3 – TECHNOCOP
With a name that recalls Robocop, you’d expect a violent action romp, but Technocop manages to push the envelope further than Paul Verhoeven’s creation. In addition to killing plenty of perps, Technocop can bring his brand of violence to civilians, who expire in explosions of blood. The populace includes innocent children, which puts Technocop in a spectrum of awfulness all its own.
That’s right, in 1990, a full decade before Grand Theft Auto III let you murder everything except children, Technocop had straight-up kid killing. Technocop reportedly had a warning label on the cover mentioning its violent content, but any savvy adolescent could cover that with their hand when passing the box to a clueless parent.
2 – NARC
Winners don’t do drugs, but they sure do enjoy some ultra-violence. While not part of any official anti-drug campaign, this Midway hit made every villain a drug user. The protagonists (Max Force and Hit Man) had a sports car and plenty of firearms to end the lives of abusers and pushers, who would end the baddies’ trip in a torrent of gunfire – bet they didn’t think that was too groovy.
After hitting the arcades, Narc went on to the Nintendo Entertainment System (among other platforms) where kids likely conned their parents into buying the “anti-drug game” full of death and mayhem. Hopefully some of those kids felt the hard hand of karma as adults when they bought the 2005 reboot and slogged through a boring open-world crime sim.
1 – VANDAL HEARTS
JRPGs tend to skimp on the violence, what with all the angst and magic they need to fit into 40 hours. This was doubly true back in early 1997 before Final Fantasy VII introduced grittier elements to the worlds of swords and spells. The M-rating aside, a look at Vandal Hearts’ box doesn’t seem to forecast a blood-letting battle ahead, just a couple bloodless swipes at a scary dragon (there are no dragons to slay in this game, by the way).
The first time you land a killing blow in this tactical role-playing game, you might be taken aback by the geyser of blood that erupts from your now-deceased foe. Similar to a Mortal Kombat Fatality where extra skulls and limbs fly off an opponent, there seems to be more blood exploding from enemy soldiers than the human body can hold, but that’s easily ignored due to the awesome sight that happens with every vanquished foe. Vandal Hearts also deserves mention for beating FFVII to the profanity punch as there’s a single utterance of “SHIT!” when a character is kidnapped late into the campaign. Kids of the 1990s likely said that same swear multiple times upon discovering this secretly violent Konami-published game.
What do you think of these bloody games mate? Are there any surprisingly violent games from your youth you remember? Sound off about them below!