of Orion 2. Sure, you can genocide conquered colonists or even blow up their planet, but you also have the option of trying to assimilate them into your own empire. In fact, assimilation is actually the best option for telepathic or democratic races. You can also achieve victory by saving the galaxy from the Antarans, who are portrayed as evil to the core, while avoiding hostilities with anyone else.
    • Averted almost entirely in Master of Orion III. Once you conquer a world, you keep its population (at least what hasn't been killed by collateral damage or conscripted into the planetary militias). Ground units built there have the icon of their race, as well as their terrain advantages. The percentages of aliens against your own kind is displayed in the population screen.
    • In the 4X series Space Empires you can conquer enemy planets and live alongside the alien colonists you capture. You could even trade populations between different races as being able to breathe the atmosphere on a planet allows for more buildings. However, to get the maximum number of facilities only the race capable of breathing can be there. This means on occasion you may have millions of colonists who would otherwise have to live in domes to "relocate". You could bother to have a transport come and pick them up, but it's easier to just jettison them from the cargo. This is referred to as "Spacing". What's more you can "scrap" them and get 1 kiloton of organics per 1 million population, referred to as the "Soylent option", although it's not worth it really.
    • Played straight in Star Control. When the Alliance of Free Stars, the ostensible good guys, captures a Hierarchy mine or colony, they just bombard it to destruction from orbit. When the Syreen, one of the Alliance races, captures a Hierarchy colony, they first use mind control to recruit crew members from the civilian population, and then annihilate the rest from orbit. Oh, and one member "race" of the Hierarchy, the Androsynth, are actually just human beings, but, because they were clones, they were enslaved by the rest of humanity. They joined the Hierarchy because the Alliance recruited humanity. And another Alliance race, the Shofixti, use suicide bombing as a standard tactic.
  • The Homeworld series plays into this somewhat. By the time the player is controlling them, the Kushan seem to be the punching bag of the galaxy. As the backstory is revealed, however, it's shown the Hiigarans broke several treaties, attempted to conquer everything, attacked plenty unprovoked, and misused the Hyperspace Drive to attack large swaths of the galaxy. They could well have been a Big Bad in a prequel game. It's no real wonder they were smacked down like they were.
    • There's also one portion in the game where a captured enemy captain died under interrogation. This is no Starfleet Command we're working with (though granted said captain had been part of the fleet that had just destroyed their home world, killing billions).
  • Lampshaded in Metal Gear Solid by Solid Snake saying "I'm no hero. Never was, never will be. I'm just an old killer hired to do some wetwork." The truth is, he's one of the least gung-ho heroes. Compared to him most action heroes are reckless bastards, but he actually feels guilty for all the mooks he killed and does not want other people to admire him for that.
  • The Renegade playthrough of Mass Effect seems to take this light. While that's not to say there isn't a decent amount of grey in the Paragon playthrough, Shepard and their crew are, for the most part, pretty clear-cut good guys. In the Renegade playthrough on the other hand, Shepard is portrayed as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who will go to any lengths to stop Saren and, later, Sovereign. Though this can be justified by Saren being a monster, and Sovereign being an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • In StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, this is the crux of the conflict between the Zerg Swarm and the Terran Dominion. On the Zerg side, there's Sarah Kerrigan, a zerg/terran hybrid who dances terrifyingly close to the Moral Event Horizon in the name of self-preservation and revenge; Zagara, who thinks nothing of invading a planet, covering it in Meat Moss and killing or assimilating anyone unfortunate enough to be living or stationed there at the time; Abathur, an Evilutionary Biologist who sees nothing wrong with experimenting on sentient beings if it proves beneficial for the Swarm in the long run; Dehaka, a primal zerg packleader who allied himself with Kerrigan because she was stronger than anyone else; and Alexei Stukov, an infested terran who was once part of the UED invasion force seen in Brood War. On the Terran side, you have Arcturus Mengsk, an utter sociopath who could succinctly be described as the most evil terran character in the game, against some stiff competition, and beyond him is Amon, a totally out-there, unfathomable, out-and-out evil Xel'Naga whose only long-term goal is the eradication of all life in the cosmos.
    • The first portion of StarCraft I was Mengsk, then a rebel leader and not an emperor, leading an uprising against the Dominion's predecessor, the Terran Confederacy of Man. Mengsk made some pretty dark decisions as the campaign went on, but the Confederacy was so horrible that he was still the more sympathetic party — especially since the Confederacy had his father, mother and little sister killed for his father's own revolutionary activities, and Mengsk had actually lived as a civilian prospector on his homeworld of Korhal until the Confederacy carpet-bombed it and ruined him. It's a little telling that the moment the game started treating him like a monster happened only when the Confederacy was well on its way out the door, and that the point where he became an antagonist was after they were gone entirely and the Terran Dominion was born.
      • Further muddying Kerrigan's conflict with Mensgk... he left her behind to get infested by the zerg, but she was the Confederate assassin who murdered his family. In the end, neither of them come out looking too pretty.
  • In Homefront The KPR follows the rules of the mandated cliches of oppressive forces by executing people on front of their children, sending those who cannot be indoctrinated into the KPR to labor camps, and brainwashes children into child soldiers. The Resistance are the... Well, resistance against the KPR, who while focused on freeing the oppressed, follow the ideology of "If you're not helping us, you are a traitor" and frequently abandon others in need to rescue high priority targets only.
