Over the years, the platform of videogames has been used to explore more and more of what life has to offer through, what some consider, the ultimate interactive medium. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride, but videogames are still a very new creative outlet, compared to something like movies, or the even older disciplines of painting and writing.
Like with most creative things, passion plays a very important part. What do most people think of when they think of passion? Love and sex of course. A number of videogames have tried their hand at handling these rather large topics. Some have done very well, some…..well, not so much. The following list shows a number of games that all had their own go at tackling these most intimate parts of human nature. Have a gander, and see which one you think handled it best.
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Beyond: Two Souls
What is it with “interactive movies” and their obsession with wanting to put the sausage in the bun? Does David Cage think that sex is the best way to sell his vision? Well, if he does, he’s probably right.
In this iteration, starring Hollywood mega stars Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page, you can once again attempt to pork a character once certain conditions have been met. If you play your cards right during the events of “Like Other Girls”, Ellen Page’s character Jodie will be able to fully romance the character Ryan Clayton.
During the later scene “The Dinner”, if you’re looking to bang Ryan, you have two options available to you. You can go full on seductress by wearing a nice dress, cooking a meal and putting on some good tunes. This will net you the “Perfect Lover” achievement.
Or, if you’re not into all that effort, you can simply wear some casual clothes, order some pizza and chill out until Ryan decides to turn up. Doing things this ways will get you the “Casual Girl” achievement.
Either way, once Ryan turns up, prepare yourself for a rather boring section involving backstories, interests, and the usual shit small talk polite people who want to slam each other silly typically go through. Come the end of the date and Jodie kissing Ryan, if you done the correct things in “Like Other Girls”, Jodie and Ryan will now take that kiss all the way to the bedroom.
Oh ho ho. Things about to get steamy, right? Sorry to say, my friend, but you’re in for some disappointment. Once the action moves to the bedroom, the screens fades out to black, and starts up again the next day. Looks like you’re just going to have to use good old fashioned imagination. Or Pornhub. Your choice.
Dragon Age Series
One of Electronic Art’s other big developments, the Dragon Age games are sprawling epics (yes, even the 2nd one) that, like Mass Effect, allow you to form romantic relationships with your companions. What Dragon Age takes further though, is the ability to romance same-sex characters. Across the three main entries in the series, there are a total of 17 characters you can form relationships with. Out of these 17, 9 are on the condition you are of a certain sex or race.
That means almost half of the characters available to be romanced are up for fun gender regardless. Not only that, but a number of characters, like Iron Bull from Dragon Age: Inquisition, don’t even care if you’re a completely different gender AND race from them. Talk about being open minded.
If you’re looking to romance a companion you’ve grown particularly attached to, similar rules apply as to those found in Mass Effect. That means following that companions quest line, talking with them and making the right choices (be they good or evil). In Dragon Age, you can also give your crush gifts, in order to further their appreciation for you.
Once their levels of attraction for you have reached a certain point, you can initiate a dialogue with your chosen companion and proceed to take your relationship to the next level. You see a varying amount of the act itself depending on what character you’ve romanced and in what game. Some are more serious and sultry; some are quite whimsical and fun. Some contain nudity; some don’t.
It’s good that Electronic Arts have provided this much variety regarding romance in the game,but there’s still plenty of work to be done yet. If forming a relationship with someone was as easy as doing a few nice things for them, being nice towards them and showing them that you care, wouldn’t people already be doing that in real life? Yeah. Not exactly realistic.
The Witcher Series
The Witcher series is known for many things: An engrossing, detailed world. A plot with so much depth you could fall in this year and only come back out around 2018. The gloriously glitchy steed Roach.
Along with these things, it also carries a reputation for having some of the most raunchy scenes in gaming , especially in mainstream titles. Whether you’re banging your long term love interest Yennefer on the back of a stuffed Unicorn, or you’re banging an appreciative sorceress on the banks of a lake, or you’re just banging a random harlot from the local establishment, Geralt has his fingers in pretty much any pudding he can get his hands on.
The Witcher series has never been shy about showing off a little skin, and during the sex scenes, almost everything is on display (including the skill set used by Geralt, so be sure to take notes). CD Projekt RED have done their best to bring the world of the books to life, and make it as interactive as possible. Thus, the romantic and sexual aspects needed just as much fleshing out (excuse the pun) as the rest.
Sex in The Witcher appears to be a pretty casual affair. People seem to boink each other senseless all the time, including Geralt and all of his lovers, and no one appears to be bothered all that much.
Maybe we could learn something from that. Maybe we could all treat sex a little more freely. Maybe Jenny down the street will finally realise I could just be a practice stepping stone on the grand sexual adventure of her life.
I can dream.
Mass Effect Series
Although not quite as full-on as The Witcher, romance is still a large part of the Mass Effect experience. You may be Humanity’s greatest hero, but even Commander Shephard needs a little lovin’ now and again.
