Surprising absolutely no one, one of my favourite pieces of gameplay in Mass Effect 3 are the spectacular ways that I can remove the heads of the Reaper and Cerberus forces thrown my way. Head explosions. It’s ghoulish I know, but it’s also super satisfactory.
I think one of the reasons I like these very gruesome ways of killing is because they are visceral and very tangible. Check an enemy off a list and do it with a fountain of blood. I have written before about how violence seems to be the basic fall back solution for conflict resolution in games, so I’m not entirely okay with it, not with killing as the only option and not with the glee I feel when pressing the trigger, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I do find this particular version of cartoon violence satisfying.
As Anita Sarkeesian says in her videos, it’s okay to enjoy something and at the same time understand that it might be a bit problematic.