  • Gears of War starts off like this and falls prey to getting darker as things go on. The humans are not portrayed as the nicest guys to start off with, and while Myrrah, the Locust queen, claims at the end of the first game that that the humans have actually done something incredibly horrible in the past — something that, to the Locust, completely justifies their own war of extermination — the Locust kidnapping of humans expressly for torturing them, as revealed in the second game, gives them absolutely no moral high ground to condemn humanity with. Moreover the COG forces have been intentionally and explicitly designed as Space Nazis. They even have their own medical concentration camps and they're perfectly willing to stunt the Locust advance by killing the vast majority of their own people with WMDs and preserve the human race by impregnating women against their will.
  • During Modern Warfare, members of your party regularly engage in torture, one murders an unarmed man tied to a chair, and another holds an ally over a ledge with the full intent to drop him. By the next game, your party gets even more ruthless, at one point (implicitly) interrogating someone with electricity. When playing as an American going undercover, you're forced to gun down an airport full of civilians. However, you were playing directly into the Big Bad's hands with that one. By the end of the second act, Capt. Price, your team leader, launches a nuclear warhead at the United States, nullifying all technology on the East Coast. And by the end of the game, Soap, your character, and Price have become fugitives with only one intent in mind: kill the bastard who set them up, and fucked over world history in a big way. There is no question, however, that these men are infinitely more heroic than the people they fight.
  • Supreme Commander falls squarely into this mindset— the United Earth Federation, Cybran Nation, Aeon Illuminate, and Seraphim can and do make extremely good cases for why the other three are villains worthy only of annihilation. The Cybrans are the least-black of the factions, but it does boil down to what you view as the least evil: The Empire, La Résistance with a bad case of The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized and We ARE Struggling Together, a Church Militant, or the local Scary Dogmatic Aliens.
    • Worth noting that the mindset is enforced by the fact that which faction holds the Sanity Ball changes between campaigns: if you play as the UEF, the Cybrans become a group of psychopathic terrorists hellbent on tearing down the semblence of stability that the UEF provides, while playing as the Cybrans shows the UEF as General Rippers out to enslave and exterminate everyone who doesn't fit with their deeply supremacist vision for humanity, and Aeon players see the worst of both and their own; in fact even in the Aeon campaign ever Aeon commander who isn't the player is presented as an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • A similar setup was used in the sadly defunct MMORPG Auto Assault with the Humans, Mutants, and Biomeks. Each faction had reasons for wanting the other two dead, although the Humans may have been the biggest bastards of the bunch depending on how justified you think their desperate measures to protect their own existence were.
  • In both Fable games, you can be as evil as they come, and still be expected to defeat the Big Bad. Thus, making you the Black, and Jack/Lucien the Gray.
    • The third game ramps it up even further. Along with being able to murder, steal, and destroy with wild abandon, the last leg of the game gives you a choice: follow Logan's example and oppress the people for the sake of raising enough funds to keep them safe, or be a just ruler at the possible expense of your subjects being genocided by an army of shadow demons. Yet, even if you choose to be the biggest Jerkass in Albion you're still the Gray in this case...
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, you're going to kill Malak no matter what your moral persuasion. Carth even explicitly uses this to rationalize staying with you after finding out who you really are. The Jedi might also qualify for this, given that they might or might not have erased your memory and turned you into a drone so that they could use you to uncover the source of Malak's power. You can try to turn him, and if you do he'll repent as he lays dying. Even a character you had just previously turned back to the Light side will act surprised you even made the effort, though.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (arguably the third in the series) tends to take this option. No one is going to argue that the Republic doesn't have serious problems like crooked government officials, crazed "scientists," corrupt MegaCorps, and Knight Templar Jedi. They also cut deals with terrorists (like Consular companion Zenith, who bombed civilian targets on Imperial-occupied Balmorra and doesn't much regret it and Trooper companion Tanno Vik, who is only in the army to avoid jail and/or the bounties on his head) and criminals (the entire Smuggler class). Ord Mantell's government is openly corrupt with local soldiers and government abusing civilians and gambling on sadistic "games" like betting on a refugee's odds of walking across a minefield and surviving. There is also the whopping black eye that is Belsalvis; a maximum-security, supposed-to-be-a-dirty-secret Penal Colony where the Republic "scientists" staged gladitorial combat between different species to "test" them, conditions are so bad that a good prisoner gets weekly showers as a reward, and even the offspring of the inmates are treated like criminals and imprisoned, despite the crime being done by their parents or great-grandparents in come cases. Likewise, the Imperials (and Imperial players have the option to) Pet the Dog on occasion, but it does not mitigate the fact the Emperor is an Omnicidal Maniac, Darth Malgus (your main questgiver for that side) is a wife-beating thug who killed his Twi'lek "spouse" ( she was technically his slave) because she was a weakness to him, the Sith are unanswerable to any rule of law and have the average sanity of Batman's Rogues Gallery, slavery and genocide are practiced openly (one Imperial official is running a Dachau-style "labor camp" on Nar Shaddaa, complete with gas chambers, crematoriums, and piles of corpses), anyone not human or Sith species gets treated like something scraped from a boot, and the whole thing runs on Might Makes Right and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder with everyone from Dark Council members to low level officials trying to knife each other in the back. For all their many flaws, the Republic still looks great by comparison.
