Poll: How do you play games that allow multiple playstyles?

Your style?

  • 1 - Maximum body count, everybody dies.

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • 2 - Enemies die, civilians left alone or knocked unconscious.

    Votes: 8 80.0%
  • 3 - Only non-lethal knockouts allowed.

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • 4 - Ghost, nobody saw you, everyone left alone.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Aug 14, 2000
I’m talking about games that have a choice how to play like Elder Scrolls/Thief/Dishonored/Deus Ex/etc.

I go with option #2. Anyone that opposes me dies, but a badass assassin doesn’t go around killing unarmed kitchen maids. If civilians get agitated and start disrupting the environment, I’ll knock them out.

Option 4 is boring for me. It feels like I’m not allowed to interact with the environment. Also quick-loading after every detection isn’t fun and completely disrupts immersion.


Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
It varied a lot over the years and multiple playthroughs (although not the end credits, just trying many characters and builds).

Going by memory only (it's more than this and in more games I'm sure but I just don't recall more for now):

In Oblivion, I first tried a typical two-handed Nord focusing on strength and just overall damage. With him I went with what amounts to your option #2. My 2nd character was a Bosmer thief, attacking from the shadows (mostly role-play in my head than actually doing that in the game per se; mechanically-speaking TES and Stealth and A.I. is nearly just an illusion), with him I went with option #3 in most cases but did kill whenever I had no other choices (sometimes caused by not being able to actually be stealthy). At the time, however, I was expecting a lot from Oblivion since I thought it was such a next-gen title. But yeah I discovered sooner rather than later about how the game was limited in supporting things like that (like going full and pure stealthy thief / assassin) or how their so-called Radiant A.I. turned out to be a skeleton of a very ambitious idea and nothing else.

After that I tried a crazy High Elf mage, role-played him as a guy who kept having hallucinations and delusions of grandeur (essentially a typical "I want to conquer the world!" kind of villain but going about it in absolutely no logical way). It was a tough one since I didn't exactly want to kill everyone and everything on my way but sometimes in some specific situations or locations I had no choices but to do that save for the critical Non-Killable NPCs who'd be attacked and momentarily stopped, but would always come back as if nothing happened... which of course broke the immersion and the very premise of the character I had built in my head. Also I wasn't actually good at playing a mage nor was the "targeting" system or hit-detection or just overall projectile physics helping me at all with the longer-range style anyway (same thing would happen with Archery). I stopped only after around 20 hours into that game, it became stupid.

Come to think of it, when it comes to Morrowind I'm pretty sure it only consisted of option #2, both on my XBOX saves and later on my PC version saves too. I never really tried anything 'exotic' or special with my characters in that one, just typical "do the missions, kill what needs to be killed and report back and progress the story" type of gameplay.

In Skyrim, a very similar path to the ones I tried in Oblivion, but on more characters total (around 6 I think over the years). Similarly to Oblivion, not much had chanced in Skyrim when it came to how the game could mechanically allow you to be a 'full' [insert whatever type of character and build name]. Since the A.I. was nearly identical to Oblivion's for Stealth, it wasn't quite possible to play fully stealth at 100%, inevitable situations would pop-up or you'd try something that the game just wasn't capable of offering you or support that at all, even with mods (although some did help). Going full berserker and crazy-minded again... immersion breaks often especially in cities / towns whenever encountering critical NPCs that wouldn't die. I often just tried specific types of characters for some time, but at some point I either deleted them or 'reverted' them back to basically option #2 which is what the TES games are mostly capable of mechanically supporting.

Now mind you, I never tried something like a full blown A-to-Z game overhaul that might have changed mechanics so much that those types of characters would then be fully supported. Those mods were often just too complicated to install or to manage post-installation with new in-game options or scripts to manually adjust values of... just a headache for me. So I never really experienced a 'full stealth' character in Oblivion or Skyrim. Also before I forget, about the same thing happened in Fallout 3 and 4, usually went with option #2 from the start, or if not (and I did try other stuff in those games than just that option) I'd end up reverting back to it at some point. And other than those games I can't recall any other games right now by memory in which I would have chosen to play in a specific way other than the typical option #2 that most games would be design around. In short, TES and [the 3D / Bethesda] Fallout games were no Deus Ex or Dishonored, let's just put it that way.

For option #1 I have a pretty simple one in mind: DOOM :) Just saying (more precisely, trying to 100% the whole thing). I mean option #1 is filled up to the sky and beyond.


Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
Generally I take out all the enemies but sometimes a "civilian" gets in my way and ends up on the pile too. Sometimes they just say a scripted line and I kill them for annoying me. I remember Metal Gear Solid and trying to play through bloodless (as much as the game allowed that) which was fun.


No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
It's rare that I play that kind of game, but generallyp...either "EVERYONE dies," or "no one knows I was there." That last one is the hardest for me...because I'm a "kill them all, let their gods sort it out" kind of guy naturally.


Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
i always take the ranged/sniper approach in games like Borderlands, diablo-clones, Deus Ex, even fallout (2,3,4) and wasteland 2. i don't like up-front confrontation, melee and high risk situations. occasionally, i would kill a quest-giver (with quick save first) if it would give me the loot i couldn't choose as quest reward.
so i would say a mix of 2 and 3.


Oct 9, 1999
I generally start with option 2 then eventually get annoyed by some glitch or bad programming and end up with option 1.


No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
In Dishonored, it's kill everybody or kill nobody. Killing everybody is kind of boring in that game, too easy, particularly in the later games in the series where the opposition doesn't ramp up in response to mass killing nearly as much as it did in the first game. Killing nobody is actually kind of difficult. There you are with a perfect no-kill game going, some goof falls off a roof, and there goes your perfect game.