The gaming industry, as we know, is a popular target for the press and tabloids. Sometimes, just occasionally, when all the planets align, and the blue moon rises, video games get positive attention. New research may emerge to show that OAPs busting out their DSs (XL, naturally, to save them squinting at their screens like Mr. Magoo) for a slice of Su Doku helps to keep their minds sharper. Or maybe motion-controlled titles are shown to help people recovering from surgery.
We do hear about these sorts of things. Much more often, though, we’re told that video games are pure evil. They’re making us anti-social, inciting violence, making a new generation apathetic and unemployable. Remember when the 3DS was launched, and ignorant news rags were telling us that the 3D effect would cause our eyeballs to damn well melt right out of their sockets?
Now, sure, this is all exaggerated for snark’s sake, but gaming is constantly coming under fire. Mostly for its ‘adult content,’ which generally refers to violence and gore. A lot of the biggest, most attention-heavy AAA releases have this in spades, which doesn’t give a great impression.
It’s less common for other forms of ‘adult content’ in games to be the cause of controversy, but it certainly has done at times. Here, for instance, we’re taking a look at 15 Console Games That Go Full Frontal. Buckle up and let’s get into it.
15 Playboy: The Mansion
Over the years, the business simulation genre has achieved great success with a whole huge range of different titles. There have been games that have allowed us to run our own pizza places, malls, theme parks, railroads, zoos, game development companies, hotels, and everything in between.
In 2005, though, Cyberlore Studios brought us the sim experience we’d all really wanted: the chance to play as a young Hugh Hefner and build the Playboy empire into the success it would become. Granted, the game was awful, but if you’re looking for lovely ladies in all kinds of states of undress, the Hef is the guy you come to. That goes without saying.
14 The Godfather 2
Now, I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m not the kingpin of a major crime syndicate. If I ever become one, though, I know I’m in for a tough time. I’ve seen enough movies and cheesy dramas to know that it’s not an easy gig being a Godfather.
For one, you’ve got to cruise around to all of your enemies’ homes and leave horse’s heads in their beds, like you’re some kind of deranged and morbid Santa Claus. For another, your subordinates are always beating the hell out of people in strip clubs, and that leaves you with all kinds of tedious paperwork to fill out.
The Godfather II, open world action title based on the movie of the same name, saw the player doing a whole lot of that.
13 Saints Row: The Third
Has the Saints Row series ever looked like its given even a single eff? Or even the faintest inkling of considering giving one, even just for a second? Nope. That’s because it hasn’t.
Volition’s open-world action series is big, brash, and snarky. It tells the story of the Third Street Saints, a criminal gang who operate from their home district of Saints Row. Along the way, it manages to parody everyone and everything; a little like Grand Theft Auto if it got hopped up on sugar and e-numbers and dialed the ridiculousness up to eleven.
As such, there are of course many parallels to be drawn between Saints Row and Rockstar’s iconic crime ‘em up. Only in Saints Row, though, can you go on a homicidal rampage fully nude armed with a giant purple 'toy' bat.
12 Heavy Rain
But hell, it’s not all light-hearted silliness and running around with giant toy bats in your birthday suit. Heavy Rain presented us with a far grittier backdrop for its nude scenes.
The plot of this 2010 film noir thriller revolves around the Origami Killer, a serial killer who drown victims during periods of (you guessed it) heavy rainfall. The role of protagonist is shared between four different characters, and each of them has a different involvement in the Origami Killer’s case. The only woman of the four is Madison Paige, and criticism leveled at the game for her treatment and sexualisation.
The forced striptease at gunpoint was one of the most uncomfortable scenes in recent gaming, and there’s also a gratuitous shower scene to boot.
11 The Saboteur
The Saboteur hit Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in 2009. It was the last game developed by Pandemic Studios, and is a super artsy neo-noir affair set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. That being the case, you might imagine it would be full of those naughty norky can-can dancers that TV shows tell us were all over France during this period. And you’d be right.
On console, the game received a free update post-release which was called The Midnight Show. With this patch, the women who worked in the game’s brothels were rendered topless by default. The Saboteur did, however, come equipped with a ‘nudity toggle,’ which allowed you to turn this off so Little Jimmy wasn’t subjected to the sight of poorly animated ta-tas.
10 Indigo Prophecy
Now, this is an oddball entry. Indigo Prophecy (you might know it as Fahrenheit, the game’s title in non-NA regions) is another interactive drama title similar to Heavy Rain, which hit PS2 and Xbox back in 2005.
The plot follows another spate of killings, though through a very supernatural lens. Mysterious forces are ‘possessing’ people of the street, and driving them to commit grisly murders right there in public. The major players have to piece together how and why this is happening, and bring an end to it.
Indigo Prophecy is known for its eccentric control scheme (the face buttons are almost entirely unused, in favour of motions with the analog sticks), as well as its sprinkling of really quite uncomfortable nudity. A fun time, this is not.
9 BMX XXX
Next up, we arrive at what is probably one of the seediest, most half-assed examples of video game nudity in the history of the medium.
Have you ever wanted to play a terrible version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, where everyone rides a BMX and nobody wears any damn pants? I can’t say I have, but nobody’s judging anyone here. Different strokes, as they say.