  • In killer7, the protagonists are a group of amoral assassins who do work for people manipulating the fates of entire countries. Killing one of their targets, Toru Fukushima apparently results in the entire population of Japan being massacred, and if you refuse, Japan becoming a Shadow Dictator to everyone else. The villains include a card-carrying terrorist. Dan's old mentor is a black-market organ dealer - and that's the face he doesn't conceal from the world. And then there's the fact that the protagonists are embodiment of good fighting against evil.
  • Fallout: New Vegas sets up a conflict where the Legion is black and... well, just about any other faction is gray. When playing the game, you have the option of siding with the New California Republic (a democratic republic with an imperialistic slant that is bedeviled by bureaucracy, nepotism and corruption, but which is legitimately trying to do well), siding with Mr. House (a somewhat insane but brilliant man who has plans to use New Vegas to re-ignite old-world tech and eventually catapult humanity out of the post-apocalyptic wasteland), or taking the Wild Card route (usurping power for yourself, which may end up with you uniting or destroying various minor factions in the Mojave). Then you have the option of siding with Caesar's Legion. The faction of brutal, barbaric, expansionist, culture-destroying neo-primitives who forbid the use of a large variety of medicinal and labor-saving devices, brutally enslave their women with, among other things, institutionalized "breeding programs", support their empire on the basis of slave labor, worship their dictator to the point of practicing Human Sacrifice in his honor, practice cannibalism, use vicious amounts of torture and brutal justice for the least of offenses, and are openly acknowledged in-game that they will fall apart into internecine conflict when Caesar inevitably dies. Even with Word of God that there was supposed to be more "Legion-friendly" content planned for the game which was cut due to it being rushed out, the fact that this "good side" amounts to "there are no raiders or even petty criminals in Legion territory" (because all crimes are punished with mutilation, torture and execution) and "there is no substance abuse in Legion territory" (because, again, it's a death sentence to be caught using or peddling drugs) kind of pushes the Legion's "good side" into an inversion of Informed Wrongness.
  • In typical RPG fashion, The Witcher allows you to side with one of two warring factions in the Vezima area. One the one side you have a racist order of human knights who wage a genocidal war against elves and dwarves, and on the other side you have a racist terrorist group of elves and dwarves who wage a genocidal war against humans. Fortunately you can Take a Third Option, which means siding with neither faction and becomming an enemy of both. While all 3 options are gray to some degree (neutrality ends with a huge kill count on both sides), the main enemy, Salamandra, has no redeeming qualities.
  • Sly Cooper leans in this direction, he robs the wicked and gives to himself as part of a family tradition that goes back thousands of years. Most of what's been stolen hasn't even been spent, but rather dumped in a vault because when it comes down to it the Cooper Clan steals things purely to stroke their own egos.
  • The bread and butter of Drakengard. The protagonist is a bloodthirsty psychopath with a penchant for vengeance; your allies are a pedophile, an insane infertile child killer, an elitist bigot and religious fanatic, and a dragon with an unbridled hatred for all of humanity; your former "friend" goes nuts with jealousy and grief; and the most innocent character, your sister, wants to jump your bones and because of this she kills herself sfter revealing that. This is all much less clear in the American version, where they greatly toned down these quirks, but they're still there... and to think, you're the ones trying to save the world. The rest of the world is trying to kill you. In the sequel Drakengard 2, this is much less so.
    • Drakengard 3 looks to be back on track with the heroine being nearly as bloody and psychopathic as Caim, and all party members being psycho-enabling members of her harem.
  • Darkstalkers can tend towards this. Even most of the "good guys" are morally questionable... but the villains are incredibly nasty embodiments of pure malevolence. Oh, and the sweet, innocent-looking little blonde girl resembling Little Red Riding Hood? She's one of the latter.
  • BlazBlue takes place in a Crapsack World that's been ravaged by an Eldritch Abomination for 10 straight years, and that's just the backstory. The present timeline has three distinct sides in the plot, and each character on the respective side have their own motivations and each one of them have pretty dirty laundry. Honestly, the morality in this series is all over the place.
    • First of, are the Novus Orbis Librarium, (NOL for short,) the ruling government of the entire planet. They maintain order in the Crapsack World and keep it from getting even worse for the most part, but have extremely questionable methods in doing so and have no problem silencing anyone who opposes their rule. The heads of said organization are also the Big Bads.
    • Second is Sector 7, a rival organization to the NOL. They don't oppose the NOL because its the "right" thing to do mind you. No, it's mainly because of a difference in how to rule the world. Sector 7 focus on science and technology, while the NOL use Magitek.
    • And then there are the largely unaffiliated characters who either oppose the NOL as well, or are just bounty hunters looking to get paid. The protagonist, Ragna the Bloodedge, is also apart of this faction, but he's only targeting the NOL to hunt down one man who screwed him over massively and will mow down anyone in his way to do it, even if they're just Mooks trying to get a paycheck. Also, the NOL have put a bounty on his head because of this (the largest one in history) and the aforementioned bounty hunters are also after his head as well. Funnily enough, Ragna is one the less ambiguous good guys in the series.
  • In Warcraft III the factions ranged from genocidal (Undead) all the way to willing to let everyone die out of sheer prickishness (Night Elves). World of Warcraft turns around and averts this with Tirion Fordring. Despite the questlines in Northrend which appear to be arguing that good people must sometimes do bad things, the only man who keeps his hands clean melts the face off the Lich King every time they meet.
