Ken Levine was right. Although the technology is getting better, characters becoming more photo-realistic, modes of storytelling more mature, and aspirations more lofty, sometimes what should be a tender, intimate moment just gets ruined by the dawning realisation that what one is watching more closely resembles mashing Barbie and Ken dolls together than anything else.
Of course, although technological shortcomings have broken the spell of romance for many a gamer, sometimes you can't just blame the jagged pixels and horrifically animated kissing. Sometimes the writers are to blame too. Sometimes the flirtatious banter is more cheesy than Stilton dunked in fondue, more stilted than...well...stilts.
Of course, some scenes are shot very tastefully indeed and really add something to the experience. I was really impressed with Mass Effect's incorporation of sex, it didn't need to show anything hugely explicit at all and was actually far better for it. Indeed, my seconds-long montage with Liara was all mood-lighting and airy close-ups of relatively inoffensively nude body parts.
But then, there are Team America-esque sequences, scenes that make you cringe, and some that make you burst out laughing - intentionally or otherwise. There are also some that make absolutely no sense in the grand scheme of things whatsoever.
We've picked out six of our favourites. Scenes that have made us laugh, cringe, groan and sometimes just let out a small noise of perplexity. Let's get sexy...
Skip to 3:37 for the laughter train...
Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy as it was known across the pond), as one of our readers Josh noted, might actually make the top of this list if we were incorporating some sort of subjective countdown. Not only does it win top Team America marks for appearing to be a lump of writhing plastic, but the fact that the game encourages you to input Lucas' thrusts, and is deadly serious about the whole business, is frankly laughable...or somewhat disturbing.
Mass Effect 2
We love Garrus, we really do, but whilst Liara and Thane (Tali ruled out because we still don't know what's under that mask) look more than a little human, there's something a little too disturbing about shacking up with a Turian. Maybe it's because he looks like a giant, bipedal, shaved cat crossed with a Predator. Maybe. In fact, definitely.
This one's pretty much all inference, but because the game put them there, I can't shut off the cutscenes in my mind. Argh!
Rape is not funny. Fact. But this scene kind of is. Maybe it's the comedy German accent, maybe it's the laughable innuendo that precedes it, maybe it's the fact that it's a woman forcing herself on a man who is surprisingly nonchalant about the whole thing, and really can't have struggled very much at all. Does he actually say no? Did he enjoy it? Does that make it ok? How the hell did it come to this? I'm so very confused!
You might laugh, probably at the sheer randomness of it all, but perhaps a little nervously.
God of War
Kratos is a larger than life character, a primal character, of course he gets funky. It's Ancient Greece...everyone's doing it. But Santa Monica Studios are the masters of the innuendo-filled humorous cutaway. Observe...the water fountain of all grand metaphor.
The 11th Hour
There are several completely bizarre sex scenes in adventure horror game The 11th Hour, and it cheats a little by having so much of the exposition performed through live-action cut-scenes, but the ending is particularly worthy of note. At the end of the game you have to choose who to save out of your girlfriend Robin, you psychic ally Samantha, and a floozy with big boobs called Marie. Choose the eye candy and the final cinematic starts off well, there's some kissing, lots of salacious grinning, she moves downwards, he leans back...before she rips off a wig and turns into a madman who laughs manically and begins snacking messily on ribs...later revealed to be your own cooked carcass.
Seriously. What the hell...?
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Rare pioneered many things (which makes their sorry state today that much more sad), but one that doesn't often get lauded perhaps as much as it should is that they brought the concept of wingman-ing to the animal kingdom. Everyone wins in this little scene - Conker jumps around on some enormous breasts, the King Bee gets his wish and the sunflower...well...she sounds pretty satisfied. It's the expression on Conker's face though. Priceless.