Thursday, June 27, 2013

We got the M rating, might as well show some skin

Video games as an art form are still in their awkward teen phase. There are many things that they can do but there are no sure if they should or what the best to to do them is. For example, what does Mature actually mean? Is it violence, language, adult themes or the overall tone? In the case of Metro: Last Light it's a little bit of everything, plus gratuitously animated boobs because why the hell not.

Games do not often make me uncomfortable. Usually it happens when a game goes past regular old violence to something more sadistic and trips my squeamish side (example: Condemned 2 and the hobo torture chamber). Last Light never even gets close to that but the surprise unskippable lap dance certainly had me squirming.

'Leave a tip? Sure. Oh, that's what you are going to do. Oh. Okay, I'm done with this, where's the skip button. No skip button? I think I need some more chips, be back in a bit.'

This is not the first strip club I have been to in a game and I am sure it will not be the last but this experience was just so skeevy that it made my skin crawl. It's a shame because I really like everything else about Last Light. Even the fabled Big Momma fight came and went without me throwing anything at the screen. Artyom has the worst luck in the whole world: captured by Nazis, betrayed by communists, attacked by monsters, accosted by strippers whose breasts are unfazed by either malnutrition or gravity. He is the same kind of silent everyman hero as Gordon Freeman, just with a taste for vodka and very poor people judging skills.

Last Light is plenty mature without the nudity. Eaking out a living in the subway tubes after Russia has been devastated by nuclear war is desperate and depressing. It has brought out the worst in just about everyone and Artyom still takes the time out to return a teddy bear to a child who has never seen the sky. The violence makes sense as everyday activities have become fights for survival. The boobs? Not so much.

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