  • [PROTOTYPE] doesn't really have any heroes. Correction, it really doesn't have any heroes. Take your pick: zombie mutants controlled by a psychotic girl, soldiers who are more concerned with destroying evidence than protecting anybody, or a main character who is out for revenge, is a self-proclaimed terrorist, and has absolutely no qualms with tearing innocent people to shreds and eating their insides to heal? (He gets a conscience later on, but still.) Sure, there's the Marines who only want to save people and destroy the main character and zombie mutant side because they're eating people, Dr. Ragland and Dana Mercer, but it doesn't change the fact that the fate of the city lies in the hands of a man-eating mutant monstrosity.
  • The Earth RTS series. The Eurasian Dynasty is The Empire, combining the worst aspects of Soviet Russia and the Mongolian Khanate. Against them in Earth 2140 are the UCS — a group of lazy hedonists completely dependent on machines for labor. Sequel Earth 2150 introduces the Lunar Corporation, who start off as A Lighter Shade of Grey... but get worse fast due to actually having to participate in the war. By Earth 2160, they're confirmed to be working on chemical weapons.
  • Geneforge approaches this after the well-intentioned, hopelessly naive Awakened are canonically exterminated in the second game, and falls headlong into it by game five. The funny thing, though, is that every faction except game two's Barzites has some people arguing (occasionally vehemently) that it's the grey to everyone else's black. In general, Astoria and Alwan have the most supporters, but even Taygen has been argued to be the lesser evil.
  • Like its predecessor, Dragon Age II also has very little "purely good" characters and choices. Which of the many sides of Kirkwall are Black and which are merely Gray is a bit up in the air, depending on one's interpretation. The Templars are (on paper) tasked with stopping mages who consort with demons from harming innocent people. In practice, they believe that any mage is only a moment's temptation away from throwing everything away and summoning demons to slaughter their neighbors and crack down harshly on any mage suspected of not toeing the line, hitting them with either death or Tranquility. Meanwhile, the mages are visibly cracking under the strain of dealing with the Templars, with many of them resorting to Blood Magic out of either desperation or building resentment and hate towards the Templars. The Chantry (i.e. the Church) tries to mediate between the two, in addition to the standardly churchly things of charity of various sorts—but this is undermined by the Templars being an actual branch of the Chantry, as well as the Chantry opposition to the Qunari living in Kirkwall. The Qunari, meanwhile, are terrifying fighters who sack the city pretty thoroughly halfway through the game...after suffering repeated insults such as rampant racism, ill treatment by the ruling class, and high-ranking Chantry elements torturing and murdering innocent Qunari for no other reason than being Qunari and refusal of anyone in charge to do anything about it—you know, things they cannot be reasonably expected to take lying down. Then there's the elves, the rich/poor divide in the city—the short version is that in Dragon Age II, no one comes out smelling like roses.
  • Tales of Destiny: While the heroes are A Lighter Shade of Grey, they only start on the main quest because they were imprisoned and are using it as community service. Rutee will frequently try to rob the people she 'helps' and demands further rewards from them and Leon is a fan of electric torture. The king the party is working for is also shown to be a weak and incompetent ruler whose rule has become meaningless in the second game. The main villains, however, are all bloodthirsty warmongers or flat-out genocidal.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog, certain missions allow you only to align yourself with the Black Arms (Black) as your villain option or Doctor Eggman (Grey) as your hero option. Then, you can go neutral, killing everyone.
  • Total Annihilation is a galaxy spanning war-game about two factions that have ultimately desecrated and destroyed all of the principals they once fought for over an obsessive determination to annihilate their enemy.
  • Darksiders follows this to a tee. You are War, a horseman of the Apocalypse. The game opens with Heaven and Hell battling it out, with humans stuck in the middle, during a premature Apocalypse. You are later accused of starting it, and go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to take them down, and find out who really started the war, allying yourself with a high-ranking servant of the Devil, as well as a benevolent "Old One" along the way.
  • The Wario Land series, as well as Wario World and Wario: Master of Disguise. Wario is usually saving the world by accident, with the intent of being as greedy as possible.
  • Both Deus Ex, where one less evil conspiracy faction is fighting the more evil one, and its sequel, where everyone is somewhat ambiguous except for The Knights Templar extremists.
    • And said extremists are, well, Hitler.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction seems to be headed this way.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • In Risen, after the prologue, you must align with one of two factions to progress further. One is a group of fanatical, fascist Knight Templars, and the other is a clan of brutal, unscrupulous bandits.
  • In the Overlord series of games, you play a stereotypical Evil Overlord in a world where you face foes who are arguably worse due to their extreme cruelty and corruption while maintaining that they're the good ones. In Overlord II, you embark on a campaign to conquer a corrupt Romanesque empire which advertises itself as a beacon of civilization, yet is run by fat morally bankrupt beaurocrats who practice slavery, execute all dissenters, and enjoy ethnic cleansing against any magical creature or suspected magic user. It's even worse when you discover that the emperor founded the empire with the support of the common folk by promising to destroy all magic (and following through on that promise) after he himself secretly caused a magical cataclysm which caused all the suffering of the common folk in the first place. Compared to that, everything you do in the game is positively heroic, even the destruction/enslavement of the all the "innocent" people, all of whom are nasty, selfish, racist and morally repugnant anyway. In fact as the Overlord, you are the only one who displays any virtue of goodness; at least you're honest about your intentions compared to everyone you end up facing.
