There’s honestly no greater feeling than having a firm grip on an army of subordinates, all of whom would bend over backwards to secure your position upon the iron throne. Combine that sensation with the unhinged creativity that radiates from something like a video game, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a power hold.
We all love to clutch power by the collar, eager to shove our weight around and bark commands at those who bow before us. Perhaps not in reality. But in a video game — anything is possible, and nothing is out of the question. Just take these five great games as an example. In the following, assuming the role of the boss just comes naturally, giving us that ultimate flex we’re all so guilty of craving.
5. Saints Row: The Third
After finding its feet on the open-world market and severing the links between its Grand Theft Auto similarities, Volition finally managed to put Saints Row on the map — not as a clone, but as a full-fledged franchise with all the qualities to give it its own limelight. Following Saints Row: The Third, the tongue-in-cheek humour only continued to evolve and unearth further original counterparts. One of these, of course, was having the ability to command the 3rd Street Saints as the outspoken Boss.
Having “homies” on speed-dial is one thing — but to have all the perks that weave with the title at the touch of a button is something else. From customizable gang attire to the very vehicles your associates roll around in, Saints Row: The Third gives you the strings to pull in whatever direction best suits your style. Punks? Clubbers? Bikers? Whatever your vision — this gang-riddled chapter pretty much gives you the keys to do as you please with an entire playground at your disposal.
4. Empire of Sin
If club attire and diamond-encrusted grillz aren’t your thing, and you’re more set on the older, albeit darker side of the criminal underworld, then Empire of Sin may be more to your liking. Of course, in order to pull the strings and control the monopoly of rackets on the board, you’ll first have to wedge your foot in the door and ascend the ranks from street hustler to city kingpin.
Empire of Sin puts you in the shoes of a chosen character, fresh on the scene and looking to craft a legacy in the gang-fuelled city of Chicago. In order to take ahold of the board, you’ll have to recruit, promote and evolve your associates, forge alliances and strategically move your way up the ladder. However, with a whole region on the brink of collapse under gang warfare, you’ll have to try pretty hard if you plan on outlasting the other factions and their treacherous schemes.
3. The Godfather II
It may be getting on quite a bit — but The Godfather II is still hands down one of the best Mafia-based video games on the planet. In fact, it was well ahead of its time, with some pioneering mechanics that would later go on to light the way for other acclaimed gang flicks. And as far as playing “the boss” went — Dominic Corleone was one heck of a torchbearer.
The Godfather II, unlike its predecessor, unlocks a variety of tools that allow you to tweak your family under your own image. Rather than diving into city rackets as a one man army against a dozen, The Godfather II instead gives you a swappable roster of associates to embark alongside you on your villainous ventures. With the ability to promote them, alter their attire and evolve their talents, you’ll have plenty to keep you and your family from succumbing to the rival factions that hold the city and its joining regions.
2. Mafia 3
Mafia 3 was a real surprise for us — especially after such a lengthy hiatus since the second chapter rolled out. Nevertheless, it was embraced like an old friend, with plenty of references to ignite the nostalgic spark embedded in the back of our minds. And while it wasn’t quite the story-driven cinematic sensation that the first two games brought to the table — it was still a compelling addition to the gang-themed timeline.
Shovel past Mafia 3’s introduction and you’ll meet the bulk of the gameplay, where you’ll have to knock rackets and factions from the New Orleans monopoly if you ever plan on expanding your family legacy and putting a stop to the corruption that spews from the pits of the underworld. To do so, you’ll have to dethrone faction figureheads, pull in an abundance of wealth to upgrade your sanctum, and siphon out districts to the appropriate associate in order to establish long-lasting relationships and reap the rewards.
1. Watch Dogs Legion
If controlling a few simple pawns on the battlefield doesn’t cut it for you, then perhaps having the whole of London at your disposal might just pique your interest? That’s basically the idea behind Ubisoft’s most ambitious tale to date, anyway. Minor flaws aside, Watch Dogs Legion definitely shot high with its rebellion-fuelled tale across The Big Smoke. And where it lacked in story — it sure made up for in innovations. 9 million playable characters? Just take our money already.
While you don’t assume the throne and guide said 9 million pawns across London as a sole unit as such, you do posses the ability to induct whoever you choose into the revolution and fill shoe after shoe. So, while there are no eligible kingpins in the DedSec division — there are 9 million like-minded footsoldiers that all thrive under the same bracket. And the good news is: you control its future, either as a rogue pizza delivery guy or an ex-MI5 detective. Or as one of the other 8.9 million characters on the hefty roster. So that’s something.
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