There’s a number of romantic options throughout the game that you can take advantage of if you build up the relationships correctly throughout the game. If you’re male Shep, you could try getting it on with the seemingly cold Cerberus agent Miranda. Or you could try your luck with the perpetually annoyed super-biotic Jack (not a dude), or even one of the Asari you meet on your travels.
If you’re female Shep, you could form a bond with the male Cerberus agent Jacob, or try getting inter-species freaky with the frog-like Thane and the…. well, whatever Garrus is. Fan fiction has to come from somewhere, I suppose.
Hell, you could even have a same-sex relationship, which even now is still pretty progressive in games. To develop the romance with any of these characters, you need to put in the time and effort. That means doing characters loyalty missions, spending time talking with them on your ship, and also following the correct moral actions that correlate with your desired’s own moral inclinations.
After doing all that and winning the affections of your desired, the booty train soon comes a-callin’.
The end result action of your romantic pursuits may not be quite as graphic as something like The Witcher, but you do indeed land the spaceship in the docking bay, if you catch my drift.
Heavy Rain may have been a visual masterpiece when it released, but since 2010, it has aged somewhat. The sex scene in particular has become a little more jarring now that graphics have advanced so much since then. After a particularly horrific series of events occurring to the character Ethan (including killing another person and chopping off his own finger), he and the character Madison share a quiet moment together.
In this moment, Madison leans in to kiss Ethan, and a choice appears asking if the player wants Ethan to kiss her. Choose yes, and the sex scene that used to seem passionate and visually impressive now turns into a jarring, ugly looking slapping of cgi body parts together.
Ethan and Madison’s mouths may move together, but I’m not sure they ever actually touch. When Ethan is kissing Madison’s neck, its look more like he’s inspecting her for a strange smell he’d noticed. After getting through the clunky series of button presses required to derobe each other (something that is at least still very accurate of real life interactions like this), Ethan and Madison proceed to make love on the floor by the side of the perfectly suitable bed.
It is not the most graceful of scenes, I have to admit. We can’t fault it much though, as when it was made, it was some of the best romantic action you could find in a videogame. It’s not Heavy Rain’s fault it’s become a little outdated, and to be fair, the floor dry-humping is still some of the best quality stuff you’re likely to find even today.
Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy)
Way before Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream’s first proper foray into the “interactive film” style of game came in the form of Fahrenheit – otherwise known as Indigo Prophecy. Pretty much all of the elements you’d come to find in Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls started here. David Cage, the writer and director for both titles, clearly has a vision of games that involves incorporating and replicating real life inside the world of video games as much as possible.
Like Heavy Rain, the gameplay of Fahrenheit is fundamentally based on the relationships between people. One of these relationships – the one between Luke and Tiffany – can develop into the form of an interactive sex scene.
There’s a scene in the game where Tiffany comes to Luke’s apartment to collect her stuff, as they had previously broken up. If you choose the right dialogue choices (and have chosen to do the correct actions before her arrival to get you in the right frame of mind), then she will ask you to play some guitar for her “in memory of the good times.”
Do the guitar playing minigame, and then Tiffany will say she has to go. When this happens, the choices “Leave” and “Kiss” appear on the screen. If you’re looking for out of this world, PS2-era sexy time action, you better choose “Kiss”.
Remember when I was talking about Heavy Rain’s sex scene looking a little outdated? Well, it is about 10,000 times better looking than this one in Fahrenheit (and yet, they still manage to get their lips to touch). Fahrenheit also proceeds to skip most of the pointless things that are foreplay and undressing and get straight to the boinking.
The whole scene is quite short, and there’s no position swapping to spice things up. Some rapid button presses and a few moans later, and the job’s done. If only actual intercourse was so easy.
God Of War Series
God of War is a series intimately entangled with overly graphic scenes. It’s a hack and slash series where the combat is based on causing as much pain as possible to your enemies. Gouging out eyes, disembowelment and ripping the heads off of enemies with your bare hands are all just basic parts of play as you strut through the world as the moody protagonist Kratos.
As a god killing, titan wrestling, world destroying force of infinite rage, it’s understandable Kratos gets a little tense and needs to unwind. This typically comes in the form of buxom, scantily (if at all) clad females who are all too happy to help Kratos alleviate some of that stress. Sometimes is just normal mortals (and usually a couple of those at a time), other times it’s the goddess of love herself.
However, you never actually see Kratos going to town on whatever lucky lady has his attentions. Amusingly, the viewer is typically treated to the some hot and heavy noises while watching a part of the environment become affected by the sheer intensity of the lovemaking.
For instance, in the first game, you watch a vase slowly bounce its way off of a table as your button presses encourage ever more excited moans from the mortals Kratos is showing a good time to. In the second, you watch a cherub statue with a stream of water flowing out of its penis gradually increase in pressure until the stream just explodes everywhere.