  • In the Abandonware game Hidden Agenda (1988), if you side with the right-wing professional army, they will run death squads and engage in massive brutality. If you side with the left-wing ex-guerillas, all they do is "merely" beat people up, harass opponents, shut down dissenting newspapers and forcibly conscript citizens en masse. If you want to Take a Third Option and try to keep both sides under control, then that requires establishing a personal dictatorship because elections will set off the powder-keg, and tolerating death-squad violence because the alternative is civil war.
  • The Soviet Campaign of Call of Duty: World At War consists of hoards of pissed off Russians smashing their way through Nazi Germany, brutally killing anyone that stands in their way. Granted, the Germans did the same to them, but the Soviet's payback gets so bad that one of your squadmates will frequently protest the slaughter.
    • The loading scene before the last level consists of Reznov reading a diary passage from said squadmate, after his death by a German flamethrower. If you have your character fully participate in the slaughter of the Germans, he will denounce the character. If you restrain yourself, he will praise you. If you do a mixture of both, he will simply paint you as a moral question mark.
  • Borderlands.
    • The four protagonists are all Only in It for the Money and more than a bit sociopathic (especially Mordecai and Brick). Their main allies are a greedy arms dealer who only helps them because they keep buying his weapons, an overly eccentric mechanic who cares more about his combat cars than anything else, an utter bitch who also happens to be the only sane woman, a medic with a Morally Ambiguous Doctorate who may or may not have an Evil Twin who is most definitely not just him in a disguise, and an elitist, egotistical Insufferable Genius with a questionable mental state. And yet, despite all this, they're still about 100 times better than the Bandits, Crimson Lance and Eridians. Borderlands 2 carries this tradition on, adding a kid with a questionable mental state and a nice, spunky mechanic with a penchant of killing and carrying out a bloody clan war. On the antagonist side, there's the Hyperion which making even the Crimson Lance look pleasant.
    • This trope is out in force in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!: the four protagonists are anti-heroes under the employ of Jack, before he becomes "Handsome Jack" and the biggest threat to Pandora. Two of the protagonists have their reservations about Jack, but continue to work for him anyway (in Athena's case, out of a sense of duty; and in Claptrap's case, because he is programmed to be unfailingly obedient). The other two, Wilhelm and Nisha, go on to become Jack's dragon and girlfriend, respectively. With that in mind, it makes the main villains of the game, the Lost Legion, Hero Antagonists (even though their plan is to protect humanity by destroying Elpis and Pandora).
    Mr. Torgue: MORAL AMBIGUITY. TASTE THE NIETZSCHEIAN INNER CONFLICT, MOTHERF**KER.
  • Very present in the German RPG-Maker Game Vampires Dawn. The fact that you're playing a vampire should already give you a hint. While it is perfectly possible to play a noble kind of vampire who doesn't feed on humans or does worse to them, the technical leader of our Power Trio is not The Hero, but the Token Evil Teammate, who revels in being a vampire. Therefore, you will still be doing some morally questionable things, like killing the nation's King or sucking up souls for extra strength. In the second game, our heroes are engaged in a three-way battle with the Elras Mages and the heroic, but flawed Warrior Clan, and slaughter both indiscriminately.
  • The protagonists in the Assassin's Creed series are members of an ancient Assassin Order that by the Renaissance routinely works with mercenaries, thieves and courtesans to kill their targets. Said targets are usually members or associates of the Templars, a shadowy group that counts nearly every prominent historical figure (from Cain to Pope Alexander VI to Adolf Hitler to Mahatma Gandhi) as members that have been secretly guiding humanity since the dawn of civilisation, with the ultimate goal of controlling the human race via the removal of free will.
    • Then again, some of the Abstergo files in Assassin's Creed Revelations seem to suggest the Templars took a bad turn even for their regular standards during the Renaissance, as the Borgias and their allies were more interested in personal ambition and profit than creating a better world, and mainly comprised corrupt clergy and greedy aristocrats. The Templars from the Crusades were all, except for Majd Addin, interested in actually stopping the Crusades and bringing peace to the Holy Land. Most of their amoral actions are based on the idea that there is no God or Afterlife, as the Pieces of Eden were instruments from an ancient civilization to create and manipulate mankind as a slave race, which they use as justification to create a better world, no matter how cruel they must be. Abstergo seems to follow this same line of thought, along with a hinted goal of evolving humanity to a stage similar to Those Who Came Before. It's safer to say they think they're Necessarily Evil and have good intentions, with some of their members actually being pure evil since they don't hold many hiring moral standards. There's also the case of Lucy Stillman, who had become disenchanted from the Assassins for seemingly abandoning her in a deep cover infiltration and thus agreed to pretend to be a loyal Assassin so as to retrieve Ezio's Apple of Even, but was never as amoral as her boss Warren Vidic.
    • Assassin's Creed III paints both factions as shades of Grey compared to Juno, who straight up loathes humans and wants to conquer them.