Topless riders aside, BMX XXX was an awful take on the whole stunt ‘em up thing. There wasn’t too much to this one, beyond the live-action videos of strippers that you unlocked for performing well. This one’s notorious for being utterly crap and pandering, but at least its woeful sales and reviews disproved the 'xxx sells' thing in some small way.
And with that, we arrive at one of the most controversial video games of all time, full stop.
Now, if you must get your fix of pixelated nakedness, I don’t think Manhunt would be your first port of call. The game is, after all, one long series of pretty damn horrific snuff films. I don’t know who could get their kicks from that sort of thing, but I sure don’t think I want to be friends with any of them.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Manhunt, after all, is probably plastic bag suffocation. Or chainsaw impalement, or something. If you know the game beyond the headlines, though, you might think something different. You might think Piggsy’s humongous appendage, for instance.
7 Duke Nukem Forever
As we all know, you never see the Duke without a scantily-clad honey or fifteen in tow. The man was designed as a testament to everything a nineties action hero should be. Ballachingly bad one-liners, muscles on the muscles on his muscles, guns out the wazzoo, and all the ladies.
Throughout the Duke Nukem series, busty babes have always been a recurring motif. Usually of the generic damsels-in-distress variety, sadly, but there they are. Duke Nukem Forever may have been a horrific abomination of a disaster of a game, but it sure didn’t scrimp on that score. You shouldn’t be going out dressed like that, young lady.
6 Custer’s Revenge
That’s right, friends. It's the Atari 2600’s notorious Custer’s Revenge. One of the naked-est, most controversial, and most patently ridiculous games to ever hit consoles.
1982 was a simpler time. Cell phones and PCs were the size of your average studio apartment, Star Wars hadn’t been forever befouled by episodes 1-3 yet, and nobody had ever seen General Custer running around with his huge pixelated junk weighing him down before.
The game came at us (if you’ll pardon the pun) from famed smut-makers Mystique, and saw Custer dodging arrow fire on his way to the end of the stage where a busty Native American woman waited for him. Think Game and Watch classic Helmet, only with a nude dude in a cowboy hat.
5 God of War III: Chains Of Olympus
Oh, Kratos. As far as video game ultra-violence goes, you’re one of the few characters who manage to top the cast of Mortal Kombat. The God of War series has always reveled in its way-over-the-top, brutal combat, and it's totally unapologetic about it. What you see is what you get, and if you don’t like what you’re seeing, motherfreakin’ look away. That’s the God of War message.
Super gory god-execution scenes not being quite controversial enough, Kratos wants to get in on a little of that famous Ancient Greek promiscuity as well. Over the course of the series, he manages to bed all kinds of dusky maidens, including goddess of love herself, Aphrodite. Sure, it’s the most awkward and awful QTE-thrusting-while-staring-pointedly-at-the-bedside-table action you ever saw, but it happens.
4 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Geralt of Rivia, as franchise fans will know, is a Witcher. This means two things. First, he’s a legendary beast hunter, a member of an order who hone their supernatural abilities from an early age to destroy menacing monsters. Second, he’s a bit of an all-around a-hole. Witchers are loners by profession, eschewing relationships, and emotions for their calling.
Geralt, however, doesn’t let any of these restrictions hold him back. Maybe it’s his mantastic Solid Snake-esque gravellier-than-a-box-of-gravel voice, but he has no trouble at all attracting the ladies. Throughout the Witcher series, he seems to effortlessly talk his female companions out of their bodices, as the games’ many sex scenes can attest. Many of these scenes are quite comical, and much more entertaining as a result.
3 Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost And The Damned
As we all know, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ infamous Hot Coffee mod is pretty much the epitome of nudity in the series. Surprisingly graphic for its day (and not surprisingly awkwardly pixelated and ugly for its day), Hot Coffee is still a benchmark by which all gaming ‘adult content’ can be measured.
For a slice of true Grand Theft Auto full frontal, though, we turn to a DLC pack for the game entitled The Lost and the Damned. In one mission, a conversation ensues between a business big-shot and a visitor, while said big-shot is mid-massage. Rockstar skirt the issue by framing the scene so that no nakedness is seen, before ending the conversation with a lingering, full on, view of our host. A controversial visual gag, there.
2 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty
Speaking of Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty features an amusingly naked moment too. It’s not Snake’s… snake we’re dealing with here, but rather Raiden’s.
This younger hero was controversially introduced as the player character of the game, and, like Snake in the previous game, has a moment where he finds himself entirely sans equipment. Without even retaining his pants as Snake did in Metal Gear Solid’s interrogation scene, he’s reduced to cartwheeling about awhile with it all hanging out.
Series creator Hideo Kojima, always one to temper super-dramatic moments with comedy and silliness, clearly reveled in this idea. This is just another of those quirky little additions that the Metal Gear series always liberally sprinkles in, and the games are all the better for it.
1 Dante’s Inferno
Dante’s Inferno was a 2010 action adventure for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was brought to us by Visceral Games, creators of the much-acclaimed Dead Space series, and is loosely based on Dante Alighieri’s famous Divine Comedy. The player takes the role of Dante himself, and gameplay centers around fast-paced combat against the minions of hell you encounter on your journey.
Which is all well and good, but let’s address the elephant in the room. Or, more to the point, let’s address the massive schlong in the room: Man alive, Satan’s hung. To be fair, though, in the name of gender equality, Cleopatra has quite the rack as well. So… there it is. I’m not sure what they put in the water down there in the underworld.