What does all of this sex actually do for Kratos? Well, apart from putting a massive smile (in his case, a lack of a grimace) on his grizzled face, the player is treated to an abundance of Red Orbs that are used for powering up Kratos’ various spells and weapons.
Not a bad pay-off, if you ask me.
Grand Theft Auto Series
A list like this simply wouldn’t be complete without good ol’ GTA. The series has always pushed the boundaries of what can and can’t be shown in videogames, and that includes sex. All the way back in GTAIII, you could visit strip joints and blow some money on a lap dance, or even hire a hooker to get down and dirty with you.
Probably the most famous example of sex in this series, however, comes from the highly controversial “Hot Coffee” minigame from San Andreas. Although the game was released without the minigame available, PC gamers quickly found it within the games code and reactivated it.
In the regular game, once you’d went on a date or two with a girl, you could get her to come back to your place. Once there, CJ (the character you play as) and his date would head inside, and you would then be privy to some sweet, camera shakin’ action from outside. With the “Hot Coffee” minigame reinstated, you moved from outside observer, to inside interactive pornstar.
Although no nudity was actually shown, due to the sex being conducted with all of your clothes on (the most efficient method of lovemaking), the acts conducted by the characters were still pretty full-on. (include link?). If this had been left in the main game, you’d probably have a large number of players who had spent 1000 hours playing the game, but never gotten past meeting their first girlfriend.
No iteration of GTA since has included such an option, even latent in the code. You can still have sex with various people in the most recent GTA, but it’s a far more tame affair. Probably for the best there.
Anyone who has played The Sims, any version of it, knows all about all the wonderful things the game can let you do. Sure, you can start off simple, building houses, furnishing living rooms, planting trees and the like. But after you build from that, there’s a ridiculous amount of stuff you can do. The possibilities are almost endless.
At its base, The Sims is a simulation game that attempts to simulate all of the things life has to offer, in its infinite variety. What simulation game like that would be complete without sex?
Sex in The Sims is an amusing affair. It is euphemistically referred to as “Woo Hoo” from The Sims 2 onwards; the original game did not contain the option for it (you need the Livin’ Large expansion for that). To perform “Woo Hoo”, you need to find someone your Sim can become romantically interested in. Then, do it like you would in real life: get them talking, buy them some nice things, make them laugh, and then, when they like you enough, click on “Woo Hoo” and watch the magic happen.
By magic, I mean some obscured rustling and jiggling while love hearts appear above. Exactly like it happens in real life.
Sims don’t have a gender preference, so they’re pretty much up for it with whomever. Sims might even be coded to all be public exhibitionists as well, as they don’t mind where they do “Woo Hoo” either. It can be on a bed, in a car, or even in a phone booth. Sims are aren’t very fussy, it seems.
Oh, and if you’re worried if all that “Woo Hoo” might end up in an accidental pregnancy, or an STI, fear not. Sim sex is always perfectly safe, unless you’re specifically trying for a baby (that’s a separate option altogether). The only thing that can happen is now and again, your Sim might be displeased with the performance of their partner. Even virtual people can have off days, it seems.
This game. Man, this game. Long before the titillating graphics of things like The Witcher or Mass Effect, long before even the notorious torpedo tits days of Lara Croft, we had this. Way back in 1983, the Atari 2600 received one of the first, and possibly one of the best, pornographic games ever made. Before you ask, X Man has absolutely nothing to do with the X Men. Yes, the main character may have a freakish polygonal member, but unfortunately, Marvel were not the geniuses that came up with this mutant.
In X Man, the aim of the game is simple: traverse the maze like environments, avoid all the obstacles, and get to the centre of the map. Once you had accomplished this, your intensely horny hero achieved his prize: a wizards sleeve for his magic wand.
A similarly polygonal lady presents herself to your character, complete with blinking nipples of lust. Here, you finish your current maps quest by repeatedly thrusting your character’s almost worryingly turgid member in and out of said lady, thus doing “the sex”.
To be honest, this may be the most pornographic game on this list. Sure, GTA may be visually dirty, and The Witcher shows its fair share of sensual adventures, but X Man is the only one that actually shows penetration (pixelated as it may be).
This game is also probably the rarest on this list as well – apparently, there are only between 20 and 45 cartridges left in existence. The game was obviously so ridiculously popular, people played their cartridges until they went on fire from the sheer lustiness they induced in their players. Probably.
The people we have to thank for this were from a studio called Universal Gamex. Oddly, X Man was the only titled they ever managed to develop. I wonder why.
Well, that’s the list. What did you think? Obviously, there’s still a long way to go. Looking at what we have now in games (like The Witcher), and looking at where we started (like X Man), it’s very clear however that a lot of progress has been made.
If more games can follow in the footsteps of titles like The Witcher and Dragon Age and Heavy Rain, and develop their ideas further, I think there’s a great future for videogames in representing how real life romance works.
If however, we get a few more titles like X Man along the way, I’m totally cool with that too.
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