    • And then Rogue completely flips things around. Achilles Davenport, the leader of the Colonial Assassins, is a pigheaded petty tyrant who never considers the consequences of his actions (which eventually leads to Lisbon being destroyed in an earthquake). It's gotten so bad, in fact, that they've outright established a criminal network in two cities and various other locations in the colonies. They're single-mindedly focused on their war with the Templars (and use it to justify just about everything); none seem particularly interested in helping the people whose freedom they're supposedly fighting for. Meanwhile, Shay Cormac, after turning to the Templars, ends up liberating an Indian village, renovating broken buildings all over the colonies, and taking apart the Assassins' criminal network. James Monroe, a lifelong Templar, is by far the most decent person in the entire game (he's the one who gets Shay started renovating), and the Templars' allies are at worst harmless. Even Haytham Kenway isn't interested in harming anyone who isn't an Assassin (mind you, he still gets very nasty to them). Juno, meanwhile, is utterly impotent and actually pleads to anyone who will listen that she has the world's best interests at stake. (It's also strongly hinted that she has supporters, which pretty much kills any Big Bad kick dead.)
  • Alpha Protocol. You work for a shady, accountability-free government agency that 'recruit' you by kidnapping you and are secretly collaborating with the Big Bad to escalate global politics for money. Your enemies include a Corrupt Corporate Executive, a Captain Ersatz of Osama Bin Laden, a psychopathic torturing gangster, and an ex-rogue agent who takes hostages and blows up museums because it's his job to do so. It speaks volumes that the only person who doesn't openly mislead, lie to or manipulate you is the game's Sociopathic Hero, who's only in it to hurt people you point him at.
  • X3 Albion Prelude takes a dive towards this. One side is the technologically superior Terrans (Earth system) who are isolationist, paranoid, and deathly afraid of artificially intelligent ships, and the other side is the Argon Federation, the Lost Colony of Earth, who have no trouble with AI ships. Because the Terrans were moving their fleet around to investigate rumors of AI development, the Argon blow up the massive defense station / shipyard / factory / civilian station that is wrapped around Earth, killing tens of millions in an instant (and then the wreckage falls to Earth), then launching millions of AI ships in a quest to wipe out the entire Terran military.
  • Evil Islands, Zak falls into the Anti-Hero trope, and while the Khadaganian empire is undoubtedly evil, the Canian empire is not much better.
  • No More Heroes. The name says it all. The game series is severely lacking in any truly moral characters, with the main character Travis Touchdown being a loser and Anti-Hero who mostly kills simply under the promise of getting sex with the beautiful young lady who arranges the fights and to get enough money to pay off his rent. And while he does have some morals, keeping him at a rather light shade of grey, the other assassins he has to face range from Tragic Villains forced into the line of work due to circumstances, to complete psychopaths. Subverted at the end of the second game when Travis vows to destroy the UAA after seeing how many lives it has destroyed, making him more of true hero.
  • Despite the series having a huge amount of humor Kid Icarus: Uprising ends up falling in this category. You have the Underworld army that is clearly evil and then you have the forces of nature that want to destroy humanity for destroying nature, the auron army that take planets and make a civilization from them, and space pirates that are just looting treasure. They're all in the grey zone as they all have good reasons for causing harm. Angel Land and humans are also not immune as Palutena is shown to not be the nicest Goddess alive as Pit makes her out to be and Humans Are the Real Monsters in this game. Pit is the only character in the entire game that is shown to be the morally good person (white) of the series with his Evil Twin (and that is subverted near the end when he becomes almost as good as Pit) Dark Pit being the second given Pit's status as the Incorruptible Pure Pureness made him neutral at worst.
  • The main plot of Book of Mages: The Dark Times consists of a struggle between the White Robes and Black Robes. The Black Robes are exactly what you would expect; the best of them are either Punch Clock Villains or fitted with an Explosive Leash, while the willing members are tyrannical villains. The Great Mage is actually an Anti-Villain who wants to become a Retired Monster, but he's also guaranteed to die before the end game. The White Robes, however, are willing to commit some questionable deeds to accomplish their goals, including attempting to rig a mage tournament to prevent a Black Robe from taking the top spot, and while most of their members are fairly light grey, Flamier is only in it for personal power, and the White Robe PC can cause a Full-Circle Revolution and oppress the other mages every bit as thoroughly as the Black Robes' Great Mage did. Meanwhile, neutral mages generally don't care about morality one way or the other; they only care that the Great Mage is elected according to the rules, and whether the Great Mage is good or evil is irrelevant to them.
  • Diablo III thrives on this, combined with Good Is Not Nice and Light Is Not Good. The angels were mostly disgusted with mankind, which resulted from the union of an angel & demon, after they discovered it. Angels and demons once voted on whether to kill humanity; many angels were for it and only Tyrael's vote prevented genocide. In Act IV, Archangel Imperius blames Tyrael and the nephalem for Diablo's assault, issues a death threat when he first encounters them, and tries to kill the nephalem while Diablo is on the verge of destroying Heaven. Demons are only marginally less sympathetic.
  • Ubisoft's Heroes of Might and Magic. The bad guys are simple enough, undead and Demons, but on the "good guy" factions, the Griffon Empire is a Knight Templar organization that operates under a heavy With Us or Against Us mentality (the standard punishment for questioning a draft is having you, your friends and your family put to death, your home looted, and your entire town burned to the ground), a society of aloof, arrogant elves, and xenophobic, warmongering dwarves.
