Castle Crashers is insane
GTA, Saints Row, Manhunt? Not even close. In terms of sheer gore, those games have Castle Crashers beat, but there are few action games out there without plenty of gore. No, the traumatizing, soul-crushing characteristics of Castle Crashers is not about gore or level of violence, it’s in between the lines of the actions of the “heroes” you play. On the surface, it might seem like your average ‘hero on a journey to defeat evil’ type story, but if you look more closely, you will quickly realize that the heroes you play are among the most monstrous, psychopathic killers you have ever had the opportunity of controlling.
Let’s have a closer look at your actions throughout the game, which means in the case that you feel the story is of importance in a game like this, you should know that there will be SPOILERS
The Corncob. This poor vegetable had the sad fate of being either: being born very differently from the other maize, or having had some spell cast on him to turn him into a monster. He’s probably been bullied by the other corncobs his whole life. Is it strange that this unfortunate soul is a little aggressive? And yet what is the logical conclusion that the “heroes” reach when they meet the corncob? They slaughter him, and then proceed to eat his remains. Follow me on this, they slaughter a lost, confused creature, whose only crime was being different, and then consume his dead body because it’s tasty.
The motivation? The corncob was kind of in the way of a place they were looking for, and decided it was too much trouble simply going around him.
Next up, genocide. On their journey, the player champions and the army that follows them encounter a primitive tribe of polar bears. The bears like to eat fish, sleep and dance in the rain, and are completely oblivious to the ongoing war. When an army invades their land, the bears will naturally try to defend it out of fear. Do the good guys try a diplomatic solution? No, they exterminate the entire population of polar bears without mercy.
Wedding crashers. Our righteous heroes crash a wedding, destroy the cake, and murder the guests and the groom, whose only wish was to get married. The groom was quite the villain though; his evil weapon was a musical instrument. Be grateful they saved us from that guy. The champions are not quite finished, though. The groom was the Cyclops’ only friend, and upon seeing him dead, the Cyclops flies into a great sorrow and rage, escaping to his cave to grieve. You get one guess at what the heroes do to the Cyclops. Wrong, they do not simply murder him, but make sure to give him the horribly painful death of molten lava.
‘But wait!’ A player familiar with the game might say. ‘They rescue animals!’ This is true; they rescue a selection of animals from both battlefields and black market vendors throughout their journey. Then they proceed to use them as weapons. Baby seals, kittens, birds. You name it; they probably threw it right into the bloody war, to fight for their lives for their own cruel and selfish gains.
What about the hermit in the mountains? The heroes meet a crazy, old hermit living in the mountains, who only wanted to show them his sock puppet show. They kill him because he has a steering wheel that they want. Oh, and the aspiring painter, let’s not forget about him. He also only wants to show off his artistic prowess by displaying his paintings. They kill him because....no reason what so ever! F*ck art, apparently.
If this is not convincing enough, then I don’t know what more to point out. Except that if you decide to play multiplayer, when you rescue princesses, you will casually be fighting your friends to the death if it means you’ll get some of the fair maidens' sweet lovin’. This is the heroic thing to do, of course.
Doesn’t get more morally rotten than this. Final verdict: Awesome
Side note: after approx. 50 hours of playing, a bug caused my entire save to get erased, without chance of recovery. Not so awesome.