    • In New World Computing's old setting, The first Heroes Chronicles has an interesting case where this is effectively the case throughout the campaign... but who is the Black and who is the Gray ends up shifting. You start out as the Barbarian being willing to be a bit ruthless to overthrow your tyrannical Wizard oppressors, but by the time you attack Bracaduun proper your ruthlessness has gone way out of control, while your enemies now include people who just want to defend their homes (who happens to lie in the tyrannical Wizards' nation).
  • Messiah has: the police forces that serve the dictator Father Prime (black); the Chots, which are a society of insane cannibals (black); Satan, who is, well, Satan; and God, who is "gray" at the very best, as he looks out mostly for himself, and decides to leave humanity at Satan's mercy because he thinks they're beyond salvation. Probably the most good character in the game (apart from ordinary civilians) is Bob the angel, who is still a ruthless Anti-Hero.
  • Killzone. On one side, we have the Helghast, a Human Subspecies specifically designed to evoke Nazi imagery with their trench coats, black-and-red flags, and atrocious treatment of human prisoners. That said, they have their moments of nobility, and their grievances against their enemies is a valid one — not to mention the fact that in the second and third games, it's their planet that's under attack. Which brings us to the other side, the ISA, who forced the original Helghast colonists off their own world in the first place over property rights and onto the local Death World, where they pretty much had to evolve and develop a harsh and tyrannical society or die. Oh, and they secretly controlled traffic between the two worlds, making it impossible for the colonists to contact friends and family suffering on Helghan. So, who's black and who's gray? We're probably meant to sympathize more with the ISA, but there's a lot of Rooting for the Empire. As far as most fans are concerned, it just comes down to the Helghast looking goddamn awesome and the ISA troops being a bunch of boring run-of-the-mill Space Marines.
    • The soldiers on both sides are gray. Really, it's the leaders of both factions that perform the most atrocious acts in the game; Some of them fanatically believe in the war (Sinclair, Stahl), others are just in it for themselves (Visari, Dr. Meisner). The sad thing is, the protagonists butcher thousands of enemy soldiers, but never get to kill the people making their efforts worthless or counterproductive. (Echo's Kill Sinclair mission is playable, but by that point the main character is dead).
  • Papers, Please is a depressingly realistic version of this trope. You play a border crossing guard in a Communist country, tasked with checking passports and refusing an entry visa to anyone without the proper paperwork. You're paid per visa granted and fined for each one you grant improperly, even if that means keeping a couple separated or refusing entry over a bureaucratic triviality. Oh, and your family is barely living hand to mouth as it is, so altruism will bankrupt your character quickly, as will keeping everyone out. There is a group of freedom fighters who are planning to overthrow the current regime, and you can help them if you want...but they utilize terrorist tactics and chemical warfare, and it's not clear if they really are going to instate a better government should they take over.
  • Skies of Arcadia, amazingly for such an idealistic story. Vyse and the other Blue Rogues may be Just Like Robin Hood, and they only steal from armed ships, but they're still rather comfortable with murder and theft. They're a light shade of grey, but grey nonetheless. The villains are all over the place: Belleza is an Anti-Villain who is fine with espionage and betrayal, but generally tries to avoid murdering people due to her Tear Jerker backstory. Vigoro can pull a Heel–Face Turn despite coming scarily close to raping Aika. Gregorio is a Punch-Clock Villain and actually a decent guy who pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save the heroes. Ramirez is presented as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Galcian, DeLoco, Alfonso and Empress Teodora are basically black.
  • This is Fifth Planet Games' M.O., with each of the protagonists fighting against the forces of evil... and sometimes reveling in evil themselves. Examples from the games that involve the Blue Dragon faction include kleptomania, pride, manslaughter, outright mass-murder, and a general sense of self-denial of all their personal misdeeds being that bad (One of them nuked two colony planets. Granted, the civilians were Neo-Nazis BUT SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE HELL.). This is in comparison to the Black Dragon faction, who are so proud of themselves that they seek to conquer everything and put themselves higher than gods (who, in this twisted crapsack setting, aren't pure good themselves), and effectively worship a leader who keeps crawling straight out of hell and even reforming his soul after it breaks apart, even though it's obvious that he becomes more insane and violent with each resurrection.
  • All of the leaders in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri range from light grey to full black, fittingly as they're based on political straw-men. Going from lightest to darkest, take your pick from:
  • In Fallout 4, there are three factions that cannot be reconciled with in the game, and of them, you can choose to side with The Institute, the one that kidnaps and murders random people and replaces them with robotic clones to steal resources from starving and destitute wastelanders and the game does not make you feel you're making an evil choice, which just highlights how grey this incarnation of the Brotherhood of Steel is. The Railroad, the nominally good faction, are utterly fixated on Synth liberation and you have to wipe out both above if you join them while everyone in the Commonwealth could use a hand as well. Probably the most heroic faction are the Minutemen, but their goodness is tarnished by the fact that they are somewhat xenophobic, however they can be persuaded to join forces with either of the two factions with their eventual victory over the Brotherhood does involve blowing up their Cool Airship while it has children and non-combatants on it.
  • Remember Me tends to switch between this and Gray and Gray Morality. While many of the enemies you fight against are clearly not good people, the protagonist herself, Nilin, questions if what she's doing for the Errorist cause is right, especially since the Errorists rely on terrorist acts that involve the deaths of innocents all for what they perceive as "the greater good" (the fact "Errorist" is literally one letter away from "terrorist" makes this a Meaningful Name).
  • In Mortal Kombat, most of the good guys are Jerk with a Heart of Gold or Anti Heroes at best while most of the bad guys are genocidal mass-murderers, rapists or sociopaths, and of course quite a few of them are all three. Even Raiden ventures into Knight Templar territory through manipulating the good guys into undesirable situations as means of protecting Earthrealm.
  • EVE Online, each of the four empires have at least done some atrocities, but have some positive traits. Even though they have some Pet the Dog moments, those are overshadowed by the many titanic wars they waged that light up the galaxy with fire and death, and body counts that mount by the billions. Also the galaxy is filled with dozens of Mega Corps, criminal organizations, and other N.G.O. Superpower groups of varying shades of gray.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, you start the game as a group of eco-terrorists who is not opposed to blowing up reactors (with Shinra employees still inside) in order to stop a cartoonish evil corporation who is destroying the planet.
  • Pretty much everybody in OFF is evil, or at least questionable.
    • We've got Dedan, a cynical Humanoid Abomination who terrorises his employees.
    • Japhet, a parasitic bird who kills the people he is supposed to protect, just because they annoy him.
    • Enoch, a factory owner who lets his employees convert their workmates' corpses into sugar, feeds them sugar to get them addicted and tricks them into getting killed by spectres to get more corpses.
    • Sugar, a drug addict, who seems to be insane and starts a fight for no reason.
    • Vader Eloha, the Queen, who neglects the world she rebuilt, sends assassins to kill her own minion and is implied to have created the spectres in order to kill her own subjects. Though it’s also implied Japhet is the one who made them go crazy and Vader meant no real harm in anything she did.
    • Zacharie, a merchant who helps the Batter, even after he told him that he was going to kill Enoch, knowing what would happen. The implications are that he is just doing it for the money. Also, he doesn't really care about the death of Sugar, who is supposed to be his friend, claiming that it's "better like that". There is a wrench in this whole thing though: unlike the other characters, he is completely aware that he's in a video game, and therefore that nothing that happens in this world has any permanent significance. Make of that what you will.
    • Pablo, the Judge, who seems to be the least evil character, immediately goes along when the Batter claimed his mission to be purifying the world, without asking what he means. He even helps him after the destruction of Zone 1, although maybe he didn't notice. However, he acts as the world's avenger in the final battle.
    • The Spectres, who kill everything they see. However, they don't seem to be sentient, so they can't really be categorized.
    • The Elsen, who are either workaholics, psychotically afraid or sugar addicts who try to kill anybody that comes near their sugar.
    • However, the worst of them is the Big Bad: The Batter, an Omnicidal Maniac who deems everyone and everything impure. He kills Elsens for just blocking his way, and kills the guardians leading to their zone being "purified", the residents falling into nothingness and diabolic spirits appearing. Even after that he still hasn't had enough. He kills Hugo and flips the switch off that was powering the world. This makes for an odd example in which the protagonist is the black and the antagonists are the grey, an inversion of the usual setup.
  • Planetside is a three-way battle between a Ragtag Bunch of Terrorists/Freedom Fighters, the soldiers of the totalitarian quasi-Soviet regime back on Earth, and a cult "touched" by Precursor technology seeking to "enlighten" everyone else whether they want to be or not (essentially Scary Dogmatic Humans).
  • Far Cry 4: Pagan Min is a batshit crazy murderous dictator, but the two rebel leaders aren't good people either: Amita is a ruthless Marxist revolutionary while Sabal is a reactionary religious fundamentalist. You later find out it's Evil vs. Evil, as Pagan Min is a Noble Demon and both Amita and Sabal go off the deep end: Amita turns Kyrat into a communist narcostate with Child Soldiers and is heavily implied to have had Bhadra murdered, while Sabal conducts a purge of Amita's followers and anyone not conforming to the native Kyrati belief system (which would mean most of Kyrat's people as the religion has been banned for the past 26 years).
  • Destroy All Humans! starts more black and white, only the black is the player, as the title makes clear it's an alien invader exterminating whoever appears (and the only morally questionable people are The Men in Black who want to use alien technology to Take Over the World). The sequels make Crypto a more gray Grey, facing off against even more evil aliens who downright want to irradiate\flood Earth into something more inhabitable to them, a fast food mogul whose menu is made out of war casualties, and splinter members of his species wanting to take over their civilization.
  • The Yakuza series vacillates between this and Grey and Grey Morality depending on the game. All the game's major villains are yakuza ranging from unfettered scumbags to Noble Demons, but the protagonists are only slightly better from a purely lawful perspective, including several other yakuza and a Corrupt Cop. Even the goody-two shoes All-Loving Hero main protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is an on-again off-again yakuza himself.
  • LISA: the Painful's lead player character is Brad, a drug-addict who resorts to killing bystanders who have seemingly not done anything wrong in his effort to get his adopted daughter Buddy back. By Joyful, Buddy herself starts mass-killing the leaders of Olathe, from a combination of being raised in a ruthless apocalyptic wasteland, taking the drug Joy, and wanting to be left alone. However, the enemies they face are often violent rapists, gang members, and part of a mysterious army spreading Joy around knowing that it turns its users in to mutated monsters. Joyful reveals that Lisa herself did not have clean hands either, corrupting Buzzo to begin with.

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback